The White Earth Nation or White Earth Band of Ojibwe (Ojibwe: Gaa-waabaabiganikaag Anishinaabeg, lit. 'People from where there is an abundance of white clay') is a Native American band located in northwestern Minnesota. The band's land base is the White Earth Indian Reservation. Historically, the tribe was formed from the unification of Anishinaabe (Ojibwe) bands from the northern part of the state who were displaced by European settlement.
These bands are:
- Gull Lake Band of Mississippi Chippewa
- Removable Mille Lacs Indians
- Rabbit Lake Band of Mississippi Chippewa
- Rice Lake Band of Mississippi Chippewa
With 19,291 members in 2007, the White Earth Band is the largest of the six component bands of the federally recognized Minnesota Chippewa Tribe, formed after the 1934 Indian Reorganization Act. It is also the largest band in the state of Minnesota.
On March 19, 1867, the US Congress established the White Earth Indian Reservation for the Mississippi Chippewa Indians in Minnesota, following ratification of a treaty between them and the United States. Congress had several session agreements regarding the White Earth Band of Ojibwe. After hearing many complaints about the Pillagers, who were then landless, Congress authorized the relocation of the western Pillagers to the White Earth Indian Reservation. They had not been included in the 1855 Treaty of Washington (10 Stat. 1165), which was made with the eastern Pillagers at the Mississippi River headwaters. Eventually the Otter Tail Pillager Band of Chippewa Indians and Wild Rice River Pembina Band of Chippewa Indians also came to settle alongside the Mississippi Chippewa at White Earth Reservation and effectively became part of the White Earth Band.
Up until the Indian Reorganization Act of 1934, the six historical component bands located on the White Earth Indian Reservation acted independently of each other. Following the Reorganization Act, the six wrote a constitution to form the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe. They divided Minnesota into six Band districts, and unified those scattered Ojibwe bands that were not associated with the Red Lake Band of Chippewa, which did not join the Tribe.
The six component bands located on the White Earth Indian Reservation were unified into the single White Earth Band of Ojibwe of today. The six Minnesota Chippewa Tribe bands continue to enroll members separately, but also combine their numbers for the entire tribe. According to the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe, the White Earth Band had 19,291 enrolled members in July 2007. It is the largest of the six bands in the Tribe, and the largest of any band in the state.
- Vernon Bellecourt, activist and early leader of the American Indian Movement, founded in Minneapolis
- Charles Albert Bender - athlete and baseball pitcher, elected in 1953 to Baseball Hall of Fame
- Joe Guyon - Professional Football Hall of Fame, College Football Hall of Fame
- Clara Sue Kidwell, Director of the American Indian Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
- Winona LaDuke, founder of the White Earth Land Recovery Project in 1989, to purchase land for the tribe within the reservation boundaries, work for reforestation, and market traditional products, including wild rice; also two-time Green Party vice presidential nominee
- Anne McKeig, attorney and judge, appointed in June 2016 as the first Native American on the Minnesota State Supreme Court
- Jean O'Brien, historian who specializes in northeastern Woodlands American Indian history.
- Charlie Roy, professional baseball player in 1906
- Gerald Vizenor, scholar and writer
- Wabanquot (White Cloud), chief in the 19th century
- Peggy Flanagan, lieutenant governor and former Minnesota State Representative (D-46A)
- Robert Lilligren, first American Indian tribal member to serve on the Minneapolis City Council
- Konnie LeMay, "Bad Science Made Her Do It; That Is Become a Supreme Court Justice", Indian Country Today, 18 July 2016; accessed 19 July 2016
- Shaymus McLaughlin, Melissa Turtinen and Simeon Lancaster, "Anne McKeig: The 1st American-Indian on the MN Supreme Court", Bring Me the News, 28 June 2016; accessed 19 July 2016
- Treuer, Anton (2011). The Assassination of Hole in the Day. St. Paul: Minnesota Historical Society Press. ISBN 978-0873517799.
- Treuer, Anton (2010). Ojibwe in Minnesota. St. Paul: Minnesota Historical Society Press. ISBN 978-0873517683.
- White Earth Nation
- Bemaadizing: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Indigenous Life (An online journal)
- Eni–gikendaasoyang "Moving Towards Knowledge Together", Center for Indigenous Knowledge and Language Revitalization
- White Earth Tribal & Community College