'Land is culture': Measure could restore nearly 12,000 acres of Leech Lake land
December 7, 2020
It was a surreal confluence of events for Faron Jackson Sr. Stuck inside his home on the Leech Lake Reservation in northern Minnesota with COVID-19, the tribal chairman watched as Congress voted to expand the boundaries of the reservation by 11,760 acres.
His small quarantined world would soon be expanding, spilling out onto forest land dotted with lakes, streams and towering pine trees that the government illegally seized from his tribe more than 70 years ago.
"It's been devastating," said Jackson, who has led Leech Lake and its roughly 10,000 enrolled members through the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. "But to have some of this jubilant news, it lifts our spirits."