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Long dispute nearing end
Thu December 19, 2013
LDF Tribe Agrees To Buy Strawberry Island
A long time standoff between the owner of Strawberry Island in Lac du Flambeau and the tribe is a step closer to being resolved.
This week the tribe's Land Management Office told the tribal council they had come to an agreement to acquire Strawberry Island for $250,000. The tribal council passed a resolution approving the sale.
The island is on the National Register of Historic Places and was the site of a fierce battle between the Lakota Sioux and the Ojibwe people. The tribe has wanted to buy the land from the Mills family but could not come to an agreement. Tribal officials say the sale is contingent on specific provisions of the agreement.
A dispute arose in 1995 when Mills applied for the paperwork to build a home on the island, considered a key piece of Ojibwe history. The Mills family has turned down several offers from the tribe..
Lac du Flambeau tribal spokesperson Brandon Thoms says the island has deep historic roots...
"....part of the migration story from when the tribe migrated from the Atlantic Coast, down the St. Lawrence River to the Great Lakes region. It holds a spiritual significance within the tribe and for years the tribe has pursued efforts to acquire that island...."
Thoms says some contingencies need to be met, but they are anticipating a large celebration in the spring to note the return of the island to the Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Chippewa.