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Fond du Lac Follies
Friday, February 07 2014
 
Written by Jim Northrup,
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Fond du Lac Follies locomoted to Duluth to the television studio for an interview with Barbara Reyelts. This 30-year veteran newswoman (I was 12 when I started, she said) wanted to know about my upcoming trip to Budapest, Hungary.

The event was set up by producer Ramona Marozas who we learned is Lola Hill's granddaughter. She was the voice in Barbara's earpiece and helped set up the interview.

I could tell these people were professional and prepared.

I introduced myself in the Ojibwe which I am always happy to do. Barbara asked some questions about how the trip came about and what I hoped to accomplish. I said first I would like to dispel any myths the people there had gained from the cowboy and Indian movies. I also wanted to talk about my experiences as a combat Marine from the Vietnam War. I wanted to give the Hungarian people a view of life on the Rez as seen through my eyes.

The twenty-minute interview went well and I learned it will be shown nine times, mostly Saturday and Sunday mornings on Northland Voices.

****

My brother Vern Northrup was one of the people who motored to Duluth for the proposed Polymet mine hearing. I wondered who paid for the seven busses which transported some of the mine supporters? The Minnesota DNR set up the event. They planned to take statements from the citizens of the state about the mine that has great potential to pollute the waters of Lake Superior and a large chunk of northern Minnesota including the Boundary Waters.

Proponents of the the plan point to the construction jobs and 20-year mining jobs. Opponents of the mine say why should we look at short term jobs that could pollute the water for 500 years? I am one of the opponents of the short-sighted plan to ruin the water here. I believe my rights in the 1854 Treaty are in jeopardy if the plan goes through. I read a newspaper that there was a glitch in the plans because the mining company used a computer model that was flawed. Why should we sacrifice our precious water for a multi-national corporation that is not from here?

****

I attended a monthly RBC meeting where the leaders met with the people. I noticed we no longer have anyone praying in Ojibwe to start the meetings. Karen Diver said the Enbridge pipeline would not be coming through the Reservation.

****

There is a political storm brewing that concerns three out of five members of our Reservation Business Committee here at Fond du Lac. The three are the Chair Karen Diver, the Secretary/Treasurer Ferd Martineau and Cloquet representative Wally Dupuis. A petition was circulated and enough names of Fond du Lac voters were collected so a hearing can be set. The three members have 15 days to prepare to answer the accusations filed against them. This is unusual because this is one of the first times the people have attempted to remove three out of five of their leaders. I don't have many details but an old political adage says follow the money. I think there were claims of ethics violations also. I understand the hearing will be public.

****

In an unrelated note I have heard nothing further about the plans for a language and culture department here on the Rez. There are more meetings planned. As long as the meetings and meetings go on and on nothing will be done about the language and culture here on the Rez. Maybe that is the plan?

****

Just like last year we had winter here on the Rez. The snow is deep and the temperature readings were way below zero. The beauty of the snows and shadows pleases my eyes. The quiet pleases my ears. I like the shimmering curtains of snow falling from the branches when the wind blows.

We were fortunate that we filled our LP gas tank before the price rose and shortages were declared.

Our vehicles have started every morning, if they don't we have a jump box and jumper cables, also electrically heated magnets for the oil pan.

The Rez plows my driveway and my grandsons shovel the snow from my deck, the handicap ramp and sidewalks. They also use a roof rake to pull the snow from my roofs. We are winterized.

Pretty soon it will be sugar bush time so we can replenish our maple syrup supplies. I like the cycle of seasons as we live them here. Soon I will have to decide which part of the woods I will use when I tap the trees. I wonder who will visit us during maple syrup making?

And we all know that Corvette season comes after sugar bush.

****

The views in this column belong to the writer alone, they are not meant to represent this Reservation, this newspaper, supporters of PolyMet, or anyone else. Comments and bingo packs can be sent to FdL Follies, PO Box 16, Sawyer, MN 55780-0016, email This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it , Facebook too using the name Jim Northrup.


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