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Land grab cheats North Dakota tribes out of $1 billion, suits allege
Tuesday, March 12 2013
 
Written by by Abrahm Lustgarten, ProPublica,
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land_grab_cheats_north_dakota_tribes_.jpgNative Americans on an oil-rich North Dakota reservation have been cheated out of more than $1 billion by schemes to buy drilling rights for lowball prices, a flurry of recent lawsuits assert. And, the suits claim, the federal government facilitated the alleged swindle by failing in its legal obligation to ensure the tribes got a fair deal.
This is a story as old as America itself, given a new twist by fracking and the boom that technology has sparked in North Dakota oil country. Since the late 1800s, the U.S. government has appropriated much of the original tribal lands associated with the Fort Berthold reservation in North Dakota for railroads and white homesteaders. A devastating blow was delivered when the Army Corps of Engineers dammed the Missouri River in 1953, flooding more than 150,000 acres at the heart of the remaining reservation. Members of the Three Affiliated Tribes 2014 the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara 2014 were forced out of the fertile valley and up into the arid and barren surrounding hills, where they live now. †
But that last-resort land turns out to hold a wealth of oil, because it sits on the Bakken Shale, widely believed to be one of the world's largest deposits of crude. Until recently, that oil was difficult to extract, but hydraulic fracturing, combined with the ability to drill a well sideways underground, can tap it. The result, according to several senior tribal members and lawsuits filed last November and early this year in federal and state courts, has been a land grab involving everyone from tribal leaders accused of enriching themselves at the expense of their people, to oil speculators, to a New York hedge fund, to the federal government's Bureau of Indian Affairs.
The rush to get access to oil on tribal lands is part of the oil industry's larger push to secure drilling rights across the United States.
WHATS NEW IN THE COMMUNITY:
Tuesday, March 12 2013
 
Written by The Circle Staff,
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whats_new_woman_finds_mom_supermodel.jpgNative Woman Finds Her Birth Mother, Who Turned Out To Be Native Super-Model
Susan Fedorko found her birth mother when she was 40 years old. Her biological mother was from the Grand Portage Indian Ojibwe Reservation in Minnesota and her father was from the White Earth Ojibwe Nation also in Minnesota. †
Fedorko discovered that just a few years after her birth, her birth mother - Cathee Dahmen - had become an immensely popular supermodel, probably the first Native American woman to attain that status.
She also learns she is also related to the famous Ojbwe artist George Morrison, whom took her mother under his wing after Dahmen's mother adopted her out without her knowing about it.
Her book Cricket: Secret Child of a Sixties Supermodel, published by Outskirts Press in November 2012, chronicles her journey from Native American adoptee-turned "white" mother and wife, to a person reunited with her extended family.
OPINION: Remembering Jancita Eagle Deer
Tuesday, March 12 2013
 
Written by By Winona LaDuke,
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opinion__remembers_jancita_eagle_deer.jpgThis morning I awoke thinking of Jancita Eagle Deer.† I am sure she is watching us, from the other side, the side of the spirits. She is watching as Congress debates the Violence Against Women Act, and hoping someone remembers her.
Jancita was a Lakota woman from the Rosebud reservation. In l974, Eagle Deer testified that William Janklow, [her legal guardian as a child] had raped her on a ride home from babysitting for the Janklow family. The incident had occurred in l967.† Rosebud Tribal Judge Mario Gonzalez, wrote that Ms. Jancita Eagle Deer testified under obvious emotional difficulty that she had been raped by Janklow, and that he threatened her life with a gun. Portions of her testimony were corroborated by her high school guidance counselor, her foster parents, a rape examination, and a BIA investigator. The evidence was enough to disbar Janklow, but he was never convicted of the crime. The Rosebud Tribal Court had no jurisdiction.
Eagle Deer was killed by a car near Aurora, Nebraska on April 4, 1975. The circumstances were mysterious. She died only a few months after she had testified against Janklow.
On November 2, 1974. Janklow was elected South Dakota State Attorney General.
Native Issues in the Halls of Government
Tuesday, March 12 2013
 
Written by by Mordecai Specktor,
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Sulfide Mining Update
It's time to take another look at the grand plans to ravage northern Minnesota and kill off the remaining wild rice. Yes, I'm talking about sulfide mining, brought to you by a host of multinational corporations that are promising jobs, economic vitality and concern for the environment.
On this latter point, readers should know that Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) assured the Japanese public that the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station would operate safely, before there was an earthquake two years ago and equipment failed, the nukes melted down and radioactive materials were released into the atmosphere. This was the worst nuclear disaster since the Chernobyl nuclear plant in Ukraine exploded, in 1986.
Likewise BP and its contractors satisfied the environmental regulators, prior to the explosion and sinking of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig three years ago. The BP oil disaster released an estimated 4.9 million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, off the coast of Louisiana.
Fond du Lac Follies
Tuesday, March 12 2013
 
Written by by Jim Northrup,
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The Fond du Lac Reservation's language camp will be held on June 13, 14, 15, and 16. Once again the location will be Kiwenz Campground on the north shore of Big Lake in Sawyer, Minnesota.
For those who never heard of our language camp I will offer this history.† The first year we had 189 people registered, the second year we had 400 people, third was 500 and last year we had 765 people registered.
Planning is underway for this year's schedule of activities.
At the language camp in June, Charles Nahganub will be showing people how to smoke food to preserve it.
If you want to learn how to make moccasins then Winnie LaPrairie's class is the one to attend.
Theresa Morrison will teach some of what she knows about beadwork.
COMMUNITY CALENDAR March 2013
Tuesday, March 12 2013
 
Written by The Circle Staff,
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March 1,† 8,† 15,† 22,† 29
Native Foster Parents Needed!
Volunteers of America-MN is looking for skilled parents who appreciate the difficulties of childhood! Youth ages 12-17 need a stable home. Volunteers of America-MN provides quality foster parents with training, 24-hour support, and monthly stipend. Call 952-945-4064 to learn more or attend an information meeting. Foster Parent Info Meetings held every Friday: 10:00-11:30 am (or by appointment) 7625 Metro Blvd., Edina, MN. †


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