FDL SCORES ANOTHER COURT WIN AGAINST
CITY OF DULUTH
ST. PAUL, Minn. – The Fond du Lac
Band of Ojibwe does not owe any more gaming revenues to the city of
Duluth, Minnesota, a federal judge ruled on July 28.
The tribe shared $75 million from the
Fond-du-Luth Casino with the city until 2009. The National Indian
Gaming Commission struck down the arrangement in 2011 after
determining that it violated the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act.
The city went to court to seek
additional money for the years 2009 through 2011. Judge Susan
Richard Nelson initially agreed that the funds were owed.
The 8th Circuit Court of Appeals
reversed. A unanimous decision from May concluded that IGRA
requires tribes to be the “primary beneficiaries” of their
casinos and Nelson has embraced that finding.
Nelson wrote that “directing
millions of dollars away from the band is directly contrary to
the IGRA’s goals of promoting tribal economic development,
tribal self-sufficiency, and strong tribal government.”
About $13 million, a figure that
included interest, was in dispute before Nelson made her ruling.
The fight, however, is not over.
The city is still suing the NIGC for
ending the revenue-sharing agreement. A judge in Washington,
D.C., sided with the agency but the city has taken the case to the
D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals.
TRIBE WANTS MOOSE COLLARING TO
GRAND PORTAGE, Minn. – The chairman
of the Grand Portage Band of Lake Superior Ojibwe has asked Minnesota
Gov. Mark Dayton to end the moratorium on state agency moose
Norman Deschampe wrote the governor in
early July, saying that the governor’s executive order earlier
this year has hamstrung efforts to find out the root causes behind
the rapid decline in moose numbers across the state’s north woods.
The governor issued the executive order
banning state agency and university researchers from capturing
and collaring moose, citing an apparently high number of moose
deaths related to their capture.
While the governor’s ban does not
affect tribal moose collaring, Deschampe said the state moose
research was valuable despite the unfortunate deaths. “While your
order does not impact our ability to conduct moose research, it has
crippled our ability to partner with (the Minnesota Department
of Natural Resources) and other active Minnesota moose
researchers,’’ he wrote.
Matt Swenson, Dayton’s spokesman,
said the governor just received the letter but has not had a chance
to review it.
In the letter, which tribal officials
made available to on July 9, Deschampe said moose are the key
subsistence animal for his band and that the state should rejoin
the effort to find out why the numbers have declined more than
60 percent in recent years.
“We ask that you re-evaluate your
decision to halt moose collaring research and carefully consider
the implications of the loss of this necessary government-led
and sponsored research to the Minnesota moose population, to the
citizens of Minnesota and beyond, and to the culture and
identity of the Grand Portage Band. …” Deschampe wrote.
FDL LANGUAGE CAMP PROCEEDS UNDER NEW
SAWYER, Minn. – For the sixth year in
a row, the Kiwenz Language Camp on the Fond du Lac Band of Ojibwe
reservation finishing up its latest camp in June.
However, the language camp will now be
organized and planned by the tribe’s new Anishinaabemowin
Coordinator, Janis Fairbanks, instead of past organizers, including
Jim and Patricia Northrup.
Fairbanks, who started working for the
tribe’s administration in January, has a doctorate in Ojibwe
language, culture, history and literature of the Great Lakes Ojibwe.
She attended Michigan State University College of Arts and Letters
and is a citizen of the Fond du Lac band.
Fairbanks will be running the language
camp among other things, and she is the developer of the
reservation’s entire language program.
“We may try to change the time of the
language camp to August. I did some surveys out there and I asked if
people would attend if it changed from June to August and 62 said yes
and 8 said no. There’s a lot going on at the end of the school year
in June when the camp is held. We were in competition with five
different events in June, so there wasn’t room at our Black Bear
facility to hotel people,” Fairbanks said.
The Northrups will still be involved,
but Fairbanks will be the new point of contact.
Next April she will put together a
strategic plan for the whole language program. She will be
working with elders and youth at the language camp, the Ojibwe
school, the community center and the tribal college. Interested
persons are asked to call Fairbanks at 218-878-7351 or email
MANDATORY REFERENDUM VOTE SET FOR RED
RED LAKE, Minn. – Citizens of the Red
Lake Nation will be going to the polls on Aug. 19 for a Mandatory
Referendum Vote about the sale of alcoholic beverages at the casino
properties located in Thief River Falls and Warroad, Minn.
“This shall not include any part of
the diminished reservation,” Tribal Secretary Donald Cook said.
(The Secretary’s office handles all elections) “Therefore,
alcohol would not be allowed on the Red Lake Reservation nor
would it be served at the Seven Clans Casino Red Lake.”
On Nov. 10, 1999, the Red Lake Tribal
Council conducted an advisory vote concerning the sale of
alcoholic beverages in certain tribal businesses.
“An advisory vote is when citizens
vote on a non-binding question,” Cook explained. “The outcome of
an advisory vote is not binding on the Tribal Council to enact a law
or constitutional amendment. However, the outcome of a mandatory
referendum vote is binding upon the governing body (the Red Lake
Tribal Council) to do what the results say.”
For Red Lake citizens not living on the
reservation, the Absentee Ballot Committee (ABC) will be open from 9
a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Friday at the Red Lake Nation
Headquarters Library. Absentee balloting will also be open
Saturday and Sunday from 1 to 3 p.m. the last two weekends prior to
the referendum vote and on Aug. 19 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
For those citizens living in the Twin
Cities voting will be on Aug. 17. The Absentee Ballot Committee be at
the Minneapolis American Indian Center (1530 E. Franklin Ave.)
from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. to receive absentee ballots.
Any enrolled Red Lake citizens with
questions can contact the Absentee Ballot Committee or the
Tribal Secretary’s Office at 218-679-1838.