News Item
White Earth Nation and Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe to present tribal flags to Hennepin County District Court

Posted: Friday, November 16, 2018

Representatives from the White Earth Nation and the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe will present their tribal flags for installation in the newest courtroom at the Juvenile Justice Center that will be used for most cases under the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA).
Minnesota Supreme Court Justice Anne McKeig will welcome the group.
On behalf of Judge David Piper, presiding judge of Juvenile Court, Hennepin County American Indian Community Relations specialist Terri Yellowhammer approached the tribes with the request to acknowledge the sovereignty of the tribal nations represented by the American Indian families served through the court system. Yellowhammer intends to approach the remaining nine tribes in Minnesota with the hope all of the tribal flags will be represented.  
During the ceremony Judge Piper will announce a process through which families interested in smudging or burning sage may do so upon timely request to the court. Smudging is a practice through which many native people purify, or calm themselves, through the use of sage, a traditional medicine.
ICWA is a federal law enacted in 1978 to rectify the removal of Indian children from their homes, often done without regard to their native heritage. Minnesota’s counterpart to ICWA is the Minnesota Indian Family Preservation Act (MIFPA).
Tuesday, November 20, 2018
1 p.m. – Program starts
Juvenile Justice Center
590 Park Avenue
Courtroom 3D, on the 3rd Floor
Minneapolis, MN  55415
Judge David Piper, Justice Anne McKeig, Terri Yellowhammer, representatives from the White Earth Nation and the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe

The event is open to the public, with community partners and those who serve the families expected to be in attendance. Photography will be permitted. 
Justice McKeig was appointed to the Fourth District Court bench in 2008 by Gov. Tim Pawlenty. She served in Criminal and Family Court, serving as Presiding Judge over Family Court from 2013-2016. She was appointed to the Supreme Court by Gov. Mark Dayton in 2016.