Local Briefs
Enbridge not good at math
Monday, September 08 2014
Written by Winona LaDuke,
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Lorraine Little of the Enbridge Company keeps telling regulators and the public that 96 percent of the landowners along the proposed route of the Sandpiper Bakken oil pipeline are friendly and supportive. I don’t believe it.

That might be because of comments submitted to the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission: Some 459 opposed the pipeline route, while 37 were proponents of the route. Of those opponents, 387 expressed environmental concerns, 131 expressed concerns about the tribal impact and 347 wanted an alternative route, outside of the lakes. (Remember Rep. Rick Nolan, D-Minn., came out opposing the pipeline a couple of weeks ago and some 20 state representatives expressed deep concerns about the pipeline process at the PUC.)

So, not sure how Enbridge does math, but I learned my math differently. Let’s think about where Enbridge might have gotten its numbers. The support might be somewhat true in North Dakota, or at least almost, because the North Dakota Public Service Commission has approved the route of the pipeline. This is not surprising, for several reasons.

It Ain't Easy Being Indian
Monday, September 08 2014
Written by Ricey Wild,
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ricey wild.jpgIf you are a regular reader of this column you must be familiar with my one of my major rants; the Bering Strait Theory. Yeah, I become an absolute monster spewing rage and fury anytime I come across that lie. I wrote some years ago how the white man’s own technology would prove what Indians of Native nations have said all along, that we were put here by the Creator as were the animals, waters and vegetation that truly is all we need to thrive here on Turtle Island.

So when I read that an arrowhead AND a mastodon skull were found close to each other off the coast of Chesapeake Bay I was all excited. Dang!!! We had some badass ancestors hah?! Eating mastodon steaks and all! My imagination is boggled by the idea of hunting mastodons but hey they found a way to hunt them cuz an Indian’s gotta eat right? More articles have also come out recently that we Indians of the Americas are genetically similar and very different from other people who migrated out from Africa.

TAKE THAT and roll it up in a bun you naysayers!!! Jeez I’m smiling just big as I write this.

There is also growing evidence that people can also inherit traumatic memories in their gene sequence and I believe that. I also believe that we, the descendants of the few who were left after the U.S. genocide are stronger because we have to be. BTW, I know some very strong women on Facebook who are organizing and yeah yooz better Wacha!!! Women will be the ones to pick up the ugly mess made by 21st Century idiots and those with their head stuck in the sand regarding climate change and dependence on fossil fuels.

Political Matters: Washington's 'R' word
Monday, September 08 2014
Written by Mordecai Specktor,
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mordecai_specktor_some.jpgThe rhetoric is escalating in the run-up to the Minnesota-Washington NFL game. A new stadium is under construction downtown on the site of the former Metrodome, so the Vikes are playing their games at TCF Bank Stadium (“the Bank”) on the University of Minnesota campus.

As the Washington Post reported in early August, the Bank complex features a Tribal Nations Plaza, which honors “the 11 Native American tribes in Minnesota. It was built with a $10 million donation from the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community — the largest private gift ever to Gophers athletics.” Last month, tribal officials released a statement expressing opposition to the Redskins’ name “and other sports-related logos, mascots and names which degrade a race of people,” according to the newspaper. The Shakopee band and other Minnesota Indian bands are working with the university to prepare “appropriate responses” to the NFL game and “minimize the damage that could be done by invoking the [“R”] name in a place that respects and honors the Minnesota Native American community.”

American Indian Movement (AIM) leader Clyde Bellecourt has threatened to organize mass civil disobedience to stop the Nov. 2 game, if Washington comes here with the Redskins name and logo. Bellecourt, who is the director of the National Coalition on Racism in Sports and Media, also has threatened to sue the University of Minnesota if the Washington franchise doesn’t tone it down. The coalition organized a large march to the Metrodome last November, when Washington visited Minneapolis for a nationally-broadcast Thursday Night Football game.

Nick-izms: Rez Born, Urban Raised
Monday, September 08 2014
Written by Nick Metcalf,
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jpeg_pic.jpgAs Native people, from a diverse world views, we have a lot more in common than we don’t. ‘Am I Indian enough?’, ‘Living in an urban environment and on the rez, am I indian?’, ‘What is being Indian?’, ‘How do we reconcile our painful histories so we survive, as a people?’

For a culture to survive it must adapt. It must remain relevant with the sociopolitical community constructs that enable it to survive. Twenty years ago I moved to the Twin Cities; it was 1987 when I fell in love with The Cities. I was a wide-eyed kid from the rural Rosebud Reservation in South Dakota, on the end of summer trip for a college prep program, Upward Bound. The Twin Cities pulsated with excitement and called for me to discover it.

With the blessing of my parents and the love of my family, I embarked on new opportunities and the challenge of attending college at the University of South Dakota in Vermillion, S.D. I would return back here to work for ValleyFair for a summer when my love affair with Minnesota deepened.

The vibrant community of social activism pulsated. I come from a family that is active in tribal politics and understands how essential it is to be an active community member. Once I completed my undergraduate, I dreamed of Minnesota. The Twin Cities, the place where AIM began and their call to action brought me here.

Little did I know that my rural reservation upbringing would challenge me. Generations of my family, as many Natives, grapple with assimilation and integration. Over the years, through social activism and being involved with community, I found myself being the lone Native voice at the table. Firstly, I needed to define my voice, pull apart the childhood lessons with the urgency of being in non-Native spaces, ‘speak when you are spoken to,' 'don’t speak over people when they talk,' 'wait your turn to speak,' et cetera.

Regional and Local Briefs: September 2014
Monday, September 08 2014
Written by The Circle Staff,
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PIERRE, S.D. – Two months after an 8 year-old girl was tasered by a police officer in October of 2013, the Hughes County State’s Attorney Wendy Kloeppner released a report that stated “she was satisfied with an independent investigation, deploying a taser was the best viable way to diffuse the situation,” and no charges would be filed against the officer or the child.

Attorneys for the family, Dana Hanna and Patrick Duffy, said the acts committed by the police were atrocious and that they do not believe the report accurately reflects what happened.

In October of 2013, four Pierre police officers responded to a 911 call about an 8 year-old girl wielding a knife. The call came from the girl's babysitter, who told the dispatcher the girl was trying to cut herself. According to the police report, the officers were on the scene for just two minutes before tasering the youth.


RED WING, Minn. – Red Wing city officials and leaders of the Prairie Island Indian Community say they are unhappy with a recent Nuclear Regulatory Commission ruling that does little to resolve the ongoing dispute over storage of spent nuclear fuel.

The Prairie Island nuclear power plant is on the Mississippi River in Red Wing and is adjacent to the Indian community. According to reports, the NRC ruling opens the door for on-site nuclear waste storage for 100 years or more. The language also lifts a suspension on licensing additional nuclear facilities even without the creation of a national repository for nuclear waste.

Ron Johnson, president of the Prairie Island Indian Community's tribal council, said in a statement, "… the NRC affirmed a new rule and generic environmental impact statement that concluded that spent nuclear fuel – some of the most dangerous and toxic substances known to mankind – can be safely stored 600 yards from our homes indefinitely if no geologic repository is ever built. No other community sits as close to a nuclear site and its waste storage."

According to the paper, Xcel Energy says it has "38 casks containing nuclear waste near Red Wing and is permitted to store waste in 64 casks when the current operating licenses end in 2033 and 2034."

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