Gun Lake Tribal Council cuts ribbon at new Tribal Govenment Campus- Photo by Levi Rickert
Published August 26, 2015
BRADLEY, MICHIGAN – D.K. Sprague, tribal chairman of the Match-e-be-nash-she-wish Band of Pottawatomi Indians of Michigan (Gun Lake Tribe), declared his tribe has finally come home. He told the crowd that gathered Wednesday, August 25, 2015, for the ribbon-cutting ceremony to open the Tribe’s newly constructed government campus that Chief Match-e-be-nash-she-wish settled in Bradley, Michigan 170 years ago.
Chairman Sprague reminisced how through the years, the Bradley Indian Mission served as a gathering place for tribal members.
“The doors of the mission were never locked,” stated Chairman Sprague. “Our people knew they could always go there. When there was an community announcements to be made, the mission’s bell would ring.”
“After years of upheaval, the Tribe now is home,” declared Chairman Sprague.
Gun Lake Tribe Chairman D.K. Sprague
The ribbon-cutting ceremony included several tribal officials from neighboring Michigan Indian tribes. Ernie Stevens, chairman of the National Indian Gaming Association, based in Washington, D.C. also attended the ceremony.
Situated across the street from its Gun Lake Casino, the Gun Lake Tribal Government Campus consists five buildings:
Building A – Health & Human Services will house four outpatient exam rooms, medical staff, a future dental exam room and three workout rooms. The Tribe worked and coordinated the construction of the its new health facility with Indian Health Service (IHS).
Gun Lake Honor Guard
Building B – Administration will contain the Tribal Council, chairman’s office, and departments that include: education, member services, environmental, language, housing & planning, treasury, human resources, administration, finance, and IT/technical support.
Building C – Public Safety will house the Gun Lake tribal police department.
Building D – Tribal Court will have a circular court room, offices for judge and tribal court administrator.
Building E – Public Works will contain all of the government’s campus maintenance personnel.
The government campus was built in a circular design that reflects the importance of the circle in the tribal culture. Four of the five buildings feature geothermal energy providing energy savings for heating and cooling.
Gun Lake Tribal Council with Ernie Stevens, Jr., chairman of National Indian Gaming Association (far left)
The Tribe has been housed in a strip-mall in Dorr, Michigan since gaining its U.S. federal government acknowledgement in 1998.
Native News Online photographs by Levi Rickert.