In 2012, current President Aaron A. Payment was elected with the largest majority in the tribe`s modern history. He was first elected to the Tribal Council in 1996. Elected president in 2004, he defeated a 17-year-old incumbent. In 2008, he lost his re-election run to Joe Eitrem, but was re-elected in 2012, 2016 and 2020.  The Sault Tribe manages its own government with regular elections for the President and Council members. Council members represent the tribe`s five units in seven counties on Michigan`s Upper Peninsula.  More than half of the tribe`s registered members reside outside the five units, but vote within those established units. They vote in a unit where they have important genealogical or historical ties. Based on a 1993 pact with the state, the tribe operates five casinos under the name Kewadin Casinos in Sault Ste. Marie, St.
Ignace, Manistique, Christmas and Hessel. The tribe also owns and operates hotels in the Sault Ste. Ignace Casino pages. These tribal societies operate profitably and generate income for the tribe. On February 20, 1975, the Commissioner of Indian Affairs officially declared trusthandland a reserve for the tribe, with February 27, 1975 being published in the Federal Register.  Reserve lands are located in both the Town of Sault Ste. Marie and Sugar Island Township, on Sugar Island (sugar Island part at 46°28′19″N 84°12′44″W / 46.47194°N 84.21222°W / 46.47194; -84.21222) east of the city. The Sault Tribe of the Chippewa Indians is the largest tribe recognized by the State of Michigan and surpasses the nearest tribe, the Pokagon group of the Potawatomi Indians, on a scale of about 10 to one. It was recognized in 1972 with five units in seven counties.
In 1979, the Tribal Council welcomed the Mackinac Group as a member, which nearly doubled its registration. The tribe`s income from its Kewadin casinos allowed it to establish health centers and invest in training its members. The tribe operates two midjim convenience stores, one in Sault Ste. Marie and the others in St. Ignatius. In 1979, the Tribal Council passed a resolution authorizing members of the Mackinac group to join the tribe, which doubled the number of registered members. In the 21st century, the Sault Tribe is made up of more than 20 groups. There is also an important and historical relationship with the Garden River First Nation, also known as the Ketegaunseebee (Gitigaan-ziibi Anishinaabe in the Ojibwe language), an Ojibwa group at Garden River 14 near Sault Ste. Marie.