Local Briefs
Tuesday, March 14 2017
Written by Ricey Wild,
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The Oceti Sakowin camp has been cleared by heavily militarized police, but what happened there this past year is forever. WE THE PEOPLE showed up in the thousands to protect our water and support the Standing Rock Sioux Nation in their fight against big oil. I am so very proud and grateful to all whom contributed in any way to resist the hateful and greedy monsters behind the pipeline – including #45, who received $100,000 in campaign donations from the DAPL conglomerate.

I envied those who were able to go there and represent. But I believe everyone who felt strongly about the cause has directly impacted it as well – including those who prayed and helped keep the story relevant. Bless all of you for standing up for what really matters for our future generations.

Living in Rezberry I have well water and I didn’t like it at first because it smelled funny. I was used to city water, which is treated with who knows what…yet now I am very conscious of every precious drop that comes out of the faucets and I am thankful for it. However, I am keenly aware of the fact there are many pipelines that run underneath this land and I get all anxious and mad. Not for my ole carcass but for all humanity in this insane world we live in now.

Keep in mind that the dirty, tar sands oil will not benefit Americans at all for cheaper gas prices. It will come from Canada through multiple states and then be sold to China, which has mass pollution. Will we be the next to have to wear surgical masks outside? Oklahoma is now the earthquake epicenter because of fracking, which has clearly been identified as the cause. The good news is that more people are waking to the ugly truth; that we are being sacrificed so the 2% can continue their luxurious lives.

Just last month NASA identified planets similar to Earth in orbit around a star outside our galaxy that may support life. Soooo….my question is ‘do the 2% know something we don’t about lifting off to another Earth-like terrain’? I remember a movie like that. Hey, I’m all good with getting rid of those evil viruses but we cannot let them leave us with the mess they left Our Mother in. Oh no! They have a lot to answer for and I volunteer to crack the whip on those over-privileged, whiny babies on clean-up duties. (Not a slur on babies).

I’ve been severely depressed for way too long and the situation we Americans are experiencing now due to Pootin’ and his puppet #45 threw me down in a way I wasn’t prepared for. I am, however, becoming hopeful with the recent pushback by American citizens who are refusing to put up with this Pootin’ Puppet President – who has clearly been appointed into office as was W Bush by the SCOTUS. I almost wrote something else. Ahem!

On the home front I’m happy to report I have plenty (as of this writing) of toilet paper, cat litter and mac & cheese. Life is good. I miss my son and granddaughters and I pray I get to see them soon. I made my Gramma Rose some short ribs in the slow cooker; I will see her and I am bringing a pie, too. I’m also gonna go play penny poker with my friends and take their money like last time, then go to the casino and double it ;). My favorite TV channel is VICELAND and I encourage ya’ll to watch it if you can. Wake up!

Spirits, our ancestors, are with us in this most critical of times. The elites are counting on us to just lay down, but that’s not happened, nor ever it will.
My dear friend Diane E., whom I only know from facebook (for now), wrote something that resonates with me and I feel better for it in our mutual disgust of U.S. politics; all we have is each other. I take heart from her statement in that WE, the collective WE, have the power.

How else have WE Indigenous Peoples of Turtle Island survived complete genocide thus far? My belief is that we possess a priceless treasure, and those who don’t have it envy us. And what is that? Spirituality. That is why they have to kill us. I miss you John Trudell.

Just an FYI? WE don’t hate, WE relate. Every human breathing air right now has suffered abuse in their life no matter our skin color or ‘class’. It is what it is but that does not mean the cycle of abuse, hate and every vile, horrific act has to continue. Keep in your hearts that WE have each other.
(Insert Bob Marley song here.)

I love yooz.  

Lydia Vanessa GreyEagle
Tuesday, March 14 2017
Written by The Circle,
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obitgreyeagle.jpgLydia Vanessa GreyEagle
May 25, 1988 - February 18, 2017

Lydia Vanessa GreyEagle, “Ho Waste Win” (Strong Voice Woman), age 28 of the Lower Sioux Community, entered the Spirit World on February 18 at North Memorial Medical Center in Robbinsdale, Minnesota.

Lydia was born May 25, 1988 in Redwood Falls, Minnesota to Dan GreyEagle and Patti Schoen. She attended Eci’ Nompa Woonspe school in Morton. She loved shopping, listening and singing to music, traveling, and cruising in her truck. She enjoyed spending time with her children, family, and friends. She had a happy-go-lucky personality and was free-spirited.  Lydia was a comedian and enjoyed making people laugh. Her favorite color was red which fit her bold personality.

Funeral Services were held February 22 at the Lower Sioux Church Hall. Burial was in St. Cornelia’s Episcopal Cemetery. Lydia is survived by her parents: Dan GreyEagle and Patti Schoen; children: Styles Strong and Jaleah Sioux GreyEagle; siblings: Danielle GreyEagle, Dee GreyEagle, and Roy Uballe; best friend Molly Monzon; many aunts, uncles, cousins, relatives and friends. She is preceded in death by her son Robin Jr. Lussier, sisters Debbie Schoen and Valerie GreyEagle, grandparents Tom & Iola Columbus and Corrine Schoen & Albert Lucio, and numerous aunts, uncles, and other family members. Online condolences:

DAPL set to move oil March 6
Tuesday, March 14 2017
Written by mo,
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When I last wrote about the struggle at Standing Rock, in the Oct. 2016 issue of The Circle, several federal departments – the Army, Justice and Interior – had stopped construction of the Dakota Access oil pipeline (DAPL). And on Dec. 4, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced that it would not grant an easement under Lake Oahe, just north of the Standing Rock reservation, for the Dakota Access pipeline; the Corps said that it would prepare an environmental impact statement for alternative pipeline routes.

However, there’s a new sheriff in town, so to speak, and the tide has turned in favor of fossil fuels and oil pipelines.

Regarding the stand made at Standing Rock, the last water protectors were hauled out of the Oceti Sakowin camp near Cannonball, No. Dakota, on Feb. 23, following an order by No. Dakota authorities to evacuate the camp.

“The process of clearing out the camp took nearly four hours to complete and included 220 officers and 18 members of the National Guard, the AP reported,” according to Teen Vogue magazine, a quite good news source for the #NoDAPL movement. “ABC News noted that police arrested 46 people who refused to leave the camp. Speaking to ABC News, a representative for the North Dakota Joint Information Center said that when one group of veterans refused to voluntarily leave the camp, they were carried out by law enforcement.”

And Teen Vogue quoted Chase Iron Eyes, a lawyer, activist and member of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, which has spearheaded the fight against DAPL: “The battleground has shifted to the legal courts and the court of public opinion.”

Regarding the legal front, Earthjustice, a public interest law firm representing the Standing Rock tribe, is pushing its motion for summary judgement, which “lays out our case, basically, that what President Trump and the Army Corps of Engineers did was illegal, in… reversing their decision to move forward with an environmental impact statement,” said Phillip Ellis, senior press secretary for Earthjustice.

Readers might recall that Trump, on his fourth day in office, signed an executive action to advance approval of the Keystone XL and Dakota Access oil pipelines. It’s not clear if Trump actually read the documents or knew any of the details of the two projects; but he signed the papers and displayed his signature to those assembled in the Oval Office.

During a phone interview from his Washington, D.C., office, Ellis pointed out that the motion for summary judgement, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, is intended to expedite the court’s decision, “before we thought oil would flow through the pipeline. The company continues to move its deadline up.”

The court might not make a decision on the Standing Rock tribe’s legal motion before oil starts flowing on March 6, according to Ellis, who said that Energy Transfer Partners, the corporation behind DAPL, is “moving on a very aggressive schedule.”

The section of pipeline under Lake Oahe is the last link of the 1,172-mile underground pipeline carrying oil from the Bakken oil fields in North Dakota through So. Dakota and Iowa, and ending at a tank farm near Patoka, Ill.

Although the Oceti Sakowin camp has been demolished, Ellis pointed out that “there’s a lot that still remains” of the popular opposition to DAPL.
Notably, a “march in prayer and action” has been called by the Standing Rock tribe and indigenous grassroots leaders for March 10 in Washington, D.C. ( The march will be preceded by three days of lobbying on Capitol Hill; and there is a demand that Pres. Trump meet with tribal leaders and learn the importance of respecting tribal rights.

The wrecking crew known as the Trump administration is poised to do great harm to people and the natural environment. In late February, I also talked with Kevin Whelan, executive director of MN350, a group committed to action to combat climate change. Putting pressure on banks (including US Bank and Wells Fargo) providing funds for oil pipelines and fossil fuel development has been a MN350 focus.

“Our work has gotten much harder, but many more people are stepping up to join in the work,” said Whelan, regarding the situation since Trump was sworn in as president.

Specifically, Whelan explained that Trump has moved aggressively against the movement for clean energy, and has reversed the partial victory won at Standing Rock. He has “appointed climate deniers and enemies of clean air and water to important positions.”

We all will need to stay alert and stay active to resist the onslaught from Washington.

Spring, Renewal, and Food – Healthy Living
Tuesday, March 14 2017
Written by Nick Metcalf,
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It’s Spring time. Yay! We’ve made it through another Minnesota winter. I’m hopeful that you got a chance to hear stories and reconnect with family. This month I want to talk about food.

I realized recently that there are quite a few people disconnected from our food sources. The amount of junk food people buy and eat is astounding. At corner stores and convenience stores, people are buying food-like-substances (junk food).

Here’s the deal – your body needs nutritious food. It is essential. Vegetables and fruits are crucial to our body. Chips and soda are horrible to your body and for your body. Please stop. If there is anything that you take away from this month’s column it’s this – garbage in, garbage out.

We Natives experience high rates of diabetes, heart disease, high cholesterol, and depression. These diseases are because of our diets. We are eating our way into misery. We must stop this.

It’s that time of year that we should be planting our foods. We need to teach our children, our friends, and our families the importance of having a healthy, productive relationship with food.

We must first understand our relationship with food. I grew up in a household that served quick and easy food. No seasoning. We were not forced to eat something we didn’t like. I had teenage parents who enjoyed junk food so that is what our diet consisted of.   

What did I learn? I didn’t learn anything. I didn’t learn to value food. I didn’t learn how essential food is to my well-being and how it impacts my health. I don’t blame anyone for this. As an adult, I had to learn about food.

What can you do for yourself?  Here is a list of tasks that you can begin with.
• Learn about food: schedule an appointment with a Registered Dietician. Call your local clinic to find out if they have one. A Dietician can help you learn about food and meal planning. I’ve used their services and learning quite a bit. It was an amazing experience.
• Eliminate bad foods: I’d like to challenge you this month to eliminate a food that has no nutritional value. If you eliminate soda from your diet, then you’ll be making huge strides in healing your body and improving your dental health.
• Water: Drink more water. Our bodies are mostly made up of water. We are continually eliminating water so we need to replace it. Caffeine and sugary drinks do not replace it. They make us thirstier. Get a reusable water bottle, fill it up, then drink away.
• Gardening: Get involved with community gardening. Ask questions about plants. Don’t be embarrassed if you don’t know something. Knowledge is power. Reconnect with food.  
• Traditional foods:  Connect with community Elders and Spiritual leaders to learn about traditional foods. They have a sacred knowledge that we need. Learn about how we hunted and gathered foods. Many of the plants are still readily available. And, no, Frybread and Indian Tacos are not traditional foods.
• Meal planning: It’s important to sit down and plan your meals for the week. Spend some time looking for new and healthy recipes. Meal planning will also help you budget your money.
• Prepare meals together: My favorite memories are in the kitchen preparing food. It is a time that I sit and talk with friends or family. We catch up. We share information. It is an incredible bonding experience.
• Being poor is not an excuse: Living in poverty can make it difficult to learn about food. It’s not an excuse, but when the only food available near where you live is horrible, you don’t seem to have much choice. If it’s cheap then you buy it. Hunger is real. We need to put food in our body, no matter if it has nutritional value to us or not. Affordable, nutritious food is available if you look for it.   

As an adult, I’ve learned to appreciate food. I can honestly say that I’m not that adventurous in food, but I’m willing to try different foods. I’ve learned that I’m sensitive to the texture of food. I dislike slimy food.

On the other hand, my son is a Foodie. He is the one who is willing to try different foods. He is the one who wants to try a new recipe. Annually, we go on a food adventure to the Minnesota State Fair. Our latest adventure was a road trip to New Orleans where he tried different foods, but I stuck to hamburger and fries.

Remember this, ‘Garbage in, Garbage out’. If you want to feel better and experience better health, then eat food that helps your body to thrive. Make small changes. By this time next year, if you eat better, I bet you’ll feel better. Happy Spring.

“LaRose” is spiritually uplifting
Tuesday, March 14 2017
Written by Michael Tidemann,
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By Louise Erdrich

larosebookcover.jpgIn this spiritually uplifting novel, Louise Erdrich (Turtle Mountain Ojibwe) shows how one family’s sacrifice heals the sorrow of another. When Landreaux Iron accidentally kills his neighbor Peter Ravich’s son Dusty while hunting deer, a great loss falls upon both the Iron and Ravich families. After cleansing himself spiritually in a sweat lodge, Landreaux follows an ancient Native American tradition and gives his youngest – and most beloved – son LaRose to Peter and his wife Nola.

It’s neither an immediate nor easy solution. As the Raviches continue to struggle with their loss of Dusty and anger at Peter, LaRose struggles to be accepted by the Ravich’s daughter Maggie who first taunts then accepts him. The Iron family also deals with problems of their own. It’s LaRose, though, who even as a small boy goes on his own vision quest and calls upon the help of his ancestors to help mend the two families. As he tells his new sister Maggie, he’s just not any kid, he has spirit helpers. Maggie and LaRose soon become accomplices in their efforts to keep Nola from committing suicide.

Erdrich masterfully weaves two other strands into the story. One is of the first LaRose, a young Native American girl first adopted then wed by a kind but surly trapper Wolfred. Her remains are stolen after her death, cruelly exhibited, and mysteriously disappear after a break-in. Erdrich also brings into the story Romeo, once best friend of Landreaux, later a ne’er-do-well who was severely crippled when he broke his friend’s fall from a bridge. Romeo has ever since held a grudge against Landreaux – a grudge that builds to the point of his wanting to take Landreaux’s life. All three strands join in an explosive conclusion.

Erdrich  is the winner of the National Book Award, National Book Critics Circle Award, the PEN/Saul Bellow Award for Achievement in American Fiction and finalist for the Pulitzer Prize.

Michael Tidemann writes from Estherville, Iowa. For more information, see: .

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