December News Briefs


State News Briefs

Anglers can keep a walleye a day: The Minnesota DNR said last month that state anglers will be allowed to keep one walleye per day between 21 and 23 inches or over 28 inches from Mille Lacs during this year's ice fishing season. The DNR's fall population estimate found 727,000 walleye that were 14 inches or longer, compared to an estimated 250,000 walleye at that size four years ago. Perch and tullibee numbers were lower than the DNR had hoped. Source:

Fourth death at homeless camp: Argentina Zarcarra Taylor, 23, passed away in early November of a drug overdose at the homeless camp in the Little Earth neighborhood of Minneapolis. She was the fourth person to die at the camp in less than two months. Family members said she had been released from jail to a drug treatment center in the area. She left the center and went to the camp a short time later. Her father, Tobias Taylor, said the camp is "a drug house without walls, and everyone knows it." Source:

Native artist featured at UMD's Tweed Museum: A glass display case at the Tweed Museum of Art at the University of Minnesota Duluth has become a screen showing animations by Red Lake artist Jonathan Thunder. Thunder's animations, sculptures, and paintings, collectively titled "Manifest'o," refer to Anishinaabe stories with the goal of bringing oral traditions to life and reviving the Ojibwe language. "This piece, for me, is my gift to the community as a way of saying thank you for all the gifts I've received," he said. "Life has handed me some experiences that have been uncomfortable and a little frightening at times. Somehow I've been blessed with the ability to use it to better my perspective." Source:

Warming tents go up at homeless encampment: Heated Army tents have been set up at the Wall of Forgotten Natives homeless camp in Minneapolis. The tents were purchased by the Minnesota Indian Women's Resource Center and Line 3 pipeline protesters. The City of Minneapolis initially opposed large shelters but changed course due to cold weather. The city is working on a temporary emergency shelter to house about 120 people on land owned by the Red Lake Nation. City coordinator Nuria Rivera-Vandermyde said city officials hope the camp will be dismantled once the emergency shelter, called a "navigation center" opens in mid-December. "If you come in high, or you come in drunk, you will be accepted," she said. "We will not allow use to happen at the site, but if you are struggling with addiction, you will not be turned away, and we'll continue to help figure out what that looks like, including medication-assisted treatment if necessary." Source:

Residents respond to permit approvals for Northern Minnesota mine: After PolyMet received a permit to build a $1 billion mine near the town of Babbitt, supporters and opponents had very different reactions. While mine workers were ecstatic, environmentalists and tribes fear the potential impact on game, fish, wild rice, and water, including Lake Superior. “Anybody that cares about clean water is going to be our ally,” said Bob Tammen, a former mining company employee from Soudan who now advocates for stronger environmental protections. Next under consideration is Twin Metals' proposed copper-nickel mine on the edge of the Boundary Waters. Source:

National News Briefs

Spirit Lake Sioux tribe sues over North Dakota voter ID law: North Dakota's voting laws require voters to bring identification listing a provable street address, which unfairly targets those on reservations, according to the Native American Rights Fund. The Spirit Lake Sioux tribe has responded by filing a lawsuit against the state. The Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa sued over voter ID requirements in 2016, but the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the state could continue requiring street addresses. Source:

Foundation launches National Water Challenge: The Notah Begay III (NB3) Foundation, an advocate for Native youth health and fitness, invited tribes, communities, organizations, families and individuals to take the Zero to 60 Challenge — cutting out sugary beverages and drinking up to 60 ounces of water each day for the entire month of November. Coinciding with the challenge, a new water trailer, serving water and infused water, was unveiled at the kick-off event, located at the Native American Community Academy in Albuquerque, on October 29, 2018. “The Zero to 60 Challenge is a positive opportunity for Native youth, families, and everyone to make healthier choices and instill healthy habits,” said NB3 Foundation President/ CEO Justin Kii Huenemann. "We're an organization dedicated to helping ensure our Native youth live happy, healthy, and fulfilled lives. That's why we're doing this in a creative and challenging way." Source:

Bass Pro Shops pulls "Trail of Tears" rifle: A 1978 Winchester rifle commemorating the Cherokee Trail of Tears was removed from an Arkansas Bass Pro Shops after photos of the rifle were posted on Twitter. More than 4,000 Cherokee died during the 1,000-mile walk to what is now Oklahoma in what is now known as the Trail of Tears. The company apologized to the Cherokee tribe, saying the rifle was acquired in a trade and is not part of the store's standard stock. Source:

Judge puts Keystone XL on hold: Federal Judge Brian Morris has issued a 54-page order blocking construction of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, pending further study of its impact on the environment. The order says the State Department's analysis of potential environmental effects failed to adequately consider climate change impacts, cultural resources, potential oil spills, or the effect on current oil prices. Under President Obama, the permit to build the pipeline was denied, but President Trump reversed the decision as one of his first acts after taking office. Source:

New Jersey recognizes Nanticoke Lenni- Lenape Tribal Nation: After years of fighting, New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal announced last month that the state has settled with the Nanticoke Lenni-Lenape Tribal Nation, agreeing to pay the tribe $2.4 million and recognize the 3,000-member tribe, while refusing to admit any wrongdoing. The battle began in late 2012 when New Jersey decided to no longer recognize three tribes: the Nanticoke Lenni-Lenape, Ramapough Mountain Tribe, and Powhatan-Renape Nation. The Nanticoke Lenni-Lenape filed state and federal civil rights lawsuits in 2015. The lawsuit said the state's decision was racially driven out of fear that the tribe would build a casino, competing with the state's non-Indian gaming industry, but the tribe's laws ban gambling. Source: