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Local Briefs
Riding the Pipelines
Friday, December 06 2013
 
Written by Winona LaDuke,
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winona laduke riding pipelines.pngThere’s a beauty in the breath of horses, fall mornings a bit of breath seen in the air and the smell and sound of horses. One hoof at a time. Bebezhigogonzhiig … one at a time, a one hoofed being. On Nov. 14, Michael Dahl and I, both Mississippi Band members rode horses from the headwaters of the Mississippi along a proposed route of a new oil pipeline, which would cross the reservation.

We were joined by local people on horseback, in the third of a series of rides on oil pipelines sponsored by a national organization, Honor the Earth. Those rides took us on the Alberta Clipper proposed expansion route and to the proposed Keystone XL route in the Dakotas, where riders from White Earth joined with the Lakota to ride between Wanblee and Takini or Bridger on the Cheyenne River Reservation. “We are not protesters, we’re protectors,” Michael Dahl told me. That is true.


We called this the triple crown of pipeline rides. What’s at stake is a lot of water and a lot of risk. In the Dakotas it is a land without a single pipeline across it and one large aquifer, the Ogalalla. “We can buy bottled water and drink it,” Percy White Plume told me, “The buffalo and horses cannot.” This is a good point. So it was that l5 riders braved some harrowing terrain, a land littered with l00,000 dead cattle from a freak September blizzard, (lying dead on the sides of roads, gullies and the like) and rode a proposed pipeline route.


White Earth Band votes to end blood quantum for tribal membership
Friday, December 06 2013
 
Written by Dan Gunderson, Minnesota Public Radio,
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MOORHEAD, Minn. – White Earth Band of Ojibwe tribal members have approved a new constitution that dramatically changes tribal government and expands membership in Minnesota's largest Chippewa tribe.

The new constitution eliminates the blood quantum which requires a person to prove they have 25 percent Indian blood and changes to a system based on family lineage. But choosing a new constitution is only the first step in what will likely be a long and challenging process.

White Earth Nation Chairwoman Erma Vizenor has advocated for constitutional reform for 16 years, and said Tuesday that when 79 percent of voters approve a new constitution, as they just did with 3,492 votes cast, it's a transformational moment.

"It feels great. It is gratifying to know that the people of White Earth have spoken and spoken strongly," Vizenor said.

Northwest Indian OIC Unveils New Cultural Training
Friday, December 06 2013
 
Written by The Circle Staff,
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BEMIDJI, Minn. – Northwest Indian OIC is announces Anishinaabe World View, a newly-accredited training in Cultural Competency. The training is a result of many gatherings of elders, teachers, critical thinkers and traditional Anishinaabe and the voices of our members, who share their experiences and their recommendations to make our communities, Native and non-Native, healthier, safer and culturally-enriched places.

This course will give a general understanding of the Anishinaabe. It will give learners a historical framework from which to understand and articulate the Native experience today. The outcome will be a sense of identity in the Native learner and increased understanding for the non-Native learner.

Participants can receive Continuing Education Units (CEU) or three college credits from Northwest Technical College and Bemidji State University, as well as a certificate of completion. Registration fees for this training, as with all our trainings, are used to support the ongoing services of Northwest Indian OIC, a Native American-controlled community based nonprofit organization. www.nwioic.org .


Why the mascot issue is important for social justice and Native youth
Friday, December 06 2013
 
Written by Jamie Keith,
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why the mascot issue is important for social justice and native youth.jpgHundreds of protesters gathered outside the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in downtown Minneapolis on Nov. 7 to speak out against the Washington mascot. According to Little Earth Education Director Sasha Houston Brown, the rally was the site of some clashes between football fans and Indigenous protesters.

“There were some very intoxicated white football fans getting in people's faces, mocking the drums, making fake war whoops, doing fake dances,” she said. “We can't say there's not an issue when that's going on.”

There are strong feelings on both sides of this debate. In social media posts that argue to keep the mascot, a common theme admonishes protesters to “get over it.” In Google + user Ron Brown's words, “this PC group of rejects have almost destroyed our society."

Artifact Traffic Combines Old and New Native Art
Thursday, December 05 2013
 
Written by Jamie Keith, TC Daily Planet,
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artifact traffic combines old and new native art2-color.jpgHeid Erdrich, co-director and curator of the multi-genre art exhibit and performance Artifact Traffic, has always been drawn to seemingly disparate forms and images.

“When I work as a curator, I feel drawn to those things that traffic contemporary images with traditional images,” she said. “I love pushing forms against one another – you're making all those things create a vibration between them.”

Artifact Traffic was born of the desire to create this vibration between different forms of art and brought together Indigenous artists with whom Erdrich had collaborated over her long career as a poet, playwright, and curator.

“It's really helpful for us to be in community, even if we don't do the same kind of art,” Erdrich said.

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