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DNR tightens winter walleye rules for Upper Red Lake
Friday, January 09 2015
 
Written by John Enger, Minnesota Public Radio News,
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Minnesota anglers fishing Upper Red Lake this winter will face tougher regulations on their walleye catch.

Effective Dec. 1, anglers can only hold or keep keep three walleye, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources said Monday.

All walleye 17 to 26 inches long must be immediately released and only one walleye in possession may be longer than 26 inches, the DNR said.

The rule changes come following record walleye harvests the past winter and summer and are not a sign of biological problems in the northwest Minnesota lake, the agency added.

"The current walleye fishery is in excellent shape, but the great fishing has attracted considerably more angling pressure, which resulted in walleye harvest exceeding the safe harvest range for the first time since walleye angling reopened in 2006," Gary Barnard, the DNR's Bemidji area fisheries supervisor, said in a statement.

Much of Upper Red Lake is owned by the Red Lake Band of Ojibwe. It's been managed jointly by the band and the DNR since the walleye population there hit an all time low 15 years ago.

Red Lake band Fisheries Director Pat Brown said the lake has made a great comeback. "The lake is probably in better shape than it ever has been," he said. "The lake just continues to become healthier."

The new walleye limits don't apply to tribe members fishing reservation waters.

While the off-reservation portion of Upper Red Lake saw a large walleye harvest this year, Brown said tribe members took many fewer fish then they could have.

"We're about 100,000 pounds under what we could safely take out of the reservation waters," he said. "So we may actually relax our regulations a little bit."

DNR officials remain concerned about the walleye population in Mille Lacs Lake in central Minnesota. Numbers there remain the lowest seen in decades and DNR officials say it will take time for the population to recover, though a fall survey showed some hopeful signs.

The DNR's been encouraging anglers to catch northern pike instead of walleye at Mille Lacs. As part of that effort, officials on Monday announced they would loosen rules for catching and spearing pike this winter on Mille Lacs.

Anglers and spearers can keep 10 northern pike, of which only one may be longer than 30 inches. Also, northern pike season will be extended from mid-February to the last Sunday in March.

The lake's walleye fishing regulations will not change this winter, the DNR emphasized.

Minnesota Public Radio News can be heard on MPR's statewide radio network or online at mprnews.org


Mille Lacs walleye lawsuit against DNR heads to appeals court
Tuesday, January 13 2015
 
Written by John Enger, Minnesota Public Radio News,
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Disgruntled resort owners and citizens' groups argued before a three-judge panel of the Minnesota Court of Appeals on Nov. 20 that the state Department of Natural Resources has mismanaged Mille Lacs Lake.

In April, resort owner Bill Eno, several other local residents and the non-profit advocacy groups Proper Economic Resource Management and Save Mille Lacs Sport Fishing filed suit against the DNR.

Citing a 1998 state constitutional amendment to preserve fishing heritage, they argued that department did not consider it when formulating its latest walleye regulations, which include an extended ban on night fishing.

"The DNR ... could not have designed better plans to destroy the Mille Lacs Lake walleye fishing heritage than the plans that the DNR implemented since 1998," attorney Erick Kaardal wrote in the lawsuit.

The lawsuit seeks to force DNR lake managers to rethink fishery management techniques and listen more closely to local opinion. The three-judge panel is expected to rule on the lawsuit within 90 days.

Eno, who has owned Twin Pines Resort on the western shore of Mille Lacs for two decades, said he has watched DNR regulations tighten, even as walleye numbers decrease. He said the department has crippled the lake's walleye population, and his business.

When the DNR announced regulations temporarily banning night fishing early this spring, Eno had to call dozens of regular customers to cancel their night reservations. The rules hit his business hard, because he makes a lot of his money running fishing launches from 8 p.m. to midnight.

The DNR later re-opened night fishing, but for Eno, the ban was the last straw.


Thank You!
Friday, November 14 2014
 
Written by Alfred Walking Bull,
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Warroad Warriors Rededicated
Saturday, November 01 2014
 
Written by Jon Lurie,
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web-warroad 1.jpgIn its 30 year quest to influence teams to change their names, mascots and logos from those that are offense to Native Americans, the National Coalition Against Racism in Sports and Media is making strides. Thousands of high schools and colleges across the country have felt the pressure and given up names which encourage stereotyping of indigenous people.

NCARSM, which is based in Minneapolis, still has work to do before the thousands of offensive team names still in use are relegated to the annals of history. The organization’s current strategy is to go after the National Football League's Washington team, a nationally prominent team whose name is a racial slur and whose tradition of mocking Native American people is seen as particularly vile.

“We believe that when the Washington team changes, everyone else will follow,” NCARSM board member Clyde Bellecourt said. He also said the Washington team has a tradition of upholding institutional racism that goes far beyond the current disagreement over its name. The team was last in the National Football League to allow – in October of 1961 – non-white players on its roster, a move that prompted their former supporters, the American Nazi Party, to protest outside RFK Stadium.

But as NCARSM focused its efforts on organizing a major rally against the Washington team (who play the Minnesota Vikings at TCF Bank Stadium on the campus of the University of Minnesota Nov. 2) one of its board members, the organization alleges, Alan Yelsey – without the knowledge or blessing of others within the organization – was mailing threatening letters to schools with disparaging team names. Yelsey and NCARSM have since parted ways.


Native man wants to open The Sioux Chef
Saturday, November 01 2014
 
Written by Deanna Standing Cloud,
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There are many things we are busy reclaiming as Native people. Whether it be our minds, homelands, children, language or history, there is always a noble fight to be fought every single day. The same holds true for our connection to food. Before colonization, food was treated as a sacred gift from the Earth. There has always been a deep spiritual component to ourselves, the landscape and what we eat. Everything we did, whether it was ceremony, celebration or our seasonal activities, food was always a main part of our lives.

Lakota chef, Sean Sherman is one of those in our community committed to reclaiming our ancient foods. It began with an interest in developing a Lakota cookbook modernizing Native foods. He found during his research that there was a tremendous lack of information about Indigenous foods. This prompted him to launch his own learning plan to rediscover many of the first foods. He found many resources; bookstores, history centers and online. “I had to dig deep into very old history books to find first account records,” he said. What he found was an abundance of traditional knowledge waiting to be awakened.

Sherman credits his ancestors for being connected to plant life, animals and the environment. He feels that Native people have rich history when it comes to ways of sustaining themselves for generations, “Our ancestors were incredibly intelligent. They understood ancient technology has been working for our people for thousands of years.” This is the knowledge Sherman is using as a foundation his work with Twin Cities Native community to revitalize these old ways of gathering, preparing, preserving and serving these sacred Indigenous staples.

Wicoie Nandagikendan Puts Joy Into Language Learning
Saturday, November 01 2014
 
Written by Laura Waterman Wittstock,
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It is always difficult to get to the reasons why teaching Native languages to very young children in Minneapolis is unusual and rare. Today, the unlikely leadership for doing that and support for languages comes from a U.S. Senator from Montana, a state most known to be conservative.

Montana sits in the middle of the ten poorest states according to Forbes magazine and it moves along with its staple farming, ranching and mining, but contrary to ideas of conservative cowboys, it also sits in the middle politically, having elected both Republicans and Democrats to statewide offices. Jon Tester won office in 2007 and the other Democratic Senator, former Lt. Governor John Walsh, has been serving since February 2014 by appointment of Gov. Steve Bullock. He took office after Democratic incumbent left to become U.S. Ambassador to China.

Tester has wasted little time since he took office to look deeply at the needs of the tribes and nations. He became chair of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs this year when former chair Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) stepped down.

Tester’s visit to Minneapolis and the Wicoie Nandagikendan program is another illustration of how he sees Indian country: he wants to see communities in action.

Jennifer Bendickson is executive director of the program and she demonstrates its importance to the Indian community by telling a little story. “The Wicoie children went on a field trip to a local apple orchard. It was a warm, sunny day and as the group was leaving, the grower came up to me and said we were his favorite visitors his orchard.”

“Why?”

“It was because he saw the little children thank the trees for their apples.”


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