1855 Original Sandy Lake Indian Reservation created by treaty.
1864 Article 12 of the Treaty of 1864 deemed “that those of the tribe residing on the Sandy Lake Reservation shall not be removed until the President shall so direct”.
1886 Northwest Indian Commission came to meet with Sandy Lake Indians.
1889 U.S. Indian Commission and Henry Rice Travelled to Sandy Lake and Kimberly, MN to hold five councils with the Sandy Lake Band.
1915 March 4, 1915, 32.35-acre Sandy Lake Indian Reservation established on Sandy Lake by Executive Order of President Woodrow Wilson upon recommendation of the Interior Secretary.
1934 Post Indian Reorganization Act - Without care for culture and history and apparently for administrative convenience, the U.S. Government included the Sandy Lake Band in the realm of the Mille Lacs Band government. Monroe Skinaway Sr and John Skinaway Jr. are appointed to represent Sandy Lake. Tom Skinaway, is delegated to represent Mille Lacs Band on the newly created Minnesota Chippewa Tribe Executive Committee.
1937 J.S Monk, Acting Superintendent, Consolidated Chippewa Agency, Cass Lake, sends letter to Department of Interior requesting lands for non-enrolled Mille Lacs Indians at Sandy Lake and East Lake stating, ‘Owing to their peculiar situation living by themselves away from the White Earth Reservation on which they are enrolled and not belonging to the Mille Lacs Band they are isolated, and it appears that the funds allotted for purchase of land within the White Earth Reservation and from the Mille Lacs Chippewa do not apply to these people. This office is in sympathy with them and favor acquiring land where they are living and have been living for so many years that they have become attached to this territory where they pickup odd jobs now and then and are acquainted there to the extent that they do not desire to move away.’ Acting Superintendent ends stating, ‘I do not believe these Indians will cease to write about this matter or will be satisfied until some definite plan for them is made or decided upon.’
1940 147-acre Sandy Lake Indian Reservation was established for the Sandy Lake people via purchase by the Interior Department from the fund “Acquisition of Land for Indian Tribes.”
1941 April 10, 1941, Monroe Skinaway, Sandy Lake representative writes F.J Scott, Superintendent, Consolidated Chippewa Agency, Cass Lake, requesting lot surveys to be completed on acquired reservation lands. He also requests road projects and well drilling.
1954 June 14, 1954, Sandy Lake Local Council, chaired by George Skinaway, met to sell timber on the reservation in order to repair community water pump at Sandy Lake.
1979 Clifford Skinaway, Sandy Lake Band community leader began study and work toward restoration of federal recognition status of the historic Sandy Lake Band.
1984 On March 17, 1984, Sandy Lake Local Council was re-established with Clifford Skinaway elected as Chairman, Melvin Skinaway as Executive Director, and Charles Durant as Secretary/Treasurer. A letter was sent to Mille Lacs Chairman Art Gahbow and Mille Lacs Reservation Business Committee. It was due to the need for more representation in the Sandy Lake area, due to the Sandy Lake area being left out of any economic development and housing.
1988 On June 7, 1988, the Bureau of Indian Affairs Branch of Acknowledgement and Research, received a petition requesting “recognition of the Sandy Lake Reservation” under 25 C.F.R. Part 83.
1990 August 13, 1990, Mille Lacs Band files federal lawsuit to exercise treaty rights under the 1837 Treaty.
1990 August 24, 1990, Clifford Skinaway Sr, files intervention on behalf of the Sandy Lake Band to recognized the treaty rights of the Sandy Lake Band in the Mille Lacs Band 1837 Treaty lawsuit.
1991 September 10, 1991, a petition was submitted from the Sandy Lake Band requesting a Secretarial election to accept or reject the application of the provisions of the Indian Reorganization Act of June 18, 1934, to the Bureau of Indian Affairs.
1992 March 10, 1992, the Aitkin County Board of Commissioners passed a resolution in support of the Sandy Lake Band as a governmental entity to be established as a tribe in a reservation, separate and apart from all other Ojibwe bands in Minnesota.
1992 Minnesota State Department of Natural Resources considers state legislation to settle the 1837 Treaty litigation with the Mille Lacs Band.
On March 2, 1993, the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe allowed a tribal vote to approve a settlement offer with the State of Minnesota not to exercise their treaty rights. The vote passed 200 for and 134 against. Sandy Lake Band members and Minnesota Chippewa Tribal members rallied during this time in opposition to the obvious sellout of the 1837 Treaty Rights. The Settlement passed the Minnesota State Senate but failed in the Minnesota House of Representatives.
On March 12, 1993, Chief Clifford Skinaway Sr., aka Chief Hole in the Day VII, testified before the State of Minnesota Senate Environment Natural Resource Committee against the proposed negotiated 1837 treaty settlement S.F 220 to settle the Mille Lacs Band’s hunting and fishing rights lawsuit against the state of Minnesota.
On July 5, 1995 Chief Clifford Skinaway Sr., passed away. Due to the extreme political pressure of the Mille Lacs Band and the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe, he was unable to restore federal recognition in his lifetime. Sandy Lake Band members continue these efforts today.
On February 6, 1996, the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe enacted Resolution #114-96, which read ‘NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the people of Sandy Lake are members of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe and are now and forever will be enrolled as members of the Mille Lacs Band. BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe considers the effort of the few persons at Sandy Lake to undermine the sovereignty of the Non-Removal Mille Lacs Band to be inimical to the interests of the Tribe and all member Bands. BE IT FURTHER AND FINALLY RESOLVED, that the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe opposes any attempt at administrative or legislation recognition that are now being undertaken, or that may be pursued in the future, by members of the Non-Removal Mille Lacs Band residing at Sandy Lake.’ Signed Norman W. Deschampe, President, and Peter J. Defoe, Secretary, Minnesota Chippewa Tribe.
1997/1998 State Recognition of the Sandy Lake Band of Mississippi Chippewa. A bill for an act relating to Indians, S.F 1098 and H.F. 2208 were introduced in the Minnesota State Legislature on March 6, 1997 recognizing the Sandy lake Band as a state recognized Indian tribe. Due to budget issues and the end of the legislative session, our legislation was tabled until the next legislative session.
1999/2000 State Recognition of the Sandy Lake Band of Mississippi Chippewa. A bill for an act relating to Indians, S.F. 3703 and H.F. 2382 were introduced in the Minnesota State Legislature on March 1, 2000 recognizing the Sandy Lake Band as a state recognized Indian tribe.
2000 On December 2, 2000, members of the Sandy Lake Band gathered with members of the Lake Superior Chippewa at Sandy Lake to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Sandy Lake Tragedy.
2001 members of the Sandy Lake Band again attempt enrollment into the Mille Lacs Band to gain services for the Sandy Lake member residents and in accordance with the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe Tribal Executive Committee Resolution #114-96.
2003 members of the Sandy Lake Band receive notice of denied enrollment into the MIlle Lacs Band from 2001 applications.
2003/2004 State Recognition of the Sandy Lake Band of Mississippi Chippewa. A bill for and act relating to Indians, S.F 1351 and H.F 0455 was introduced in the Minnesota State Legislature on April 2, 2003 recognizing the Sandy Lake Band as a state recognized Indian tribe.
2007 A House Concurrent Resolution recognizing the Sandy Lake Band of Mississippi Chippewa as a state recognized Indian tribe was introduced in the Minnesota State Legislature on July 31, 2007. While state recognition would largely be symbolic, it would help honor and preserve the history, identity and culture of the historic Sandy Lake Band of Mississippi Chippewa.
2010 On September 1, 2010 the Sandy Lake Band filed a Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief to hold a secretarial election. Federal Judge Donovan Frank dismissed the Complaint WITHOUT PREJUDICE for lack of subject matter jurisdiction and Sandy Lake had not exhausted its administrative remedies.
2010 On December 10, 2010, Marge Anderson, Chairwoman, Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe sends an opposition letter to Larry Echo Hawk and George Skibine, Assistant Secretary and Deputy Assistant Secretary Indian Affairs, Department of Interior stating “to accede to the demands of the “Sandy Lake Band” could also have enormous consequences for Indian tribes across the country. Decades ago, on reservations throughout the country, historic tribes and bands organized as a single tribe under the IRA. For generations, the IRA tribes have developed the institutions of self-government and exercised jurisdiction over their members and their territory. It would created havoc through Indian County if, today, the Department were to permit the descendants of every historic tribe or band to withdraw unilaterally from the single governing tribe on their reservations and obtain separate recognition and election under statute 476.”
2010 On December 15, 2010, Norman W. Deschampe, President, Minnesota Chippewa Tribe sends a letter to Larry Echo Hawk, Assistant Secretary Indian Affairs, Department of Interior stating “the MCT believes that there is an existing process for federal recognition of an Indian Tribe, band or group. Although that process may end with some judicial review, it certainly does not begin with a lawsuit that makes unfounded assertions in hopes of a quick settlement. Recognition by the United States should be based on merit and not on a race to the district court.”
2011 On March 4, 2011, the 1855 Treaty Commission was formed, and Sandy Lake was invited to join the commission meeting and become a member of the board.
2011 On August 13, 2011, members of the Sandy Lake Band were invited to participate in the Savanna State Park’s 50th Birthday celebration event. Members held maple syrup and wild rice harvesting demonstrations for attendees.
2011 On September 28, 2011, Sandy Lake Band of Mississippi Chippewa filed a second Complaint (Sandy Lake II) in U.S District Court to challenge the decision of the Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs holding that the tribe was not eligible for an election conducted by the Secretary of the Interior to organize a tribal government under a written constitution pursuant to the Indian Reorganization Act and other claims that the band had alleged in its first complaint and proposed amended complaint.
2012 On May 4, 2012, Federal Judge Donovan Frank dismissed WITH PREJUDICE, Sandy Lake Band’s Motion for Partial Summary Judgment.
The Sandy Lake Band of Mississippi Chippewa by tribal resolution, declares their reservation land as a wolf sanctuary and prohibits wolf hunting on all tribal lands on the Sandy Lake Indian Reservation.
2013 On March 14, 2013, the Sandy Lake Band of Mississippi Chippewa files and appeal to the United Sataes Court of Appeals.
2013 On May 20, 2013, The U.S Court of Appeals is bound by the U.S District Court’s original determination that it lacked subject matter jurisdiction to hear Sandy Lake’s claims. Issue preclusion thus disallows the Appeals Court from reaching the merits of this appeal. Accordingly, the court affirms the dismissal of the case modifying it to be WITHOUT PREJUDICE.
2014 On January 28, 2014, Sandra Skinaway, Chairwoman for the Sandy Lake Band of Mississippi Chippewa, testifies before the Minnesota House Environment and Natural Resources Policy Committee in an Informational Hearing on wolf management by the State of Minnesota.
2014 On March 12, 2014, tribal members of the Sandy Lake Band and the Rice Lake Band spoke in opposition, at the hearing in McGregor, Minnesota regarding a route permit for the Enbridge Sandpiper pipeline proposed to pass through a portion of Aitkin County.
2015 On August 17, 2015, the U.S Army Court of Engineers, St. Paul District invited the Sandy Lake Band Chairwoman, Sandra Skinaway, to attend and conduct a ribbon cutting ceremony officially rededicating the Sandy Lake Visitor center. The center, a former lock house located next to the Sandy Lake damn, has artifacts and information about the Sandy Lake region’s rich history.
2015 On August 27, 2015, the 1855 Treaty Authority of which consist of tribal members from the Sandy Lake Band, White Earth Band, Leech Lake Band and the Rice Lake Band held a while rice harvest event at Hole in the Day Lake in Nisswa, MN to test the validity of their off-reservation hunting, fishing, and gathering rights which were retained in the 1855 Treaty with the United States. This event eventually led to a Minnesota state law where tribal band members who possess a valid tribal identification card from a federally recognized tribe located in Minnesota are deemed to have a license to harvest wild rice and will not need the additional state wild rice harvesting license.
2015 On September 2, 2015, Sandy Lake Band of Mississippi Chippewa Chairwoman, Sandra Skinaway speaks in opposition during an open house in McGregor hosted by the Enbridge Corporation to seek public comments on their proposed Line 3 Replacement oil pipeline. Many local people also made opposing comments.
2016 On May 10, 2016, Governor Mark Dayton accepts a one-day fishing permit from the Sandy Lake Band of Mississippi Chippewa Chairwoman Sandra Skinaway and the 1855 Treaty Authority as guests to fish during the 2016 Governor’s fishing opener on Big Sandy Lake, which is within the reservation boundaries of the Sandy Lake Indian Reservation location in McGregor, MN.
2017 On August 31 2017, a MN DNR citation was issued to four tribal members from the Sandy Lake Band of Mississippi Chippewa, the Lac Courte Orville’s Band of Chippewa, Leech Lake Band, and Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa, for harvesting natural wild rice - harvest hours within original boundaries of the Sandy Lake Indian Reservation created by the treaty with the Chippewa on February 1855. Court case scheduled from February 10, 2020 in Aitkin County District Court.
2018 On May 31, 2018, Minnesota Chippewa Tribe Tribal Executive Committee meeting heard testimony from Monroe Skinaway II regarding his research and actions for Sandy Lake. Monroe Skinaway II had testified that he pursued enrollment into the Mille Lacs Band and cited MCT TEC Resolution #114-96. TEC member, Mille Lacs Chief Executive Melanie Benjamin stated she was not on the MCT TEC in 1996, MCT TEC President Kevin Dupuis stated Resolution 114-96 is inconsistent with the Sandy Lake member current recognition and there must be minutes from that meeting in 1996. MCT Executive Director Gary Frazer commented that those minutes may have been ‘lost in the fire’. President Dupuis reads Resolution 114-96 stating that members of the Sandy Lake Band will forever be members of the Mille Lacs Band, signed by Chief Executive Marge Anderson. President Dupuis asks to clarify resolution. Gary Frazer states that Monroe did take the matter to Carolyn Day, but no parent enrolled (Mille Lacs).
2018 On August 31, 2018, members of the Sandy Lake Band of Mississippi Chippewa submit en masse applications for enrollment into the Mille Lacs Band pursuant to the MCT TEC Resolution #114-96. The applicants are in fact children of enrolled Mille Lacs Band member. Also to provide further documentation showing attempts to ‘exhaust administrative remedies’.
September 2018, members of the Sandy Lake Band of Mississippi Chippewa meet with the Mille Lacs Band Assembly at their regular meeting at the East Lake ALU building to discuss a resolution of support for the Sandy Lake Band’s 40 year efforts to restore their federal recognition. Also, discussed was the en masse tribal enrollment of the Skinaway family of the Sandy Lake Band into the Mille Lacs Band. No action was taken.
2019 February 19, 2019, members of the Sandy Lake Band receive notice of denied enrollment into the Mille Lacs Band from August 31, 2018 applications.
2019 On March 29, 2019, members of the Sandy Lake Band of Mississippi Chippewa meet with Minnesota State Representative Dale Lueck to discuss the history of the Sandy Lake Band and their effort to restore their federal recognition status. A tour of the 1915 Executive Order land is also provided for the Representative as requested.
2019 On May 24, 2019, members from the Sandy Lake Band, Rice Lake Band, and Leech Lake Band met with newly elected Representative Pete Stauber of Congressional District 8 in Hermantown, MN. Congressional District 8 encompasses the northern half of Minnesota and covers all Ojibwe reservations in Minnesota. Discussed was the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe’s proposed legislation to transfer all MCT trust lands to individual Ojibwe bands who administer those trust lands of which we are very OPPOSED to this land transfer. All Minnesota Chippewa Tribe Trust Lands are held in common with all Minnesota Chippewa Tribal members.
2019 On June 25, 2019, members of the Sandy Lake Band of Mississippi Chippewa spoke in opposition to the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service at the only public hearing in the nation on their proposal to delist the gray wolf from endangered species protection. The public hearing was held in Brainerd, MN.
2019 On September 19, 2019, members of the Sandy Lake Band again met with the Mille Lacs Band Assembly at their regular meeting at the Mille Lacs Band Government Center to discuss a resolution of support for the Sandy Lake Band’s 40-year efforts to restore their federal recognition. Also discussed was the tribal enrollment of the Skinaway family of the Sandy Lake Band into the Mille Lacs Band. No action was taken.
2019 On October 15, 2019, two members of the Sandy Lake Band met with the Grand Portage Band of Lake Superior Chippewa council and the new Chairwoman, Beth Drost, to discuss the Sandy Lake Band’s efforts to restore federal recognition to our band and seek their support.
2019 On December 9, 2019, members of the Sandy Lake Band and Rice Lake Band attended and conducted an informational presentation on Sandy Lake and Rice Lake during the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe’s Special meeting of the Tribal Executive Committee at the Black Bear Casino Resort.
2020 On January 31, 2020, Chairwoman Sandra Skinaway of the Sandy Lake Band of Mississippi Chippewa attended the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe’s Tribal Executive Committee regular meeting at Mahnomen, Minnesota. She respectfully requested that the 1996 MCT TEC resolution #116-96 be rescinded as it was a resolution of opposition and division. The motion to rescind the resolution was made by Sec/Treas Roy with Second by Chairman Dupuis, vote was 8 For (Jackson, LaRose, Drost, Dupuis, Martineau, Fairbanks, Roy, Morrison), 0 Against, 3 Silent (Benjamin, Boyd, McCormick) Motion carried.
Chairwoman Skinaway then requested the TEC adopt a Resolution of Support for future Federal Recognition of the Non-Removable Sandy Lake Band of Mississippi Chippewa. Motion was made by Sec/Treas Roy with Second by Chairman Dupuis, vote was 8 For (Jackson, LaRose, Drost, Dupuis, Martineau, Fairbanks, Roy, McCormick) 1 Against (Morrison), 1 Silent (Boyd). Motion carried.
2020 - 2021 Covid-19 Pandemic made it difficult to conduct needed business. The Sandy Lake Band lost several treasured members during this time period also due to health related complications.
September 2021, Chairwoman Sandra Skinaway passed away. She was the Eldest child of Chief Clifford Skinaway Sr., and a cornerstone of the Sandy Lake Band Restoration movement thus far. Her diplomatic and level head with so much persistence will be missed, as her thoughtful and generous spirit will be.
The Sandy Lake Band of Mississippi Chippewa Tribal Council has been a working council throughout the years and mentoring the new generations of leaders. The restoration continues for all descendants to keep the culture and history alive.
P.O Box , McGregor, MN 55760
218.760.1395. Email: email@example.com
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