In 1854, the Commissioner of Indian Affairs arranged a treaty council in an attempt to get the Chippewa Indians to give up their titles to certain pieces of land on Lake Superior. Several Ojibwe chiefs responded to the call, and they convened in the town of La Pointe on Madeline Island, one of the 22 Apostle Islands in the Chequamegon Bay of Northern Wisconsin. Chiefs from all over traveled to this council, including Chief Buffalo.

Chief Buffalo was the "founder" of the Red Cliff reservation. So many supporters traveled with him to the treaty council, that in 1856 an executive order created a Reservation for his followers who had come for the council and decided to stay.

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