Anishinaabeg Today

Anishinaabeg today (White Earth, Minn.) 1996-current Browse the title

Anishinaabeg Today began publication 1996 and serves as the official publication of the White Earth Nation. The White Earth Nation is the largest band of Ojibwe (also known as Anishinaabe or Chippewa) in the state of Minnesota, with over 19,000 members, and is one of six constituent bands of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe. Presently, Anishinaabeg Today serves those living on the White Earth Reservation, and also White Earth Nation members living remotely (by request). Established in 1867 as the result of a treaty between the Mississippi Band of Chippewa Indians and the United States, the White Earth Reservation extends across three Minnesota counties - Becker, Clearwater, and Mahnomen - and is geographically the largest reservation in the state.

Although Anishinaabeg Today is of relatively recent foundation, the White Earth Ojibwe have rich histories and traditions surrounding newspapers. In the mid-nineteenth century, many White Earth members worked directly with the Minnesota Democrat, a popular St. Paul newspaper, which is available on microfilm through the Minnesota Historical Society. Band members also published two local reservation newspapers between 1886 and 1926, the Progress and the Tomahawk.

Anishinaabeg Today began as a bi-weekly publication and transitioned to monthly publication in 2011. The issues vary widely in length, from 8 pages to the occasional 32-page issue. As the official newspaper of an entire sovereign nation, much of the content is judicial in focus and features information about the tribal council, federal legislation, reservation finances, and more. Consequently, Anishinaabeg Today has covered many important and historic legal events of the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. The publication closely followed legal debates surrounding the federal status of reservation lands, including those involving the White Earth Nation. There was extensive coverage of the White Earth nation’s dispute with the Mahnomen county government over the band’s newly built Shooting Star Casino, which sat on land that the band argued should have federal trust status, exempting it from state and location taxation. This debate ended when the federal district court officially sided with the White Earth Nation, a victory that the September 2, 2009 issue of Anishinaabeg Today proclaimed significant for the recognition of the White Earth nation as a sovereign government.

Anishinaabeg Today frequently reported on the passage of federal legislation related to tribal nations during the Obama administration, including the Tribal Law and Order Act of 2010. This act created new federal obligations for issues of public safety on tribal lands, and mandated the use of Special Assistant US Attorneys to aid in the process of prosecuting crimes occurring on tribal lands in the federal court. Additionally, in 2016 Anishinaabeg Today covered a historic moment for Native American representation on the national stage, when a White Earth descendant became the first Native justice to sit on the Minnesota Supreme Court.