newspaper's website as it was in May, 2003

Native American Press/Ojibwe News

The policy of the Native American Press/Ojibwe News (Press/ON) is to print the news accurately, to provide a forum for the 'voices of the people', and to encourage Indian people to empower ourselves by exposing corruption and demanding accountability from our governments.

Press/ON operates on advertising revenue, subscriptions, and newsstand sales, and is not subsidized by any government, tribal, or institutional entity. It is published in St. Paul, Minnesota.

At this time the Native American Press/Ojibwe News is transitioning to a new production schedule. We will not be posting new articles to during this time. If you would like to be notified when we resume weekly updates please send an email to



Staff changes at Press/ON

Managing editor Clara NiiSka is taking a leave of absence from Press/ON in order to focus on her academic work. During her leave, she hopes to complete an MA in Liberal Studies, as well as the preliminary work for her PhD dissertation, which focuses on aboriginal indigenous perspectives and language...More

Let the games begin: Cobell v. Secretary of Interior enters phase 1.5 trial

The Phase 1.5 Trial of Cobell v. Secretary of Interior (Cobell) begins on 1 May at 10:00 a.m. in Judge Royce C. Lamberth’s U.S. District Court. The Cobell case, which pits Individual Indian Money (IIM) account holders against the Department of the Interior (DOI), attempts to force a historical accounting for IIMs for the last 116 years. Plaintiffs in the case claims that the government has poorly administered the IIM trust fund and that billions of dollars are missing...More

former Red Lake tribal council chairman Gerald "Butch" BrunBrun was a common man with extraordinary common sense

Gerald (Butch) Brun, the tribal chairman of the Red Lake Reservation who died Saturday, once slept in a pen with two bears, often gave away his wages and loaned his car to a family he didn't know.

Yet, it was "having a world view of the Red Lake Nation" that truly separated Brun from other tribal leaders, said U.S. Attorney Tom Heffelfinger, adding that there were no boundaries to his vision...More

Federal sentences handed down for Red Lake assaults

St. Paul, MN – Two Minneapolis men and a Bemidji area teenager who were involved in a deadly assault that occurred in the Circle Pines Section of the Red Lake Indian Reservation on December 15, 2001 have been sentenced in United States District Court...More

Indian museum has local touch

WASHINGTON — Stone by Minnesota stone, the long-awaited national museum of American Indian life and culture is going up on the National Mall in Washington.

In April, workers began installing Minnesota Kasota limestone on the museum's exterior, even as stonecutters continued to quarry blocks from the Minnesota River Valley. The butter-colored stone is meant to evoke a different feel from the rest of Washington's monuments...More


American Indian Month Events
A calendar of many of the events marking American Indian can be found at

Constitutional Reform Series of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe

Part 2: Excerpts and quotes from testimony of Kevin Dupuis, Ray Bellecourt, Marvin Manypenny, and Eli Hunt

On September 29-30, 2001, the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe sponsored a Constitutional Hearing at the Grand Casino – Mille Lacs. This is the second of a series of “quotes” based on oral testimony at the hearing. The testimony has been edited to conserve space, while attempting to include the major points, opinions, and ideas of the speaker. Every effort has been taken so as to not present the testimony out of context. We apologize that the presentations are not in chronological order and that in many cases the speaker is not identified. The full transcription of the hearing testimony is available through the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe facility in Cass Lake, Minnesota...More

Secretary Norton under fire

Department of Interior’s lack of credibility stretches to the top

Department of Interior (DOI) Secretary Gail Norton came under attack from two sides this week relating to the seven-year-old Cobell v Secretary of Interior lawsuit. This landmark case seeks an accounting of Individual Indian Money accounts held in trust by DOI. The Department of the Interior has allegedly mismanaged the 300,000 IIM accounts for over a century...More

OpEd by reporter Jeff Armstrong: Free the reservation press

Last week, I received a return phone call from Leech Lake chairman Pete White, whom I had asked for information on a scheduled General Assembly meeting on the reservation. White informed me of the time and location of the meeting, but pointedly added that it was open only to “enrolled band members.”

Given White’s praiseworthy early efforts to establish open government and public accessibility, I was rather startled and disappointed by what seemed a transparent attempt to prevent this newspaper from reporting on the meeting. Having previously been arrested without notice for attempting to report on a tribal land claims meeting in Mille Lacs, however, all I could think to say was, “thanks for calling”...More

Rancher Roger Amiotte shows the location Monday, Feb. 17, 2003 where he discovered the body of American Indian Movement member Anna Mae Pictou-Aquash in 1976 on his land near Wanblee, S.D. on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. Officials arrested Arlo Looking Cloud Friday, March 28, 2003 in connection with the 27 year old death. (AP Photo/Doug Dreyer)  ...More

Photo by Bill Lawrence, 7/4/98

LaRose recall election called

CASS LAKE -- Following a removal hearing concerning Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe Secretary-Treasurer Arthur “Archie” LaRose Friday morning, the three members of the Tribal Council present voted to hold a recall election. They scheduled the election for May 22. “Put it back to the people of the reservation,” said Representative Burton “Luke” Wilson...More

Leech Lake RBC split over LaRose recall election

On Friday, April 25th, the three Leech Lake RBC district reps held a meeting, described as a “recall hearing,” at the Palace Casino Bingo Hall, along with their attorney Zenas Baer. According to Bemidji Pioneer staffwriter Molly Miron, about fifty people attended the meeting.

Also on Friday, April 25th, Leech Lake chairman Pete White issued a memorandum to the district reps, in which he asked “that you as District Representatives to adhere to the Constitution and its Bylaws...More

Wisconsin: Doyle blamed for gaming shortfall

Republicans on the Legislature's budget committee blamed Gov. Jim Doyle Wednesday for a $75 million shortfall in tribal gambling revenue that would have helped solve the state's massive deficit.

They also contended Doyle lied about his budget being balanced, but Doyle aides defended the governor and accused the GOP of grandstanding...More

Indigenous peoples moving up the UN ladder

Expectations will be high as the second session of the recently-established United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues convenes May 12 in New York City for twelve days of discussion. Reporting directly to the 54-member UN Economic and Security Council--one of the top organs of the United Nations--the Permanent Forum represents the closest indigenous peoples have come to recognition as equals in 27 years of tireless advocacy within the UN bureaucracy...

Want to protect the Earth? Then protect private property

Earth Day - April 22 - is a good occasion to revisit the question: Do we have to choose between protecting the environment and growing the economy? Whether they'll admit it or not, a lot of environmentalists think that the answer is Yes - that more factories, jobs and homes, and greater economic freedom, necessarily mean dirtier water, air and land. So they busy themselves fighting new construction projects, protesting industrial expansion and trying to micromanage how property owners can use their land...

Del Cree joins Community Negotiating Team – Contact him!

Aniin, My name is Delvin “Del” Cree. I am an enrolled member of the Turtle Mountain Band of Ojibwa.

I recently joined the Community Negotiating Team/Federal Mediation Team (CNT) here in Minneapolis. This group has, for months, been seeking federal mediation over alleged abuse by the Minneapolis Police Department.

I volunteered to serve on the CNT because I feel I can fairly represent our people. I’ve lived in the Native community for twenty years and have past experience in working with our elected officials and the Minneapolis Police Department...

Commentary on cigarette taxes and the poor

Now that proposals to increase the cigarette tax by $1 have surfaced in both the Minnesota House and Senate, questions have been raised about the impact such a tax will have on low income Minnesotans. These are fair questions to be asking. It is true that lower-income Minnesotans smoke at higher rates and will struggle more than others to pay the higher cigarette tax...

Minnesota Gaming Equity Act: current bill overview

This legislation authorizes an urban casino and entertainment complex to be shared by the state and tribal partners. Revenues are split between tribal governments and the states.

Revenues derived from the cooperative venture would be split approximately:

  • White Earth and Red Lake Nations 56%
  • State of Minnesota 44%
  • (includes urban Indians/minorities, host site and addiction prevention)
  • The lottery director and tribal partners are authorized to establish and operate a gaming facility within the metropolitan area and to solicit proposals from cities for locating the facility.
  • Site acquisition and construction costs are the responsibility of the tribes
  • The entertainment and gaming facility will be constructed in phases and be a state-of-the-art building.
  • The facility will be subject to the payment of sales and income taxes
  • Good faith efforts will be made to contract with minority-owned and Indian businesses in providing goods and services in the operation of the facility.
  • A good faith effort will be made to recruit, hire and train minorities for jobs in the complex

Looking for more information about Press/ON? Check out City Pages' feature article on publisher Bill Lawrence at


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