An Open Letter to St. Louis County Board
Wednesday, March 11 2009
Written by Tadd Johnson, Rebecca St. George, Emily Johnson (and others),
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Dear Commissioners:

At a January 20, 2009 workshop of the County Board, one of the agenda items included addressing "Transfer of Land to Tax Exempt Entities". As it turned out, the discussion was limited to the two Indian tribal governments whose boundaries fall within St. Louis County; the Fond du Lac Band and Bois Forte Bands of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians. Tribal representatives were apparently not notified nor present at the meeting.

Others were in attendance, however, and a detailed review of the discussion was made available. As citizens of St. Louis County, we are writing to share with you our general uneasiness about the direction and tone of that discussion. We found the misinformation with regard to tribal governments concerning, but we are especially apprehensive about statements made that reflected stereotypes of American Indian people in St. Louis County.

Partially out of recognition of a miscarriage of justice resulting in the theft and loss of tribal lands within the Fond du Lac Reservation, the State Legislature adopted a law in 1985 dealing with the sale of tax-forfeited property in St. Louis County. The law specifies that if the tax-forfeited lands fall within the reservation boundary of the Fond du Lac Band, the County must provide the tribe with the right of first refusal to purchase the land. The intent behind the law was clear recognition that Fond du Lac needed to expand its land holdings within its boundaries in order to improve government service delivery to tribal members.

Letters to the Editor:
Tuesday, August 26 2008
Written by Vonda Gluck,
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Elders coalition formed,

Vonda Dauphinais-Gluck (Leech Lake Ojibwe) and Lorraine Tibbetts (Nett Lake Ojibwe), of the newly formed Leech Lake Twin Cities Elders’ Coalition, presented each of the new incoming officers of the Leech Lake of Ojibwe (Arthur “Archie" LaRose, Chairman: Mike Bongo, Secretary treasurer, and Eugene Whitebird, District III Representative) each with an eagle feather on July 4 at the Cass Lake Swearing-In Ceremony.

Many elders were able to attend as food, lodging and transportation was provided. The elders coalition, headed by Dolores Wakefield, has many achievable goals ahead. A few issue which are important to the Leech Lake Twin Cities Elder’ Coalition and which were brought forward to the Local Indian Council for review, discussion and supportive action were: communication by phone tree system; trips back to the reservation for Memorial Day, annual powwows, casino trips, and elders conferences; community skills training for Local Indian Council and Leech Lake Twin Cities Elders’ Council; fundraising for aforementioned activities; and budgets for development strategies which are intended to support basic coalition operational needs and short term activities.

Vonda Gluck, Elder Advocate

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