Local Briefs
Preying on the poor, Enbridge seeks millions in tax rebates
Tuesday, April 04 2017
Written by Winona LaDuke,
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enbridge-pipeline.jpgEnbridge is seeking tens of millions of dollars in tax rebates from Minnesota counties, in a court case against some of the thirteen counties which presently have Enbridge lines. At the same time, nationally and internationally, Enbridge moves ahead with so called “green washing” and “red washing”. It may be time to quit taking candy from the corporation.  

The Minnesota Supreme Court has ordered a Minnesota Tax Court to determine if thirteen northern (mostly poor)  counties owe Enbridge back taxes. And it’s a lot.

Red Lake County, with 4000 people (many of them Ojibwe), faces some financial losses.  According to the Star Tribune, “Enbridge is its largest taxpayer, and the county had a total levy last year of $2.6 million. County auditor Bob Schmitz says that if Enbridge prevails, the county could be on the hook  to Enbridge for $3.5 million. “How do we possibly get the money to pay them back?”   

“It’s scary for us,” Allen Paulson, Clearwater County’s auditor, told the  Star Tribune. “If Enbridge wins its appeal, the [tab for the county] will be $7.2 million, and our levy is $6.8 million.”

Clearwater County faces the biggest hit because it’s home not only to pipelines, but an Enbridge tank farm and terminal in the town of Clearbrook.

All of this becomes pretty pertinent when we are discussing a brand new pipeline through new poor counties, whose greatest asset is their clean water.  While the company is squeezing some poor counties, it  continues to make hefty profits from the transport of oil through our territories; and it hopes to paint a good picture with donations to tribes and environmental causes. This is called “red washing” and “green washing”. Let me explain how this looks.

Greenwashing:  Eco Grants from Enbridge were around $l.2 million a couple of years ago (the last update is from 2015).

We really should be taking care of the water, the pollinators, and our land. Enbridge has been trying; they’ve doled out a chunk for small wind, playgrounds, and even the Mississippi Headwaters Foundation got a grant from them to look at protecting the water.

This is a bit ironic because two of the single largest threats to the water up north are oil pipelines and climate change; both of which are squarely in Enbridge’s plans. Enbridge is battling to not have to clean up the past mess they have made, and instead wants to abandon pipelines and make a new mess.  There is, frankly,  no amount of greenwashing that will clean up  those hydrocarbons.

Red Washing: Enbridge’s brand of red washing is to offer water bottles to White Earth’s Rice Lake village, when the power outage caused the water system to break down this past summer. After Bad River announced it was not renewing Enbridge’s easment, the corporation offered  food to the Bad River tribe for their food pantry  (Bad River did not take the food).

This is likely just the beginning. Powwow season is upon us and with federal budget cuts, Enbridge will likely be trying to make friends in poor communities who are facing more cut backs.
Maybe someone should ask why the infrastructure in northern tribal communities is so shaky, and why it is that l3l first nations in Canada have drinking water advisories. 

The problem with red washing is the huge implications as projects are forced ahead, with corporations making the appearance that they are good neighbors. Clayton Thomas Muller, a Winnipeg based Cree writer, talks about this problem, “The problem here is that we rarely talk about what those communities are giving up by providing social license to corporations to be able to state that, for example, they are sending our youth to university. Sure, corporations such as Syncrude and Petro Canada/Suncor are some of the largest employers of Indigenous peoples in the country (with Canada’s mining companies following in second place), but their ecological footprint on our way of life is not exactly something we should be cheering about….the cumulative impacts of corporations’ ecological footprint – which includes thrusting the costs of cleaning up their mess to local communities – has a long-term, devastating effect on our collective rights and title, our lands, our waters and our health.”

And so here we are. The Enbridge Company seeks a social license to move ahead in Minnesota; but let’s look at what we have. The two largest oil spills on the Mainland were on Enbridge lines – the Kalamazoo Spill, and the Prairie River Spill. On  March 3, in 1991, the Line 3 pipeline ruptured near Grand Rapids, spilling over 1.7 million gallons of oil into the Prairie River, after a delayed response by Lakehead Pipeline, Enbridge’s predecessor. 

The company lost its battle for the Sandpiper fracked oil pipeline through our territory, but then moved to the Dakota Access Pipeline. After the September 4th use of dogs on our people, I called Enbridge’s Linda Coady, the Director of Sustainability, and Enbridge’s “Indian Listener”. I asked her to use Enbridge’s one third ownership of the proposed Dakota Access Pipeline (at that point in financial straits) to demilitarize the battlefield, condemn the destruction of sacred sites, and call for an environmental impact statement. That would be Minnesota Nice. 

I wrote to the CEO Al Monaco, asking for Enbridge to uphold the “Aboriginal People’s Policy” which they have signed. The company did nothing, electing to let our unarmed people be injured and take bullets, tear gas and compression grenades. 

To be clear, Enbridge is responsible for  28% of the tanks, rubber bullets, tear gas, and the arrests and injuries. They should have no social license here. As powwow season approaches, please do not let Enbridge underwrite our powwows. 

After all, if the village of Rice Lake had no good water, shouldn’t they improve the  water system for the village? Or at least, not threaten the water of the region with leaking pipelines. And, instead of making more  pollution in our territory, how about they clean it up.

The company estimates  over half a million structural anomalies in Line 3, or about 1 every 10 feet. Enbridge Integrity Supervisor Laura Kennett has testified, “I consider Line 3 to be in the deterioration stage … as external corrosion growth is increasing in an exponential fashion.”

One might ask Enbridge, with a 5.7 billion renewable energy portfolio, why that renewable energy  is not offered to our region. Finally, Enbridge testified two years ago that it makes $550 million annually in profits from the transportation of oil across our lands. That’s after they pay all the salaries and expenses. 

Enbridge is trying to pull back the tax money it paid to the good state of Minnesota, while at the same time it tries to offer candy to our tribes. We need to remember what our moms told us long ago, “that is a bad man you don’t take candy from.”
Green washing and red washing only work for a short time. That time is over.   

Winona LaDuke is founder and ED of Honor The Earth .

Tuesday, March 14 2017
Written by The Circle,
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Thru March 25
INDIgenesis: Indigenous Filmmakers Past and Present

Walker Art Center Presents INDIgenesis: Indigenous Filmmakers Past and Present, Programmed in Collaboration with Missy Whiteman. Several filmmakers will be present through the run of INDIgenesis to talk about their work including, Lyle Corbine, Missy Whiteman, Zack and Adam Khalil, Heather Rae and Cody Lucich. Unless otherwise noted, tickets are $10 ($8 Walker members) and programs are in the Walker Cinema. For info, see: or call 612-375-7600.
•March 10-11: The Searchers, Directed by Zacharias Kunuk and Natar Ungalaaq. 2016, Canada, in Inuktitut with English subtitles, 94 minutes. 7:30 pm.
• March 11: DNA/Memory: Storytelling and Cultural Heritage, Director Lyle Corbine in Person. 2 pm. Free.
• March 16: Area Premiere of The Coyote Way: Going Back Home, Director Missy Whiteman in Person. 7:30 pm. Free. The film was shot in the Minneapolis neighborhoods of Phillips and Little Earth. 2016, US, 30 minutes.
• March 17: INAATE/SE, Directors Zack and Adam Khalil in Person. 6:30 pm.
• March 18: INAATE/SE, Directors Zack and Adam Khalil in Person.7:30 pm
• March 24: Trudell, Director Heather Rae in Person. 7:30 pm. Free.
• March 25: Views from Standing Rock, Filmmakers Heather Rae and Cody Lucich in Person. 7:30 pm. Free

March 5
Book Release Open House

Join Birchbark Books for an open house in celebration of a new collection of poems by Heid E. Erdrich. The deeply eco-poetic poems in Curator of Ephemera at the New Museum for Archaic Media speak to the keen human yearning to connect as they urge engagement of the image, the moment, the sensual, and the real. Heid will be reading at 4:30 - 5:30 pm. Cover artist Andrea Carlson will also be present for a signing opportunity. Refreshments will be served 4 - 6 pm. Free. Bockley Gallery (near Birchbark Books), 2123 W 21st Street, Minneapolis.

March 6, 10, 24
New Native Theatre/Ernest Briggs Acting Workshops

This is an opportunity for those interested in learning more about the acting profession and for those who want to work on their craft. $15 for each workshop. All workshops take place at Minnesota Chippewa Tribe Urban Office, Community Room, 1308 E Franklin Ave., Minneapolis. For info or to RSVP, email:  This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it Times and Topics:
• March 6: Beginning Acting for the Stage, 6-8 pm
• March 10: Preparing the Audition Monologue, 6-8 pm
• March 24: How to be a Professional Actor Q&A, 6-8 pm

March 7
Indian Child Welfare Education Day

Please join us as we share the strengths and wisdom within our community. Co-Sponsored by Mitchell Hamline School of Law. Registration 8 am. Programing, 8:30 am – 4 pm. Free. CEU’s will be provided. Lunch provided. Mitchell Hamline School of Law, 875 Summit Ave., Saint Paul. For info, contact Sandy White Hawk at: This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it or 651-442-4872.

March 7
On the Red Road AA meeting

Speaker and pot luck meal. Every first Tuesday of the month. The event is free. Minneapolis American Indian Center Auditorium, 1530 E Franklin, Minneapolis. For info, contact Betty Moore at 612-387-4463. Future dates include:  
• April 4
• May 2
• June 6

March 7
Drum Group

MAAMAWI GIGIKENDAASOMIN (TOGETHER WE LEARN). Reduce substance abuse among at-risk Urban American Indian youth by promoting protective factors through experiential experiences that both challenge the youth and help them reconnect to their culture. For Native male teens 8-18 years old. 5 – 6 pm. Minneapolis American Indian Center, 1530 E Franklin, Minneapolis. For info, call 612-871-4555.

March 8
Red Power Energy

The Augsburg Native American Film Series Presents Red Power Energy. Oglala Lakota Director, Larry Pourier will host a screening of the film he co-directed. This documentary presents a variety of Native American perspectives on the energy debates that highlight the controversial nature of energy development within Native community self-determination, sovereignty, and environmental sustainability. Told solely from the Native perspective, with a nearly all-Native film crew and all-Native Advisory Council, the film features Western and Great Plains American Indian tribes from North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, Wyoming and Colorado. Augsburg College, Sateren Auditorium, Music Hall, 715 22nd Ave S., Mpls. Reception 6:15 - 6:45 pm. Screening begins at 7 pm. Discussion with filmmakers follows. Free to the public. For info, see:

March 8-10
11th Annual Community Wellness Summit

The Eleventh Annual Red Lake Community Wellness Summit. Community Members, Tribal Programs, School Personnel, Mental Health Services and other programs and services from all nations are welcome. Register on site. Free and open to the public with lunch provided each day. Workshops and presentations held from 9 am to 4 pm each day, Friday until noon. Each morning will feature key-note speakers with workshops in the afternoon. Round Dance  on the second night. Seven Clans Casino Hotel & Events Center in Red Lake. For info, call Marilyn Mountain at 679-3321 or Salena Beasley at 679-1543.

March 10

AIOIC will be hosting a Fix-It-Tech event from 1 to 5 pm. Computer not working right? Get a FREE TUNE-UP. Get patches, anti-virus installed and much more. Labor is Free. If parts are needed, volunteers will provide consultation on items and various sources. Bring laptops, desktop towers, with power cords to work with volunteers to repair your device. Learn troubleshooting, get advice and help with smartphones and tablets. AIOIC, Takoda Institute of Higher Education, 1845 Franklin Ave E, Minneapolis. For info, see: or email: FixItTechMN@

March 11
Tiwahe Return Journey Fundraiser

Tiwahe Return Journey: Fundraiser to the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. An intimate evening of extraordinary insights, stories, and songs from inspiring indigenous human rights observers, traditional Oceti Sakowin (Seven Council Fires) knowledge keepers, and empowering indigenous musical artists. Enjoy a meal from an indigenous chef as a community gathers to support the LaPointe tiwahe (family) in their return journey to the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues 16th Session. 6 -8:30 pm. NACDI, All My Relations Gallery, 1414 E Franklin Ave, Minneapolis. Registration is not required, but encouraged. Send RSVPs to This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

March 11
MPS Indian Education Spring Gathering

MPS Indian Education will be hosting their annual Spring Gathering, Public Hearing and Title IV Parent Committee Elections. 11 am to 2 pm. Light lunch provided. Door prizes. Minneapolis American Indian Center, 1530 E Franklin Ave., Mpls. For more info, contact Christine Wilson at 612-668-0108 or This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

March 15 (deadline)
IAIA Low Rez MFA Program

Financial aid is still available for Native American/ First Nations candidates. The Institute of American Indian Arts' Low Residency MFA’s mission "to empower creativity and leadership in Native arts and cultures through higher education, lifelong learning, and outreach" means that the program and the literature we read carry a distinct Native American and First Nations emphasis. The program has graduated 40 students with their MFAs. 60 students are currently enrolled in four tracks-poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, and screenwriting.  For info, go to: /degree-programs/creative-writing-mfa. Or contact Jon Davis at: This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

March 16
Seventh Fire March

The Augsburg Native American Film Series’ The Seventh Fire will air at the University of St. Thomas. From executive producers Terrence Malick, Natalie Portman and Chris Eyre comes a fascinating new documentary by Jack Pettibone Riccobono, The Seventh Fire. When Rob Brown, a Native American gang leader on a remote Minnesota reservation, is sentenced to prison for a fifth time, he must confront his role in bringing violent drug culture into his beloved Ojibwe community. As Rob reckons with his past, his seventeen-year-old protégé, Kevin, dreams of the future: becoming the most powerful and feared Native gangster on the reservation. Screening: 1:30 - 3:10 pm. This event is free to the public. The University of St. Thomas, John Roach Center auditorium (JRC 126), corner of Summit and Cleveland Avenues. For info, see:

March 16
Dismantling Doctrine of Discovery

In 2012 the United Methodist Church voted to dismantle the doctrine of discovery and begin making acts of repentance for the church’s part in the treatment of Native peoples in North America. This event is a part of the education of church members and the wider community, and is meant to make an opportunity for truth telling, listening and relationship building. Conversation led by Director and Producer Sheldon Wolfchild, Jim Bear Jacobs, Bob Klanderud and Joann Conroy. Bishop Ough will be available to answer questions. 6:30 - 9 pm. Free meal from 5:30 - 6:30 pm at this venue. Food by Howasta Means of Gatherings Cafe. St Anthony Park UMC, 2200 Hillside Ave, Saint Paul. RSVP to Bill Konrardy at 612-310-3602 for the meal portion.

March  17
Dream Weavers meeting

The Dream Weavers Community Partnership (DWA) invites professional helpers to attend our next meeting. Become a member of DWA and support the efforts to address the many issues involved in the sexual assault of Native American women. The Indigenous Women’s Life Net is a culturally specific program for Native American victims of sexual assault. 10 am to Noon. Minneapolis American Indian Center, 1530 East Franklin Ave., Minneapolis. For info, contact Jessica Owen at 612-871-4555.

March 17, 18

The Augsburg Native American Film Series’ INAATE/Se by directors Zack and Adam Khalil. This experimental documentary is part of the INDIgenesis: Indigenous Filmmakers, Past and Present program at the Walker and explores the Ojibwe story of the Seven Fires Prophecy, which has been interpreted as predicting the arrival of the Europeans in North America and the subsequent destruction they caused. Bold, smart, and unflinching, the film examines the relationship between cultural tradition and modern indigenous identity. The Augsburg Native American Film Series is proving 50 free tickets to each screening:  March 17 at 6:30 pm at the Walker Cinema and March 18 at 7:30 pm at the Walker Cinema. Contact M. Elise Marubbio ( This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it or 612-330-1523) to be put on a reserve ticket list. For info, see:

March 19
Marcie Rendon and Carter Meland

Birchbark Books welcomes Minnesota Anishinaabe authors Marcie Rendon and Carter Meland for a book reading, reception, and signing in celebration of their debut novels. Rendon will be reading from her new mystery novel Murder on the Red River. Meland will be reading from his novel Stories for a Lost Child. 7 pm. Lake of the Isles Lutheran Church, 2020 W Lake of the Isles Parkway, Mpls.

March 21
Foster Care and Adoption Information Meeting

Learn more about the ways you can help children though foster care or adoption. No registration needed. Free. 5:30 to 7:30 pm. Hennepin County Library – North Regional, 1315 Lowry Ave.N., Minneapolis. For info, see or call 612-348-5437.

March 25
Help reimagine the Jeffers Petroglyphs

The Minnesota Historical Society (MNHS) invites your input in renaming this historic site. We are committed to reinterpretation that showcases the importance of this special place. Our hope is that MNHS will better tell the story of the carvings and the people who made them. We seek your thoughts and ideas, and invite you to attend this meeting where we can review the current interpretation and discuss a more accurate name for this important site. Food and beverages will be provided. 1 - 4 pm. Jeffers Petroglyphs, 27160 County Road 2, Comfrey, MN. Event may be canceled due to weather conditions. If a decision is made to cancel the event, a recorded message at 507-628-5591 will confirm cancellation.

March 25
Augsburg 9th Traditional Powwow

Grand Entries at 1 and 6 pm. Honorariums for registered dancers and drums. Dancer honorarium: Registered dancers only, must be in full regalia. Drum honorarium: Split for first 10 registered drum groups, 5 singer minimum, no drum hopping. Registration for drums and dancers starts at 11 am. No pre-registration. Craft and informational vendors are welcome (no food vendors or colleges/universities). Space is limited, first-come, first-served. Email or call for more information. 3:00 p.m. – Honoring for Augsburg American Indian Graduates. Free admission, all are welcome. There will be no feast this year. Dinner on your own or concessions are available. Si Melby Gymnasium, 715 23rd Ave. S, Minneapolis. For info, contact Jennifer Simon at This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it or 612-330-1144 or see:

March 25
Bluedog CD Release

Bluedog’s Red, White and Blues CD release party. There will be a Mexican moonshine tasting at Golden's Lowertown. Food, art and music. All local, all fresh. Starts at 6 pm. Tequila tastings from 6-8 pm. $6 Moonshine Margaritas. Free giveaways and specials. Free event. Golden’s Lowertown, 275 E. 4th St., St Paul.

March 28
Support for the Soul

Peer support group for HIV positive people. Runs every last Tuesday of every month from 6 - 8 pm. This event is exclusively for those who are HIV positive. The meeting provides time for HIV positive people to meet with peers to form a stronger community. Clients will get a chance to speak about any problems or challenges they face due to being HIV positive and come up with ideas and ways they may overcome those challenges. The event is free. IPTF, 1335 E. 23rd St., Minneapolis. For info, call 612-889-4636 or email: This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

March 29
FAN Wellness Support Circle

Are you Native/Indigenous and looking for chronic illness support? Join us, the Native/Indigenous FAN Wellness Support Circle, for a meal and good company every last Wed. of the month, from 6 - 8 pm. MAIC, 1530 E. Franklin Ave., Mpls. For info, contact Val Lafave at 612-879-1722 or  This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

March 31
4th Annual Mille Lacs Quiz Bowl

The Onamia Indian Education Department’s Fourth Annual Quiz Mille Lacs Quiz Bowl. Registration: 9 - 9:30 am. The competition will begin at 9:30 am. The registration fee is $100.00 per team, and is non-refundable. Register by March 24th. You may mail the team registration along with the fee or e-mail a copy of the registration to Chris Nayquonabe at This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it and send your fee in the mail. Send checks and registration to: Onamia Public Schools, Indian Education Department, Attn: Chris Nayquonabe, 35465 125th Ave, Onamia, MN 56359. Event held at the Rolf Olsen Center, 807 Main St. W., Onamia, MN. For info, call 320-532-6839.

March 31-April 2
All-Nations Basketball Tournament

DIVISIONS: 16 Mens Teams, 8 High School Boys: C/O 2017 eligible, 8 High School Girls: C/O 2017 eligible. Entry fee: $400 Mens/ $200 HS Boys & Girls. Due by March 17 to confirm spot. Entry fee is non-refundable. Lots of cash prizes. All proceeds will sponsor Onamia Indian Education Quiz Bowl teams. Admission costs: students and adults are $10 weekend pass, or $5 day pass; Age 0-6 and 60+ are free.  Grand Casino Mille Lacs Hotel & Casino. Call for block of rooms to 320-532-7777. For info, contact Byron Ninham at 320-362-1023 or This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it


Tuesday, March 14 2017
Written by Ricey Wild,
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The Oceti Sakowin camp has been cleared by heavily militarized police, but what happened there this past year is forever. WE THE PEOPLE showed up in the thousands to protect our water and support the Standing Rock Sioux Nation in their fight against big oil. I am so very proud and grateful to all whom contributed in any way to resist the hateful and greedy monsters behind the pipeline – including #45, who received $100,000 in campaign donations from the DAPL conglomerate.

I envied those who were able to go there and represent. But I believe everyone who felt strongly about the cause has directly impacted it as well – including those who prayed and helped keep the story relevant. Bless all of you for standing up for what really matters for our future generations.

Living in Rezberry I have well water and I didn’t like it at first because it smelled funny. I was used to city water, which is treated with who knows what…yet now I am very conscious of every precious drop that comes out of the faucets and I am thankful for it. However, I am keenly aware of the fact there are many pipelines that run underneath this land and I get all anxious and mad. Not for my ole carcass but for all humanity in this insane world we live in now.

Keep in mind that the dirty, tar sands oil will not benefit Americans at all for cheaper gas prices. It will come from Canada through multiple states and then be sold to China, which has mass pollution. Will we be the next to have to wear surgical masks outside? Oklahoma is now the earthquake epicenter because of fracking, which has clearly been identified as the cause. The good news is that more people are waking to the ugly truth; that we are being sacrificed so the 2% can continue their luxurious lives.

Just last month NASA identified planets similar to Earth in orbit around a star outside our galaxy that may support life. Soooo….my question is ‘do the 2% know something we don’t about lifting off to another Earth-like terrain’? I remember a movie like that. Hey, I’m all good with getting rid of those evil viruses but we cannot let them leave us with the mess they left Our Mother in. Oh no! They have a lot to answer for and I volunteer to crack the whip on those over-privileged, whiny babies on clean-up duties. (Not a slur on babies).

I’ve been severely depressed for way too long and the situation we Americans are experiencing now due to Pootin’ and his puppet #45 threw me down in a way I wasn’t prepared for. I am, however, becoming hopeful with the recent pushback by American citizens who are refusing to put up with this Pootin’ Puppet President – who has clearly been appointed into office as was W Bush by the SCOTUS. I almost wrote something else. Ahem!

On the home front I’m happy to report I have plenty (as of this writing) of toilet paper, cat litter and mac & cheese. Life is good. I miss my son and granddaughters and I pray I get to see them soon. I made my Gramma Rose some short ribs in the slow cooker; I will see her and I am bringing a pie, too. I’m also gonna go play penny poker with my friends and take their money like last time, then go to the casino and double it ;). My favorite TV channel is VICELAND and I encourage ya’ll to watch it if you can. Wake up!

Spirits, our ancestors, are with us in this most critical of times. The elites are counting on us to just lay down, but that’s not happened, nor ever it will.
My dear friend Diane E., whom I only know from facebook (for now), wrote something that resonates with me and I feel better for it in our mutual disgust of U.S. politics; all we have is each other. I take heart from her statement in that WE, the collective WE, have the power.

How else have WE Indigenous Peoples of Turtle Island survived complete genocide thus far? My belief is that we possess a priceless treasure, and those who don’t have it envy us. And what is that? Spirituality. That is why they have to kill us. I miss you John Trudell.

Just an FYI? WE don’t hate, WE relate. Every human breathing air right now has suffered abuse in their life no matter our skin color or ‘class’. It is what it is but that does not mean the cycle of abuse, hate and every vile, horrific act has to continue. Keep in your hearts that WE have each other.
(Insert Bob Marley song here.)

I love yooz.  

Lydia Vanessa GreyEagle
Tuesday, March 14 2017
Written by The Circle,
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obitgreyeagle.jpgLydia Vanessa GreyEagle
May 25, 1988 - February 18, 2017

Lydia Vanessa GreyEagle, “Ho Waste Win” (Strong Voice Woman), age 28 of the Lower Sioux Community, entered the Spirit World on February 18 at North Memorial Medical Center in Robbinsdale, Minnesota.

Lydia was born May 25, 1988 in Redwood Falls, Minnesota to Dan GreyEagle and Patti Schoen. She attended Eci’ Nompa Woonspe school in Morton. She loved shopping, listening and singing to music, traveling, and cruising in her truck. She enjoyed spending time with her children, family, and friends. She had a happy-go-lucky personality and was free-spirited.  Lydia was a comedian and enjoyed making people laugh. Her favorite color was red which fit her bold personality.

Funeral Services were held February 22 at the Lower Sioux Church Hall. Burial was in St. Cornelia’s Episcopal Cemetery. Lydia is survived by her parents: Dan GreyEagle and Patti Schoen; children: Styles Strong and Jaleah Sioux GreyEagle; siblings: Danielle GreyEagle, Dee GreyEagle, and Roy Uballe; best friend Molly Monzon; many aunts, uncles, cousins, relatives and friends. She is preceded in death by her son Robin Jr. Lussier, sisters Debbie Schoen and Valerie GreyEagle, grandparents Tom & Iola Columbus and Corrine Schoen & Albert Lucio, and numerous aunts, uncles, and other family members. Online condolences:

DAPL set to move oil March 6
Tuesday, March 14 2017
Written by mo,
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When I last wrote about the struggle at Standing Rock, in the Oct. 2016 issue of The Circle, several federal departments – the Army, Justice and Interior – had stopped construction of the Dakota Access oil pipeline (DAPL). And on Dec. 4, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced that it would not grant an easement under Lake Oahe, just north of the Standing Rock reservation, for the Dakota Access pipeline; the Corps said that it would prepare an environmental impact statement for alternative pipeline routes.

However, there’s a new sheriff in town, so to speak, and the tide has turned in favor of fossil fuels and oil pipelines.

Regarding the stand made at Standing Rock, the last water protectors were hauled out of the Oceti Sakowin camp near Cannonball, No. Dakota, on Feb. 23, following an order by No. Dakota authorities to evacuate the camp.

“The process of clearing out the camp took nearly four hours to complete and included 220 officers and 18 members of the National Guard, the AP reported,” according to Teen Vogue magazine, a quite good news source for the #NoDAPL movement. “ABC News noted that police arrested 46 people who refused to leave the camp. Speaking to ABC News, a representative for the North Dakota Joint Information Center said that when one group of veterans refused to voluntarily leave the camp, they were carried out by law enforcement.”

And Teen Vogue quoted Chase Iron Eyes, a lawyer, activist and member of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, which has spearheaded the fight against DAPL: “The battleground has shifted to the legal courts and the court of public opinion.”

Regarding the legal front, Earthjustice, a public interest law firm representing the Standing Rock tribe, is pushing its motion for summary judgement, which “lays out our case, basically, that what President Trump and the Army Corps of Engineers did was illegal, in… reversing their decision to move forward with an environmental impact statement,” said Phillip Ellis, senior press secretary for Earthjustice.

Readers might recall that Trump, on his fourth day in office, signed an executive action to advance approval of the Keystone XL and Dakota Access oil pipelines. It’s not clear if Trump actually read the documents or knew any of the details of the two projects; but he signed the papers and displayed his signature to those assembled in the Oval Office.

During a phone interview from his Washington, D.C., office, Ellis pointed out that the motion for summary judgement, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, is intended to expedite the court’s decision, “before we thought oil would flow through the pipeline. The company continues to move its deadline up.”

The court might not make a decision on the Standing Rock tribe’s legal motion before oil starts flowing on March 6, according to Ellis, who said that Energy Transfer Partners, the corporation behind DAPL, is “moving on a very aggressive schedule.”

The section of pipeline under Lake Oahe is the last link of the 1,172-mile underground pipeline carrying oil from the Bakken oil fields in North Dakota through So. Dakota and Iowa, and ending at a tank farm near Patoka, Ill.

Although the Oceti Sakowin camp has been demolished, Ellis pointed out that “there’s a lot that still remains” of the popular opposition to DAPL.
Notably, a “march in prayer and action” has been called by the Standing Rock tribe and indigenous grassroots leaders for March 10 in Washington, D.C. ( The march will be preceded by three days of lobbying on Capitol Hill; and there is a demand that Pres. Trump meet with tribal leaders and learn the importance of respecting tribal rights.

The wrecking crew known as the Trump administration is poised to do great harm to people and the natural environment. In late February, I also talked with Kevin Whelan, executive director of MN350, a group committed to action to combat climate change. Putting pressure on banks (including US Bank and Wells Fargo) providing funds for oil pipelines and fossil fuel development has been a MN350 focus.

“Our work has gotten much harder, but many more people are stepping up to join in the work,” said Whelan, regarding the situation since Trump was sworn in as president.

Specifically, Whelan explained that Trump has moved aggressively against the movement for clean energy, and has reversed the partial victory won at Standing Rock. He has “appointed climate deniers and enemies of clean air and water to important positions.”

We all will need to stay alert and stay active to resist the onslaught from Washington.

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