In which county is the Leech Lake Reservation located: A. Hubbard, B. Beltrami, C. Cass, D. Itasca, E. All of the above? (Answer: E)

Where I grew up in southern Minnesota, I wasn’t taught anything about the Native Americans that once occupied the area. It was too bad because the knowledge would have been very interesting and it would have eliminated many misunderstandings about Native people.

Every student in Beltrami County and surrounding counties should know more about this area’s history and culture and geography. What if teachers would pose one question daily to their students related to Native Americans? Here is a sample of what I mean. Let’s see how you do.

Leech Lake Reservation

1. The Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe is one of A. 5, B. 6, C. 7, D. 8 other bands that comprise the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe.

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2. Leech Lake has an enrollment of approximately A. 15,000, B. 8,000, C. 10,000, D. 18,000 members.

3. Of the 850,000 original acres of land, what percentage is now owned by the Band? A. 5%, B. 20%, C. 40%, D. 75%.

4. What National Forest is located within its boundaries: A. White Earth National Forest, B. Red Lake National Forest, C. Chippewa National Forest, D. Leech Lake National Forest?

5. On the Leech Lake flag, there is a symbol that represents education. It is A. Book, B. School, C. Mortarboard, D. Desk.

6. The Leech Lake Band is part of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe. Which reservation is not part of the Tribe: A. Red Lake, B. Bois Forte, C. Fond du Lac, D. White Earth?

7. Which casino is not owned by the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe? A. Palace, B. Shooting Star, C. Northern Lights, D. White Oak.

Red Lake Band of Ojibwe

8. Which of these is not a city in Red Lake Nation: A. Naytahwaush, B. Ball Club, C. Pine Point, D. Clearbrook, E. all of the above.

9. Which city in Red Lake Nation is the northernmost city: A. Redby, B. Little Rock, C. Ponemah, D. Red Lake?

10. Red Lake Nation is owned and occupied entirely by members of the Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians. What other reservation in Minnesota has a similar distinction? A. White Earth, B. Grand Portage, C. Prairie Island, D. Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux (Dakota), E. No other reservation has this distinction.

11. Red Lake Nation was the first to: A. have fishing and hunting limits, B. elect a Tribal Council, C. to issue its own vehicle license plates, D. have a hospital, D. have a boarding school.

12. The first tribal elections were held at Red Lake in A. 1959, B. 1964, C. 1969, D. 1972.

13. ln the 18th Century, the Ojibwe joined the French to fight the: A. Spanish, B. Americans, C. English, D. Vikings.

14. The Red Lake Band helped Giacomo Beltrami claim what lake as the northernmost source of the Mississippi River? A. Leech, B. Cass, C. Lower Red, D. Julia, E. Big Turtle.

White Earth Nation

15. “Anishinaabe” refers to the largest Native American group in Minnesota and means: A. The original people, B. Plains and woodland people, C. Native Americans, D. those who gather rice.

16. The governing body of White Earth Nation is referred to as the A. Tribal Council, B. Reservation Business Committee, C. Board of Governors, D. Council of Executives.

17. Manoomin, the Ojibwe word for wild rice, translates to: A. good berry, B. honey nut, C. wet oat, D. grassy seed.

18. Which is not a cultural event at White Earth: A. feasting, B. lacrosse, C. drumming, D. beading, E. snake dance, F. talking circle

19. The White Earth Tribal College is located in: A. White Earth, B. Naytahwaush, C. Mahnomen, D. Bagley, C. Pine Point.

20. Approximately how many powwows are held in White Earth annually: A. 6, B. 12, C. 10, D. 9.

21. A charter school is located in White Earth Nation in what community: A. Naytahwaush, B. Pine Point, C. White Earth, D. Mahnomen, E. Bagley.

Yes, area schools do teach some culture and language and, yes, it should be more than just facts. In recent years, all Red Lake teachers have been more diligent about teaching it every day.

Let’s make it a point to do more in all schools so we can once again reclaim this knowledge that was lost for so many years.

Answers: 1 - B, 2 - C, 3 - A, 4 - C, 5 - C, 6 - A, 7 - B, 8 - E, 9 - C, 10 - E, 11 - C, 12 - A, 13 - C, 14 - D, 15 - A, 16 - B, 17 - A, 18 - E, 19 - C, 20 - B, 21 - A.

Riddle: Their are three errers in this sentence. Can you find them? (Answer: The errors are “their,” “errers” and the third error is there are only two errors. Knowledge is the best and only way to eliminate misunderstandings.


Did you notice the 100% banner on the railing of Sunnyside School at the fairgrounds? Thank you, Vern, for helping to put this up.

John R. Eggers of Bemidji is a former university professor and area principal. He also is a writer and public speaker.