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GO RUN trains Native women to run for public office
Friday, December 16 2011
 
Written by By LeAnn Littlewolf,
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go_run_trains_native_women1.jpgAmerican Indian women are ready to lead in their communities, whether it's on tribal land or on local, county and statewide levels. Over the weekend of November 18-20th a group of twenty-eight American Indian women, representing over 12 tribal nations from across the Midwest region, drove down the snow-covered gravel road winding into the Deep Portage Learning Center near Hackensack, Minnesota, to gather, strategize and develop their personal strengths for leadership.
Nevada Littlewolf (Leech Lake Ojibwe), the Rural Field Organizer for The White House Project (a national non-partisan non-profit organization), envisioned the first-ever Go Run for American Indian Women as the beginning of a movement where American Indian women lead the dialogue, provide the expertise, and build real support to be effective leaders. The training supports American Indian women in running for public office, working on campaigns, and advancing their leadership in the public sector.
First Speakers: Restoring the Ojibwe Language wins Midwest Emmy
Friday, November 11 2011
 
Written by Michael Meuers,
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Twin Cities Public Television (TPT) wa awarded an Upper Midwest Emmy for First Speakers: Restoring the Ojibwe Language, a documentary funded through Minnesota's Legacy Amendment. First Speakers follows a new generation of Ojibwe scholars and educators racing against time to save one of Minnesota's Native languages. One of those endangered tongues is the Ojibwe language. Now this new generation of educators are working with the remaining fluent-speaking Ojibwe elders, hoping to pass the language on to the next generation. Told by Ojibwe elders, scholars, writers, historians and teachers, the TPT original production is filled with hope for the future. As recent as World War II, the Ojibwe language (referred to as Ojibwemowin in Ojibwe) was the language of everyday life for the Anishinaabe and historically the language of the Great Lakes fur trade.
Leech Lake and MN?sign joint agreement on financial filing system
Friday, November 11 2011
 
Written by Rupa Shenoy Minnesota Public Radio News,
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Many Indian tribes struggle to build internal economies on reservations. That's because they often don't have the basic structures of an economy in place, like a financial record system. That makes banks nervous. An agreement signed by the Minnesota Secretary of State and Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe on Oct. 21 attempts to eliminate that roadblock.
The state and the Leech Lake band of Ojibwe signed a joint governmental agreement that allows Leech Lake to use the state's financial filing system. Although the agreement sounds pretty dry, it marks a significant milestone for American Indians in Minnesota.
 "I'm looking forward to being able to talk about this day as history day, as an historic day, and have it be a point where people say, 'oh yeah, that's when many good things began to happen,'" Secretary of State Mark Ritchie said.
The Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis considers the agreement a foundational step to improving economies on Indian reservations and the surrounding areas. The Minneapolis Fed's community engagement manager, Susan Woodword, said Leech Lake and other Indian governments don't have commercial laws to keep track of financial transactions.
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.
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