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The Gift: Iroquois Nationals at the World Lacrosse Championships
Thursday, August 07 2014
 
Written by Winona LaDuke,
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the gift iroquois nationals at the world lacrosse championships winona laduke 1.jpg
“Lacrosse is our gift to the world. The game is a microcosm of the big game of life. We are in that arena right now.”

Chief Oren Lyons

He has never given up faith. Oren Lyons is a statesman and a 48-year member of the Iroquois Council of Chiefs. He is also a lacrosse player, of world renown. I found him with the Iroquois National Team in the World Championship Lacrosse games in Denver, the sixth of such world championships. Here, the Iroquois would end up with a Bronze Medal, after the U.S. and Canada. The sport has grown exponentially and this year, 32 teams came with new countries joining such as Uganda, Belgium, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Israel, Russia, Thailand and Turkey just to name a few.

I have driven 1,200 miles with two 14 year-old boys for these games, something which puzzles many. But this is not just a game, this is epic.

It is told that the first game of lacrosse was played between the animals and the birds. This game was won by the animals since it has been called the “Creator’s game.” Because of the bat, that creature who spans two worlds: mammal and bird, who won the game for the mammals. Because of this, the birds now fly south in the winter and the mammals do not travel. The game was gifted to the two-legged from Creator for enjoyment and as a medicine game for the healing of the people.

It is a preeminent Indigenous sport, most known for the Iroquois continuity and commitment and now it’s resurgence nationally and internationally. In June, for instance, two intertribal teams composed of players from four reservations Ihanktonwan/Yankton, Cansa’yapi/Lower Sioux, Sicangu/Rosebud and Winnebago defeated the Rapid City Shock in a three-game series in early June. There is a growing force, it is young and increasingly gifted.

The Age of AIM:The American Indian Movement turns 46
Thursday, August 07 2014
 
Written by Jon Lurie,
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the age of aim the circle.jpgClyde Bellecourt was naked, locked in a dark, solitary cell in the bowels of Stillwater State Prison. Almost two weeks had passed since the 32 year-old Anishinaabe inmate had been forced into that cold concrete dungeon; he awoke contemplating suicide.

Bellecourt's path to Stillwater had begun long before, while still in the fifth grade. He ran away from school on the White Earth Reservation, where he was often beaten for acting out. Even as a child, Bellecourt rebelled against a system that denied the history and culture of his people. He was judged incorrigible by local authorities and sent to the Red Wing State Training School, a juvenile correctional facility.

Years later, lying raw against his stone bunk at Stillwater, Bellecourt remembered the cries of boys pleading for help as they were sexually molested by the Red Wing reformatory's priest.

As he considered taking his own life, Bellecourt heard someone whistling “You Are My Sunshine” outside the cell door.

He wondered: Who the hell whistles a song like that inside a prison?

He heard someone call out, "Is there a Clyde Bellecourt here?"

It was the voice of Eddie Benton-Banai, an Anishinaabe prisoner from Round Lake, Wisconsin. Benton-Benai asked Bellecourt for help organizing Native prisoners for an Indian folklore group.

Their eyes met through the peephole of the cell door seeding a partnership that would eventually blossom into the American Indian Movement, perhaps the most influential indigenous organization of the 20th century. Bellecourt and Benton-Banai succeeded in convincing a majority of the prison's nearly 200 Native prisoners to join their group.


Honor the Earth Launches ‘Love Water Not Oil’ Northern Tour
Thursday, August 07 2014
 
Written by Alyssa Hoppe, Honor the Earth,
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love water not oil tour frank waln.jpg DULUTH, Minn. – From August to September, Honor the Earth will sponsor an organizing and outreach tour in northern Minnesota, aimed at engaging communities and summer residents along the Enbridge proposed Sandpiper pipeline, one of many tar sands and fracked oil pipelines proposed to cross the North Country.

The 610-mile Sandpiper pipeline, projected at running 375,000 barrels per day, would cut through the chain of lakes south of Park Rapids and Walker, towards Brainerd and McGregor and snake back up to the Duluth and Superior area.

The company is proposing to transition from the northern corridor along Highway 2, which presently has six pipelines, to a new corridor, led by their proposal for the Sandpiper Line, through important and sensitive territory. The Enbridge Company is determined to move oil from places where there is no infrastructure and is showing determination in ways which Northerners may not like.

To support the mounting resistance to the Enbridge proposals, Honor the Earth has a two week drive of literature, events, press, music and action planned from Aug. 14 to Sept. 5 through the Lakes region and then on to North Dakota.

Musical performances to begin on Aug. 14 at Tom’s Burned Down Café on Madeline Island. The event will feature three Native musicians: Frank Waln, Sonny Johnson, Pura Fe and Allison Warden. Their performances will launch the musical portion of the tour, with the larger organizing component stretching from East Lake/ Rice Lake Refuge on the Mille Lacs reservation to Rice Lake on the White Earth reservation. The organizing campaign will feature educational and outreach presentations on the Enbridge pipeline proposals.


Letter to the Editor: Former SPPS Indian Education Supervisors speaks out
Thursday, August 07 2014
 
Written by Kathy Denman-Wilke,
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To the editor

I am writing concerned about the article on June 19 entitled, “American Indian parents demand changes in St. Paul School programs. It seems to me that the article was written with information from one source and that information was not checked for accuracy. As the former supervisor of the Indian Education program I have listed the inaccuracies that I am aware of and the documentary source to check them out.
Angie Thorn hill’s comment on “the JOM board is a governing body, where parents decide how Indian Education funding can be spend.” The JOM committee only is a governing body of the JOM funding and JOM program, which in 2012/2013 was approximately $24,000 of the full Indian Education budget.

Documentation: Margaret Vanderhoff, accountant at SPPS for budget figures. The contact person for JOM funding and guidelines is Billie Annette.
Angel Thornhill comment on “ Grants have not been in compliance for some time.” All grants have been in compliance which SPPS yearly Federal audits can support (St. Paul Public Schools can speak to this). SPPS has never received a non-compliance letter from any funders in my 13 years as a supervisor. In fact in our SFTF, Chemical Prevention (DHS) grant we were asked to speak at their conferences since they viewed the program as one of their exemplary programs. In addition, in 2013 the JOM program received an award for being the exemplary JOM program across the state, in which Angie, the JOM parent committee member and I accepted.


From the Editor's Desk: Why we continue Native journalism
Thursday, August 07 2014
 
Written by Alfred Walking Bull, The Circle Managing Editor,
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whats_new_-_walfred_walking_bull.jpgIn the Lakota culture, there is a position that I've always found fascinating. It's called eyapaha. Traditionally, the eyapaha was effectively the spokesman for every tiospaye (extended family), and encampment in our nation. The eyapaha shared the decisions our councils made and fostered discussion where it was needed with information not everyone may have known. In essence, the eyapaha was analogous to our modern-day journalist.

It's often my wont to tell anyone who asks that I am not an elitist journalist … but I was educated by elitist journalists. When I attended the American Indian Journalism Institute and continued to study journalism at the University of South Dakota, the term “gatekeeper” was still bounced around with pride and zeal. We were being educated on how to find a story, getting others to tell the story and making sure the story was fair to all parties involved. Then came the real world.

Before accepting the responsibility of this position (one I still regard with the highest esteem, mostly because The Circle is older than I am), I was the editor for my tribal newspaper, The Sicangu Eyapaha and began to understand the dynamics of reportage in a tribal setting. Nothing we reported was good enough, fast enough or had enough of what everyone wanted. Cynicism set in as I fell back on my education, wondering if keeping alive a seemingly static journalistic tradition in a changing world while being a Native person on a reservation was too much irony for me.

But was is not.

The Indian Wars Are Not Over
Monday, July 07 2014
 
Written by Winona LaDuke,
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web-the indian wars are not over 1.jpgOn an overcast, and quiet midday afternoon, 50 or so Anishinaabeg from ricing families and their friends gathered at Big Bear Landing on the shore of Big Rice Lake. It is 138 years to the day of the infamous Battle of the Little Big Horn.

Some would say that the odds were not great for the Lakota at that point and some might say the same now, for the Anishinaabeg. The Ojibwe hold ricing poles, knockers and carry their canoes to the lake, carefully placing them on the edge. Michael Dahl, has called us together to talk about our manoomin, our wild rice and this lake. This lake is the most bountiful wild rice lake in Minnesota – four miles long and two miles wide. A solid bed of wild rice on a good year. There is nothing like it. Really.

It’s an epic moment. The newest version of the Indian Wars is coming towards Rice Lake. This Seventh Cavalry incarnation is a set of fossil fuel and extractive mining proposals, capped by some pipelines – big ones headed every which way across the heart of Indian Country. Kinder Morgan and Enbridge Gateway to the North in what is called British Columbia and into the Salish Sea, Energy East projected to go from West to East to Miq’Mac territory the Keystone XL, Alberta Clipper, Line 9 and the Sandpiper, are all intended to move fossil fuels – fracked oil and tar sands oil across some territories, which have no pipelines.

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