The groundwork for a series of partnerships that have created an economic and cultural revitalization of Michigan’s extreme Southwest corner was laid in the 1970’s.
At that time, enterprising business leaders and the local chamber of commerce partnered to create both the concept and the trademark “Harbor Country®” as a unifying description for the City of New Buffalo and the Townships of New Buffalo, Chikaming and Three Oaks.
During the following decades an influx of vacationers and second homeowners together with entrepreneurs who developed theaters, wineries, craft breweries, distilleries and restaurants brought increased prosperity to Harbor Country®.
As the Second Millennium approached, a new era of development was heralded when the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi took 675 acres of land into trust in New Buffalo Township, Michigan as a traditional homeland and reservation site with the intent to open a casino operation.
Working in close partnership with local municipalities to make the casino operation a win-win for all sides, the Pokagon Band established funding for a Local Revenue Sharing Board and for The Pokagon Fund that was implemented when the Four Winds Casino began operations a decade ago. The result has been a renaissance in Harbor Country®.
This 2016 Annual Report reviews the progress that has been made to enhance the lives of the residents of both Harbor Country® and the communities surrounding Pokagon Band trust land during the past decade by the many partnerships that have resulted from the gifts of the Pokagon Band.