The legal foundation for Indian gaming traces back to a Leech Lake mobile home property tax dispute

Indian gaming hit $39 billion in 2021, according to news reports. It all began in 1972, with a dispute over a $147 property tax bill on a mobile home on the Leech Lake Reservation.

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State of Washington, courts use broken treaty promises to justify breaking more treaty promises

The state of Minnesota failed miserably to uphold, let alone consider, how the Enbridge Line 3 pipeline violated Anishinaabe treaty rights to hunt, fish, and gather on the lands they ceded to the U.S. government.

Those “usufractuary” rights to hunt, fish, and gather outside reservation boundaries are critical to many if not all Native Nations. The Anishinaabe’s struggle to keep its hunting and fishing rights gets repeated across the country.

Consider the State of Washington’s ludicrous efforts to strip Snoqualmie Nation of its treaty rights.

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Mille Lacs’ Band wins major legal victory over latest government effort to ignore treaty rights

The Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe had a milestone win in U.S. District Court last week, in a case remarkable for how clear-cut the decision should have been from the start.

U.S. District Judge Susan Richard Nelson ruled that the Mille Lacs Band’s reservation boundaries set in the Treaty of 1855 are still its boundaries today, according to the Pioneer Press.

Seems pretty straight forward. But with treaties, things are never straight forward.

The backstory for this case is the backstory for every treaty between the U.S. government and Indigenous peoples: The Treaty of 1855 was terribly one sided in favor of the U.S. government, but even then settlers and their descendants tried, and continue to try, to break faith with Indigenous communities and renege on what small treaty promises they made.

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This Day in History May 27, 2020: Menominee Tribe wins landmark case to preserve hunting and fishing rights in spite of official “termination”

In one of the more blatant examples of broken treaties, the United States tried to unilaterally end the existence of Tribal Nations and their treaty rights during what is known as the Termination Era. Forced assimilation policies spanned the 1940s to the 1960s.

The Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin was one of the first tribes officially terminated by an Act of Congress, and one that pushed back. On this day in history, May 27, 1968, the Menominee Nation won a landmark U.S. Supreme Court case reestablishing its hunting and fishing rights, the first step in reestablishing its status as a sovereign nation. Continue reading

New BIA Head Tries to Terminate the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe, a Warning Sign to All Native Nations

Few non-Indian people probably know about the “Termination Era” of the 1940s-1960s, when federal policy tried to terminate Native nations’ sovereign rights and their reservations, and force indigenous peoples to move to the cities and assimilate to Main Stream America.

The Trump Administration is trying to revive that effort, according to a news report in, targeting the “Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe, whose homelands in Massachusetts are now on the chopping block,” the story says.

And its raising an alarm across Indian Country.

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