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Regional & Local Briefs


Regional and Local Briefs: November 2014
Saturday, November 01 2014
 
Written by The Circle Staff,
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NUCLEAR WASTE CHALLENGED BY TRIBE

RED WING, Minn. – The Prairie Island Indian Community is joining three states in a lawsuit over the storage of nuclear waste.

The tribe says it will join with New York, Connecticut and Vermont in a lawsuit against the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

The Prairie Island Nuclear Generating Plant near Red Wing is just 600 yards from the tribal community. The NRC in August opened the door for on-site nuclear waste storage for 100 years or more.

The tribe says the NRC has failed to do a complete analysis of the risks associated with the onsite storage of nuclear waste.

Prairie Island plant executive Kevin Davison agrees with the NRC assessment that the nuclear waste is safely stored near Red Wing. But, Davison says the federal government still has an obligation to create another storage option.

 

ONLINE NATIVE MEDIA GOES TO PRESS

FT. YATES, N.D. – Last Real Indians, an online Native media and advocacy Web site, unveiled its first print edition in October.

A nearly three year-old endeavor, founded by Chase Iron Eyes (Standing Rock Sioux) in January of 2012, LRI features almost daily content provided by writers from across Indian country. “Our network continues to expand as we inform our own, inform the world, strengthen our ties, shatter stereotypes, protect our image, essence and portrayal against appropriation, objectification & [sic] mascotry and share our stories,” Iron Eyes wrote in the first edition.

According to the mission statement on its Web site, “LRI is a media movement grounded in our pre-contact ways of life. We are independent media with direction. We are an adaptation of our story-tellers. We are content creators of many origins with a vision of returning Indigenous peoples of all

'races' to a state of respect for generations unborn.”

Its first edition features topics on environmentalism, Lakota tribal politics, lacrosse, Lakota language, law and health. The paper is headquartered on the Standing Rock Sioux reservation in South and North Dakota.

 

 

Regional and Local Briefs: October 2014
Monday, October 06 2014
 
Written by The Circle Staff,
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BAD HEART BULL SELECTED FOR ECONOMIC FELLOWSHIP

MINNEAPOLIS– The Business Alliance for Living Local Economies, an Oakland, Calif.-based organization, announced Jay Bad Heart Bull as a fellow for its 2014 Cohort.

Bad Heart Bull (Oglala Lakota) is the president and CEO of the Native American Community Development Institute, based in Minneapolis.

In a press release, BALLE praised each recipient. "Individually, each 2014 BALLE Local Economy Fellow is a proven leader and innovative local economy connector – someone who represents, convenes, and influences whole communities of local businesses from Boston to New Orleans to Minneapolis. Combined, they are a diverse group of leaders who represent the cutting edge of social entrepreneurship incubation, community capital cultivation, and social justice.”

“These challenging times require a different type of leader who can create the conditions for a new economy to emerge. Developing this type of leader is the purpose of the BALLE Local Economy Fellowship,” said Michelle Long, executive director of BALLE. “With the transformational leadership development, skills and tools, and connections these leaders will receive as part of the fellowship, BALLE Local Economy Fellows will be poised to democratize opportunity, ownership and the economy, and bring real prosperity to more people; fundamentally fixing our global economy from the ground up.'"

NACDI is an American Indian community development intermediary organization. It is an alliance of major Native non-profits and several Native businesses in the metropolitan area, committed to community-building through sector economic development and large-scale development. Its primary goal is to build community capacity and assets within high growth economic sectors as a way to provide resources and infrastructure for the Native community.

 


Regional and Local Briefs: September 2014
Monday, September 08 2014
 
Written by The Circle Staff,
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NO WRONGDOING FOUND IN TASERING OF 8 YEAR-OLD ROSEBUD CHILD

PIERRE, S.D. – Two months after an 8 year-old girl was tasered by a police officer in October of 2013, the Hughes County State’s Attorney Wendy Kloeppner released a report that stated “she was satisfied with an independent investigation, deploying a taser was the best viable way to diffuse the situation,” and no charges would be filed against the officer or the child.

Attorneys for the family, Dana Hanna and Patrick Duffy, said the acts committed by the police were atrocious and that they do not believe the report accurately reflects what happened.

In October of 2013, four Pierre police officers responded to a 911 call about an 8 year-old girl wielding a knife. The call came from the girl's babysitter, who told the dispatcher the girl was trying to cut herself. According to the police report, the officers were on the scene for just two minutes before tasering the youth.


NUCLEAR COMMISSION DECISION DISAPPOINTS LOCAL LEADERS

RED WING, Minn. – Red Wing city officials and leaders of the Prairie Island Indian Community say they are unhappy with a recent Nuclear Regulatory Commission ruling that does little to resolve the ongoing dispute over storage of spent nuclear fuel.

The Prairie Island nuclear power plant is on the Mississippi River in Red Wing and is adjacent to the Indian community. According to reports, the NRC ruling opens the door for on-site nuclear waste storage for 100 years or more. The language also lifts a suspension on licensing additional nuclear facilities even without the creation of a national repository for nuclear waste.

Ron Johnson, president of the Prairie Island Indian Community's tribal council, said in a statement, "… the NRC affirmed a new rule and generic environmental impact statement that concluded that spent nuclear fuel – some of the most dangerous and toxic substances known to mankind – can be safely stored 600 yards from our homes indefinitely if no geologic repository is ever built. No other community sits as close to a nuclear site and its waste storage."

According to the paper, Xcel Energy says it has "38 casks containing nuclear waste near Red Wing and is permitted to store waste in 64 casks when the current operating licenses end in 2033 and 2034."


Regional and Local Briefs: August 2014
Thursday, August 07 2014
 
Written by The Circle Staff,
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LYZ JAAKOLA RECEIVES SALLY AWARD IN EDUCATION

By Luke Taylor, Minnesota Public Radio

ST. PAUL, Minn. – Lyz Jaakola, one of Classical MPR's 2013-2014 Class Notes Artists, won a Sally Award for Education at the 22nd annual event at the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts in St. Paul, Minn.

She received the award in honor of her work in raising awareness and appreciation of Native music and culture throughout Minnesota.

The Sally Awards are described on the Ordway's Web site as follows: “Since 1992, the Sally Awards have honored individuals and institutions that strengthen and enrich our entire state with their commitment to the arts and arts education. The awardees' talents and determination help make Minnesota's quality of life excellent and its culture unique and rich.”

The Sally Award is based on the "First Trust Award" presented in 1986 to Sally Ordway Irvine, whose initiative, vision and commitment inspired the creation of Ordway Center for the Performing Arts.

Each winner receives a cash prize.

As one of Classical MPR's Class Notes Artists, Jaakola visited a number of schools throughout the state, teaching children about Ojibwe/Anishinaabe music and culture through live performance.

Regional and Local Briefs: July 2014
Monday, July 07 2014
 
Written by The Circle Staff,
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OGLALA SIOUX TRIBAL COUNCIL SUSPENDS PRESIDENT

PINE RIDGE, S.D. – The Oglala Sioux Tribal Council suspended President Bryan Brewer following allegations that he acted without the council's approval on two occasions and mishandled a $5,000 check.

The council voted 10-5 on June 24 to suspend Brewer until July 17, when a hearing is scheduled to determine whether he should be reinstated or impeached, Councilman Garfield Steele said. Brewer will be given an opportunity to defend himself at the hearing.

"I support the president," Steele said. "I support a lot of things that he's done. He's done good things and the reason why I voted to accept this was to allow him to give his side of the story."

Steele said the complaints against Brewer allege that he signed over the tribe's power of attorney in order to approve bonds without the council's consent, that he approved health benefits for the tribe's former casino manager without the council's consent, and that he mishandled a $5,000 donation a business made to the tribe. Steele did not say what Brewer is alleged to have done with the money.

A tribal judge will oversee the July 17 hearing, with the eventual decision on Brewer's future left to the council. It would take a two-thirds vote of the 19-member council to remove Brewer from office.

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