This week on Minnesota Native News, members of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe vote on blood quantum requirements. Also, we hear from Juliet Rudie, who now heads the state’s new Office of Missing And Murdered Indigenous Relatives.
In a historic move, members of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe in July voted to remove a decades-old requirement that members have a minimum of 25% Ojibwe blood.
About 64% of voters on an advisory referendum say the blood quantum requirement, which began in the 1960s, should be removed from membership in the six-reservation tribe.
Also, 57% of voters said each reservation should be allowed to determine its own enrollment requirements. Those reservations include Fond du Lac, Mille Lacs, Bois Forte, Grand Portage, White Earth and Leech Lake.
Blood quantum requirements have been a source of debate and contention for years.
Those in favor of ending the requirement say the blood quantum requirement has caused enrollment in the tribe to shrink, with many children not considered members despite having a parent who is. About 15% of the tribe’s roughly 39,000 citizens are under age 18.
Those opposed to ending the requirement are concerned that accepting more members will use limited federal or casino-generated funds, and that more people taking advantage of treaty rights will make resources scarce.
The vote does not change the requirement just yet… The referendum is a guide for tribal leaders who will now decide whether to ask voters to amend the tribe’s constitution.
Minnesota Native News will have updates as they come in.
Cole Premo reporting for Minnesota Native News
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