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MN Tribes Outlaw Wolf Hunt; Protesters Vow To End It

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- Minnesota's first regulated wolf hunting season will start Saturday, amid controversy.

Reyna Crow with Northwoods Wolf Alliance traveled to St. Paul Friday to join a couple dozen protesters outside DNR headquarters. She says the protestors' goal is "to protect the wolf long term in Minnesota, whether that takes us a year, two, three or 10."

Menacing to some, the once endangered wolves hold sacred status among the state's Indian population. To the Ojibwe or Anishinaabe people, the wolf is considered original man's ancient brother, jointly tasked with naming everything on earth; from plants to animals, even insects. That's why wolf hunting is illegal on all Minnesota Indian reservations. Some are even putting out alerts to hunters to make sure they know their land is considered a wolf sanctuary.

Sandy Lake Band of Mississippi Chippewa Chairwoman Sandy Skinaway said, "If [hunters] do get caught by the tribal authorities they will be prosecuted."

DNR officials say while some are against the wolf hunt, it is necessary to help curb things like wolves feeding on livestock. DNR officials will be monitoring the results of this year's wolf hunt, but what that means for possible future hunts is unclear. Regardless, protesters say they won't stop until no guns, bows or traps are targeting wolves.

"We're going to keep doing this," Skinaway said. "We're going to keep fighting it until this is stopped in its entirety."

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