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May 10, 2020

Hannahville Indian Community – The Barn

by leroywandahsega

This may turn out to be a series of articles of a personal view of historical perspective, at the Hannahville Indian Community, located in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. There is other history to consider but this article shows the beginnings of the tribe’s success and contribution to the local economic structure for surrounding communities in Michigan. The story begins in a “barn”.

No not that story!

This story is about the development of an economic success established through gambling and tribal government growth.

Pictured above is a pole barn building the we used to operate the gaming business for the tribe. Many of us worked here as blackjack, craps, poker dealers and waitresses. We had an industrial fan to pull cigarette smoke out of the building every few hours. The smoke was unbearable at times but we continued to deal to very drunk and beligerant customers. The racial comments increased as people would lose their money but we dealt smiling and dealing. As a tribal member it was tough to listen to the terrible names customers would use.

We continued to deal in the “Barn” but moved to a more convenient location in 1994, on Hwy US 2, that leads to the Mackinaw bridge.

Please visit our Tribal Casino site at: https://www.islandresortandcasino.com/

Our tribe contributes 5 % to the State of Michigan, in lieu of taxes and pays on an annual basis. 2 percent is spread among local counties and schools.

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