Update: Body of Mille Lacs Band member released to family


Members of the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe demanded the body of one of its recently deceased spiritual leaders be released to his family because doing an autopsy would violate their spiritual beliefs.

And their efforts were successful.

A district judge ordered the body of 65-year-old Mushkoop Aubid be given to his family, and on Monday morning they were able to bring his body home for a proper burial, the Duluth News Tribune reports.

This embed is invalid

Aubid died over the weekend after crashing into a utility pole while driving westbound on Highway 210 in Carlton County, the State Patrol incident report shows. And because authorities believed a medical condition led to the crash, Aubid's body was taken to the University of Minnesota Duluth medical school for an autopsy, which was scheduled for Tuesday, the Duluth News Tribune reported. Aubid had a known heart condition.

But Aubid's family and members of the band had asked officials to let them take his body home without an autopsy, because doing one violates their spiritual beliefs, which require the body remain intact and the mouth be sewn shut, among other practices, the newspaper says.

Emily Johnson, who works on the staff of the chief executive of the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe, had told the Northland's NewsCenter that doing an autopsy against the family's will violates the American Indian Religious Freedom Act with regard to burial rights.

Family members and members of the band were at the university Sunday singing traditional songs and lighting a fire to honor Aubid. They vowed to stay there until his body was released.

Aubid's family has faced this before, the Duluth News Tribune says. When his father, George Aubid, died about 25 years ago, Mushkoob Aubid took his body from the hospital and despite the threat of prosecution, Northland's NewsCenter notes.

Next Up

Byron Buxton

Alex Colomé wastes Buxton's diving catch, clutch bomb

The Twins' bullpen woes continued in a loss to the A's.

Northern Metals

Firefighters battling large blaze at Northern Metal site in Minneapolis

The fire sent a plume of thick smoke into the skyline.

Screen Shot 2021-04-21 at 12.10.00 PM

Charges: St. Cloud woman maced, fatally stabbed man in alley

A 36-year-old man was pronounced dead at St. Cloud Hospital 32 minutes after the 911 call was made.


Gasthof's building in Northeast Minneapolis is for sale

The restaurant opened in 1992 and has been closed amid the COVID-19 pandemic.


1 dead in single-vehicle crash in Kandiyohi County

Deaths on Minnesota roads are up approximately 20% from the same point last year.

Irwin Jacobs home

Neighbor sues to block estate from dividing billionaire's Lake Minnetonka property

The estate of Irwin Jacobs wants to build six new homes on the late businessman's property.


In the better burger battle, does Culver's trump In-N-Out?

A website says Culver's is far superior to In-N-Out.

George Floyd mural

Darnella Frazier, who filmed the video of Floyd's arrest, reacts to guilty verdict

Frazier's video challenged the initial narrative of Floyd's arrest presented by the Minneapolis Police Department.

Burnsville police shooting

Man fatally shot by police near I-35W in Burnsville is identified

The suspect killed in the incident is from western Wisconsin.


Fond du Lac Band to choose leader Tuesday

Voting members of the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa will choose the next chair of their Reservation Business Committee. The position oversees a budget of about $180 million and businesses, including a casino amid a legal battle with the city of Duluth. Pete DeFoe is challenging incumbent Karen Diver for the four-year term.