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A gag order on White Earth's Chairwoman on talking about reform efforts leads her to tell her side of the story.

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For Minnesota's American Indian Month, columnist and recent TEDx presenter Nick Metcalf writes about the realities of being Native in today's society.

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The Art of Resistance

Twin Cities Native community members come together for an evening of defining the Native experience through art.

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Native voters will experience greater barriers under proposed Voter ID Amendment
Wednesday, November 21 2012
 
Written by By Sally Fineday and Vina Kay,
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On November 6, Minnesotans will have the opportunity to cast their ballots for many important decisions. One decision that is most important to American Indians is the decision to vote no to the question of photo ID on the ballot. The decision of whether to amend the state constitution to require presenting a government-issued state photo identification to exercise the right to vote is one that will negatively impact American Indians. When a person who maintains a photo identification card with updated residential information reads the question of photo ID on the ballot, it sounds fair. What's hidden behind the question is blatant oppression and a change in law that will effectively disenfranchise American Indians, other people of color, and many others from voting in future elections. Among those faced with the brunt of the financial burden of a so-called "free" identification card will be low-income people, elderly voters, students and others who move frequently, homeless people, and people with disabilities. It is no news to American Indian people in Minnesota that the poverty rate among American Indians is high - according to MNCompass, over 40 percent of American Indian individuals in the state live below the poverty level, the highest poverty rate among all groups. Of all racial and ethnic groups in the state, American Indians also experience the highest rate of disability (of those ages 18-64, nearly 22 percent live with a disability).
Russell Means - a hero moves on
Wednesday, November 21 2012
 
Written by by Winona LaDuke,
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opinion_russell_means_a_hearo_moves_on.jpgHe was a hero. Make no mistake about it. And, his death in late October, is a great loss to America, not just Indians, he challenged us a to be better people. In l973, life was not good on the Pine Ridge reservation in South Dakota, the reservation from which he came. Life expectancy was around 44 years of age and the reservation had a murder rate about eight times higher than the most violent American city. And repression reigned. Off the reservation, things were often worse. In l972, Oglala Raymond Yellow Thunder was beaten, stripped naked and paraded in the American Legion in Gordon, Nebraska. He was stuffed in a car trunk, and a few days later died of injuries sustained in his beating. South Dakota and Nebraska were perhaps the most racist states in the country, barring Mississippi. Oglala Lakota elders asked for help and American Indians from the Twin Cities, and from urban areas or reservations came. Russell Means came. He was one of many. That was the beginning of the American Indian Movement. The passing of Oglala Lakota activist Russell Means to the Spirit World marks the end of an era, and hopefully, the beginning of a new one. Means was a leader, and an Ogichidaa, one who stood for the people.
Political Matters: Native Issues in the Halls of Government
Wednesday, November 21 2012
 
Written by by Mordecai Specktor,
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Minnesota's wolf hunt In late October, the hunting and trapping of wolves is underway in Wisconsin; and Minnesota hunters will start shooting wolves on Nov. 3, after the state Supreme Court rejected a motion for a preliminary injunction to stop the wolf hunt under rules established by the Department of Natural Resources (DNR). Two groups, Howling for Wolves and the Center for Biodiversity, argued that the DNR did not allow a sufficient period for public comment last summer, after issuing its "Adopted Expedited Emergency Game and Fish Rules: 2012 Wolf Season." The Minnesota Court of Appeals will hold a hearing at a future date on the lawsuit's underlying argument; but state courts decided that the wolf hunt did not pose the threat of "irreparable damage" to Minnesota's wolf population. The Wisconsin DNR reported that 25 wolves have been killed during that state's hunting and trapping season, which started in mid-October, according to Wisconsin Public Radio. "It's encouraging for outdoor enthusiasts," DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp commented, regarding the first 10 days of the wolf hunt in Wisconsin.
Fond du Lac Follies
Wednesday, November 21 2012
 
Written by by Jim Northrup,
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I was 19 years old.  I had been in the United States Marine Corps for a little over a year. I was a boot. Older Marines were telling me they had worn out more seabags than I had socks, they had more time in the air jumping off the back of six-by trucks than I had in the Corps. When they joined Christ was only a Corporal.
When I heard the order "Mount Out" I didn't know I was going to be taking part in an historical event.  
It was the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962. I was a part of the 1st Marine Division and we quickly assembled and boarded ships in San Diego. There were 1200 Marines that boarded the USS Henrico, APA 45.  
We were prepared to invade Cuba to remove the Soviet missiles. The TV news said the missiles could reach all the way to Chicago.
We went south along Baja California headed for the Panama Canal. The weather got warmer the further south we traveled. As we sailed along more US Navy ships joined us and we all lined up to go through the Canal. As we were going through the locks and lakes of the Canal I learned it actually runs north and south. I saw jungle for the first time in my life.
Ted Charles, a Navajo friend, and I were two of the Marine infantry who were going to climb down the cargo nets into the little boats that would take us ashore. When the ramps dropped the Marines were going to come charging off the boats, shooting our rifles.
It ain't easy being indian
Wednesday, November 21 2012
 
Written by by Ricey Wild,
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This year the ungrateful, murderous pilgrims of yore will not be in my column. Yooz are welcome.
Personally I like the Thanksgiving holiday, just not how it mythically came to be. I like the "giving thanks" part of it which is done at least once a year by Turtle Island's immigrant descendants and every day by most Indians. By that I mean me, I have been experiencing very awful, painful days so often that I forget to pray and give thanks, but when I do put tobacco down I am always sure to give thanks for what the gifts I have. I always feel better when I do.
Weird things happen to me all the time. Get this; my good ole hoopdie is broken down. This happened a few days after I started back to work fulltime and after I was fired the first day back in the first 15 minutes. I was unfired the next day. Then I breathed a big gusty sigh of relief and gratefulness for the people who helped me. Yooz know who you are. I am thankful for wise, kind, intelligent people. (Good-lookin' too! Ayyy!)
MPS Superintendent Speaks
Wednesday, November 21 2012
 
Written by by Bernadeia H. Johnson, Ed.D. Superintendent of Schools,
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Dear MPS Partners and Friends,
Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS) is deeply grateful for and humbled by the overwhelming support that the citizens of Minneapolis have given the school district. We believe that this support demonstrates that the people of Minneapolis value our work and have confidence that we can make the improvements necessary to raise student achievement. One of our school district's sources of support and funding is the property tax levy.
MPS is committed to using its levy authority to meet the needs of present and future students and to only levy for what schools need. We are proposing a four percent increase in the school district levy, which would take effect for property taxes payable in 2013. The school district currently levies for about $165.7 million. The four percent increase would bring this amount to $172.4 million. The median Minneapolis home value is $171,000. If you own a home at that value, the school portion of your property taxes is expected to increase about $61 per year ($5 per month). The school board will vote on the increase in December.
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