The Ojibwe Division of Resource Management has officially denounced the proposed development of a golf course and hotel on Spirit Mountain. Gerald White, the Director of the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe Division of Resource Management sent a reprimanding letter to the Duluth City Council.
Spirit Mountain overlooks the mouth of the St. Louis River, the largest US tributary to Lake Superior. It holds the largest tract of old growth forest of its kind left in Minnesota and is sacred Anishinabe land. Environmentalists are concerned the development will increase pollutant runoff into the St. Louis River.
In the letter, White pointed out that his national Ojibwe office has been approved by the National Park Service and is authorized under the National Historic Preservation Act, a federal law. “Under this law, all agencies must consult with Indian Tribes when an undertaking affects Historic properties.”wrote White.
White’s letter to the council goes on to say,”Since we have an interest in this area, your city government should have notified our office and the other Ojibwe Bands in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Canada and you have failed to do so. It appears to me that capitalism is the driving force here and it also appears that the minority views are being pushed aside in the name of progress.”
Despite much controversy, the Spirit Mountain golf course work permits have been approved. A state Land and Water Conservation complication is currently the only thing stalling the construction.