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Editorials
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR:
Friday, March 09 2012
 
Written by Valerie Decorah Guimaraes,
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Replay to Indian Heights Story

I would like to offer some clarification for completeness sake regarding Indian Heights Park.  A few of us worked very hard and are still working hard to have Indian Heights Park recognized as a Dakota Burial site: Shirley Greising, Betty Smith and Valerie DeCora Guimaraes. 
The Dakota perspective was missing in your article (Indian Heights Park Recognized As Dakota Burial Site, The?Circle, Feb. 2012) just as it was in the initial Rochester Park Board Steering Committee process, and it appears that it is still in jeopardy given the comments made by Mitch Moore and Jim Wilson.
First, we the Dakota Community of Rochester had the strong support of Mr. Leonard Wabasha, Mr. Dave Larson and Ms. Whitney White.  These individuals were and are kept abreast of all developments of the process and encouraged us to share the Dakota perspective with the Park Board of The City of Rochester.

Protestors Oppose Leech Lake Tribal Council signing power line agreement
Thursday, October 14 2010
 
Written by Elizabeth Sherman,
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 Leech Lake Tribal Chairman, Arthur “Archie” LaRose has called forth a meeting sponsored by the Leech Lake Tribal Council on the 230 kV Transmission Line from Bemidji-Grand Rapids, MN.  The meeting will be held on August 30 at the Palace Casino on the Leech Lake Reservation. The goal of this power line meeting is to seek input from Leech Lake band members and community members on the power line.
In Zha Wen Dun Aki (Loving the Earth) members along with other Minnesota Chippewa Tribe band members will attend this meeting to voice their opposition to the power line coming through Leech Lake tribal boundary lands. 
During our week-long protest in late August,  the Leech Lake Chairman has kept In zha Wen Dun Aki members abreast on updated negotiations with the power companies, which are: Minnkota Power Cooperative, Inc., Otter Tail Power Company, Northern States Power Company D/B/A Excel Energy, Great River Energy, Inc. and Minnesota Power (Utilities).
The Leech Lake Tribal Council (Band) has not signed an agreement with these power companies yet, but have reached a tentative agreement of 5.75 million dollars for constructing the power line on Enbridge Pipeline’s permanent easement right-of-way on Highway 2. 
Secretary-Treasurer Michael Bongo promised Leech Lake band members during his 2010 re-election campaign that he would advocate for a tribal referendum on this power line. Now he is going back on his word, and is the main tribal council member pushing this power line on our people and land. To put the transmission line over the Enbridge pipeline right along our tribal school is a recipe for disaster.
In Zha Wen Dun Aki members are demanding a power line tribal referendum be held, and if band members vote for it then we will hold our peace because the people have spoken. The tribal referendum will be presented to the tribal council this evening at this meeting. Power company representatives and Roger Moe, Utilities lobbyist, will be at the meeting as well. 
In Zha Wen Dun Aki members will also confront these power representatives at the Leech Lake Tribal Council meeting why they have not committed to implementing the 2007 Minnesota Renewable Energy Standard (MN RES) signed into law in 2007 by Minnesota Governor, Tim Pawlenty. The MN RES law mandates electricity by utility companies be committed to 25%-30% renewable energy by 2025. 
I doubt that the Leech Lake Tribal Council and their attorney’s even care if the utility companies are abiding by these legal mandates. They are not making rational and sound leadership decisions to protect our environment and our tribal members by agreeing to this contract with the power companies.
The House of Representatives passed the Minnesota Renewable Energy Standard bill by a 123-10 vote, and the Senate passed it by a 61-4 vote a couple weeks prior to Pawlenty signing it into law.
I am not privy to what progress the utility companies have complied with this law. But, I did pose this question to the utility companies as part of my testimony on March 18, 2010 when the state and federal public utility commission representatives came to the Leech Lake Reservation as part of their mandates to solicit input from tribal and non-tribal members. They (public utility company representatives) were not allowed to answer my question.    
The Minnesota Renewable Energy Standard law requires benchmarks be implemented for Excel Energy to comply with renewable energy standards in the amount of 15% by 2010, 18% by 2012, 25% by 2016, and 30% by 2020. All other utility companies are required benchmarks of renewable energy of 7% by 2010, 12% by 2012, 17% by 2016, 20% by 2020, and 25% by 2025. These benchmarks show that a total of 22% renewable energy must be in place by 2010. (Source: Wind Energy Weekly/AWEA.) 
Why are Roger Moe and his cohorts  pushing this transmission line through and not initiating renewable energy in northern Minnesota? Because we do not have enough wind power in northern Minnesota?
Long-term exposure to these electro magnetic fields (emfs) from the electrical line cause cancer, breaking down of cellular body tissue, killing fetuses in pregnant women. The Leech Lake Reservation and surrounding area landscape is second to Alaska as being the greatest bald eagle breeding and nesting site. We believe this transmission line will also kill bald eagles.
In Zha Wen Dun Aki grandmothers have been gathering signatures on a Minnesota Chippewa Tribe Constitution petition which opposes Leech Lake Tribal Council to sign an agreement with these above-mentioned utility companies to allow construction of this transmission line through Leech Lake Reservation tribal boundary lands.  
OPINION PAPER Ronni KameKona
Friday, July 24 2009
 
Written by Ronni KameKona,
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1.) “Google” Tulalip Chief of Police: Scott Smith for the full article: that these shared—opinions address.

2.) The other KameKona opinions shared here pertain to various issues ‘unresolved’ at Tulalip right now.

3.)I want my reservation back! <The final aspect of this opinion paper is the sharing of my own feelings on a deeper most personal level

Miss Ronni KameKona (Tribal Name: Ronni Kona) is a member of the Tulalip Tribes in WA state.  There are problems many of us; 'have-nots' contend with on my reservation. This plea to be heard "for the record" is self explanitory. It is an emotional read, as I am the writer and the narrator. Emotions are high right now; and often are where communities are infested with Drugs like "Meth" and "Heroin" and this is a world-wide problem not an ethnic one.  My Tribe 'finally hired a good Chief of Police, only to be asked to leave just within a few days ago here.  If one puts the title "Google Tulalip Chief of Police, Scott Smith, the article I comment about is available to read from "Everett Herald" and other news sites. This is an "opinion" paper, and it is me, sharing my own opinion.  I invite all readers to be able to snail mail, my Post Office Box 175, Everett WA 98206-0175, if they are connected with my tribe-or have further need for communication from other tribes and have suffered political-types-of-abuse and want a penpal to share experiences. I am getting my own Blog or Website soon, my email contact information is "my name with no spaces" at either hotmail.de or hotmail.com, my opinions today are as follows:
Calling All Leech Lake College Graduates!
Tuesday, May 05 2009
 
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My name is Elizabeth Sherman and I am currently conducting research on Leech Lake tribal members who are educated with a Bachelors, Masters and/or a PhD. There are four reasons why I am doing this research. They are as follows:

My first reason is because many of these tribal members are 50 and over, and some are either elders or are emerging as elders, and deserve acknowledgement, recognition and honor.  These tribal members have set a precedent in tribal history to be first generation college graduates.  They are, in fact, “trailblazers” who cleared the hard and rocky trail of “non-Indian society” for our younger generations to acquire their college education. They were, not only the first in our Tribe to acquire their college education, but they were the very first to obtain professional jobs.

An Open Letter to St. Louis County Board
Wednesday, March 11 2009
 
Written by Tadd Johnson, Rebecca St. George, Emily Johnson (and others),
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Dear Commissioners:


At a January 20, 2009 workshop of the County Board, one of the agenda items included addressing "Transfer of Land to Tax Exempt Entities". As it turned out, the discussion was limited to the two Indian tribal governments whose boundaries fall within St. Louis County; the Fond du Lac Band and Bois Forte Bands of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians. Tribal representatives were apparently not notified nor present at the meeting.

Others were in attendance, however, and a detailed review of the discussion was made available. As citizens of St. Louis County, we are writing to share with you our general uneasiness about the direction and tone of that discussion. We found the misinformation with regard to tribal governments concerning, but we are especially apprehensive about statements made that reflected stereotypes of American Indian people in St. Louis County.

Partially out of recognition of a miscarriage of justice resulting in the theft and loss of tribal lands within the Fond du Lac Reservation, the State Legislature adopted a law in 1985 dealing with the sale of tax-forfeited property in St. Louis County. The law specifies that if the tax-forfeited lands fall within the reservation boundary of the Fond du Lac Band, the County must provide the tribe with the right of first refusal to purchase the land. The intent behind the law was clear recognition that Fond du Lac needed to expand its land holdings within its boundaries in order to improve government service delivery to tribal members.


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