From the Chairman
It almost sounds too good to be true. The United States Supreme Court has decided to review the lower court rulings in the Mille Lacs Treaty Case! This is a major breakthrough. As you may know, the high court only hears about one-hundred out of the thousands of cases it is presented with each year. So the mere fact that it has taken our case is a huge accomplishment.
By agreeing to review the lower court decisions, the court is indicating that our side has reasonable arguments, and that we have raised some question as to the validity of the lower court decisions in this case so far. (It seems we're not "wacky walleye worshipers" and "Budheads" after all, Nick Coleman and Doug Grow.) In fact, if the high court felt that our case was not strong and our arguments not valid, it could have easily declined to accept the case and let the lower court rulings stand. It's no wonder then, that the United States Supreme Court ends up reversing the lower courts in about two thirds of the cases it reviews.
While there remains a great deal of work to do, we have just overcome our biggest legal hurdle in the legal race to Save Minnesota.
I can't tell you how much we have appreciated your support over the past few years. I hope you are as proud as I am of our accomplishment. Now you can look those nay sayers right in the eye and say the Supreme Court thinks our arguments are worth hearing and we will win!
On a more somber note, the fact is we are about $270,000 behind in legal expenses as we head for the Supreme Court. In addition to the current debt, we need to raise at least $130,000 for our final push for victory at the high court.
I know you want to ensure that we present the best case possible to the Supreme Court. We can do just that with your help, but time is short. Together we can carry the fight to Save Minnesota to the highest court in the land.
Grab your hunting and fishing buddies and, please, join me in our "We're In - Supreme Donor" 30 day Supreme Court fundraising blitz today. $1,000, $500, or what ever you can afford will immediately be put toward winning the Mille Lacs treaty case. See the details on page 1.
June 8, 1998 was a great day for citizens concerned about the evils of current federal Indian policy. In addition to deciding to hear the Mille Lacs appeal, the High Court issued a verdict in the Cass County v. Leech Lake Band case involving tribal jurisdiction and local taxing authority. The Court ruled 9-0 in favor of Cass County! The tribes must indeed pay property taxes on lands they purchase but are not held in trust for them by the federal government. This is good news for concerned citizens from Grand Portage, to Mille Lacs to Prior Lake. Remember how officials from the Mille Lacs Band threatened the Minnesota Legislature in testimony before a Senate committee debating the Mille Lacs treaty issue. They said if the Legislature did not agree to the terms of the secretly negotiated deal between the Band and Arnie Carlson, Skip Humphrey and Rod Sando, the tribe would sue the State under the 1855 Treaty for a massive expansion of tribal jurisdiction. And they said, "that it was gonna be much worse." Congratulations Cass County and those who supported their legal position before the Supreme Court. Let's hope this trend continues at the High Court. Cass, Yankton, and Alaska have all been cases with unanimous decisions against the tribes this term, and all were reversals of lower court rulings.
PERM now has a web site. Our address is www.perm.org. We've just got it up and running, and are in the process of completing and fine-tuning it. We hope to have all current newsletters on line as well as most of the articles from our back issues. We hope this will provide an excellent resource for people looking for information and a point of view not provided in the mainstream media. Our hope is that this move into the electronic age will be self supporting. In addition to a wealth of information , visitors to our web site will find information on how to join PERM and get involved. Our Wildlife Prints will also be marketed online in full color! Check it out.
Attention golfers! Don't miss PERM's 3rd Annual Golf Tournament on August 29,1998 at the Bridges Golf Course in Moundsview. What a great way to have some fun while helping us win at the Supreme Court. Last year we made over $5,000! Please sign up early to help us plan for the event. For more details see the ad on page 8.
Keep up the good work. Congratulations, we're in!