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Urban News
Native voters will experience greater barriers under proposed Voter ID Amendment
Wednesday, November 21 2012
 
Written by By Sally Fineday and Vina Kay,
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On November 6, Minnesotans will have the opportunity to cast their ballots for many important decisions. One decision that is most important to American Indians is the decision to vote no to the question of photo ID on the ballot. The decision of whether to amend the state constitution to require presenting a government-issued state photo identification to exercise the right to vote is one that will negatively impact American Indians. When a person who maintains a photo identification card with updated residential information reads the question of photo ID on the ballot, it sounds fair. What's hidden behind the question is blatant oppression and a change in law that will effectively disenfranchise American Indians, other people of color, and many others from voting in future elections. Among those faced with the brunt of the financial burden of a so-called "free" identification card will be low-income people, elderly voters, students and others who move frequently, homeless people, and people with disabilities. It is no news to American Indian people in Minnesota that the poverty rate among American Indians is high - according to MNCompass, over 40 percent of American Indian individuals in the state live below the poverty level, the highest poverty rate among all groups. Of all racial and ethnic groups in the state, American Indians also experience the highest rate of disability (of those ages 18-64, nearly 22 percent live with a disability).
Russell Means - a hero moves on
Wednesday, November 21 2012
 
Written by by Winona LaDuke,
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opinion_russell_means_a_hearo_moves_on.jpgHe was a hero. Make no mistake about it. And, his death in late October, is a great loss to America, not just Indians, he challenged us a to be better people. In l973, life was not good on the Pine Ridge reservation in South Dakota, the reservation from which he came. Life expectancy was around 44 years of age and the reservation had a murder rate about eight times higher than the most violent American city. And repression reigned. Off the reservation, things were often worse. In l972, Oglala Raymond Yellow Thunder was beaten, stripped naked and paraded in the American Legion in Gordon, Nebraska. He was stuffed in a car trunk, and a few days later died of injuries sustained in his beating. South Dakota and Nebraska were perhaps the most racist states in the country, barring Mississippi. Oglala Lakota elders asked for help and American Indians from the Twin Cities, and from urban areas or reservations came. Russell Means came. He was one of many. That was the beginning of the American Indian Movement. The passing of Oglala Lakota activist Russell Means to the Spirit World marks the end of an era, and hopefully, the beginning of a new one. Means was a leader, and an Ogichidaa, one who stood for the people.
MN VOICES | Robert Albee, diabetes activist
Tuesday, November 20 2012
 
Written by BY BERLINE PIERRE-LOUIS, TC DAILY PLANET,
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diabest_breakfast_story.jpgNovember 08, 2012
Robert Albee is a retired school teacher and Minneapolis resident who was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes in 1995. I met Albee on a cold and rainy morning for a monthly Diabetes Breakfast in the culturally diverse Phillips neighborhood at the Phillips Community Center.
On that Thursday morning traffic all around the Twin Cities screeched to a very slow halt as the unexpected heavy rain came during rush hour. The rain was no deterrent to 35 participants who showed up to eat a hearty breakfast burrito bowl layered with beans, eggs, sausage, lettuce, fresh cilantro, tomato and a side of fresh apple slices.
Participants crowded around tables with hot coffee in hand to hear a psychologist and nurse practitioner from the Native American Community Clinic talk about diabetes and how it can affect their mental health. Topics at past breakfasts have included foot care, dental hygiene, and nutrition. The approach that Albee and his wife Sharon took in forming their two-year-old group, A Partnership of Diabetics (A-POD), is one of sharing in community with other diabetics. In addition to a monthly diabetes breakfast with speakers, A-POD holds weekly meet-up style groups. Each meeting starts with members recording their blood pressure and weight. During the meetings, members share their successes, struggles, and tips for better management of a sometimes very complex disease. Albee says about 100 people per month attend the breakfast and/or meet-up groups.
Peggy Flanagan's health care reform question: "Is my mom going to be able to get the care that she n
Tuesday, November 20 2012
 
Written by BY SHEILA REGAN, TC DAILY PLANET (http://www.tcdailyplanet.net),
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peggy_flanagans_health_care_reform.jpg November 01, 2012
For 33-year-old Peggy Flanagan, health care policy is "super personal." About a decade ago, Flanagan’s mom had to go on social security disability because her pain was so bad. With her fibromyalgia, she could no longer perform the tasks that she needed to do for her job. “That was really hard, because my mom really defined herself through her work,” Flanagan said. “That was her identity – someone who got up at the crack of dawn and worked late into the night. Just to not be able to have that has been really hard on her.”
Care for people. It’s a simple enough concept, but one that sometimes gets lost in all the rhetoric and politics during election season. What would happen if more of our elected officials and people in government thought about the value of caring for people? When it comes to health care reform, 33-year-old Peggy Flanagan wishes politicians would talk about what it means for real people, how Paul Ryan’s plan to turn Medicare into a voucher program people like her mom, a woman who worked her whole life healing others, and now can’t always even get the medication she needs.
Flanagan has worked for the Division of Indian Work, was a School Board Member with Minneapolis Public Schools, and is now the Director of External Affairs for Wellstone Action, where she’s taken a leave to work for Minnesota United for All Families. She’s also expecting a baby in February. And through all of this she’s cared for her mom, a woman who for the past 10 or so years has battled a host of health issues including fibromyalgia, severe osteoporosis and scoliosis, and now has issues with her breathing, because her spine is collapsing and crushing her ribs, making it more and more difficult for her to breathe, and making her essentially bed ridden.
Flanagan decided to vote for Barack Obama in 2008 after he told a story about watching his mom suffer in her last weeks and days of life and having to be on the phone with the insurance company arguing about whether or not they’d pay for her pain medication. “That was the story for me that made me go, “Okay. This guy gets it and will be an advocate for me and my family and specifically for my mom.”
Urban News
Wednesday, October 17 2012
 
Written by The Circle Staff,
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Getting Out The Native Vote

Native Vote Launches National Grass-roots Media Campaign
The National Congress of American Indians launched a national grassroots media campaign in September alongside leading national Native media organizations to encourage Native people to register to vote and participate in the 2012 national election.
The new campaign titled "Every Native Vote Counts" is part of the organization's ongoing non-partisan voter outreach effort, Native Vote. Native Vote works with community organizers, non-profits, urban Indian centers, tribal governments, and regional organizations to create a strong and permanent infrastructure for election training that highlights voter registration, election protection policies, and voter education.
With a goal of turning out the largest Native vote in history in 2012 NCAI reached out to members of the media to participate in the campaign and hopes these critical partners are joined by many more in the coming weeks.
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