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For the first time in the history of the state of Minnesota, off reservation land has been returned to tribal hands.
As Barbara Jean Meyers reports, a ceremony to celebrate the land return took place last week.
The returned land, a stretch of beach along Lake Superior’s North Shore outside Grand Marais, MN, was once part of a larger Native settlement known as Chippewa City.
The historic occasion was celebrated with a ceremony at the Grand Portage Lodge and Casino.
John Morrin, a Grand Portage Tribal elder, was one of the keynote speakers.
“I heard many stories from my mother and aunts and uncles about growing up in Chippewa City and walking, and running and playing on the beach that we’ve now gotten back. So it’s a very personal day for me and a very historic day for the state of Minnesota, Cook County, and the Grand Portage homeland.”
The celebration was also very personal for area historian, author, and Grand Portage tribal descendent Staci Drouillard.
Like John Morrin, Chippewa City and was home to many of Drouillard’s ancestors.
“Nishkwakwansing is the Ojibwe name which means the edge of the forest or the place where the trees stand, which I think is a beautiful name for the place.”
Drouillard’s book Walking the Old Road: A People’s History of Chippewa City and the Grand Marais Anishinaabe helped raise awareness in the broader public about the significance of the area.
Bobby Dechampe is the Grand Portage Tribal Council Chairman.
“To end 2022 like this for Indian country is just unbelievable. Nett Lake got 27,000 acres back. Fond du Lac got Wisconsin Point Back. Now Grand Portage got Chippewa City Back!”
The Northern Cheyenne Tribe in southeastern Montana is slated to receive $52 million in federal funding to expand broadband to nearly 2,000 homes on the tribe’s reservation.
Aaron Bolton has more.
Funding from the infrastructure bill passed by Congress and signed by President Biden earlier this year is expected to connect 1,700 homes on the Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation to high speed internet.
According to a Broadband Now report, a little over half of reservation residents have access to high-speed internet, but none of the available services are considered affordable for low-income people.
The Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes and the Blackfeet Nation were both awarded nearly $75 millions in grants through the same Internet for All initiative earlier this year.
Roughly $3 billion of federal funding has been set aside to help tribes across the country improve broadband access.
In Alaska’s U.S. House Race, Rep. Mary Peltola (Yup’ik/D-AK) is still on track to win.
Absentee ballots counted on Friday now give her 49% of the vote.
She needs more than 50% to win, a number she is expected to reach on Wednesday – when second choice ballots are added to the totals under Alaska’s new system of ranked choice voting.
In August, Peltola was elected to serve the remainder of the late Rep. Don Young (R-AK)’s term, which made the Yup’ik from Bethel the first Alaska Native to serve in Congress.
In the race for a full term, the Democrat is ahead of two Republicans, former Gov. Sarah Palin and Nick Begich.
Two New Mexico Pueblos, Ohkay Owingeh and Santa Clara, recently signed an agreement with the Army Corps of Engineers to restore habitat in Española, which is located 25 miles north of Santa Fe.
The Española Valley Ecosystem Restoration Project is a $100 million project to restore more than 900 acres of aquatic and riparian habitats along the Rio Grande River and its tributaries.
The tribes will be working with the Army Corps Albuquerque District team.
The agreement is said to be the first of its kind between the Army Corps and the Pueblos and includes a provision to greatly reduce the cost share with tribal partners.
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