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Bois Forte Band of Chippewa Tribe gets over 28,000 acres back

Environmental nonprofit The Conservation Fund returned the acres, located in Northern Minnesota, in the state's largest land-back agreement.
Credit: Bois Forte Band of Chippewa
Bois Forte Band of Chippewa

NETT LAKE, Minnesota — The Bois Forte Band of Chippewa Tribe announced Tuesday, June 7 that more than 28,000 acres have been restored within its boundaries, completing the largest land-back agreement in Minnesota.

According to a press release, lumber manufacturer PotlatchDeltic Corporation previously held the 28,089 acres, which were sold to environmental nonprofit The Conservation Fund in 2020, who recently sold it back to the Band in a deal financed by the Indian Land Capital Company.

Located about 45 miles south of the Canadian border, the Boise Forte Band, also referred to as Ojibwe, reservation spans across Koochiching, St. Louis and Itasca Counties. The additional 28,000 acres acquired by the Band will restore the Nett Lake and Deer Creek sections of the reservation.

The agreement returns the northern Minnesota swath of land after it was lost following passage of the Dawes Act in 1887, which authorized the president of the United States to break up tribal land.

“This acquisition represents the largest restoration of land to our Reservation since our ancestors secured what was to be our permanent and undisturbed homeland, Chairwoman of the Bois Forte Band of Chippewa Cathy Chavers said in a statement. “This acquisition rights a historic wrong and returns lush forests to the Band to foster and protect in homage to our ancestors and as an inheritance to our future generations.”

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