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Local Briefs
Red Lake encampment battles pipeline on tribal lands
Friday, August 02 2013
 
Written by Andrea Cornelius,
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red_lake_encampment_1.jpgSince 1949, Enbridge Energy has been transporting crude oil through its more than six pipelines from Alberta, Canada through northern Minnesotan reservations and across the US. These pipelines, which transport tar sands oil, pass directly through the Leech Lake Reservation, the Fond du Lac Reservation, and the Red Lake reservation.
 
Through the combined efforts of the Indigenous Environmental Network (IEN), MN350.org, and the Sierra club, Marty Cobenais of IEN began an encampment on the Red Lake reservation to halt the current pipelines running through tribal land, as well as stop the expansion of said pipelines.
 
On June 26th, members of MN350.org, an advocacy group committed to climate change, organized a bus tour to the Red Lake reservation to see, first hand, the pipelines that run through the lakes, marshes and vast stretches of land.
 
Cobenais served as the tour guide as we were lead from pumping stations to the tank farm in Clearbrook. We stopped at the site of the 1979 oil spill, and walked along exposed pipelines –  both on and off the reservation. Our last stop was the encampment.
 
Across from the lake and directly off the highway sits a trailer, the frame of a tipi, and a fire pit. All of which sits in a large clearing on top of the four original pipelines built in 1949. The spot was chosen because it was a spot where maintenance was conducted on the pipelines and it is Red Lake Reservation land.

WHAT'S NEW IN THE COMMUNITY
Friday, August 02 2013
 
Written by The Circle Staff,
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Flanagan Named Executive Director for Children’s Defense Fund
whats_new_peggy_flanagan_named_executive_director.jpgPeggy Flanagan, an experienced community organizer, advocate, teacher and trainer, has joined the Children’s Defense Fund-Minnesota (CDF-MN) as its executive director.
CDF-MN is a nonpartisan, nonprofit child advocacy organization that seeks to ensure a level playing field for all children by championing policies and programs that lift children out of poverty; protect them from abuse and neglect; and ensure their access to health care, quality education and a solid foundation for success.
 
“I am thrilled to join such a well-respected organization like Children's Defense Fund-Minnesota,” said Flanagan. “I am passionate about ensuring that all of our children have what they need to be happy, healthy and successful young people. I can’t wait to get to work on behalf of all kids in Minnesota.”
 
Flanagan joins CDF-MN after eight years with Wellstone Action, first as director and founder of the Native American Leadership Program, and most recently as director of External Affairs. She also serves as adjunct faculty for George Washington University’s Native American Political Leadership Program.
Walker's DNR Pushes Tribe Out for Strip Mine
Friday, August 02 2013
 
Written by by Rebecca Kemble,
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walkers_dnr_pushes_tribe_out.jpgOn July 23rd the Iron County Forest Committee in northern Wisconsin voted unanimously to recommend that the Iron County Board pursue criminal and civil charges against the Lac Courte Oreilles Treaty Harvest and Education camp for violating county ordinances and provisions of state County Forest Law. The vote took place with no discussion after the committee emerged from closed session with their corporate counsel.
 
The decision comes two months after the same committee voted unanimously to approve a request by the Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Lake Superior Chippewa for a waiver to the county’s 14-day camping ordinance to allow the camp to remain established on Moore Park Road for one year.
 
On May 8, 2013 the Iron County Forestry department granted LCO Treaty Harvest and Education Camp host Melvin Gasper a Native American Gathering permit to gather plant materials and tap trees for syrup, and a firewood permit to collect down trees on Iron County forest lands. Both permits are valid through December 31, 2013.
 
According to the official minutes of the May 14 meeting, the committee voted unanimously, “authorizing Joe (Iron County Forester) to work with Corporate Counsel, Michael Pope, to write a land use permit for Lac Courte Oreilles members and their guests for camping, harvesting and educational purposes. The permit will also address sanitation issues and be one year in length.”
 
An official statement by camp organizers says the camp was established, “to make a presence in the Penokee Hills and do research in the region… To host LCO tribal members and other guests who are doing an inventory of resources, trail blazing, archaeology work and harvesting.”
New Native SMSC scholarship recipients graduate, plan to give back
Friday, August 02 2013
 
Written by By Brandon Largent, The Minnesota Daily,
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new_native_smsc_scholarship_recipients_graduate_jason_champagne.jpgAlthough Jason Champagne didn’t grow up on a Native American reservation, he visited relatives on them growing up and saw nutrition was a major issue. Now, the 37-year-old University of Minnesota graduate student wants to change that. Like many Native American students in Minnesota, Champagne relied on tribal-funded scholarships to help pay for his college degree.
 
The fall of 2009 marked the first year University students were awarded the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community Endowed Scholarship, which aims to increase Native American students at the University and is offered in part on students’ intent to serve native societies when they graduate.
 
Now, many University students, like Champagne, are graduating and plan on improving their communities.
 
After working as a chef for several years, Champagne decided to use his knowledge of traditional Native American dishes to improve the health of tribal communities. As a result of increasing rates of diabetes, heart disease and other diet-related complications, he said, one of his biggest fears is that Native American communities will cease to exist.
Tribute to Dr. Charles S. Anderson, Augsburg President Emeritus
Friday, August 02 2013
 
Written by Bonnie Wallace,
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tribute_to_dr_charles_anderson.jpgI attended Dr. Charles S. Anderson’s funeral a couple of weeks ago and was flooded with memories of our special relationship while I served as Augsburg’s American Indian Student Support Program Director from 1978 to 1996.  We served on an “Advisory Board” in 1977 when he was the Dean of the College and I was employed by the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe’s Talent Search Program.

Our primary goal was to create a stronger American Indian presence on the campus which is located within blocks of the 3rd largest urban Native community in the country (The Phillips Neighborhood).
 
The committee was a product of the Honeywell Foundation and Augsburg College, and while he and I disagreed on many philosophical, political and educational issues he made it clear that he wanted to address the poor college admission, retention and graduation rates of American Indian students.  
 
With a huge thank you to Dr. Andre Lewis, President of the Honeywell Foundation at that time, we were approved for a 3 year grant. A job description was created and posted for a Director,  several candidates were interviewed and the position was offered to a local Native MSW who was involved with the National Indian Lutheran Board. The Advisory Committee and Dr. Anderson were pleased with the selection and he began immediately.
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