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Minnesota tribe asks: Can wild rice have its own legal rights?

Minnesota’s natural wild rice holds deep cultural, spiritual and economic importance for the state’s American Indian tribes. Now, in one part of the state at least, the native grass holds even more: its own legal rights. Girding for a fight against a proposed oil pipeline, the state’s largest Indian tribe, the White Earth Band of Ojibwe, has passed a tribal law granting wild rice its own enforceable legal rights, much like those enjoyed by American citizens.

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