To the Honorable Governor Tim Pawlenty:
In April 2006, Greg Spaulding, a Conservation Officer, asked Tribal Chairman Floyd Jourdain in a private letter, for input into research he had been doing regarding State ownership of all of Red Lake. Mr. Jourdain chose to go public, not with documentation disputing Mr. Spaulding’s findings, but with a personal attack.
As you know, a gentleman (Jerry Mueller) from Princeton had his boat and other equipment illegally seized by Red Lake tribal authorities in May 2006.
The only other public response to the “ownership” situation came from DNR Commissioner Gene Merriam who stated “This is the way we have done business with the Tribe for 75 years.”
No Federal, State or Tribal agency has come forth with any documents to prove or disprove Mr. Spaulding’s research regarding Upper and Lower Red Lake.
PERM does not dispute the fact that the land is Federal land held in trust for the Red Lake Band of Chippewa, but does recognize that in 1926, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the State has full ownership. Therefore, PERM strongly recommends that, first, the right thing is done to secure Mr. Mueller’s personal property and return it to him. Then we feel it is your responsibility with the State DNR to begin managing all of Red Lake for all citizens of Minnesota. The Tribal people of The United States are American citizens by treaty, acts of Congress, and by birth, and should be treated equally as such.
Thank you for your time and interest. Please forward documentation with any decisions made to PERM.
Doug Meyenburg, Jr., PERM Chairman