The Sault Tribe of Chippewa Indians was formally recognized by the United States Federal government on September 27, 1975. This does not mean the tribe is new, the Sault Band has existed for hundreds of years. The first treaty with the United States in 1820 were signed by chiefs whose signatories identified them as members of the Sault Band. The tribe has lived in the Great Lakes region for a millennium.
The modern tribal organization has its roots on Sugar Island in the St. Marys River between the U.S. state of Michigan and the Canadian province of Ontario. The Sault Tribe consist of more than 20 bands.
Since formal recognition in 1975, the tribe has expanded considerably and counts 31,000 members on its rolls. In 1979 a resolutions was passed allowing Mackinac Band members to enroll, thus doubling the number of members. More than 51% of today's Sault Tribe consist of Mackinac Bands. Today some Mackinac Band members continue work on receiving their own federal recognition.