Vizenor Resigns; Native Take on Benghazi; Treaty of Fort McIntosh; Time Lapse Map: Indian Land Loss

Vizenor Resigns as White Earth Chair Over Reform Dispute
MPR reported that White Earth Chair Erma Vizenor resigned her post Wednesday over ongoing constitutional reform disputes. Earlier  MPR coverage provided context, and was summarized in our Dec. 27 post.
A new White Earth constitution drafted by Vizenor and the tribal council would have drastically shifted the government structure and changed requirements for tribal membership. When implementation stalled, Vizenor wrote a federal official in the hopes of moving things along, a move critics said overstepped her authority.

Vizenor said critics were just trying to stop reforms.

“The Minnesota Chippewa Tribe has no separation of powers,” she said. “It’s open to corruption. We need change, but they don’t want to lose power.”

A Native Take on Benghazi — and The Pride of the Chinook Nation

In all the coverage of the Benghazi attack that left acclaimed U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens dead, do you recall reading that Stevens was Native American, an enrolled member of the Chinook Nation?
Indian Country Today just ran a piece titled: The Real Hero of Benghazi and 13 Hours: Chris Stevens, Chinook. It’s a quick read. It notes that Stevens had a diplomatic reputation as someone who genuinely sought positions that benefited both sides, and was “the pride of the Chinook Nation.” The writer also gives a quick take on the recently released film: “13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi.”

This Day in History: The Treaty of Fort McIntosh, First Treaty with the Ojibwe

On this day in history, January 21, 1785, the U.S. government signed its first treaty with the Ojibwe people near present-day Beaver, PA at what was then Fort McIntosh. The Lenape (Delaware), Ottawa, and Wyandot also were involved in the treaty.

The treaty ceded much land in present-day Ohio. The back story is one of bad-faith dealings. According to Ohio History Central:

Most of the American Indian representatives were younger leaders who did not have the authority to negotiate a treaty. Despite this, the American commissioners pressed for a treaty. After several weeks of negotiations and after some of the American Indians delegates had become drunk on alcohol provided by the Americans, the assembled delegates signed the Treaty.

Like other treaties, the government failed to prevent encroachment by settlers on lands promised to the tribes. Conflicts soon broke out.

Interactive Map Shows Loss of Indian Lands

Continuing on the theme of land loss, HMS member Bob Klanderud passed along this item from The Vault,’s history site. It reproduced an interactive map showing Native American land loss between 1776 and 1887. The map was produced by University of Georgia historian Claudio Saunt to accompany his new book West of the Revolution: An Uncommon History of 1776.

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