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Rural Post Office closures will hurt Natives, elderly and the poor
Friday, November 11 2011
 
Written by Winona LaDuke,
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post_office_closing_story.jpgPost offices in Pine Point (Ponsford), Naytauwaush,  Squaw Lake, and Ponemah, Minnesota are scheduled for closure this year as as a result of federal budget cuts. The US Postal Service (USPS) lost $8.5 billion last year, which brings it to the attention of politicians in a time of budget cutting.
The USPS suffered financial losses of $8.5 billion in 2010. One might ask, however… if the USPS is a business or a service in this country, and question the long term costs of the closures.
Post office closures in the Dakotas and Minnesota will impact many communities, but reservation communities in Minnesota, and Manderson, Wounded Knee and Wakpala in South Dakota, and Mandaree in North Dakota, will mean hardships for largely Native communities. Most of the post office closures are in the rural areas, serving  Native and many rural elderly.
The US Postal Service (emphasis on the word Service) is, to some of us, basic American infrastructure and yet, is treated as a business. As such, budget savings for post office closures are estimated to be at around $1 billion, while $3 billion will be saved by cutting Saturday services. Layoffs in the largely rural post office closures will result in the loss of 4000 jobs - also a burden to already impoverished communities.
Just to use a comparison, the 2008 Troubled Asset Relief Program (also known as the federal bail out of large banks), cost American tax payers $500 billion in one program, and ended up totalling $l.2 trillion (including some European banks that US taxpayers bailed out). That is why, in part, this post office penny pinching seems particularly ironic.
Red Lake River fish bypass - walleye can now return home
Friday, October 07 2011
 
Written by Photos and story by Michael Meuers,
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red_lake_river_fish_bypass.jpg"This year Red Lake's long awaited fish bypass will be completed at the Red River outlet on the south shore of Red Lake", said Red Lake Chairman Floyd Jourdain, Jr. in his most recent State of the Band Address. "This will enable fish to make their way back into the lake after they go over the outlet dam".  ??
Jourdain pointed out that, prior to the fish by-pass, when the fish went over the falls at the outlet and rock dam, they made their way down the Red River never to return.  
The Red River is the only outflow from Red Lake. The river goes to Red Lake Falls, then to Crookston, Grand Forks and then north to Hudson Bay.
"Now with the projects completion, fish will be able to make their way back to the big lake," Jourdain said.
The problem began in 1951 with damn improvements, which allowed more water over the dam, and apparently increased the number of fish that went over the dam as well.  The fish later would congregate near the dam with no way to return, being unable to renegotiate the dam.  Spring spawning also sends some fish down river...but they want to come back.
Beginning next Spring, Department of Natural Resource (DNR) fisheries staff will go to the fish trap near the bypass and lift the traps each morning.  
"When fish swim up river toward the lake, they will resist the strong flow from the dam, and naturally go toward the lesser flow of water to the west - toward the fish trap," explained William "Pat" Brown, Red Lake DNR Fisheries Program Director. "Then they are trapped." ??
Black crappies, walleye, northern, and sturgeon (in the future) will then be separated from the exotic species and released to go through the fish by-pass and back into Red Lake.
Michael Bucher to perform at LCO for Native Youth Suicide
Friday, October 07 2011
 
Written by The Circle Staff,
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michael_bucher_to_perform.jpgOn October 6, from 2-4 p.m., two-time Nammy winning Cherokee folk singer Michael Bucher will be presenting a live musical performance and speaking engagement to students and community members on the Lac Courte Oreilles Reservation in Hayward, WI.
Bucher, an artist known for his performances which combine reactionary folk music and informative storytelling,  will also be telling Native Youth and other members of the LCO community about the You Are Not Alone Network,  a new online social media and suicide resource website founded in part by Bucher, which was created to help put a stop to Native teen suicide.
Bucher said, "I'm looking forward to traveling to the LCO Reservation to speak and play a few songs and for the opportunity to talk about the You Are Not Alone Network (YANAN.)
healing totem travels east
Friday, October 07 2011
 
Written by The Circle Staff,
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A 20-foot-tall healing totem pole loaded on an open flat-bed truck received blessings from Indian tribes as it made its way from the West Coast to a permanent display near Washington, D.C.
The totem and two flanking benches, all carved from western red cedar, will be installed in an herb garden at the National Library of Medicine, part of the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md.
Native radio station promotes voices of Native musicians/rappers
Saturday, September 10 2011
 
Written by by Jacob Croonenberghs,
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The Internet is an excellent place to listen to music, and one of the best ways to listen to music on the web is through Internet radio. Available twenty four hours a day, seven days a week, many traditional radio stations are learning that streaming Internet radio brings more listeners to their broadcasts. Some stations, like Thundercloud Radio, are entirely on the net, and are able to bring listeners in from around the globe.

Thundercloud Radio is an Internet radio station that plays Native Hip Hop, Native Soul, Native Rap, Native R&B, and Native Reggae. Featuring Native tracks from Hawaii to Greenland, Thundercloud Radio plays both upcoming and established artists on their show. The station's goal is to someday become the world leader in Native radio.
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