Oill drilling battle over Bear Butte in South Dakota
Friday, July 08 2011
Written by Talli Nauman,
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In Sturgis S.D., Meade County commissioners abandoned the notion of suing over the state's recent decision to limit oil drilling at the Bear Butte National Historic Landmark. At a June 8 hearing on the matter,  they voted unanimously to send a letter to state regulators, disputing the decision to hold oil drilling to five wells, instead of 24 initially permitted near the prayer site sacred to Native American tribes. They also voted to request a State Attorney General's report on the validity of its boundaries.
The South Dakota Board of Minerals and Environment decided on May 18 to reduce Nakota Energy LLC's 2010 permit for oil drilling in the sacred butte area from 24 to five initial wells, after three public comment periods revealed substantial opposition on religious grounds.
Located six miles northeast of Sturgis in Bear Butte State Park, the landmark is a sacred prayer gathering site for at least two dozen tribes. The Standing Rock, Rosebud, Northern Cheyenne, Santee, Lower Brule Sioux and Sisseton-Wahpeton tribes contested the oil drilling proposal during state comment periods.
The county commission chambers have been the scene of numerous hearings over the years regarding commercial developments in the environs of the religious site, including bars and a shooting range. The county would get a share of taxes generated by production and pipeline infrastructure.
EPA wants input on Cass Lake Superfund site
Friday, July 08 2011
Written by Jacob Croonenberghs,
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Cass Lake, the location of the Leech Lake Indian Reservation as well as the St. Regis Paper Company Superfund Site, held a public meeting in June concerning cleanup options for contaminated soil. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) held a meeting at the Cass Lake-Bena Elementary school to discuss their plan for cleaning up the former wood treatment area,and to listen to public comments about the ecological problem that has been a cause for health concern in the area for over 25 years.
From 1958 until 1985, the St. Regis Paper Company treated wood with chemicals such as Dioxin, pentachlorophenol, (PCP) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) to increase the longevity of its wood products. The consequence of using these chemicals, however, was the exposure of the areas, its soils, and its facilities to substances that have been shown to cause cancer in humans.
Seventy year-old among GED graduates at Red Lake
Friday, June 10 2011
Written by Michael Meuers,
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Story By Michael Meuers
Photos by Michael Barrett & Alice Benaise

"If you don't want to work hard, get an education, otherwise you'll work hard labor like I did." So was the advice for Indian youth in an interview with 70 year-old James King, Sr., one of 82 graduates of the Red Lake GED program on May 20. A ceremony, including cap and gown, was held at Seven Clans Casino Event Center on the Red Lake Indian Reservation in northern Minnesota. This was the first time such a formal GED graduation was held. The event started off with a banquet for invited guests and graduates, and included a procession of graduates who were smudged as they entered the events center, to the beat of drum group Eyabay. Marvin Hanson, Executive Director of the New Beginnings Program, welcomed the crowd, followed by an opening prayer by Spiritual Advisor, Leland Whitefeather. Congratulatory remarks were made by Brent Gish Superintendent of Red Lake Public Schools, Red Lake Tribal Chairman Floyd Jourdain, Jr., and Tribal Executive Administrator, Lea Perkins.

New magazine features reservation hunting opportunities/conservation
Tuesday, May 10 2011
Written by The Circle Staff,
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New magazine features rez huntingHunting The Rez is a new Native American owned magazine that features hunting and fishing opportunities on North American Indian lands. Hunting The Rez staff and their quarterly magazine, which is distributed nationally, provide news and information for outdoors enthusiasts, big game hunters and fisherman all over the country. They are also a liaison between tribal Fish & Game Departments, State and Government Departments, local businesses and outdoor sports enthusiasts.
Belcourt, owner of Hunting The Rez Magazine, says, "We not a shot-em-up magazine, we actually about conservation." Belcourt says the magazine is geared toward the non-Native hunter; highlighting the hunting opportunities available on tribal lands, while showcasing the conservation efforts of Native tribes.
The first issue of the Indian-owned and operated magazine was published in Decemer, 2010. Belcourt says they have a circulation of 16,000 and are in major chains likes Barnes and Nobles, Checkers in Canada, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, Border's, Hastings and Waldenbooks. But Belcourt says they are hoping to expand into smaller reservation stores. In Minnesota they are can be found at Other Store in Redby, MN.
When asked how he came up with the idea for the magazine, he said, "Hunting for us is a way of life and ties us to our culture heritage. My background is in business, so I?just put two and two together."
Eight large reservation tribes announce new coalition
Tuesday, May 10 2011
Written by The Circle Staff,
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Eight tribes, representing some of the largest reservations in the United States, have formed a new organization to represent their concerns.
The Coalition of Large Tribes (COLT) will address land, economic, jurisdictional and funding issues faced on large reservations. The Coalition want to educate the Obama administration, Congress and other tribes about their needs.
"Congress and the Administration need to understand that tribes with large land holdings, like those who have already joined COLT, face higher costs when they try to provide the same level of services as tribes with small reservations and smaller populations," said Tex Hall, the chairman of the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nation in North Dakota, one of the founding member tribes.
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