Rural Minnesota Journal 2014

summers end
Summer’s End, Maplewood State Park, Ottertail County by Scott Costello via flickr

Welcome to the summer issue of the Rural Minnesota Journal. In this quarter’s issue, we continue looking at the question of “Who owns rural Minnesota” with two articles concerning the complex and sometimes confusing issue of land ownership by Minnesota’s Native Americans.

Solving a land-control dilemma

As the land owned by American Indians dwindled to a small patchwork of property across the country, the federal government about a century ago devised a plan where Indian land would be placed “in trust” for them. Today, Indians are using their new-found resources to buy back land that used to be theirs. This buy-back has been causing animosity between tribes and local governments, especially counties, though, since property placed in trust goes off the tax rolls. Writer Larry Schumacher examines how one band and one county figured out how to come to an agreement that worked for both sides.

Treaty-Guaranteed Usufructuary Rights in Minnesota: The Case of Mille Lacs v. Minnesota

U of MN professor Roderick Squires goes through the steps of how one landmark case moved from district court in St. Paul to the Supreme Court, setting a national precedent for how Indian treaties written in the 19th century are to be interpreted today.


The Rural Minnesota Journal Editorial Committee

Jean Burkhardt
Welcome, MN

Richard Davenport
Minnesota State University, Mankato

Bob Franklin
Maple Plain, MN

Tim Houle
Crow Wing County Administrator

Sandy Layman
Layman Consulting

Wy Spano
University of Minnesota, Duluth

Tom Stinson
University of Minnesota