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Local Briefs
Serving Those In Need
Thursday, January 09 2014
 
Written by Alfred Walking Bull,
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serving those in need.jpgCelebrating the holidays with family on the reservation is a tradition that's familiar to most Native Americans living in the Twin Cities. For Lorna Her Many Horses, known to most as Emmy, it's an opportunity to give back to the children and elders of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe.

It started as a personal summer cleaning project that quickly progressed into a relief mission for her home reservation. For the second-poorest reservation in the country with an unemployment rate as high as 85 percent, every day items like clothing can be a struggle for some to provide for children and elders, particularly in the more remote communities.

“Any time I have gone back, I've taken things that were mine that I didn't want anymore to the the Spotted Tail Family Center. This summer, I had a lot of friends who were just getting rid of stuff. In August, I just put something on Facebook, asking if people had items to go to the children's home. At first I thought, no one's going to give me anything and I was going to be embarrassed. But the more people who saw it, the more people contacted me about donating, I was overwhelmed.”

Fates of wild rice, mines intertwined in northern Minnesota
Thursday, January 09 2014
 
Written by Dan Kraker, Minnesota Public Radio News,
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fates of wild rice mines intertwined in northern mn 1.jpgWild rice, the iconic grain that grows across much of the northern half of the state, is at the center of a contentious debate over mining and the environment.

A 40-year-old state law limits how much of a mining byproduct called "sulfate" can be discharged into wild rice producing waters. Prompted by mining industry concerns that the standard is too stringent, the state has been giving it another look and will release results of its two-year study on Jan. 6.

For members of the state's Indian tribes, wild rice is sacred.

Jim Northrup, who has harvested wild rice on Perch Lake on the Fond du Lac reservation for over half a century, said the grain called "manomin" in Ojibwe is a gift from the Creator that led his people to first settle here.

"The old stories said we'd move west until we came to a spot where food grew on the water," Northrup said. "And that perfectly describes manomin. It's become our identity now. It's who we are."

Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges Looks Forward
Thursday, January 09 2014
 
Written by Alfred Walking Bull,
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mpls mayor hodges looks forward.jpgAfter a sound victory in the Nov. 5 election, Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges is looking forward to working on her goals for education, building relationships with the Native American community in Minneapolis and across the state.

In an interview, Hodges said she intends on keeping pre-Kindergarten development a priority as a means to make sure education is ingrained in children from an early age. “My Cradle to K Initiative, I'm really excited about. We already do good work here at the city, working with pregnant mothers and those children in the first couple years of life to make sure they're growing in a healthy way and have good, healthy brain development and seeing what we can do to bring people together to forward the agenda to expand that program,” she said. “So I'm excited about that because that's the first disparity that a kid faces, are they getting a healthy start, do they have the brain development that they need?”

New Year's Round Dance Provokes Arrest and Dissent
Thursday, January 09 2014
 
Written by Alfred Walking Bull,
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What was initially planned as a New Year's Eve celebration round dance on the one-year anniversary of an Idle No More solidarity demonstration turned into confrontation between Native American activists and Mall of America management.

Security was on high alert on New Year's Eve, asking patrons to open their coats and checking bags at every entrance. At the west parking entrance, security also asked patrons for identification before entering the shopping complex. The increased presence was used to identify any individuals carrying a hand drum for the aborted round dance.

Organizers Patricia Shepard, Idle No More-Minnesota, and Reyna Crow, Idle No More Duluth, were arrested and charged with criminal trespassing after refusing to leave, directly after a press conference held outside of the Mall of America. They were released later that evening but their arrest sparked outrage from Native activists from across the region.


Police brutality cause for ballot issue
Thursday, January 09 2014
 
Written by Jamie Keith,
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The Committee For Professional Policing is working to pass an amendment to the Minneapolis City Charter, which would be voted on as a ballot issue in the November 2014 election. This amendment would require police officers to carry personal liability insurance, much like the malpractice insurance doctors are required to carry.
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