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Local Briefs
Enbridge Round Two with Tanks?
Monday, January 09 2017
 
Written by Winona LaDuke,
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nodaplcops.jpgTribal unity is a lesson from Standing Rock. Thousands of people joined with the Lakota Nation to oppose the Dakota Access (AKA Dakota Excess Pipeline). That unity is spilling over into the Great lakes. Anishinaabe tribal governments and people put our bodies on the line, and not only sent flags and representatives, money, food, and wood (Menominee sent a semi load of wood at least), but political unity and commitment. In that, it would seem, we committed to follow the leadership of the people of Sitting Bull, and put our minds together. In mid December, the Enbridge Company found out that the lessons of Standing Rock were well learned by our people, but apparently the company was not taking notes.

While Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau approved permits for Enbridge’s largest project, a 760,000 barrel per day Line 3 tar sands pipeline, things on the ground were different. That pipeline is proposed for the same corridor as the Sandpiper, and also entails the beginning of abandonment of five or six 50-year-old pipelines down the Highway 2 corridor.

The Bad River Tribe in mid December announced it would not approve a continued easement for Enbridge across their reservation, and tribal members in Bemidji were threatened with arrest for asking corporate accountability questions. It turns out, the Canadian Premier can give a project a nod, but the Anishinaabeg have not.   Enbridge with the Minnesota Department of Commerce are proceeding in the environmental impact statement for the proposed Line 3 new corridor (the same corridor as the Sandpiper), as if nothing has happened.

The Ojibwe have long memories, and it turns out, can even remember November 20th, that fateful night on Backwater Bridge.
A December 13th landowner informational meeting in Bemidji was primarily aimed at white landowners and county commissioners. When Thomas Barrett (aka Thomas X) learned of the meeting, he shared the information widely, and Enbridge representatives found themselves in a room of 100 plus concerned landowners, many from Leech Lake, Red Lake and White Earth.  Asking a question in this forum, lead the Bemidji police and a security guard to ask me to leave.  The question was, “As one third owner of the Dakota Access Pipeline project, is Enbridge responsible for the injuries to our people?”  That’s enough to get you kicked out of a room, it seems.

Wondering where to go? Follow Adobe DeSigns’ lead
Monday, January 09 2017
 
Written by Lee Egerstrom,
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adobedesigns.jpgIf you’ve wandered through the newer sports and entertainment venues in the Twin Cities, or parked in recently built business and educational parking ramps, you will find helpful signs pointing the way to seats, elevators, restrooms, or where you left your car.
It is easy to take this signage for granted. But showing you where to go is becoming a bustling business for Adobe DeSigns LLC, a Minneapolis enterprise owned by two Native American women.

Vivian Guerra, the chief executive officer, and Lisa Owen, the controller, started Adobe DeSigns in 2014 to provide signage for building projects, either alone on modernization projects or as a subcontractor with general contractor partners on major, new construction.
Some companies and institutions might contact the company directly for a project, Guerra said. More often, she added, Adobe DeSigns serves as a subcontractor for a major general construction company and often as “a third tier” supplier hired by a subcontractor to do the signage.

On a visit to their South Minneapolis offices and shop in December, Guerra and Owen paused during an interview to meet with an architect regarding replacement signage being installed in the Target Center that is home to the Timberwolves and Lynx.
This comes after their company did design, manufacturing and installment work on signage for the new Vikings stadium – US Bank Stadium – also in Minneapolis, CHS Field where the St. Paul Saints play baseball in St. Paul, and at major parking ramps throughout the Twin Cities and Duluth.

Other major projects over the past two years include signage for the Brooklyn Park Library, a part of the Hennepin County Library system; Metropolitan State University facilities; various elementary and preschool (Seward Montessori) educational facilities, medical facilities and parking ramps, and Little Earth exterior signage.

Three of Adobe DeSigns’ seven current employees are working at Grand Portage Lodge & Casino’s remodeling project undertaken by the Grand Portage Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, Owen said.
Four more employees work out of the South Minneapolis home base; most are Native American tribal members or descendants. “We are serious about minority hiring because that’s who we are and because (most) everything we do is going to require OJT (on-the-job-training),” Guerra said.

A walk through of the production facilities explains why. The various signage products combine a wealth of sciences and arts including chemistry, physics, metallurgy, graphic arts, engineering design and public policy/political science about laws affecting signage.
While experts are abundant in all those fields, they don’t usually come equipped across the spectrum. They may not have the manual dexterity to manufacture the standard letters, exposed neon, backlit, vinyl, sandblasted, painted, pylon, digital signs and letters for both interior and exterior signage that the company makes.

Trump and the White Man
Tuesday, December 06 2016
 
Written by Ricey Wild,
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To understand what happened with this farce of an election that voted in the most monstrous of human beings as the leader of the free world, I have to share some of my musings of history. Yes, I am sickened, nauseous and still incredulous that ANYONE with morals or conscience voted for Trump. My mind has been going in circles like a mad muskrat since November 9,  to try to understand WHY.

Way back in time there were savage, ferocious bloody tribesman in Western Europe that fought amongst each other for scarce natural resources for untold centuries. They were all of similar DNA, being pale skinned, but they massacred each other anyway. It was the lands they wanted – to expand their empires and established what they say are “Royal” bloodlines.

Eventually they built ships big enough to carry thousands of men and went on what they named discovery voyages. In fact, those trips were all about enriching themselves. They came from tiny island nations, fractured fiefdoms and had laid waste to their own lands, and became greedy for others’ lands and territories.
The pale skinned ones thought they had more right to lands as the ‘natives’ who had not “developed” the land, which to them meant extracting every mineral, precious stone, and usurp water rights for monetary profit.
You still with me? Great. I have only so much space for my column but I tell ya, if I was writing Ojibwe it would be done.

During their explorations they came across mighty civilizations that went back many more thousands of years than their own did. The pale ones went to Africa and saw only material wealth, not the wealth of culture, history and science. They saw black people who they thought of as inferior and deserving of having their lands and resources stolen. In Asia they saw evidence of civilizations having come and gone, and a thriving one that had nothing to do with the western mindset.

In both instances, the pale ones connived to divide and conquer, and that has been their modus operandi ever since. Some greedy old Pope wanted in on the land grabs and wanted riches for the Catholic Church, so he issued a Papal Bull in 1493 writing the Doctrine of Discovery, wherein all Indigenous lands and the people on it were Spain’s to conquer. Gads! The arrogance of all that makes me wanna throw up.

So Europeans began sailing to what they named the new world. Here, there were gorgeous, unspoiled lands, resources and a route to religious freedom. There were also millions of Indigenous people, from the North tip to the South, who had been living here since the Creator put us here. I will forgo the rest of this part because well, here we are in 2016, over 500 years since first contact with the colonists.

I recount my abbreviated version of history because I wanted to know how a Donald Trump could possibly be considered a viable candidate for POTUS, given his obvious disqualifications for the job, never mind having the nuclear codes that can destroy us all. No, things are not perfect now nor have they ever been since the colonists showed up on our shores, undocumented. Trump is only a third generation immigrant. Clearly, Europe did not send us their best. He is also the product of their greedy culture.

Here we were, closer to John Lennon’s “Imagine”, and then this human atrocity gets elected. Wow.
Being an Indigenous woman and living in poverty I suffer, I cry for my son who is a large brown man, my granddaughter who is a lovely little girl, and for all of us who are not white men. No, I don’t want to be pale skinned, even with all the privileges it affords. I do want to be able to walk down the street or to the store without being attacked by racist colonist-descendants who actually believe this country, this land, these waters and resources are theirs by right of whiteness.

I read that this election, with all its ugliness, is the White Man’s Last Stand. I like that. The oppressed masses – that includes pale skinned people, have been awakened – will never go back to the miseries inflicted upon us in the past. NEVER! The Water Protectors at Standing Rock have proven that and the millions of Indigenous People and our allies around the world will not stand down.
Wherever you are you can send them your prayers, and thanks for their courage in fighting the good fight.

Don’t forget the Office of Indian Men’s Health
Tuesday, December 06 2016
 
Written by Eric Bothwell, DDS, MPH, PhD and Tamara James, PhD ,
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As the Obama administration winds down its eight years of oversight and support of the health care needs of American Indian and Alaska Natives (AI/AN) from federally recognized tribes, a brief reflection on what has been accomplished and what might still be accomplished is worthwhile.

AI/AN witnessed noteworthy milestones throughout the Obama Administration including the Annual White House Tribal Nations Conference and the President’s Executive Order requiring all federal agencies dealing with tribes to develop a tribal consultation policy.  From a funding perspective, the Indian Health Service (IHS) has fared comparatively well during a period when enhancements for such programs were hard fought in Congress. And federally recognized AI/ANs were also included in the Administration’s legislative accomplishment, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) of 2010, through the permanent reauthorization of the Indian Health Care Improvement Act (IHCIA).

Unfortunately, many critically needed sections of the IHCIA have yet to be realized. One particularly opportune component is Section 1621V Part A that authorizes the development of an Office of Indian Men’s Health. The logic of this proposal is compelling considering that AI/AN males on some reservations have the lowest life expectancy of any group in America. In addition,  AI/AN males experience death rates two to five times greater than AI/AN females for suicide, HIV/AIDS, homicide, unintentional injuries, diabetes, firearm injury, and alcohol-related deaths, and are 10 to 50 percent higher than AI/AN females for cancer, heart disease, and liver disease.
The inequities suffered by the AI/AN males can be seen in CDC’s National Health Statistic Report (No. 20, March 2010) where AI/AN males displayed greater disparities in health status and general well-being than any racial group. AI/AN men reported the highest distress rates of “feeling hopeless and worthless” of any of the groups. The devastating impact of this despair culminates in the high rates of suicide among these men.

 But before the lives of AI/AN males are taken by these causes, they suffer from multiple debilitating physical and mental conditions. It is clear that dead, sick, and incarcerated AI/AN males are compromised in fulfilling their roles as fathers, husbands, providers, leaders, and contributors to their communities.

We can no longer neglect our male health crisis. In response, many private foundations, states, and cities have developed innovative initiatives and partnerships that specifically prioritize male health.  However, even with mounting concern across the country, no federal health-related agency has established an office committed to addressing male health disparities.
 

The Obama Administration can change the course of male health in America without new appropriations by directing federal agencies to implement offices of male health within existing structures. This should start with establishing the Office of Indian Men’s Health within IHS as authorized by the IHCIA. In 2010, an internal IHS workgroup developed an approach to implement an Office of Indian Men’s Health with as little as a 1.5 FTE commitment and charged with utilizing an entrepreneurial/self-sustaining approach to developing partnerships and coalitions with other agencies and organizations committed to male health equity and leveraging resources. With an anticipated $6.5 billion budget in FY 2017, the IHS could begin the process of turning the curve on male health disparities.

The premature loss of someone’s husband, father, brother, friend, or son results in unmeasurable emotional toil and financial hardship. In addition, the disproportion of U.S. males who have died or whose mental and physical health status compromises their ability to contribute to society represents a real threat to the U.S. successfully competing in the global economy.

The process should begin with the implementation of the Office of Indian Men’s Health authorized by the Indian Health Care Improvement Act.


Mildred Carol Ann Longbody-Swartz
Tuesday, December 06 2016
 
Written by The Circle,
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Mildred Carol Ann Longbody-Swartz
December 12, 1939 – November 4, 2016

mildred_obit.jpgMildred Carol Ann Longbody-Swartz was born Dec. 12, 1939, in Cloquet, the eighth of 10 children of Joseph and Mary (Flatte) Longbody from Grand Portage, Minnesota. Along with all her siblings, Millie was taken from her parents at a young age as a result of the federal forced assimilation program.

Millie was open-hearted and generous towards all. Despite many hardships in life, she remained a deeply cheerful person with a positive outlook. Her strength came from her spiritual life, in which she combined Catholicism and traditional Anishinaabe beliefs.

As children, Millie's older eight siblings had been taken to Pipestone Boarding School in southwestern Minnesota. But she and a sister, being too young, were placed in a Catholic orphanage in Duluth. A few years later, Joe and Mary Reynolds of Deer River took the girls into their home. Millie always had high praise for the Reynolds, an Anishinaabe couple who were kind and helped her reconnect with her roots. She continued her education at Haskell Indian Nations University where she took up Commercial Cooking.

Millie wasn't afraid of hard work and had a get it done attitude. She worked at Honeywell in Minneapolis, MN and later at the Minnesota Indian Women's Rescource Center where she prepared meals for the children at their daycare center. Later in life she moved back to Grand Portage and worked at Grand Portage Lodge and Casino until she retired.  

Millie loved Powwows and loved to dance and celebrate her heritage and culture. She loved the simple things in life like walking her beloved pet, "Dobie", picking berries on a summer day and playing bingo at the casino. Millie's most obvious characteristics were her easy laughter and enormous smile. Before a series of strokes seriously handicapped her, she became affectionately known as "Miss America," because she waved and smiled at people as she passed them.  

Preceding Millie in death were her parents; her husband, Glenn Swartz; four sisters, Josephine and Charlotte, Lillian "Theresa" Eveland, and Mary Lou Ackley; a brother, Joseph Longbody; and a granddaughter, Amber Lanham.

Survivors include one daughter, Brenda (Paul) Enyart of Shakopee, Minn.; three sons, Eugene Swartz and  Duane Swartz of Grand Portage, and Tyrone Nehring of Florida; two sisters, Doris Blank of Grand Portage and Elsie Long of Auburn, Wash.; two brothers, Clarence Longbody of Red Lake and Ed Longbody of Grand Portage; six grandchildren, Jesse and Mya Swartz, Shane Losh, and Brock and Brandon Lanham, Jessica Wisnewski, all of the Twin Citiess; and great grandchildren, nieces and nephews.  

Services were held at Holy Rosary in Grand Portage. Burial is at Sunset Cemetery. Arrangements are by Nelson Funeral Home of Cloquet.

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