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Local Briefs
Mille Lacs walleye lawsuit against DNR heads to appeals court
Tuesday, January 13 2015
 
Written by John Enger, Minnesota Public Radio News,
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Disgruntled resort owners and citizens' groups argued before a three-judge panel of the Minnesota Court of Appeals on Nov. 20 that the state Department of Natural Resources has mismanaged Mille Lacs Lake.

In April, resort owner Bill Eno, several other local residents and the non-profit advocacy groups Proper Economic Resource Management and Save Mille Lacs Sport Fishing filed suit against the DNR.

Citing a 1998 state constitutional amendment to preserve fishing heritage, they argued that department did not consider it when formulating its latest walleye regulations, which include an extended ban on night fishing.

"The DNR ... could not have designed better plans to destroy the Mille Lacs Lake walleye fishing heritage than the plans that the DNR implemented since 1998," attorney Erick Kaardal wrote in the lawsuit.

The lawsuit seeks to force DNR lake managers to rethink fishery management techniques and listen more closely to local opinion. The three-judge panel is expected to rule on the lawsuit within 90 days.

Eno, who has owned Twin Pines Resort on the western shore of Mille Lacs for two decades, said he has watched DNR regulations tighten, even as walleye numbers decrease. He said the department has crippled the lake's walleye population, and his business.

When the DNR announced regulations temporarily banning night fishing early this spring, Eno had to call dozens of regular customers to cancel their night reservations. The rules hit his business hard, because he makes a lot of his money running fishing launches from 8 p.m. to midnight.

The DNR later re-opened night fishing, but for Eno, the ban was the last straw.


Regional and Local Briefs: December 2014
Friday, January 09 2015
 
Written by The Circle Staff,
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BOIS FORT BAND RECEIVES NEW CLINIC

TOWER, MN – The Bois Forte Band is celebrating the completion of its new 11,000-square-foot health and dental clinic in Vermilion, which replaces a smaller clinic in the community. Band members and guests gathered on Nov. 20 for the official grand opening of the new Vermilion Clinic.

Along with an increased number of examining and treatment rooms, the new clinic includes a pharmacy, dedicated space for diabetes education, expanded lab services and telemedicine capabilities that will allow clinic providers to communicate directly with providers at the University of Minnesota Duluth.

Funding for the clinic was provided through loans and grants from the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community, Indian Health Services, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Iron Ranges Resources and Rehabilitation Board. Clinic equipment was provided by Indian Health Service.


National Briefs: December 2014
Friday, January 09 2015
 
Written by The Circle Staff,
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SUZAN SHOWN HARJO RECEIVED PRESIDENTIAL MEDAL OF FREEDOM

WASHINGTON – Suzan Shown Harjo (Cheyenne-Hodulgee Muscogee) an advocate and activist recently known for her efforts to change the mascot of the Washington NFL team, was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom on Nov. 24. In addition, Shown Harjo dedicated her life to activism, fighting for tribal sovereignty and preservation, while inspiring Native American youth.

“Through her work in government and as the head of the National Congress of American Indians and the Morningstar Institute, she has helped preserve a million acres of Indian land; helped develop laws preserving tribal sovereignty; she’s repatriated sacred cultural items to tribes while expanding museums that celebrate Native life,” President Barack Obama said. “Because of Suzan, more young Native Americans are growing up with pride in their heritage and with faith in their future. And she’s taught all of us that Native values make Americans stronger.”

Harjo was in good company, with notables ranging from actress Meryl Streep to musician Stevie Wonder, 19 honorees in total: Alvin Ailey, Isabel Allende, Tom Brokaw, James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, Michael Schwerner, Mildred Dresselhaus, John Dingell, Ethel Kennedy, Abner Mikva, Patsy Takemoto Mink, Edward Roybal, Charles Sifford, Robert Solow, Stephen Sondheim and Marlo Thomas.


From the Editor's Desk: Do Our Lives Matter?
Friday, January 09 2015
 
Written by Alfred Walking Bull, The Circle Managing Editor,
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whats_new_-_walfred_walking_bull.jpgAs November's Native American Heritage Month, opened with a loud burst in Minneapolis when the Washington NFL team came to town, barely. On game day, word spread through the crowds of protesters marching up from Franklin Avenue to TCF Stadium that the Washington team's bus had an accident before pulling into town and, according to media reports, the players were, “shaken.” At the rally at TCF Stadium, comedian and activist Dick Gregory joked about the turn around in temperature for the rally. “Dan Snyder, you're dealing with people who can change the weather! You can change that name!” Someone set out some extra tobacco, it seems.

While protests and rallies are a way for people to get together, share a common passion and draw attention to an issue, personally, I'm not a fan. In my previous experience as a political organizer, we measured how effective an effort was by the results it produced, usually an election result. But in the process, people feel connected and share their common passions. The important part in movement building is to have a clear goal in mind and calculated ways to achieve that goal.

Every struggle in America to achieve rights guaranteed to us in the spirit of the Constitution has had many prongs, whether the issue of slavery, women's voting rights or civil rights; there have always been many voices involved, not always in agreement, but the goal was the same. In the Native American community, 10 people can have 20 different opinions on the same subject, it's just the way we are as a people, we take time to chew over a problem and posit different methods to achieve our goal. But everyone has a place and every opinion is heard in deliberation. At the end of the day, the strategy is adopted by everyone involved.


What's New In The Community: December 2014
Friday, January 09 2015
 
Written by The Circle Staff,
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BUSH FOUNDATION ANNOUNCES TWO PRIZES FOR INDIAN COUNTRY

ST. PAUL, MN – In recognition of winning a 2014 Bush Prize for Community Innovation, the Native American Community Development Institute of Minneapolis and First Peoples Fund of Rapid City, S.D. have received continued funding from the Bush Foundation in the amounts of $157,201 and $313,068, respectively.

NACDI grew out of research that showed outcomes for American Indians in Hennepin County had not improved substantially in the past 40 years. NACDI spent three years asking Native people what they wanted for their future, as opposed to what they needed to meet their basic needs. The gatherings resulted in a rich and bold vision for a vibrant, resilient community that celebrates Native identity.

This work has spawned numerous efforts, from homeownership opportunities to youth entrepreneurship training to the building of the American Indian Cultural Corridor, a half-mile physical manifestation along Franklin Avenue of the community's vision for a prosperous home in Minneapolis.

The only entity of its kind in the country, NACDI has employed an asset-building approach to reposition the American Indian community as an engine of economic growth. It works from the premise that comprehensive, asset-centered strategies and cross-sector partnerships embracing technology, entrepreneurship and community development will promote innovative ideas. (2014 Bush Prize winner)

First Peoples Fund set out nearly 20 years ago to devise an approach that empowers Native artists to be culture bearers and leaders of social change in their communities.

Today, First Peoples Fund empowers Lakota, Dakota, Nakota and Ojibwe artists through a combination of financial support, mentoring and entrepreneurship opportunities. The program helps revitalize cultures while providing artists with tools to grow as creative leaders and financially support themselves, their families and their communities.

Recognized nationally as a leader in its field, First Peoples Fund is sharing its model across the country, working with other Native communities to provide artists with access to knowledge, materials, networks, capital and markets.


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