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ďIím Not Your Indian AnymoreĒ?AIM Exhibit to open in May
Tuesday, June 04 2013
 
Written by by Laura Waterman Wittstock,
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Work has been underway to select photographs of the American Indian Movement (AIM), along with documents and objects, for a special first exhibit to open May 10th at the All My Relations Gallery in Minneapolis, at 1414 East Franklin Avenue, just a stoneís throw from AIMís original offices.
The challenge was to winnow thousands of pieces down to a tiny fraction of what is being archived by AIMís Interpretive Center, on Franklin Avenue, also near the site of the original offices.

Expanded Violence Against Women Act to cover some Indian women
Wednesday, April 24 2013
 
Written by By Conrad Wilson Minnesota Public Radio News,
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Advocates for Indian women in Minnesota are hailing a decision by Congress to reauthorize and expand the Violence Against Women Act.
For years, the law has supported domestic violence prevention programs aimed at curbing abuse and sexual assault. It also has funded shelters and training for law enforcement. But until now, the law didnít cover many cases involving American Indian women.
The law signed by President Obama in March will make it possible for tribes to prosecute certain, common domestic abuse cases, said Sarah Deer, a former Justice Department Attorney turned William Mitchell law professor invited by the White House for the signing ceremony in Washington.

River Water Walkers draw attention to pollution in Mississippi River
Wednesday, April 24 2013
 
Written by The Circle Staff,
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river_water_walkers_2.jpgA group of walkers led by Native women are carrying a copper pail of water from the headwaters of the Mississippi in Minnesota to where the river empties into the Gulf of Mexico in Louisiana. The walkers and supporters left Lake Itasca State Park on March 1 and are walking every day until they reach the Gulf near New Orleans around April 29.


U.S. Dept. of Interior to spend $1.9 billion on fractionated lands
Thursday, January 31 2013
 
Written by By Dan Gunderson Minnesota Public Radio News,
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The U.S. Department of the Interior plans to spend $1.9 billion to clean up decades of mismanagement of Indian land, an effort that likely will allow Minnesota Indian bands to regain control of more of their original reservation land, parcels that now have thousands of owners.
The effort to clear land titles is part of a $3.4 billion settlement of a class-action lawsuit that started in 1996. It aims to solve a problem the government calls "fractionated heirship."
In 1887, Congress passed the Dawes Act, allowing reservation land to be given to individual Indians. Most were given a parcel of 80 or 160 acres. The federal government held the land in trust. As the years passed, each heir of the original land holder was added to the title.
"The smallest undivided interest I've ever seen was one over 32 million," said Cris Stainbrook, president of the Indian Land Tenure Foundation. "His total share was one divided by 32 million, which is probably less than a postage stamp taking that out of 160 acres."
Based in Minnesota, Stainbrook works on tribal land issues across the nation. He said it's not uncommon for a 160-acre parcel to have 1,000 owners. He said the average is about 15 owners per parcel.
Dakota Commemorative March retraces 150 miles of forced march
Sunday, December 16 2012
 
Written by By Lisa Steinmann, TC Daily Planet,
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dakota_commemortative_march_1.jpgOn an unseasonably warm November Saturday, participants in the 2012 Dakota Commemorative Walk traveled from their lunch stop at the Treaty Site History Center, just north of St. Peter, toward Henderson. The grass at the side of Highway 169 was drained of color, dry and crunchy underfoot. A steady hum of traffic shot by the procession of marchers and slow moving cars on one side while the Minnesota River was visible on the other.
The Dakota Commemorative Walk remembers and honors the 1,700 Dakota women, children and elders who were forcibly marched 150 miles by U.S. military troops from the site of the present-day town of Morton to Fort Snelling. Following the battles of the 1862 Dakota-U.S. War, 303 Dakota men were arrested and awaited trial. Meanwhile, an indiscriminate sweep of Dakota communities resulted in another approximately 1,700 Dakota people, who had not participated in the fighting and had surrendered at the end of the war, being removed from their homeland.
The destination for the 1,700 was a concentration camp located at Pike Island, part of Fort Snelling. Along the way, the captive women, children and elders were assaulted by angry townspeople and soldiers; an unknown number of them died. That winter, 38 Dakota men were hanged in Mankato. Approximately 300 people died from brutal conditions in the concentration camp.
The 2012 walk started November 7 at the Lower Sioux Agency Historical Site on Highway 2 near Morton. Every mile, the walkers come to a stop and gather to plant a prayer flag, a dogwood stake tied with red cloth and a leather ribbons bearing the names of two Dakota families who made this march 150 years ago. One of the group's leaders holding a leather bag of tobacco sang a prayer song while participants filed by, taking a pinch to offer along with prayer. Organizers describe the walk as spiritual, sharing values with the Wokiksuye 38+2 Horse Ride, portrayed in the film Dakota 38, a healing journey that begins in South Dakota and arrives in Mankato on December 26, the anniversary of the execution by hanging of 38 Dakota men.
There is no record of the route the captives marched, but it has been reconstructed by piecing together fragments of historical record, personal memory and guesswork. According to Mary Beth Faimon, who worked with others to devise the first walking route in 2002, railroad tracks were most likely followed because they connected towns. "They made a point to bring the prisoners through the towns so they could have a spectacle," she explained. Today's route has changed somewhat to ensure safe roads for the walkers. "The point is that it's all Dakota land - wherever they walk, it's in the footsteps of their ancestors." said Faimon.
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