A unique home for a unique and independent group of Ojibwe
Roseau Lake, Minnesota, is dry now - drained to create new farmland in the swampy northern Minnesota landscape. However, for a time, it was the home to an independent group of Ojibwe people from Red Lake who lived along the Roseau River and hunted the isolated boglands of this region.
The group was led by a sub-chief named Mickinock (Turtle) who was famous for being friendly and a good neighbor to the European settlers who were fast locating in the lands surrounding his village.
At its height, the Roseau Lake community included about two dozen Red Lake Ojibwe and a few Metis from Canada who were associated and related. They spent their springs fishing Roseau River and Lake of the Woods, hunted the forests and prairies during the summer, and trapped during the winters. The group would often winter to the south near the town of Badger if a harsh cold year was expected.
Mickinock is credited with helping keep settlers' livestock alive during a "false alarm" Indian uprising. After that, he was known by locals as one of the finest Indians who ever lived.