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Wounded Knee Fortieth Anniversary Honored
Wednesday, April 24 2013
 
Written by Story by Bill Means Photos by Larry Long,
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wounded_knee_aim_flag.jpgPeople came from the Four Directions to gather at the historic village of Wounded Knee, on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, on the forty year anniversary of Wounded Knee 1973. Wounded Knee veterans and many non Indian supporters arrived for three days of activities to honor those who participated in Wounded Knee in 1973, and to honor the 250 Indian people who were massacred in 1890 by the US Calvary and are buried in a mass grave at Wounded Knee.


Land grab cheats North Dakota tribes out of $1 billion, suits allege
Tuesday, March 12 2013
 
Written by by Abrahm Lustgarten, ProPublica,
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land_grab_cheats_north_dakota_tribes_.jpgNative Americans on an oil-rich North Dakota reservation have been cheated out of more than $1 billion by schemes to buy drilling rights for lowball prices, a flurry of recent lawsuits assert. And, the suits claim, the federal government facilitated the alleged swindle by failing in its legal obligation to ensure the tribes got a fair deal.
This is a story as old as America itself, given a new twist by fracking and the boom that technology has sparked in North Dakota oil country. Since the late 1800s, the U.S. government has appropriated much of the original tribal lands associated with the Fort Berthold reservation in North Dakota for railroads and white homesteaders. A devastating blow was delivered when the Army Corps of Engineers dammed the Missouri River in 1953, flooding more than 150,000 acres at the heart of the remaining reservation. Members of the Three Affiliated Tribes 2014 the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara 2014 were forced out of the fertile valley and up into the arid and barren surrounding hills, where they live now.  
But that last-resort land turns out to hold a wealth of oil, because it sits on the Bakken Shale, widely believed to be one of the world's largest deposits of crude. Until recently, that oil was difficult to extract, but hydraulic fracturing, combined with the ability to drill a well sideways underground, can tap it. The result, according to several senior tribal members and lawsuits filed last November and early this year in federal and state courts, has been a land grab involving everyone from tribal leaders accused of enriching themselves at the expense of their people, to oil speculators, to a New York hedge fund, to the federal government's Bureau of Indian Affairs.
The rush to get access to oil on tribal lands is part of the oil industry's larger push to secure drilling rights across the United States.
Red Lake shooting survivors travel to Connecticut to support Newtown community
Thursday, January 31 2013
 
Written by by Jon Collins and Tom Crann Minnesota Public Radio,
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red_lake_shooting_survivors.jpgA group of survivors from the 2005 shooting at Red Lake High School traveled to Connecticut in late December to offer support to residents of Newtown, who are dealing with the aftermath of a shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School that killed 26 people.
Ashley Lajeunesse was in 9th grade at Red Lake when the shootings occurred. Ten people, including the 16-year-old shooter, a student at the school, died in those incidents.
Lajeunesse said the Red Lake group offered their condolences at a funeral service for Olivia Engel, age 6.
"It was a week ago today and still everybody is very sad, just crying tears," Lajeunesse said of the atmosphere in Newtown. "I remember how it felt for us though, the same way we were, tears for about a month before we could actually go out anywhere."
The group also offered the community the gift of a plaque.
Sacred site in S.D. goes up for auction, leaves tribes stunned
Monday, September 17 2012
 
Written by The Circle Staff,
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In mid-August the the sacred site of Pe' Sla (meaning The Heart of Everything in Lakota) near Mount Rushmore and Deadwood in South Dakota went up for auction. Although the land has been privately owned, members of the Great Sioux Nation -known as Lakota, Dakota and Nakota - have been allowed to gather there each year to perform ceremonial rituals they believe are necessary for harmony, health and well-being.
The auction was schedules for Aug. 25 but for unknown reasons, was canceled.
Tribal members fear that if the property they call Pe' Sla is sold, it will be developed and they will lose access. The South Dakota Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration are studying the possibility of paving one of the main roads that divides the land, a fact mentioned in the advertisement touting its development potential.
The tribes have now banded together to try to raise money to buy back as much of the land as they can. But with only a weeks notice, so far they have only about $110,000 committed for property they believe will sell for $6 million to $10 million.
Shakopee Mdewakanton Chairman Stanley R. Crooks Passes On
Monday, September 17 2012
 
Written by The Circle Staff,
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shakopee_mdw_chairman_stanley_crooks_passes_on.jpgStanley R. Crooks, Chairman of the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community since 1992, passed away on August 25th at St. Francis Regional Medical Center in Shakopee, Minnesota, from natural causes. He was 70 years old. A statement from the tribe said Crooks died from natural causes but did not go into more details.
Crooks served as Chairman of the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community for more than 20 successive years and was reelected for a new four-year term of office in January of 2012.   
 Under his leadership, the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community members have approved Community donations of more than $243 million to tribes and charitable organizations since 1996, and tribal loans of more than $450 million for economic development and community development.
 A national figure in Indian Country, Chairman Crooks served as the Chairman of the Minnesota Indian Gaming Association for many years and was the SMSC representative to the National Indian Gaming Association, as well as to the National Congress of American Indians. A United States Navy veteran, he served during the Cuban Missile Crisis. His father, the late Norman M. Crooks, was the first Chairman of the SMSC.
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