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Local Briefs
Letters: Mark Andrew Owes Native Community an Apology
Monday, October 21 2013
 
Written by Peggy Flanagan,
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I've spent the majority of my career working to increase civic engagement in Native American communities. I believe in this work passionately and see it as a significant part of my vocation. That's why my heart was overflowing due to the incredible turnout of hundreds of members of our community to the Minneapolis American Indian Mayoral Forum sponsored by the Native American Community Development Institute on Oct. 17.

Unfortunately, much of that joy was overshadowed by the fact that Minneapolis mayoral candidate Mark Andrew didn't attend the forum. He promised he'd be there – weeks before – and then canceled at the last minute and sent staffers instead. We asked his staff where he was and they could not tell us. We have waited for an explanation from Mark Andrew. We have heard nothing.

It Ain't Easy Being Indian
Monday, October 07 2013
 
Written by Ricey Wild,
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Last month I ended my column talking about the removal of my ancestors’ – and many others of my tribal nation – remains from a cemetery dating to the 17th century, to a burial ground in a Catholic cemetery. What is so awful about that you ask? Well, I’m gonna tell you.

A village once thrived on Wisconsin Point inhabited by Indians. It was and still is a remarkably beautiful and peaceful place; it had everything. Plenty of manoomin (wild rice), and all sorts of delicious and nutritious animals, vegetables and berries were in abundance. To me it sounds like what is now called an eco-friendly, sustainable resort town. However, it was home for many generations of families who buried their loved ones in a sacred cemetery.

Then in 1908 the United States government began proceedings to condemn a portion of Wisconsin Point for “development” (I despise that word) by U.S. Steel. The objective was to construct docks for railroads to make easier the cargoes of minerals from northeast Minnesota mines.

Political Matters: Defends/Stands Up for People
Monday, October 07 2013
 
Written by Mordecai Spektor,
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Defends/Stands Up for People

In my June column for The Circle, I wrote about Ken Tilsen, the dean of civil rights lawyers in Minnesota and a committed advocate for American Indians, who was in very poor health. Ken rallied during the summer, but then went to the Spirit World on Sept. 1.

At his funeral, Sept. 4, at Temple of Aaron Cemetery in Roseville, a large group of family members and friends gathered for songs, prayers and eulogies.

The ceremony was a mix of Jewish and Lakota rituals. Ken was from a Jewish family and, as things worked out, he had grandchildren from the rez.


Fond du Lac Follies
Monday, October 07 2013
 
Written by Jim Northrup,
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Fond du Lac Follies motored to Perch Lake to harvest manoomin. My wife Patricia and I were going to manoominike together as we had been doing for the last several decades.

What a grand sight greeted us. Perch Lake was full of manoomin. I did not see any open water anywhere, the green was everywhere. I also didn’t see any lily pads or moose ears. Those two plants compete with the manoomin for the lake nutrients. Thanks to Charlie Nahganub and the other manoomin tenders. The amount of rice on the lake was the most I have seen in many years.

We offered tobacco in gratitude.

 

From the Editor's Desk: The meaning of Native Pride
Monday, October 07 2013
 
Written by Alfred Walking Bull,
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The meaning of Native Pride

By Alfred Walking Bull

With the close of the powwow season, sightings of the embroidered fashion bearing “Native Pride” will be few and far between until next season. It gives one pause to contemplate those two words and delve into their meaning, beyond that of a fairly profitable model for Native clothiers and entrepreneurs around the country.

Growing up and having worked for my home tribe in South Dakota, the concept of Native pride has always been more abstract. For those who wear the gear, it’s indicative of a shared culture, history and legacy of our ancestors; whether that’s honoring the battles and wars they fought or the current culture that developed from those roots. However, with poverty, unemployment, alcoholism, health, domestic and sexual violence statistics being what they are, it’s difficult to find deep meaning in what it is to be proud of being Native.

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