Fond du Lac Follies


Fond du

Lac Follies locomoted to Duluth to the television studio for an

interview with Barbara Reyelts. This 30-year veteran newswoman (I was

12 when I started, she said) wanted to know about my upcoming trip to

Budapest, Hungary.


event was set up by producer Ramona Marozas who we learned is Lola

Hill’s granddaughter. She was the voice in Barbara’s earpiece and

helped set up the interview.

I could

tell these people were professional and prepared.


introduced myself in the Ojibwe which I am always happy to do.

Barbara asked some questions about how the trip came about and what I

hoped to accomplish. I said first I would like to dispel any myths

the people there had gained from the cowboy and Indian movies. I also

wanted to talk about my experiences as a combat Marine from the

Vietnam War. I wanted to give the Hungarian people a view of life on

the Rez as seen through my eyes.


twenty-minute interview went well and I learned it will be shown nine

times, mostly Saturday and Sunday mornings on Northland Voices.


My brother

Vern Northrup was one of the people who motored to Duluth for the

proposed Polymet mine hearing. I wondered who paid for the seven

busses which transported some of the mine supporters? The Minnesota

DNR set up the event. They planned to take statements from the

citizens of the state about the mine that has great potential to

pollute the waters of Lake Superior and a large chunk of northern

Minnesota including the Boundary Waters.


of the the plan point to the construction jobs and 20-year mining

jobs. Opponents of the mine say why should we look at short term jobs

that could pollute the water for 500 years? I am one of the opponents

of the short-sighted plan to ruin the water here. I believe my rights

in the 1854 Treaty are in jeopardy if the plan goes through. I read a

newspaper that there was a glitch in the plans because the mining

company used a computer model that was flawed. Why should we

sacrifice our precious water for a multi-national corporation that is

not from here?



attended a monthly RBC meeting where the leaders met with the people.

I noticed we no longer have anyone praying in Ojibwe to start the

meetings. Karen Diver said the Enbridge pipeline would not be coming

through the Reservation.


There is

a political storm brewing that concerns three out of five members of

our Reservation Business Committee here at Fond du Lac. The three are

the Chair Karen Diver, the Secretary/Treasurer Ferd Martineau and

Cloquet representative Wally Dupuis. A petition was circulated and

enough names of Fond du Lac voters were collected so a hearing can be

set. The three members have 15 days to prepare to answer the

accusations filed against them. This is unusual because this is one

of the first times the people have attempted to remove three out of

five of their leaders. I don’t have many details but an old political

adage says follow the money. I think there were claims of ethics

violations also. I understand the hearing will be public.


In an

unrelated note I have heard nothing further about the plans for a

language and culture department here on the Rez. There are more

meetings planned. As long as the meetings and meetings go on and on

nothing will be done about the language and culture here on the Rez.

Maybe that is the plan?



like last year we had winter here on the Rez. The snow is deep and

the temperature readings were way below zero. The beauty of the snows

and shadows pleases my eyes. The quiet pleases my ears. I like the

shimmering curtains of snow falling from the branches when the wind


We were

fortunate that we filled our LP gas tank before the price rose and

shortages were declared.


vehicles have started every morning, if they don’t we have a jump box

and jumper cables, also electrically heated magnets for the oil pan.

The Rez

plows my driveway and my grandsons shovel the snow from my deck, the

handicap ramp and sidewalks. They also use a roof rake to pull the

snow from my roofs. We are winterized.


soon it will be sugar bush time so we can replenish our maple syrup

supplies. I like the cycle of seasons as we live them here. Soon I

will have to decide which part of the woods I will use when I tap the

trees. I wonder who will visit us during maple syrup making?

And we

all know that Corvette season comes after sugar bush.


The views

in this column belong to the writer alone, they are not meant to

represent this Reservation, this newspaper, supporters of PolyMet, or

anyone else. Comments and bingo packs can be sent to FdL Follies, PO

Box 16, Sawyer, MN 55780-0016, email,

Facebook too using the name Jim Northrup.