White Earth Nation

– The White Earth Reservation, created in 1867, is located in Becker, Clearwater, and Mahnomen counties in north-central Minnesota.

-The names Anishinaabe, Ojibwe, and Chippewa are used interchangeably. A representative from the White Earth Nation gives this explanation: “All Indian tribes have names for themselves. The largest Indian group in Minnesota calls itself Anishinaabe, which means ‘the original people.’ Europeans named them Ojibwe. No one is exactly sure how this name developed. Perhaps it came from the Anishinaabe   word ‘ojib,’   which describes the puckered moccasins worn by the people. Some Europeans had trouble saying Ojibwe, pronouncing it instead as Chippewa. But both these names refer to the same people. In Canada, the Anishinaabe call themselves Ojibwe. In the United States, many tribal members prefer the name Chippewa. So that is the name we will use in this history of White Earth Reservation.”

-In 1918, pioneering ethnomusicologist Frances Densmore spent time on the White Earth Reservation. She documented music, recording some examples on wax cylinders. Read more about Densmore here.

-On November 19, 2013 The White Earth Nation elected to adopt a new constitution, which was drafted by Gerald Vizenor. Read more about the constitution here, in an essay by Abenaki scholar Lisa Brooks. Or, read a shorter article here.

-Members of the White Earth Nation hand harvest wild rice using non-motorized canoes. The wild rice is one of two cereal grains native to North America. It is high in protein, dietary fiber, and amino acids but is low in fat. You can purchase this delicious product straight from the White Earth Nation at realwildrice.com.

Winona LaDuke, a former United States vice-presidential candidate on the Green Party ticket, is a citizen of the White Earth Nation. A graduate of Harvard University and Antioch University, she also founder of the White Earth Land Recovery Project. The goal of the project is to reacquire land within the White Earth Reservation, buying it back from non-Natives.

-Since 2003, the Tribe has engaged, with help from the U.S. Department of Energy, in assessing wind resources on the reservation as well as developing implementation strategies. They also received a $3 million grant to train reservation residents in green technology from the US Department of Labor.

KKWE 89.9 FM Niijiii Radio–“Independent Radio for an Independent Nation”–is the White Earth Nation’s radio station. Their mission is to provide news  and information that promotes social, environmental, and economic justice as well as to assure that the arts, history, and culture of the Tribe thrive.

-Read more about the White Earth Nation here.