Open Standard Media Player version 1.3
RED CLIFF - The first tribal national park opened up in the Northland Friday.
The Frog Bay Tribal National Park has been in the works for more than a year.
Red Cliff tribal leaders opened the park.
"It's demonstrating our sovereignty,” Red Cliff Council member Bryan Bainbridge said. “That we’re our own Red Cliff nation and to have our own national park it speaks for itself."
More than a hundred community members gathered for the dedication.
The boreal forest was privately owned but after grants and the owner donated half the lands value it became the Red Cliffs.
"He knew it was Red Cliffs some generations ago,” said Bainbridge. “He was kind enough to let us have the opportunity to reclaim it."
"The boreal forest is very important and anytime any of it can be preserved its really special," said Judy Larsen of Bayfield.
The nearly 90 acre land is seated in the Red Cliff Indian Reservation surrounded by Lake Superior.
"It will be left in its natural state, no development of any kind except rustic trails," said Bainbridge.
The parks trail starts at the entrance and ends at the beach.
"The forest is magnificent," said Larsen. "You'll be able to take your shoes off, get your bare feet on the ground and just sit."
Tribal members say the park has more to offer than the view and natural trail.
"It will be used as a tool to teach of how important this natural resources is," said Bainbridge.
Expanded trails and a suspension bridge will be added to the park in the fall 2013.