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FDL Spears Walleye in 13 Lakes
Monday, June 09 2014
 
Written by Dan Kraker, Minnesota Public Radio News,
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CLOQUET, Minn. – The Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa has announced plans to spear walleye on 13 lakes in northeastern Minnesota this spring.

In what will be the first time that tribal members spear outside reservation boundaries in the Arrowhead region since a federal court affirmed their treaty rights were affirmed in the 1996, about 60 band members are expected to fish. Most will do so along the North Shore in Lake and Cook counties.

Many of the band's 4,200 members still depend on food they hunt and gather, said Jack Bassett, chair of the Fond du Lac band's ceded territory committee.

"We have many families that rely on this every year," he said. "They get their poundage of fish, it's in the freezer, and they have a lot of meals out of it."

For band members, returning to the lakes validates rights that they were long denied.

Red Lake Voters Take Tribe in A New Direction
Monday, June 09 2014
 
Written by John Enger, Minnesota Public Radio News,
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RED LAKE, Minn. – The Red Lake band of Ojibwe has approved longtime treasurer Darrell Seki, Sr. as the new tribal chairman. The vote held Wednesday ends Floyd "Buck" Jourdain's decade-long administration.

Unofficial tallies show Seki won with 1,907 votes while Jourdain had 1,284. They were followed by Kathryn Beaulieu, who received 292 votes, and Ron Lussier, with 57 votes.

Seki couldn't be reached for comment on his victory, or what he plans to do in his new office. Red Lake spokesman Michael Meuers, a longtime friend of Seki, said the new chairman will take a little time off before taking on the position at the next tribal meeting on June 10.

"Darrel is a traditionalist," Meuers said, "He's a [Ojibwe] first speaker. He follows the old ways, but that doesn't mean he's not progressive."

Tribes Begin Defense Against Keystone XL
Monday, March 10 2014
 
Written by Alfred Walking Bull,
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Spiritual Encampments Planned Along Proposed Route

With the release of a U.S. State Department environmental impact study of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline that reported no significant impact, tribes and environmental groups across the Northern Plains rallied against the project's advancement.

Over the next 90 days, during which, the federal government begins its final review process for approval of the pipeline, an alliance of Lakota, Dakota and Nakota tribes in South Dakota and Nebraska – known as the Oceti Sakowin (Seven Council Fires), analogous to the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe – have gone on a defensive campaign against TransCanada, the company responsible for the proposed pipeline.

Of those tribal nations dissenting, the Rosebud Sioux Tribe has taken the lead in opposing the pipeline approval process. It launched an initiative called Oyate Wahacanka Woecun (“Shield the People”) through its Tribal Historic Preservation Office, that is calling for action from all corners of the political world beginning with environmental activists all the way up to the White House. One of the project's direct actions in opposing the pipeline will be to set up a series of tipi encampments along the proposed route in South Dakota and Nebraska, beginning at the end of March and going throughout the summer.

According to a video produced by the project, and featuring tribal officials and spiritual leaders, including Leonard Crow Dog, Sr., a set of tipi sites will be erected to, “provide awareness on the need for cultural preservation based on the existing treaties with the United States government and to shine a light on the root cause of the XL Pipeline … greed.”


Serving Those In Need
Thursday, January 09 2014
 
Written by Alfred Walking Bull,
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serving those in need.jpgCelebrating the holidays with family on the reservation is a tradition that's familiar to most Native Americans living in the Twin Cities. For Lorna Her Many Horses, known to most as Emmy, it's an opportunity to give back to the children and elders of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe.

It started as a personal summer cleaning project that quickly progressed into a relief mission for her home reservation. For the second-poorest reservation in the country with an unemployment rate as high as 85 percent, every day items like clothing can be a struggle for some to provide for children and elders, particularly in the more remote communities.

“Any time I have gone back, I've taken things that were mine that I didn't want anymore to the the Spotted Tail Family Center. This summer, I had a lot of friends who were just getting rid of stuff. In August, I just put something on Facebook, asking if people had items to go to the children's home. At first I thought, no one's going to give me anything and I was going to be embarrassed. But the more people who saw it, the more people contacted me about donating, I was overwhelmed.”

Fates of wild rice, mines intertwined in northern Minnesota
Thursday, January 09 2014
 
Written by Dan Kraker, Minnesota Public Radio News,
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fates of wild rice mines intertwined in northern mn 1.jpgWild rice, the iconic grain that grows across much of the northern half of the state, is at the center of a contentious debate over mining and the environment.

A 40-year-old state law limits how much of a mining byproduct called "sulfate" can be discharged into wild rice producing waters. Prompted by mining industry concerns that the standard is too stringent, the state has been giving it another look and will release results of its two-year study on Jan. 6.

For members of the state's Indian tribes, wild rice is sacred.

Jim Northrup, who has harvested wild rice on Perch Lake on the Fond du Lac reservation for over half a century, said the grain called "manomin" in Ojibwe is a gift from the Creator that led his people to first settle here.

"The old stories said we'd move west until we came to a spot where food grew on the water," Northrup said. "And that perfectly describes manomin. It's become our identity now. It's who we are."

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