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Local Briefs
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


Photography helps Native youth enrich their lives
Friday, January 09 2015
 
Written by Deanna Standing Cloud,
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photography helps native youth enrich their lives.jpgBefore the cold winter season claimed its place in the Twin Cities area this year, six Native American high school students from across the area were able to enjoy a memorable experience.

On an October afternoon, participants in the Mazinaakizige: American Indian Teen Photography Project and their mentors connected with the elements on a canoe journey down the Mississippi River.

The students were armed with 35 mm film cameras and anticipation for whatever this journey may have brought. Second year participant, Breanna Green shared about her experience, “Being on the water is healing and so calming.”

Participants and mentors alike carefully moved along one of the largest rivers in the world across the glistening sparkle of the reflection of the sunlight with wonderment and curiosity. This incredible opportunity was the perfect environment for connection to the natural world, the basis for creative thought which is fertile ground for photographic practice.

On Nov. 22, six Native American high school students celebrated the completion of their participation in the Mazinaakizige: American Indian Teen Photography Project at the Minneapolis Photography Center. Rainey Rock (White Earth Ojibwe), Sage Mills (Lakota), Breanna Green (Red Lake Ojibwe), Andrew Fairbanks (White Earth Ojibwe), Lupe Thornhill (Red Lake Ojibwe) and Elizabeth Santana (Hunkpapa Lakota) invited their families to their very own gallery opening featuring their work. Hoka Hey drum group, a collective of young Native men, recognized the students and families with an honor song. Dozens of supporters from the Native arts community came to support the young artists as well to share food, stories and prayer for this project.

The word “Mazinaakizige” is an Ojibwe word meaning, “the act of creating pictures.” Mazinaakizige: American Indian Teen Photography Project launched a pilot program three years ago in collaboration with the Minneapolis Photo Center and the Minnesota Historical Society with sponsorship from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.


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