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A Red Lake tribal citizen seeks accountability and to raise Native issues in his bid for the MPLS Public Schools Board of Education. Read more ...

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The Musical redefines masculinity

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Police brutality cause for ballot issue
Thursday, January 09 2014
 
Written by Jamie Keith,
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The Committee For Professional Policing is working to pass an amendment to the Minneapolis City Charter, which would be voted on as a ballot issue in the November 2014 election. This amendment would require police officers to carry personal liability insurance, much like the malpractice insurance doctors are required to carry.
Riding the Pipelines
Friday, December 06 2013
 
Written by Winona LaDuke,
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winona laduke riding pipelines.pngThere’s a beauty in the breath of horses, fall mornings a bit of breath seen in the air and the smell and sound of horses. One hoof at a time. Bebezhigogonzhiig … one at a time, a one hoofed being. On Nov. 14, Michael Dahl and I, both Mississippi Band members rode horses from the headwaters of the Mississippi along a proposed route of a new oil pipeline, which would cross the reservation.

We were joined by local people on horseback, in the third of a series of rides on oil pipelines sponsored by a national organization, Honor the Earth. Those rides took us on the Alberta Clipper proposed expansion route and to the proposed Keystone XL route in the Dakotas, where riders from White Earth joined with the Lakota to ride between Wanblee and Takini or Bridger on the Cheyenne River Reservation. “We are not protesters, we’re protectors,” Michael Dahl told me. That is true.


We called this the triple crown of pipeline rides. What’s at stake is a lot of water and a lot of risk. In the Dakotas it is a land without a single pipeline across it and one large aquifer, the Ogalalla. “We can buy bottled water and drink it,” Percy White Plume told me, “The buffalo and horses cannot.” This is a good point. So it was that l5 riders braved some harrowing terrain, a land littered with l00,000 dead cattle from a freak September blizzard, (lying dead on the sides of roads, gullies and the like) and rode a proposed pipeline route.


White Earth Band votes to end blood quantum for tribal membership
Friday, December 06 2013
 
Written by Dan Gunderson, Minnesota Public Radio,
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MOORHEAD, Minn. – White Earth Band of Ojibwe tribal members have approved a new constitution that dramatically changes tribal government and expands membership in Minnesota's largest Chippewa tribe.

The new constitution eliminates the blood quantum which requires a person to prove they have 25 percent Indian blood and changes to a system based on family lineage. But choosing a new constitution is only the first step in what will likely be a long and challenging process.

White Earth Nation Chairwoman Erma Vizenor has advocated for constitutional reform for 16 years, and said Tuesday that when 79 percent of voters approve a new constitution, as they just did with 3,492 votes cast, it's a transformational moment.

"It feels great. It is gratifying to know that the people of White Earth have spoken and spoken strongly," Vizenor said.

Why the mascot issue is important for social justice and Native youth
Friday, December 06 2013
 
Written by Jamie Keith,
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why the mascot issue is important for social justice and native youth.jpgHundreds of protesters gathered outside the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in downtown Minneapolis on Nov. 7 to speak out against the Washington mascot. According to Little Earth Education Director Sasha Houston Brown, the rally was the site of some clashes between football fans and Indigenous protesters.

“There were some very intoxicated white football fans getting in people's faces, mocking the drums, making fake war whoops, doing fake dances,” she said. “We can't say there's not an issue when that's going on.”

There are strong feelings on both sides of this debate. In social media posts that argue to keep the mascot, a common theme admonishes protesters to “get over it.” In Google + user Ron Brown's words, “this PC group of rejects have almost destroyed our society."

Guest Opinion: White Earth constitutional reform and leadership questionable
Wednesday, December 04 2013
 
Written by Jeff Armstrong,
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Anyone with a fleeting knowledge of the troubled history of the White Earth Reservation in northern Minnesota will understand that questions over the legitimacy of tribal membership and leadership, along with the more recent controversy of absentee voting, are at the core of more than a century of internal conflict. It is, perhaps, a tribute to the public relations skills of White Earth Chair Erma Vizenor that she has been able to push through a constitution in violation of the one, under which she governs entirely by mail-in ballots with provisions to open reservation enrollment to anyone with remote tribal ancestry, to the universal acclaim of reporters, academics and activists who should know better.

It was reported in the Fargo Forum the day before the election that 2,000 ballot requests had been received and sent out over the course of a month, fairly typical of White Earth election turnouts. But when the ballots were being tabulated, the vote count had suddenly nearly doubled in the course of one day, to 3,492. None of the press reports the following day took note of this mysterious spike, though some suggested the higher-than-average turnout was evidence of heightened interest in the historic election. If so, one would be hard pressed to find evidence of it in the sparsely-attended public meetings, at which the vast majority of attendees expressing an opinion spoke out against the draft constitution. Social media sites such as the White Earth's Voice for a Nation reflected broad and deep opposition to the proposed constitution.

Navigating MNSure and Indian Health Services
Wednesday, December 04 2013
 
Written by By Sommer Dey Rosette-Poolaw, Indian Health Board of Minneapolis,
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The Affordable Care Act (Obama Care) is a federal law that provides health insurance coverage options that are more accessible and affordable. Minnesota, like all states, was given three options to deliver insurance to its citizens. Minnesota chose a state-based exchange where the state runs its own Healthcare Marketplace, now called MNsure.

Open enrollment for MNsure began on Oct. 1 for most Minnesotans. American Indians of Minnesota, tribally-enrolled or documented lineage, have no closing date to enroll in a healthcare plan; more information will be provided in regards to proof of enrollment and lineage. We are also exempt from the federal mandate requiring all individuals to purchase health insurance that includes tax penalties.

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