Red Lake Nation accepts $18.5M for taking of land by energy firm

Members of the Red Lake Nation and supporters staged a protest in March 2013 against the unauthorized use of tribal land for a pipeline. Photo by Paul Seesequasis / Twitter

The Red Lake Nation of Minnesota agreed to a settlement for the illegal taking of its land by an energy company.

The tribe will receive $18.5 million from Enbridge, a Canadian company that currently owns the Lakehead Pipeline. The tribe never gave its permission for the pipeline, which was laid in 1950, and was never compensated until now.

"This is really a windfall for the tribe," Executive Administrator Charles Dolson told Minnesota Public Radio. "It's a total win for us."

The tribe will cede the half-acre site, which is located away from the main reservation, to Enbridge. The company agreed to buy the tribe another parcel in exchange, MPR reported.

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Enbridge settles $18.5M dispute with Red Lake (Minnesota Public Radio 12/31)