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Local Briefs
LaDuke: Looking for Work?
Friday, January 09 2015
 
Written by Winona LaDuke,
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The Enbridge Company has announced its looking for a new tribal relations specialist for northern Minnesota. They are hiring. This is going to be interesting, particularly since no tribal government or Native organization, or, let’s just say, traditional Native person in the north seems to want this Sandpiper pipeline.

Chairwoman Karen Diver of the Fond du Lac Ojibwe wrote a letter this last month, expressing significant concerns about both the pipeline and Enbridge’s safety record, in light of significant tribal harvesting interests. This letter follows resolutions by tribal governments, testimony and legal interventions opposing the Sandpiper, by the White Earth and Mille Lacs band and the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe. In short, it’s tricky terrain.

This reminds me of the federal government’s Office of the Nuclear Waste Negotiator in the 1980s. This guy was charged with getting communities to consider a no strings attached grant to review nuclear waste options and then a bigger grant to look at it some more. Now, no one wanted really to hang out with this guy, I’m betting, but 16 of the 20 recipients of the initial money were Indian tribes, so he was working hard to get Native people involved. And, after all a lot of tribes were pretty poor at that time, so it was a good target, besides having all that land.


Political Matters: 'An act of war against our people'
Friday, January 09 2015
 
Written by Mordecai Specktor,
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mordecai_specktor_some.jpg‘An act of war against our people’

I tried to call Cyril Scott, the president of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe (Sicangu Lakota Oyate), after Thanksgiving. Nobody in his office was answering the phone; but I was a little surprised that the on-hold music was “Foxy Lady” by Jimi Hendrix. So, there’s that.

On another tangent, I recall visiting Rosebud more than 30 years ago. I stopped on the way to one of the Black Hills survival gatherings, in 1979 or 1980, and interviewed Leonard Crow Dog, a Lakota spiritual leader who came to prominence during Wounded Knee II. And I later spent time at Crow Dog’s Paradise to support a friend on a Vision Quest and at a Sun Dance.

On one of these trips, I traveled by car from Minneapolis with friends and we stopped in Winner, on the eastern border of the rez. The off-reservation towns in South Dakota and Nebraska have a reputation for anti-Indian racism. As we were about to enter a café in Winner, my friend, who was from Rosebud, commented, “Mordecai, they don’t like Indians here; but after Indians, they don’t like Jews.” I was a stranger in a strange land.


Nick-izms: Rez Born, Urban Raised
Friday, January 09 2015
 
Written by Nick Metcalf,
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jpeg_pic.jpgHow to Enjoy the Holiday Season

We are in the midst of the Holiday Season and it will reach a fever pitch soon. Here are some suggestions to help you enjoy the holiday season.

Find meaning in the Holidays

We learn what a holiday means to us from our childhood. We observe what the holiday means for other people then interpret meaning to it. We gain notions about what a holiday is from the media. It is important to spend some time figuring out what is important for you and your family. Is it the time you spend together? Is it cooking? Is it being in fellowship together? Is it the rituals you built with them over time together? Figure out the meaning of the holiday for yourself and your family.

Building Family Traditions

The holiday season can be an incredible time of the year, but they can also be difficult for some of us. For myself, I am in the midst of building traditions with my family. Every year we clarify what is important to us, as individuals and as a family. Every activity is reviewed for whether or not it will continue on to the next year, or not. We are building family traditions together. It’s an exciting process.


It Ain't Easy Being Indian
Friday, January 09 2015
 
Written by Ricey Wild,
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ricey wild.jpgAfter the last bite of pie was swallowed, after the leftovers were doled out, after the family had a wonderful time together eating a magnificent dinner of tender turkey and scrumptious sides, after hugs were exchanged and many kisses given, after pictures and “selfies” were digitized, after everyone else left to go beach themselves in the privacy of their own homes to freely boogit, after all that food and love three of us sat at Gramma Rose’s house, two of us just about to leave.

My Unk Koon, Gramma and I had a silent moment of ahhhhhh!!! Just being happy and satiated and secretly relieved there was no family dispute whatsoever and I think we all heaved a deep, grateful sigh of relief. Then we burped.

That moment of silence triggered something in Rose’s head. She turned to me and asked, “Are you related to (name withheld on my dad’s side)” and I said yes, but I thought he was dead? Rose handed me a newspaper cut-out from The Big City and it read, “Career Criminal Strikes Again” or something very like that. I looked at my Gram and she had a inquisitive expression on her face. I laughed and read on.


DNR tightens winter walleye rules for Upper Red Lake
Friday, January 09 2015
 
Written by John Enger, Minnesota Public Radio News,
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Minnesota anglers fishing Upper Red Lake this winter will face tougher regulations on their walleye catch.

Effective Dec. 1, anglers can only hold or keep keep three walleye, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources said Monday.

All walleye 17 to 26 inches long must be immediately released and only one walleye in possession may be longer than 26 inches, the DNR said.

The rule changes come following record walleye harvests the past winter and summer and are not a sign of biological problems in the northwest Minnesota lake, the agency added.

"The current walleye fishery is in excellent shape, but the great fishing has attracted considerably more angling pressure, which resulted in walleye harvest exceeding the safe harvest range for the first time since walleye angling reopened in 2006," Gary Barnard, the DNR's Bemidji area fisheries supervisor, said in a statement.

Much of Upper Red Lake is owned by the Red Lake Band of Ojibwe. It's been managed jointly by the band and the DNR since the walleye population there hit an all time low 15 years ago.

Red Lake band Fisheries Director Pat Brown said the lake has made a great comeback. "The lake is probably in better shape than it ever has been," he said. "The lake just continues to become healthier."

The new walleye limits don't apply to tribe members fishing reservation waters.

While the off-reservation portion of Upper Red Lake saw a large walleye harvest this year, Brown said tribe members took many fewer fish then they could have.

"We're about 100,000 pounds under what we could safely take out of the reservation waters," he said. "So we may actually relax our regulations a little bit."

DNR officials remain concerned about the walleye population in Mille Lacs Lake in central Minnesota. Numbers there remain the lowest seen in decades and DNR officials say it will take time for the population to recover, though a fall survey showed some hopeful signs.

The DNR's been encouraging anglers to catch northern pike instead of walleye at Mille Lacs. As part of that effort, officials on Monday announced they would loosen rules for catching and spearing pike this winter on Mille Lacs.

Anglers and spearers can keep 10 northern pike, of which only one may be longer than 30 inches. Also, northern pike season will be extended from mid-February to the last Sunday in March.

The lake's walleye fishing regulations will not change this winter, the DNR emphasized.

Minnesota Public Radio News can be heard on MPR's statewide radio network or online at mprnews.org


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