In this post:
- Practical ‘Land Back’ opportunity through the Indian Land Tenure Foundation
- Understanding the Two Spirit story
- MPCA, DNR use law firm with ties to mining interests
In this post:
Today’s history lesson is on the Minnesota Gold Rush of 1866.
Never heard of it? That’s because 1) It fizzled, and 2) It’s a history we don’t tell because it reflects so poorly on our colonial past. While now but a historical footnote, the Minnesota Gold Rush did incredible harm to the Anishinaabe (Ojibwe) people living in northeastern Minnesota.Continue reading
The Bois Forte Band of Chippewa acquired 28,000 acres of land within its traditional reservation boundaries this month, in what Native News Online describes as “the largest land-back agreement in Minnesota and one of the largest-ever in Indian Country.”
“The Bois Forte Band plans to directly manage the restored lands under a forest management plan that emphasizes conservation and environmental protection, balanced with economic and cultural benefits to the Band and its members,” the article said.
The headlines are calling this “historic” or that the tribe is “celebrating” the return of land. While true, this land-back story deserves context: An explanation of why Bois Forte needed to get its land back in the first place.Continue reading
Correction: An earlier version of this post misidentified Henry Sibley as one of the treaty negotiators. It also failed to correctly distinguish between the Treaty of 1854 and the Treaty of 1855. Those errors have been corrected.
History offers several examples of white settlers’ greed for gold and how it led to violence, disease, land theft, and genocide of Indigenous peoples, the California and Black Hills gold rushes being prime examples.
Less well know is that it happened in Minnesota, too. It started in 1848, when surveyors found a copper vein in the Arrowhead region of the Minnesota Territory, on Lake Superior’s north shore, the Why Treaties Matter website said. In the 1860s, the Minnesota State Geologist identified gold just west of the Arrowhead region.
Mining interests wanted in. They pressured the federal government to force treaties with the Anishinaabe (Ojibwe) people to get access to their land and minerals.
What the Anishinaabe saw as sacred, the colonists saw as profit.Continue reading
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