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Local Briefs
Regional and Local Briefs: February 2015
Friday, February 06 2015
 
Written by The Circle Staff,
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DEADLINE PASSES FOR CITY TO APPEAL HOTEL DECISION

DULUTH, Minn. – A 30 day deadline passed for Duluth to file an appeal regarding the federal decision to allow the Carter Hotel to be put into trust by the Fond du Lac Band.

The tribe bought the Carter Hotel in 2010, and later began the application to move the land into trust. The city alleged the band broke its contract when it requested to put the land into trust without first talking to the city.

However, a federal judge ruled on Dec. 22 that the band was legally allowed to that.

Duluth attorneys had said they might appeal that decision, but the deadline to do that was Jan. 21.

 

FOND DU LAC TRIBAL COUNCIL VOTES TO CONTINUE SMOKING AT CASINOS

CLOQUET, Minn. – The Fond du Lac tribal council voted on Jan. 22 to ban smoking within their offices. More details will be added to the band’s smoke-free policy, including no smoking inside tribally-owned government offices and businesses starting Feb. 15.

However, this smoking ban does not include the Black Bear or Fond–du–Luth casinos. The Fond du Lac tribe is located in Cloquet, but it owns and operate the Fond–du–Luth Casino and the Carter Hotel building, in Duluth.

There has been a push for casinos across the country to ban smoking, even in Wisconsin. According to a survey conducted by the Great Lakes Inter-Tribal Council of Wisconsin, a smoke-free policy at casinos would not reduce tribal casino patronage, but actually increase it. The survey found that over 75 percent of casino patrons are non–smokers.

As the Fond du Lac Band expresses its interest in the health of the community, that may signal a shift by looking at all non-smoking options, including casinos possibly in the future.

 

TAX LIENS FILED AGAINST LOWER BRULE CHAIRMAN

LOWER BRULE, S.D. – The chairman of the Lower Brule Sioux Tribe may owe the Internal Revenue Service hundreds of thousands of dollars in unpaid taxes, according to public filings.

The IRS has filed tax liens on Chairman Michael Jandreau and his property that total more than $664,000 since 1994. That amount could include unpaid taxes as well as interest and penalties.

Jandreau, who has presided over the tribe for more than 30 years, is at the center of a report issued last week by Human Rights Watch. The report, which followed a two-year investigation by the international nonprofit, concluded that $25 million in federal funds is missing. That money was supposed to have paid for social services and other essential programs on the reservation.

The report blames the tribe's leadership, including Jandreau and some former and current tribal council members, for overseeing a government that hides basic information from the public. That information includes financial reports, salaries of public officials, resolutions of the tribal council, minutes of council meetings, audits and more. In a statement, the chairman denied the report's conclusions as "baseless."

The tax liens raise questions about the sources of Jandreau's income and its origins. Marshall Matz, a lawyer representing the tribe, addressed the issue in a statement. "There was a dispute over 'sovereignty' and its impact on tax deductions," Matz said. "The dispute has been resolved and the lien is being satisfied."

The liens were filed with the register of deeds in Lyman County. The first lien was filed for taxes in 1994 and the final one for taxes in 2010. Between 1994 and 2010, the IRS filed liens against Jandreau and his now deceased wife, totaling $664,373.

The taxes in question relate to Jandreau's Form 1040, which is the federal individual income tax return. Although other taxes could be involved, the common taxes arising out of a Form 1040 would be individual income tax and self-employment tax, experts say.

The earliest liens, from 1994 to 1997, might have been released because the last day to refile already has passed. The other liens have refiling dates between this year and 2022. It isn't clear how Jandreau amassed the tax liabilities. Human Rights Watch estimated that tribal council salaries were about $81,000 per year, but as chairman, Jandreau probably makes more.


National Briefs: February 2015
Friday, February 06 2015
 
Written by The Circle Staff,
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ASSAILANTS FACING CHARGES AFTER HOCKEY GAME INCIDENT

RAPID CITY, S.D. – Rapid City Police Chief Karl Jegeris said officials know the identity of at least one person who allegedly threw beer on and yelled racial slurs at a group of Native American students at a Rapid City Rush hockey game on Jan. 24.

Jegeris made the announcement at a press conference that followed a 2 1/2-hour closed-door meeting that included parents of the children, American Horse School officials, Oglala Sioux Tribal representatives, Mayor Sam Kooiker, police and the Pennington County State's Attorney's office.

"We're going to be looking at assault. We're going to look at the hate crimes statutes. We will look at the child abuse statutes. And, we will look at any other relevant statutes," Jergeris said of charges that may be filed against the person or people who participated in the harassment of the students.

American Horse School is in Allen on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. The 57 students and seven adults were on a field trip that rewarded students for school achievement. Their trip was cut short in the third period of the game because of the outbursts from a skybox above the section in which the students were sitting.

The American Horse school group took up some 65 seats, which included parents, chaperones and students, during the game. Because of the racially-charge assault, the chaperones removed the youth from the game before its conclusion and took to social media via Facebook where the incident was carried by online advocacy media organization Last Real Indians.

 

SENATE DEMOCRATS DELAY VOTE ON KEYSTONE XL

WASHINGTON, D.C. – A bill to approve the controversial Keystone XL Pipeline remains under consideration in the Senate after Democrats were able to delay its passage on Jan. 26.

Republicans have made S.1, the Keystone XL Pipeline Act, their top priority in the 114th Congress. But their attempts to cut off debate and move towards a final vote were rejected by a 53 to 39 vote.

The bill, however, is expected to pass the Republican-controlled chamber eventually. President Barack Obama has vowed to veto the measure if it comes to his desk.


February 2015 Calendar
Friday, February 06 2015
 
Written by The Circle Staff,
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Through Feb. 20

Rosalie Favell: Relations”

Favell has exhibited extensively throughout Canada, the U.S.,
and other international venues. Her works can be found in numerous institutions including the National Gallery of Canada, Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography, Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian and Rockwell Museum of Western Art.

“Rosalie Favell: Relations” will feature selections from three bodies of work rooted in notions of family, born and made.
We are especially excited to announce this as All My Relation’s first solo exhibition featuring a relative from above the Canadian/US border!

All My Relations Gallery, 1414 E. Franklin Ave., Minneapolis, MN; Gallery hours: 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Tuesday–Friday; 11 a.m.-3 p.m., Saturday; closed Sunday. For more information, visit www.allmyrelationsarts.com, call 612-235-4970 or email This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it


Feb. 6

Resource Fair

Join us monthly to meet with local organizations, schools, clinics and other community resource providers for current information, offers and events.

11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Minneapolis American Indian Center, 1530 E. Franklin Ave., Minneapolis, MN. If your organization is interested in having a display table, call Amber Parkhurst at 612-879-1700 or email This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it


Feb. 6

Stress Management Group

Are you worried, stressed, or tense a lot?
Then maybe this new group is for you. It’s normal to feel tense, stressed, and worried when the moment puts you under pressure. Just so you know, 2 out of every 5 of us worries at least once every day. But, it’s not okay when those feelings of worry, stress, and being tense keep us from doing what we want in life. This group can help you learn how to reduce how much tension and stress you feel and help you better control your worrying thoughts. Give it a try!
Group open to anyone, 11 a.m. to noon, Native American Community Clinic, 1213 E. Franklin Ave., Minneapolis, MN. For more information or to register at 612-872-8086 option 1.


From the Editor's Desk: Look before leaping into cannabis
Thursday, February 05 2015
 
Written by Alfred Walking Bull, The Circle Managing Editor,
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whats_new_-_walfred_walking_bull.jpgAnyone who sits through any tribal council meeting knows well the time and measure of deliberation of any issue in Indian Country. In South Dakota tribal councils, the tradition of consensus – even when put against the formalism of Roberts Rules of Order – tends to give way to all persons with an opinion on any given matter being discussed.

Too often, as Indian people, we prefer the romantic notion of swift, decisive action. It comes from our times of war with the encroaching enemy, be they other tribes or a growing country of European immigrants. We harken back to the idea that in order to be Indian, we must act aggressively and without doubt. True enough, given the mode of war but when it comes to nation-building, planning and economic development, seemingly endless meetings and discussions are better advised.

As Red Lake Nation – along with other tribes across the country – follow the lead of the U.S. Department of Justice's implied permission at the close of 2014 to pursue the cultivation and sale of hemp and marijuana, there are many questions that need to be asked and real answers given before motions to legalize should even be made.

Marijuana is not the silver bullet. The growth and sale of cannabis on Indian reservations are not the great sustainer we would like them to be. We know this because we have seen this model before with Indian gaming.

While many in Minnesota and across the country who did not grow up on the reservation like to point to financial windfalls and continued profitability of Indian gaming, those cases are the exception and not the rule. For many tribes, most of which are out of the way and in the most inaccessible regions of this country for basic emergency services – a gift from the largess of the federal government, to be sure – the profitability of gaming is low. The Native American Rights Fund reports that of the 560 tribal nations, only 224 operate gaming establishments. The National Indian Gaming Commission in its Gaming Revenue Reports from 2009 to 2013, show that the average of only 26 operations showed revenue in the $11 million. Split among the citizens of each tribal nations how they see fit to disperse it, either through per capita payments or investment in their infrastructures, it is still a long way to go for most tribes.


Nick-izms: Rez Born, Urban Raised
Thursday, February 05 2015
 
Written by Nick Metcalf,
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jpeg_pic.jpgLove, Love, Love, Love

We live in an American society that is obsessed with love. It's plastered everywhere this time of year. Valentine’s Day brings out Cupid, heart shaped chocolates, flowers, balloons, cards and music about love. Those of us with children help our kids fill out their Valentine’s Day cards to take to school. We may give a gift. We may receive gifts. Everything is about love.

This month I wanted to write about love – my understanding of love; how I came to know love; and my experience with love. I’ve learned over the decades that I’ve been on this journey called life that love is easy. We complicate love with popular ideas of what it is, what love should be, how love is manifested, who is allowed to have love, when love is given and how love is given.

It’s important to note here before you continue any further, what you read are my experiences. My experiences and the experiences of other Native people are just as diverse, unique and varied as the people in our community. Both of our experiences are valid, not generalizable and should never be construed as such.

My life-changing experience with love was when my son was born, Hoksicila Cante Ma Yuha (Child of My Heart). When I first saw him, when he took his first breath, I feel deep into parental love. The love of a parent is all consuming, all confusing and scary at times, but wonderful and filled with many moments of joy. This experience profoundly shifted my notions about what I knew about love, and what love could be. It is from this experience that I began to explore love, my experience with it and how I defined love.

I am a survivor of sexual abuse and domestic assault. These experiences influenced me and I share this so you can understand how I came to know love. These experiences are not an excuse, nor are they a justification when I failed to return love when it was given to me unconditionally. These experiences are what I needed to heal from so I could experience love.


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