Civil Rights and Liberties on Leech Lake Reservation

For more information or to find out how you can help, contact:

Frank Bibeau
Anishinabe Rights Center
P.O. Box 1663
Bemidji, MN 56619-1663

News Reports

Leech Lake Civil Rights and Liberties Abuses by Reservation Government

Many of the same social/economic problems and civil rights abuses by Indian reservation tribal governments brought to world attention by the well-known political challenges at Wounded Knee in the 1970’s, have not changed--at least not for many of the Anishinabe of people of the Leech Lake, White Earth and Red Lake Indian reservations surrounding Bemidji, Minnesota.  In 1968, Congress passed the Indian Civil Rights Act (ICRA) to provide the same Bill of Rights protections from federal and state governments’ intrusions and abuses, to all U.S. citizens (Indian and non-Indian) from Indian Reservations’ exercise of tribal governmental powers.

The ICRA expects that those who have a grievance against reservation tribal government acts or omissions, to seek redress or remedies in tribal courts.  However, ICRA’s remedies are limited to injunctive or declaratory relief, not money damages or penalties from the wrongs committed by tribal officials and government actors because of tribal governments’ quasi-sovereign immunity.  Unfortunately, for the Anishinabe People of the Leech Lake Reservation tribal government continues to treat all employment in governmental/tribal jobs as being political patronage.  Anyone is subject to termination, without the minimum due process of notice and opportunity to be heard. 

In President Bush’s 2005 Inaugural address he announced that  “Today, America speaks anew to the peoples of the world: All who live in tyranny and hopelessness can know: the United States will not ignore your oppression, or excuse your oppressors. When you stand for your liberty, we will stand with you.”  Sadly, to date, the United States has ignored our oppression, like on many other reservations.

Few of the successes of the Black Civil Rights movement have reached Indian country in any meaningful way.  The some of the legal issues and struggles for Civil Rights and Liberties for the Anishinabe people follow.

map of Leech Lake reservation, Minnesota, U.S.A.
    Minnesota Indian Reservations - fact sheet      

The basics of Tribal Government
          by Frank Bibeau, former Leech Lake tribal attorney & presently civil rights attorney

         Recent Federal funding to Indian tribal governments in Minnesota      


April 9, 2005 - Press Release
           & Elders Demonstrate in Support of Referendum

April 8, 2005 - Frank Bibeau and the "Unknown Radical"

April 8, 2005 - Press Release

April 7, 2005 - Letter from Representative Burton "Luke" Wilson barring "unauthorized political activity."

April 4, 2005 - "Leech Lake Casino Referendum Petition Carriers are Motivated for Public Petition Sign-up and Protest in Cass Lake"

April 2, 2005 - Press Relase - "Malice at the Palace Casino? - Third unlawful arrest at Palace Casino?"

April 2005 - Photos
     Leech Lake civil rights activist Wally Storbakken arrested
     Leech Lake civil rights demonstrations, April 5, 2005 - photos 1 | 2
April 2005 - Petitions

March 2005 - Leech Lake Tribal Council - Draft Resolution to Amend Ordinance No. 1, Bylaws, to Allow for Appointment of Alternate Signatory Authority
          page 1 | 2

March 18, 2005 - Leech Lake Reservation's Secretary-Treasurer's Press Release

March 4, 2005 - Letter from Leech Lake Secretary-Treasurer Arthur "Archie" LaRose to Governor Pawlenty

March 4, 2005 - Memorandum of Law in Support of Plaintiffs' Motion to Reconsider, For Additional Time, Transfer of Venue/Jurisdiction, and Notice of Appeal

March 4, 2005 - Plaintiff's Motion for Reconsideration of the Court's Order filed February 22, 2005

March 2005 - Second Affidavit of Frank Bibeau in Support of Plaintiffs' Complaint for Civil Rights and Liberties

March 1, 2005 - Letter from George Goggleye, Jr. to Frank Bibeau, granting him permission to appear in Tribal Court if he is "appearing in connection with cases in which [he is] the attorney of record."

February 28, 2005 - Press Release from the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe

February 24, 2005 - Notice barring Attorney Frank Bibeau from Casinos

February 24, 2005 - Tribal Council Order Barring Attorney Frank Bibeau from Tribal Offices

January 2005 - Affidavit of Christopher Bedeau concerning "circumstances of [his] interrogation by Ned Tripp, Chief of Criminal Investigations, Rodney White and Chet Carlson on October 28, 2004

December 15, 2004 - Letter from Frank Bibeau to Federal Authorities

December 6, 2004 - Official allegations of making "Terroristic Threats" made against Frank Bibeau:
          page 1
          page 2

December 6, 2004 - Memorandum of Law in Support of Plaintiffs' Complaint for Civil Rights and Liberties, Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe Tribal Court, File No. CV-04-122

December 4, 2004 - Complaint for Civil Rights and Liberties, Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe Tribal Court, File No. CV-04-122

June 14, 2004 - Memorandum from Secretary-Treasurer Arthur LaRose concerning "Recent Terminations"

August 5, 1975 - Russell Means, et al. v. Dick Wilson, et al. 522 F.23 833.

Important Legal Documents
Federal Laws
U.S. Constitution