Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

Courts, not the Minnesota Legislature, should rule on Red Lake, White Earth lands

The latest surprise from the Legislature, which is full of them, is that bills have been introduced to give the state-owned portion of Upper Red Lake and a 1-mile buffer of state-owned land surrounding it to the Red Lake Band of Chippewa. For good measure, the proposals also would award the band the 84,000-acre Red Lake State Forest, which abuts the southeast corner of Upper Red Lake.

The DFL-controlled Legislature might or might not have the votes to pull this off, but you have to concede these politicians have chutzpah. "I should never have had to carry this bill,'' said DFL Rep. Sydney Jordan, whose Minneapolis district lies some 265 miles from Upper Red Lake. "This is overdue. It's necessary.''

Well, maybe, and maybe not.


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