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Red Lake Nation Foods
15761 High School Drive
Red Lake, MN 56671

Telephone: 218-679-2611

Year Started: 2004

# American Employees: 6
  The Red Lake Indian Reservation is located in northern Minnesota counties of Beltrami and Clearwater, approximately 30 miles north of Bemidji. There are four districts within the reservation which include Red Lake, Redby, Ponemah and Little Rock. Tribal headquarters are located in Red Lake. During the French period of the fur trade, the Dakota had a major village in Red lake. It was around 1796 that the Ojibwe settled along with the British Northwest Co. and a fur trading post was established in 1806. The Red lake Band, through treaties and agreements in 1863 (amended in 1864), 1889, 1892, 1904, and 1905, gave up land but never ceded the main reservation surrounding the Lower Red lake and a portion of Upper Red Lake. This unceded land is spoken of as the “diminished” reservation and “aboriginal” land. It is 407,730 acres. In addition, there are 229,300 acres of surface water area on both the lakes. Tribal leadership during the late 1800’s and early 1900’s skillfully resisted allotment legislation and held the land intact for the tribe as a whole. Today, the tribe’s Independence Day, July sixth is in honor of the courage of their chiefs in resisting allotment during the negotiations of the 1889 Nelson Act. The tribal government has full sovereignty over the reservation, subject only to federal legislation specifically intended to deal with Red Lake, which makes it a “closed” reservation. Only one other tribe in the United States resisted allotment, the Warm Springs Tribe in Oregon. The Tribe has the right to limit who can live on, or visit the reservation. It has never been subject to state law. Land that had been ceded but not sold was returned after 1934, this restored land amounted to 156,696 acres, it includes 70% of the Northwest Angle of Minnesota and land scattered between the reservation and the Canadian border. The reservation completely surrounds Lower Red Lake, the state’s largest lake, and includes a major portion of Upper Red Lake. The total land area, controlled by the Tribe, 564,426 acres, is about the size of Rhode Island. The land is slightly rolling and heavily wooded with 337,000 acres of commercial forestland under management. There are lakes, swamps, peat bogs and prairies with some land on the western side suitable for farming.  
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