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Corrections - Saginaw Chippewa descendants remember and celebrate

 


A press release submitted to the Havre Daily News, which ran on Page A5 of Tuesday’s edition of the Havre Daily News, claimed that the family of the deceased Robert Gopher and Dorothy Gopher, own the 13-star Peace Flag that was presented to Native Americans at the signing of a treaty and had been held by an Indian individual named Ah-On-Te-Ways.

The release said the family was putting on a celebration of the bicentennial of the signing of the 1819 Saginaw Treaty between the United States and Chippewa, Ojibwe and other Native Americans.

A state District Court in 2012 found that Ah-On-Te-Ways had been the first trustee of a trust holding the flag for the entire band. The successive people who had possessed the flag, which went into the estate of Dorothy Gopher because she had not specified to whom the flag should go upon her death, had been held in trust by her and by her ancestors for the entire Ah-On-Te-Ways band, not for her family, the court found. The court imposed a constructive trust on the estate, appointed five trustees and ordered the estate to transfer the flag to the trustees.

Children of Dorothy Gopher, who was a member of the Blackfeet Tribe, had filed a motion in Blackfeet Tribal Court to name them personal representatives in their parents’ estates. In 2013, that court issued a ruling that it did not assert jurisdiction over the 13-star flag.

Children of Dorothy Gopher appealed to the Montana Supreme Court, which found that the state court did have jurisdiction and affirmed its decision.

The Havre Daily News attempted to contact Glen Gopher, who submitted the press release, but no one answered at the number provided.

 

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