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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."

Lacrosse Resurges As a Cultural Tradition
Monday, November 04 2013
 
Written by Art Coulson,
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Baaga’adowewag dagwaaging. They are playing lacrosse in the fall. lacrosse resurges as a cultural tradition.jpg

Clutching sticks and bouncing hard rubber balls off of walls, youth from reservation communities across Minnesota and Wisconsin gathered at Bemidji State University and at Bug-O-Nay Ge-Shig School at Leech Lake in early October for two days of lacrosse skills training. While there, the 50 or so young people and family members of all ages heard stories from a number of players and coaches about the deep and enduring connections of native people to the Creator’s Game.

The Minnesota Ojibwe Lacrosse league, founded by Bemidji High School basketball coach Dan Ninham, Oneida, is working with tribal communities to return the game of lacrosse to Native homelands. Lacrosse, played by Native peoples for thousands of years, is both one of the oldest games in America and the fastest growing.

The Youth Lacrosse Skills Camps are free and open to all K-12 students, thanks to sponsors such as the National Indian Gaming Association, Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe, BSU American Indian Resource Center, Minnesota Ojibwe Lacrosse and Paul Bunyan Broadcasting.

Schimmel Sisters Visit Red Lake
Monday, October 07 2013
 
Written by Alfred Walking Bull,
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Beaming with excitement waiting for the Schimmel sisters to come to Red Lake High School gym sits Amber McNeal and her sister Diane. With a big smile on her face Amber says, “Guess What? Last season I told my mom I would be so excited if they ever came to Red Lake to show me some basketball moves and I could get their autograph, and it came true!” Amber McNeal is ten years old and in the 5th grade at Red Lake Elementary where she plays on the basketball team. Amber had her wish come true that Jude and Shoni Schimmel (Umatilla Tribe) would visit Red Lake.
Walker's DNR Pushes Tribe Out for Strip Mine
Friday, August 02 2013
 
Written by by Rebecca Kemble,
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walkers_dnr_pushes_tribe_out.jpgOn July 23rd the Iron County Forest Committee in northern Wisconsin voted unanimously to recommend that the Iron County Board pursue criminal and civil charges against the Lac Courte Oreilles Treaty Harvest and Education camp for violating county ordinances and provisions of state County Forest Law. The vote took place with no discussion after the committee emerged from closed session with their corporate counsel.
 
The decision comes two months after the same committee voted unanimously to approve a request by the Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Lake Superior Chippewa for a waiver to the county’s 14-day camping ordinance to allow the camp to remain established on Moore Park Road for one year.
 
On May 8, 2013 the Iron County Forestry department granted LCO Treaty Harvest and Education Camp host Melvin Gasper a Native American Gathering permit to gather plant materials and tap trees for syrup, and a firewood permit to collect down trees on Iron County forest lands. Both permits are valid through December 31, 2013.
 
According to the official minutes of the May 14 meeting, the committee voted unanimously, “authorizing Joe (Iron County Forester) to work with Corporate Counsel, Michael Pope, to write a land use permit for Lac Courte Oreilles members and their guests for camping, harvesting and educational purposes. The permit will also address sanitation issues and be one year in length.”
 
An official statement by camp organizers says the camp was established, “to make a presence in the Penokee Hills and do research in the region… To host LCO tribal members and other guests who are doing an inventory of resources, trail blazing, archaeology work and harvesting.”
Ojibwe Language Camp draws over 1,000 participants
Wednesday, July 31 2013
 
Written by Photos by Ivy Vainio,
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language_camp_-_beading_quills.jpgThe Nagaajiwanaang Ojibwe language camp was held June 13-16 at the Kiwenz Campground in Sawyer, Minn. There were over 1,200 people registered for the camp this year, with some coming from as far away as Norway and Germany.  The language camp offered different activities including a canoe race, a mini powwow, moccasin making, birch bark basket making, flute making, tanning hides, canoe races, and other traditional Ojibwe cultural skills. This is the fifth year the language camp has been held. For the first time this year, Fond du Lac Transit provided rides for reservation residents. The camp was started by Jim and Pat Northrup.

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