Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Deborah Che

Second Advisor

Dr. Gregory Veeck

Third Advisor

Dr. Jordan Yin

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


This thesis focuses on how the historical and cultural geography of the Saginaw Chippewa tribe of Mount Pleasant, Michigan and specifically on through their Soaring Eagle Casino reshaped the physical and cultural landscape of Isabella County. For this research I utilized documentary/archival evidence such as local histories, newspapers, plat maps and I also conducted field surveys. The research findings indicated that through the Soaring Eagle Casino the Saginaw Chippewa tribe has changed Isabella County, as well as their own social standing. Since 1993 the tribe has used casino revenues to purchase 1185 acres of land to add to the Isabella Reservation. The tribe has also transformed space through housing and cultural center developments and culturally-relevant signage. Finally, the tribe has utilized casino revenues to fund social services and distributed 2% of revenues to local municipalities.