Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

Whose land is this land?

The background on two bills before the Minnesota Legislature.

Friday afternoon featured a rally at the Minnesota State Capitol that was advertised as a political demonstration against a pair of bills presently before the Legislature. HF 4780/SF 5080 would give state-owned land within one mile of Upper Red Lake back to the Red Lake Band. HF 4304/SF 3480 would give the White Earth Band first option to buy tax-forfeited land.

There was a small crowd on the main floor of the rotunda. About a hundred people came from different parts of the state to hear four or five speakers. Many wore brown T-shirts that said "Public Land Owner" on them, apparently reflecting their feelings of personal ownership and affection for state-owned land near their own. Conversations with several of these citizens revealed their strong personal ties in the nearby communities of Mahnomen and Waskish.

The emcee announced the presence of quite a number of organizations, ranging from the Izaak Walton League to Ducks Unlimited. Some of the people attending may have belonged to those organizations but did not represent them in any official capacity. None of them actually spoke about the bills before the Legislature. Most of them spent their five minutes talking about their dogs and how nice it is to get outside.


Reader Comments(0)

Rendered 05/29/2024 10:21