The Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians (TMBCI) Reservation sits within Rolette County, North Dakota and host landscapes ranging from grasslands to boreal forest and a geology that readily dates the power of nature and prehistoric life which once dominated the area. The Reservation contrasts sharply to the remainder of the State, which is essentially flat prairie land and dominated by agricultural activity.
The Turtle Mountain area is referred to as “Turtle Island”. The area rises 200 to 600 feet above the surrounding plains in the form of rolling hills. There is an abundance of aspen, oak and birch trees. The area is peppered with lakes, some large enough as to that support recreational activity. The landscape supports extensive year round outdoor activities and a rich heritage that continues through the Chippewa Indian Tribe and Metis.
The Turtle Mountain Region of North Dakota and Manitoba, Canada, is on of great cultural and natural significance. Visitors enter the region via the International Peace Gardens on the border between North Dakota and Canada. The garden commemorates the commitment by both countries to remain at peace. The state’s oldest and largest Chippewa Reservation is located nearby and a National Scenic By-Way (Hwy 43) runs through the Turtle Mountains from St. John to the International Peace Gardens. It also proceeds west of the junction of Hwy 43 and Hwy 281 into Bottineau County.
The Reservation is relatively small, measuring 6 miles north to south and 12 miles east to west. A majority of Tribal trust land lies adjacent to the Reservation, encompassing approximately 77,000 acres, all located within Rolette County.