“The MITW is a program enacted by Public Act 174 of 1976, which waives the tuition costs for eligible Native Americans in public community colleges or universities within Michigan. Up until 1995, the MITW was fully funded so that public state institutions will be reimbursed by the State of Michigan for tuition for Native American students who fulfilled the requirements. In 1995, then Michigan Governor John Engler sought to eliminate the program, but the state legislature overrode the governor’s decision with inadquate funding.
Tribal leaders have fought since the mid-1990s to have the program fully funded. After her election last November, Governor Whitmer made a commitment to tribal leaders she would put the MITW in her budget. She did so when she submitted her budget in February and the state legislature kept the line item to fund MITW in the budget.”
Edweying Naabing // Looking at the Past and Present Symposium
Michigan State University
September 20-21, 2019
Proposals due May 30, 2019
Marking the 200th commemoration of the Treaty of Saginaw, MSU’s American Indian and Indigenous Studies Program, Indigenous Law and Policy Center, and Native American Institute invite proposals for Edweying Naabing // Looking at the Past and Present Symposium.
All are welcome to submit proposals and can refer to the list of possible topics for presentation ideas.
Those interested should submit a 250-word proposal and 100-word biography to firstname.lastname@example.org by May 30, 2019.
About the Symposium: The inaugural symposium addresses the history of the Treaty 1819 and its ongoing effects for Indigenous-settler relationships at Land-Grant institutions, such as MSU. More generally, this conference focuses on Indigenous histories, presence, and futures on Anishinaabewaki and across Turtle Island.
The event is free and open to the public. Youth are highly encouraged to attend, especially those interested in becoming familiar with opportunities at MSU.
Here are the new materials in the case captioned State of Michigan v. Payment (W.D. Mich.):
The state’s amended complaint is here.
2Exhibit A (Letter from DOI)
Exhibit B (letter from Gov. Snyder to Chairman Eitrem)
Exhibit C (Sault Tribe Submission for Mandatory Fee-to-Trust Acquisition)
Exhibit D (Same, for the Sibley Parcel)
Exhibit E (Sault Tribe approval of development agreement with Lansing, MI)
Exhibit F (Comprehensive Development Agreement between Sault Tribe and Lansing)
Previous coverage of the Lansing casino case here.
Barstow Lecturer to Explain History of Indian Land Law
Saginaw Valley State University will host a lecture by American Indian legal expert Matthew Fletcher Thursday, April 1 at 7:30 p.m. in the Rhea Miller Recital Hall. In his talk, he will explain how a 2007 decree finally ended a 170-year-old dispute regarding Michigan Indians’ land rights. The lecture is part of SVSU’s Barstow Humanities Seminar series.
Fletcher says the delay owes its origins to miscommunication. In 1836, five Michigan Indian tribes entered into a treaty with the state and federal governments over “inland rights” – a treaty in which the Indians ceded their land in exchange for defined areas where they could fish, hunt and gather. The problem was that two of the treaty’s key words – “occupancy” and “settlement” – had vastly different meanings in the local Indian language. Relying on their understanding, the Indians agreed to the treaty.
From the Bay City Times:
Saganing Members Aim to Teach Indian Culture at Standish Powwow
by Helen Lounsbury
STANDISH – When tribal drummers, singers and dancers take their places this weekend for the Saganing powwow near Standish, don’t think of the event as a first.
It’s a homecoming – a celebration of origins for the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe, members say.
“I get so full of emotion when I attend our cultural events,” says Mary Bukowiec, a Standish member of what is now a Mount Pleasant-based tribe. “This event will be especially meaningful… After centering things in Mount Pleasant for so long, this powwow has come home.”
Finally, after all these years, fame!
From the Harbor Light:
Andrew Blackbird named 2007 Michigan Walk of Fame inductee
First postmaster of Harbor Springs, helped Native Americans gain citizenship
SPECIAL TO HARBOR LIGHT NEWSPAPER
The Lansing Principal Shopping District and Michigan Historical Museum announced that former Harbor Springs resident Andrew J. Blackbird is a 2007 Michigan Walk of Fame inductee. He is among twelve state residents honored this year for exceptional life service and for significantly contributing to Michigan’s civic, cultural and entrepreneurial heritage.
Here’s the news coverage from the Morning Sun:
City, council can join lawsuit
By MARK RANZENBERGER
Sun Online Editor
A federal judge ruled Friday that the city of Mt. Pleasant and Isabella County will be permitted to be part of the federal lawsuit that seeks to define the land inside the traditional boundaries of the Isabella Reservation as Indian Country.
U.S. District Judge Thomas Ludington ruled that the county and city were extremely late in trying to join in the suit, filed in 2005 by the Saginaw Chippewa Tribe against the state. But Ludington, in a ruling released late Friday, said it was within his discretion to allow the two municipalities to join in on the side of the state.
Ludington ruled, however, that the city and county could not bring in their own experts, and would have to abide by all the stipulations already set in the case.
“The court recognizes that the (city and county) have a legitimate interest at stake in this litigation, because an outcome in favor of the Saginaw Chippewas could materially affect their future governmental responsibilities,” Ludington said in his opinion.
The Tribe wants Ludington to declare that all or part of seven townships in Isabella County are “Indian country” as defined by federal law. The Tribe is asking for an injunction to prevent the governor, attorney general and state treasurer from exerting criminal or civil jurisdiction over the Tribe or its members “in a manner not allowed in Indian country.”
The federal government already has joined the case on the side of the Tribe. The county and the city now are part of the case as defendants, on the side of the state.
Both city and county officials say they bear no ill will against the Tribe or Native people, but the suit is a way to define the authority of civil and tribal governments.
Court documents filed by the city say the outcome of the suit could affect, in particular, taxation and zoning.
Tribal attorneys argued that the late intervention was simply a way for the state to buy more time to prepare its case.
Ludington said the city and county could have joined the case soon after it was filed.
At the time that the (city and county) filed their motions, the posture of this case was long past initial trial preparation,” Ludington’s ruling said. “Moreover, the (city’s and county’s) participation in the past case coupled with the local media coverage, indicate that (they) had sufficient notice of this proceeding.”
The “earlier case” mentioned by was a case involving property taxation, which went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court before being settled. Tribal members, and the Tribe itself, now pay property taxes on land owned outright; land held in trust is not taxable.
In the current case, the Tribe and the Justice Department say that an 1855 executive order, and treaties signed in 1855 and 1864, created an Indian reservation on five full townships and six half-townships in Isabella County, and it continues to this day.
A date for a trial, which would be conducted without a jury, has not been set.
Judge Ludington has granted the motions of Isabella County and the City of Mt. Pleasant to intervene, but because they were so late in filing (about 2 years after the initial complaint), the judge took the recommendation of the United States to deny these intervenors the right to bring their own expert witnesses.
Here are the materials in this element of the litigation: