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Land Right

Leech Lake Homelands Returned

Nearly 12,000 acres taken from the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe in the 1940s and 1950s will be returned. Legislation that called for the Chippewa National Forest to transfer 11,760 acres to the Interior Department to be held in trust for the northern Minnesota tribe is now law. The House unanimously passed the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe Reservation Restoration Act in early December, and the Senate approved the bill in 2019. The measure was then presented to President Donald Trump, who had 10 days to sign or veto it. On Wednesday, the president signed the bill into law, the tribe announced on Facebook. "Miigwech to everyone involved in getting this historic legislation passed!" the post said.

Iowa Tribe Creates National Park

Lincoln, NE — The Iowa Tribe of Kansas and Nebraska is creating the nation's largest tribal national park on a forested bluff overlooking the Missouri River and a historic site of its people.  The 444-acre park will allow the tribe to tell the story of the Ioway people and provide a rustic getaway where people can hike, camp and bird-watch, said Lance Foster, the tribe's vice chairman. "We've been here for 1,000 years now and, unlike other people who can buy and sell land and move away, we can never move away," Foster said. "This is our land forever. And we'll be here for another 1,000 years."

Reclaimed Space Sprouts From Uprising’s Embers

Minneapolis, MN – Without waiting for permission, growers began planting vegetables and herbs in an empty lot on Lake Street and 17th Avenue. Their aim was to reclaim the dormant land on behalf of the community who lived nearby, in whatever way they saw fit to put it to use. ‘Lake Street Open Growth Space‘ was the name chosen for this squatted garden. A ‘squat‘ is a reclamation of neglected or unused privately-owned property to transform it into a public commons. In August, we interviewed several volunteer organizers at the Open Growth Space (OGS).

Garifuna Communities Of Honduras Resist Corporate Land Grabs

By Samira Jubis for Council on Hemispheric Affairs - The fate of the Garifuna people of Honduras hangs in the balance as they face a Honduran state that is all too eager to accommodate the neoliberal agenda of U.S. and Canadian investors. The current economic development strategy of the Honduran government, in the aftermath of the 2009 coup against the democratically-elected President Manuel Zelaya, has not only benefited the political and economic elite in Honduras, but it has also encouraged the usurpation of some of the territories of indigenous peoples of this Central American nation. The often-violent expropriation of indigenous land threatens the Garifuna’s subsistence. The Garifuna people are descendants of African slaves and two indigenous groups originally from South America—the Arawaks and the Carib Indians.

Indigenous Camp Outside Brazil Congress For Land Rights

Almost 1,500 indigenous people from about 200 different tribes have been protesting in Brazil’s capital as part of a National Week of Indigenous Mobilization. These actions coincide with Brazil’s Day of the Indian on April 19. The protests are aimed mostly at a new bill, known as PEC 215, that would amend the Constitution and give Brazil’s legislative body, the National Congress, the power to decide the borders of indigenous territories. Currently, the mapping out of indigenous territories is handled by the National Indian Foundation, or FUNAI, a government agency set up to protect indigenous interests. “A hundred groups from across the country are here to express their dissatisfaction and denounce attacks against their rights, which are happening in Congress,” Cleber Buzzato, executive secretary of the Indigenous Missionary Council, told AFP.
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