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Local Briefs
It Ain't Easy Being Indian
Monday, June 09 2014
 
Written by Ricey Wild,
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ricey wild.jpgMy dear readers it must be very obvious that I love to laugh tell stories and joke and tease. I love other people who do that too and it is they whom I seek and I ignore the haters. This is my world and I get to say who’s in it. That being said there are times that intrude on my contentedness like that awful Lone Ranger movie starring Johnny Depp. At these times I have to reach back to my own memories of being terrorized in every way by the colonials’ descendants.

I’m writing specifically about the recent backlash against rapper Emerson Windy and his “song” and video of him in dressed in redface, eagle headdress and all rapping about “smoking that weed” and using a peace pipe to do it. To be fair, which I try to do even in the face of my extreme disgust at the video, which even used actual pow wow footage in psychedelic graphics. I watched the video of his apology on the Facebook page petition to make him take that disgusting video down.

Political Matters: It takes a pillage
Monday, June 09 2014
 
Written by Mordecai Specktor,
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The global conglomerate Glencore Xstrata operates a copper mine in Mufulira, Zambia, which allegedly is poisoning nearby residents with extremely high sulfur dioxide emissions. The Facing Finance website (facing-finance.org) relayed a recent SRF (Swiss Radio and Television) Rundschau report from Zambia, where “the mine’s activities have had a negative impact on local communities, causing breathing difficulties, asthma, and even deaths.”

Normally, a report from remote Africa about environmental pollution wouldn’t be fodder for a “Political Matters” column; however, the company involved now owns a 29 percent stake in Canadian-based PolyMet Mining, which is seeking government approval for its NorthMet copper-nickel-precious metals mine near Babbit, in northeastern Minnesota. The proposed mine and mill are within the 1854 Treaty Ceded Territory; and the Ojibwe bands in the region – Fond du Lac, Bois Forte and Grand Portage – are “cooperating agencies” in the environmental review process.

What's New In The Community: June 2014
Monday, June 09 2014
 
Written by The Circle Staff,
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UND STUDENTS RALLY AGAINST RACISM

By Rachel Eta Hill

GRAND FORKS, N.D. – In reaction to the Spring Fest incident on the University of North Dakota campus where several students posted photos of themselves wearing T-shirts with the school's previous mascot with the words, “Siouxper Drunk,” Native students and others rallied on May 16 at the University of North Dakota in an event dubbed #WALKFORCHANGE.

This was a student demonstration and was comprised of over 200 UND students, community supporters and UND administration members who walked together holding signs to educate their community and others on the adverse race relations occurring at their school.

Dani Miller, a recent UND graduate and Sisseton-Wahpeton citizen, was asked by her fellow student body to give a speech addressing the hostile learning environment at her school, sparked by the offending T-shirts.

“Native students are just trying to go to school and now they are being attacked,” Frank Sage, a Navajo doctoral student said. He attended UND for the last 14 years and said it was important for students not only to work on changing race relations between Native and non-Native students at the school, but that it ultimately comes down to educating others on why this type of behavior is inappropriate in an academic setting. “Treat people the way you want to be treated,” Sage said.

Miller added, “All people, native and non-native, to educate themselves on our histories and on the current state of race relations in the United States. Education is the answer to dismantling oppression and [assists in] … relationship building between all people.”

Native students at UND, like many others across the country are working to educate and inspire others on how to change environments of adversity and racism in their own schools. They are fighting hate with love, unity and education. Racism, after all, poses a great threat to the attainment of post-secondary education for our Indigenous students. We must support and applaud those in our communities who are a positive and motivating force for that change. To learn more, use the twitter hash tag #WALKFORCHANGE.

Rachel Eta Hill is an enrolled member of the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe and present graduate student in the American Indian Studies Interdepartmental Program at the University of California, Los Angeles.


FDL Spears Walleye in 13 Lakes
Monday, June 09 2014
 
Written by Dan Kraker, Minnesota Public Radio News,
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CLOQUET, Minn. – The Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa has announced plans to spear walleye on 13 lakes in northeastern Minnesota this spring.

In what will be the first time that tribal members spear outside reservation boundaries in the Arrowhead region since a federal court affirmed their treaty rights were affirmed in the 1996, about 60 band members are expected to fish. Most will do so along the North Shore in Lake and Cook counties.

Many of the band's 4,200 members still depend on food they hunt and gather, said Jack Bassett, chair of the Fond du Lac band's ceded territory committee.

"We have many families that rely on this every year," he said. "They get their poundage of fish, it's in the freezer, and they have a lot of meals out of it."

For band members, returning to the lakes validates rights that they were long denied.

Red Lake Voters Take Tribe in A New Direction
Monday, June 09 2014
 
Written by John Enger, Minnesota Public Radio News,
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RED LAKE, Minn. – The Red Lake band of Ojibwe has approved longtime treasurer Darrell Seki, Sr. as the new tribal chairman. The vote held Wednesday ends Floyd "Buck" Jourdain's decade-long administration.

Unofficial tallies show Seki won with 1,907 votes while Jourdain had 1,284. They were followed by Kathryn Beaulieu, who received 292 votes, and Ron Lussier, with 57 votes.

Seki couldn't be reached for comment on his victory, or what he plans to do in his new office. Red Lake spokesman Michael Meuers, a longtime friend of Seki, said the new chairman will take a little time off before taking on the position at the next tribal meeting on June 10.

"Darrel is a traditionalist," Meuers said, "He's a [Ojibwe] first speaker. He follows the old ways, but that doesn't mean he's not progressive."

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