Bois Forte Chippewa receive important archive of land records

ELY, Minn. (AP) – The Bois Forte Band of Chippewa is the recipient of a valuable collection of documents of the prominent Ely-based forester and land appraiser J. William John Trygg.

When Trygg died in 1971, he left an exhaustive record of his surveys of northeastern Minnesota forests spanning the 1920s to the 1960s. He also collected tens of thousands of pages of field notes and maps left by 19th-century land surveyors.

In the 1960s, Trygg’s mastery of land surveys was called upon to substantiate claims by Indian tribes that they had not been fairly paid for lands they ceded to the U.S. government in the 1800s. It resulted in greater compensation to Indians for their lands.

Last week, Trygg’s daughter-in-law Louise presented a copy of his vast archive to the Bois Forte Heritage and Cultural Museum on Lake Vermillion. Executive Director Rose Berens says it will be valuable in helping future generations reconstruct the area’s history.

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