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Tribes and state use unique court to fight addiction
Monday, September 17 2012
 
Written by By Tom Robertson Minnesota Public Radio News,
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tribes_and_state_use_unique_court_to_fight_addiction.jpgFred Isham sits near a blazing fire just outside Cass Lake on the Leech Lake Indian Reservation. The 37-year-old tribal member helped build the fire to heat carefully selected stones that will be used in a nearby sweat lodge. Inside the sweat lodge, Isham and others will pray and conduct spiritual Ojibwe ceremonies.
Isham participates in the Cass County-Leech Lake tribal "wellness court." He's encouraged to use ceremonies and other cultural activities as part of his recovery from alcohol and drug addiction. It's not required, but evidence suggests cultural and spiritual connections can help the healing process.
"In a sense what you're doing is you're going back into the womb of the mother," Isham said of the sweat lodge. "When you come back out there it's a rebirth. You're clean again."
Isham, a member of the Boise Forte Band of Ojibwe who grew up in Cass Lake, was a chronic drinker and pot smoker. Last summer he was cited a second time for driving while intoxicated, and later violated probation. In December, court authorities offered him the opportunity to participate in wellness court as an alternative to a year in prison, and he took it.
The court is a unique partnership among the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe and Cass and Itasca counties in northern Minnesota. It uses intense supervision and, in some cases, tribal culture, to target chronic substance abusers and cut the cost of crime, and is among a variety of new strategies and approaches to public safety the local officials are trying.
Wellness court is similar to the DWI and drug courts that have become popular across the country. It's a voluntary prison diversion program that provides structured supervision and rehabilitation for non-violent, repeat drug and alcohol offenders. The average length of the program is 18 months for gross misdemeanor offenders and 24 months for felony offenders.
For participants, it's strict. Isham must attend weekly Alcoholics Anonymous meetings. He answers to a probation officer and must attend wellness court meetings every other week. The court sessions are convened jointly by both tribal and county judges, who get updates on his progress.
Media Statement from Lac Courte Oreilles Tribal Chairman Gordon Thayer
Monday, September 17 2012
 
Written by The Circle Staff,
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HAYWARD, WI- Recently, several media stories gave the impression that Lac Courte Oreilles (LCO) was going bankrupt. This is misleading and far from the real story. The Lac Courte Oreilles Tribe has launched a financial efficiency initiative that will result in expense reductions and revenue enhancement promotions to improve the financial position of the tribe. When the tribe is financially efficient the LCO Tribal Government is able to best serve the needs of LCO members. That is our top priority.
Just as many businesses and municipal governments across the country have been affected by the lingering economic downturn in the United States, the LCO tribe has been similarly impacted. And, unfortunately, like the U.S. Congress, past tribal governments have sometimes spent more money than they have taken in. Unlike the United States Congress, this LCO Tribal Governing Board is being proactive by taking action to correct the problem and to balance our budget so we can best serve the needs of our members.
Continuing on a path of spending more money than what is taken in is unwise for the U.S. Congress, any business, households and tribal governments. Long periods of overspending is a sure path to bankruptcy for any government.
Four Day Run in Celebration of Sobriety & Health
Monday, September 17 2012
 
Written by Photos and Story by Michael Meuers,
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red_lake_band_four_day_run_for_sobriety.jpgThe annual four day Anishinaabe Run for Sobriety and Health began at the Red Lake Chemical Health Programs at 10:00 a.m. Wednesday, August 1, and finished at the† Mash-ka-wisen pow-wow grounds at Fon du Lac on Saturday, August 4, a 200 mile relay run.†† On the first day, more than a dozen runners, including several youth began their run down Highway 89.† It was a warm August Day with the temperature approaching the low 80's.† The runners were accompanied by a near equal number of support staff, who would use five or six vans and cars to shuttle runners, provide water, and any other service the runners might need.† Each team or individual runner would run 3/10 of a mile, then be shuttled ahead of the four or five other teams, allowing time to rest while awaiting their turn to run again.
THE U.S. - DAKOTA WAR OF 1862
Monday, September 17 2012
 
Written by Stephen Elliott Director and CEO of the Minnesota Historical Society,
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There is no upside, no silver lining to the six-week war that ravaged a large swath of Minnesota in August and September of 1862. It was a long time in the making, of bloody and intense duration, and brutal in its aftermath. And it was complicated. Still is.
It's a tough story. In 1851, as whites flooded into Minnesota Territory, the Dakota reluctantly negotiated treaties surrendering most of their land in exchange for promises of goods, cash and a reservation along the Minnesota River. After leaders signed one of these treaties, they were ushered to another document, which some thought was another copy of the treaty. The document turned over a significant percentage of the cash payments to a group of fur traders, including Henry Sibley, to satisfy years of debts accumulated in anticipation of just such a payment. Dakota leaders who had negotiated in good faith were betrayed the following year when the U.S. Senate removed the clause establishing permanent Dakota reservations. In 1858 a group of Dakota leaders were summoned to Washington, D.C., and detained until they signed yet another treaty relinquishing all land north and east of the Minnesota River, but acknowledging title to a 10-by-150-mile strip of land, half of the 1851 reservation.
Fond du Lac Follies
Monday, September 17 2012
 
Written by by Jim Northrup,
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Fond du Lac Follies motored to the 34th Annual Sobriety powwow held here in Sawyer on the Fond du Lac Reservation.
It is also close to the 35th Anniversary of the free beer-rock concert held in the same place on the shores of Big Lake. Whiskey River was the main act and there were cattle troughs that held the ice and beer. At I recall the event started off just fine but got a little blurry by the end of the doings.
The Powwow started off fine also. There was the usual powwow stuff: singers, drummers, and dancers, food stands, an MC and an arena director and a public address system.
There were prayers said and the Anishinaabe people gathered to have a good time. There was a tipi and a ceremonial fire. The police set up their shelter in the usual place on the east side of the dancing circle.† The usual river of people flowed in both directions outside the dance circle.
MPS Superintendent Speaks
Monday, September 17 2012
 
Written by The Circle Staff,
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The Minneapolis Public Schools will welcome students in grades 1-12 back to school on August 27 and our new kindergarten, pre-kindergarten, ECFE and High Five students on August 29.

Visit the new Davis Center
We are MPS. We are open-minded, welcoming, conscientious, attentive, fun, interactive, collaborative, progressive, and accountable. We are also excited to welcome our families and the community to the completed John B. Davis Education and Service Center.
Since the Board of Education approved this project almost two years ago, the site has undergone a stunning transformation. The Davis Center will serve as a beacon for the future success of our students and as a welcoming hub for all members of our community. It will be a place for us to demonstrate a culture of YES.
The Davis Center will help us as we strive to achieve our mission by serving well over one thousand students, staff, families and community members daily. We are working hard to provide the best service to every family, every day.
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