Red Lake, Minnesota

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There is also a Red Lake County in Minnesota.

Red Lake is a census-designated place (CDP) within the Lower Red Lake unorganized territory located in Beltrami County, Minnesota, United States. As of the 2000 census, Red Lake had a total population of 1,436. The Red Lake Indian Reservation is based in Red Lake.


History and Indian reservation

The Red Lake Indian Reservation is located in the northern Minnesota counties of Beltrami and Clearwater, 30 miles (48 km) north of Bemidji. There are four districts within the reservation which include Red Lake, Redby, Ponemah and Little Rock.

During the French period of the fur trade, the Dakota had a major village at Red Lake. It was around 1796 that the Ojibwe settled along with the British North West Co. and a fur trading post established in 1806.

The Red Lake Band, through treaties and agreements in 1863 (amended 1864), 1889, 1892, 1904, and 1905 gave up land but never ceded the main reservation surrounding Lower Red Lake and a portion of Upper Red Lake. This unceded land is spoken of as the "diminished" reservation and "aboriginal" land. It is 407,730 acres (1,650 km2). In addition, there are 229,300 acres (928 km2) of surface water area on both the lakes.

Tribal leadership during the late 1800s and early 1900s skillfully resisted allotment legislation and held the land intact for the Tribe as a whole. Today the Tribe's Independence Day, July 6 is in honor of the courage of their chiefs in resisting allotment during the negotiations of the 1889 Nelson Act. Only one other tribe in the United States also resisted allotment, the Warm Springs Tribe in Oregon. When land that had been ceded but not sold was returned after 1934, this restored land amounted to 156,696 acres (634 km2). It included 70% of the Northwest Angle of Minnesota, as well as lands scattered between the reservation and the Canadian border. The total land area controlled by the Tribe, 564,426 acres (2,284 km2), is about the size of Rhode Island. The land is located in nine different counties. The Tribe has jurisdiction to regulate hunting and fishing on the original, diminished lands, and the ceded lands that were returned. The remainder of the ceded areas, not held by the Tribe, is under state jurisdiction.

The tribal government has full sovereignty over the reservation, subject only to federal legislation specifically intended to deal with Red Lake, which makes it a "closed" reservation. The Tribe has the right to limit who can visit or live on the reservation. It has never been subject to State law. The Red Lake tribe withdrew in 1918 from the General Council for the Chippewa, intended to bring all Ojibwe into one tribal structure, and continued to maintain its own identity separate from the Minnesota Chippewa Tribes (MCT). There are many legal and program differences between Red Lake and the other state reservations. The Tribe has its own constitution providing for elected officials representing the four reservation districts and a participating council of hereditary chiefs. While the federal government is responsible for major criminal matters, as specified in federal law, the Tribe has jurisdiction in all other criminal matters. Its court has full jurisdiction over civil and family court matters. In 1997, the Tribe began administering its own programs under a Self-Governance Contract with the BIA. The police became a tribal responsibility at that time.

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