Below is a simple timeline outlining major milestones relevant to the Fire Light Treaty case.

June 7th, 2021

The Encampment Begins

June 8th, 2021

Sacred Fire Is Lit

Anishinaabe & invited guests begin ceremony at Mississippi. A sacred fire is lit.

June 14th, 2021

Citations Issued

The Minnesota Court of Appeals issues a split-decision ruling that Enbridge’s Line 3 Pipeline met the criteria for the “Certificate of Need” permit issued by the PUC, interpreting the “Need” to be that of the Canadian tar sand oil shippers, not Minnesota & the surrounding region as part of Minnesota’s Environmental Protection Act. Citations are issued by Clearwater County Sheriff’s Department for participants of Fire Light Encampment after 8 days of ceremony.

Dec 6th, 2021

Arraignment in Clearwater County Court

Most defendants have their arraignment, and are scheduled for a pre-trial either on January 3rd or February 14th. Some defendants ask for a written complaint, and are scheduled for either arraignment or pre-trial.

Jan 3rd, 2022

Defense Submits Motion for Continuance

Attorney Kira Kelley asks for a continuance and tells the judge that clients are considering joining cases. Judge said they’d consider allowing joinder in pairs.

February 23rd, 2021

Native Fire Light Participants transferred to Tribal Court

April 21st, 2022

Continuance of Contested Omnibus in Clearwater County Court

Judge DeSanto consents to all non-Native defendants to proceed as one due to strength and solidarity of community appeal.

June 27th, 2022

White Earth Tribal Court Dismisses Charges

Indigenous Defendants Cases dismissed from White Earth Tribal Court

July 28th, 2022

Contested Omnibus Hearing for non-Native Defendants

Remaining non-native Fire Light Defendants arrive in what is now called Bagley, Minnesota, for a contested omnibus hearing in the Clearwater County District Court.

Sept. 12th, 2022

Defense Submits Brief

Defense attorneys Kira Kelley and Claire Glenn submit briefs to Clearwater County Court summarizing legal defense. Access the brief by clicking here.

Oct. 14th, 2022

State Prosecutor Submits Brief

County Prosecutor Kathryn Lorsbach submits response briefing 11 days after court-ordered deadline which represents the state’s argument against defendants. Access the brief by clicking here.

Oct. 25, 2022

Defense Submits Response Brief

Attorneys and Pro-Se Fire Light Defendants submit response briefing to Clearwater County Court. Click to View the Brief.

November 30th, 2023

Judge Desanto Denies Motion to Dismiss

Clearwater County District Judge DeSanto rejects defendants’ arguments and denies motion to dismiss finding probable cause exists for the cases to proceed to trial.

January 12th, 2023

Scheduling Hearing

Defendants attend court remotely via zoom.

February 8th, 2023

Plea Hearing

Defendants attend court remotely via zoom.

April 19, 2023

Pre-Trial Hearing

Remote zoom hearing discussing admissible elements of trial.

April 24, 2023

Judge Maturi Rules on Admissible Elements

Maturi determines treaty-based claim of right arguments will be allowed to proceed.

April 25, 2023

State Prosecutor Dismisses All Charges

Prosecutor Kathryn Lorsbach cites prosecutorial discretion to dismiss all charges. Read Defendant Press Release!

We Are Here!

Join us for a Post-Dismissal Press Conference & Dialogue via Zoom on Tuesday May 9th, 11a-1pm via Zoom!