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Capitol Chatter: Senate committee told: 'Wolf is a brother to original man'

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ST. PAUL - A Mississippi American Indian leader objects to a wolf hunting season that appears near passage in the Minnesota Legislature.

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She joins several Great Lakes-area tribes in opposing wolf hunting and trapping proposals.

Chairwoman Sandra Skinaway of the Sandy Lake Band of Mississippi Chippewa told a Minnesota Senate committee about her concerns, but said the issue flew under the radar and she missed testifying to a House committee.

"In the Anishinaabe creation story, we are taught that the wolf is a brother to original man (Anishinaabe) and the two traveled together throughout the earth naming everything," she testified. "Once this task was completed, the creator told the wolf and original man that they now had to take separate paths but said that whatever happened to one would happen to the other and that each would be feared, respected and misunderstood by the people that would later join them on earth.

"Because of that relationship, the health and survival of the Anishinaabe people are tied to that of the wolf."

Federal officials removed the wolf from the federal endangered species list on Dec. 28. Minnesota officials immediately began considering a wolf season.

Among supporters of a wolf season are farmers, who want to keep wolves from killing livestock.

Skinaway said she understands that, but animals die for many reasons, such as other animals killing them and cars hitting them.

"The point is, the wolf is not the only species that kills domestic animals and should not be one of the reasons for a public killing of the wolf," she said.

Minnesota legislators, especially Republicans, constantly complain that their state trails North Dakota when it comes to attracting businesses.

The western neighbor, they say, collects fewer taxes and its laws make things easier for new businesses to open. Those are among arguments successfully used to tweak Minnesota law the last two years to speed up state permits.

So Minnesota leaders may not want to hear what North Dakota Gov. Jack Dalrymple told potential business investors the other day.

"This is a great place to invest and a great place to do business," Dalrymple said.

"Dalrymple cited North Dakota's low taxes and the state's regulations that are meant to be as reasonable as possible," reported Forum Communication's Amy Dalrymple (no relation to the governor) in the Oil Patch Dispatch blog.

Gov. Mark Dayton finally has arrived.

When he took office last year, he used Sharpie pens left by Gov. Tim Pawlenty to sign bills. Now, for the few bills he has signed this legislative session, he is using newly arrived pens labeled "Governor Mark Dayton."

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