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Local Briefs
It ain't easy being indian
Friday, October 07 2011
 
Written by Ricey Wild,
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Me calling Rezberry clinics urgent care: "Help! I need my head examined!"(If only I had an Indian head nickel for how many times people have suggested I do so!)
After a full, fun summer I was ready to settle down into calm autumn and begin burrowing a comfortable rut to occupy. But alas, t'was not to be! I had scheduled my wisdom teeth surgery for September because I thought there would be plenty of time to heal.
Instead I got 'dry socket' where my wisdom teeth used to reside. And if you don't know what that is, you don't know pain. Unholy, excruciating, horrendous pain that mocked the medicine I was taking to abate it.
Then, to add insult to injury, a real injury. I slipped on ice that covered the ramp in the front of my house and hit the back of my head on the cement part, while wearing my new, old lady Minnetonka moccasins from Goodwill. For a week everything above my chins was hurting so much that I could not distinguish one pain from the other. So there went my plan to dismiss all drama in favor of monotony.
Fond du Lac Follies
Friday, October 07 2011
 
Written by by Jim Northrup,
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Fond du Lac Follies motored to Oklahoma with my family. I had been invited to Tahlequah by Richard Allen, a Marine who had served during the Vietnam War. He asked if I could talk about that war and recite some of my poetry. I said shore.
First of all, I could have flown there from Duluth, Minnesota and rented a car when I was close. I decided against that because I didn't want to be groped or radiated at the airport.
So, we took a road trip. We estimated the distance as 850 miles, mostly interstate. Our plan was each driver would do 200 miles then trade off. That worked well for us and we got to see Minnesota, Iowa and Missouri from the four lane highway. We only stopped for fuel for the car and us.
Near Joplin, we continued following our planned highway to meet a highway that led to Tahlequah. We didn't know two states had the same highway number and we found ourselves in Arkansas. The road narrowed, and at times rock ledges covered both lanes of the highway.  They were huge chunks of rocks that had fallen off the ledges in both ditches. On that narrow dark highway I thought I heard banjo music from the movie Deliverance. We were glad when we found the highway that went to Tahlequah.
It was hot there and the sun was merciless. The temps were in excess of 100 degrees (F) and we noticed the people didn't walk, they sauntered.  So right away we tried to saunter.  After a while we got good at sauntering. We leisurely strolled along. One of the places we strolled to was one of the Cherokee's casinos. We won enough at the slots to buy a tank of gasoline.
Native Issues in the Halls of Government
Friday, October 07 2011
 
Written by by Mordecai Specktor,
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Strib ignores 1854 Treaty
A 1,700-word Star Tribune story about copper-nickel mining in northeastern Minnesota described the issue as the state's "biggest environmental decision in a generation: Whether to open its arms to hard-rock mining, an industry that could bring thousands of jobs - and a record of environmental calamities - to the wildest and most beautiful corner of the state."
Reporter Josephine Marcotty's article in late September featured comments by local property owners opposed to sulfide mining and flacks for the mining companies prospecting in the "Duluth Complex," a geological formation in the Arrowhead region that contains an "enormous" amount of copper, nickel and other metals.
However, the article framed the controversy as tourism versus mining, and did not mention the involvement of the Ojibwe bands up north. The Fond du Lac, Bois Forte and Grand Portage bands lie within the 1854 Treaty Ceded Territory.
The Indian bands are especially concerned about sulfide pollution from the proposed PolyMet open pit mine and processing facility, and other copper-nickel projects. As I have written in this column, sulfates from mining wastewater settle in river and lake sediment; microbes change the sulfates into sulfides, which impede the root development of wild rice plants.
Transfer Station, Four New Landfills to Open at Red Lake
Friday, October 07 2011
 
Written by Photos and Story by Michael Meuers,
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Red Lake has received a grant and loan to build a transfer station and four brand new landfills, one for each reservation community, said Red Lake Chairman Floyd Jourdain Jr., in a recent address to the people.   ??"New solid waste construction sites will be constructed in all districts this year.  This will be a major improvement to our waste management capabilities", said Jourdain.  This project will also create several additional jobs.  ??As part of grant funding received from USDA Rural development, MN DOT, U.S Dept of Energy, and the federal highway administration, the Red Lake solid waste management team has purchased new garbage trucks for the transfer/ solid waste program.  In addition there will be a multi-million dollar solid waste recycling facility at Red Lake. ??Gilbert "Gil" Lussier, Solid Waste/Transfer Station Director, was it's first employee, beginning work back in 1995.  During a recent interview, one could hear the excitement in Lussier's voice as he described all that was going on at Red Lake in the area of waste management.  ??In his own words, Lussier is "kind of addicted to this business in a way," he likes the work and he's been advocating for better policies for a long time.  He said is very pleased with the direction the tribal council is going with this issue.  "Before this new initiative," said Lussier, "we had nothing but dumps.  Here, (at the Red Lake site) we will have hazardous waste disposal, and household waste e.g. appliances, tires, batteries, etc., which will be picked up and shipped to other facilities daily."??Lussier talked about what he called the first phase of what waste management is going through.  Each community will have rear load containers, fences will deter bears and dogs, and there will be prescribed times to use waste sites.   "We have a highly trained and versatile team," stated Lussier.  "This group of workers can do each other's jobs if necessary."??"This (Red Lake) will be the first site to open," Lussier said. "One is now being prepped in Ponemah.  Little Rock is done but not open.  We will wait for Red Lake to be completed and open both at the same time."  ??"Right now we have dumpsters out there that handle six cubic yards of waste.  New dumpsters will handle twice as much at 12 cubic yards," explained Lussier.  "There will be ten at each site in all four communities."??A new large structure nearly completed, is the Tipping Building.  Garbage trucks will pick up bins, dump them into the trucks where the garbage is compacted, and then travel to the new tipping building.
New Fitness Center to be Part of Larger "Rec Center"
Friday, October 07 2011
 
Written by Photos and Story by Michael Meuers,
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running_wolf_fitness_story.jpgWhen the new Red Lake casino was built on the reservation line on Highway 89, Red Lake Chairman Floyd Jourdain, Jr. said in his State of the Band message, that the tribe would "turn the Humanities Center back to the people."The Red Lake Humanities Center, built in the 1970's was the former home for the casino and has been used for many things from hockey games to swimming.  It has housed tribal programs from Head Start to college classes, and everything in between.  Funerals, boxing matches, concerts, bingo, powwows, and more...the Red Lake Humanities Center has been a versatile venue indeed.When Indian Gaming began, the Humanities Center was used - for a short-lived time - as a bingo hall with a casino on the north end.  The bingo hall lasted only a short time, but the casino lasted until early 2010 when a new first class casino was built near the south reservation line.Now a refurbishing has begun in the area of the old casino at the Humanities Center.  Part will be for Elderly Nutrition, and another area will house a new Fitness Center.
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