An analysis released May 28 by the
American Civil Liberties Union gives the most detailed picture yet of
racial disparities in the treatment of low-level offenders by
Those arrested for non-felony offenses
in Minneapolis are far more likely to be people of color than to be
The ACLU analyzed arrest data collected
over nearly three years. Most of the arrests for low-level offenses
occurred during traffic stops. Following FBI practice, the ACLU
counts as an arrest encounters where people are merely stopped,
ticketed and released.
Minneapolis police officers made nearly
100,000 non-felony arrests between Jan. 1, 2012, and Sept. 30, 2014.
African-Americans and Native Americans were arrested at rates nearly
nine times higher than the rate for whites.
African-Americans make up less than 19
percent of the city's population, and Native Americans just 2
percent. The arrest numbers don't include separate categories for
Asians and Hispanics.
The disparity didn't come as a surprise
to Henry Jackson, 55, as he stood across the street from Target Field
with a handful of tickets.
Buying and selling tickets is legal,
but Jackson, who's African-American, has been arrested for
trespassing in the neighborhood three times since 2012.
The latest arrest happened outside
nearby Target Center in January, as he was selling tickets for a
Timberwolves game. He had stepped inside Target Center to warm his
hands, he said, when two police officers cited and released him.
Jackson said white ticket sellers could
do the same thing "all day long" without being stopped,
"but it seems like they got us singled out."
Jackson was convicted, ordered to pay a
$50 fine and given a stayed sentence of 90 days in the workhouse on
the condition that he stay out of Target Center for a year. Now he
can't enter the venue, even as a paying customer.
The idea of becoming a Native American
trade ambassador came to Diane Gorney during one of her recent
excursions to France. “Walking down the streets in Paris people
kept coming up and offering to buy the jewelry right off of me,”
says the Minneapolis resident and White Earth descendant.
Gorney refused to sell the stunning
beaded earrings, necklaces and bracelets she had purchased from
Ojibwe artists back home. From those interactions, however, she came
to understand the appetite French people have for all things Native
American. In their hunger Gorney saw an opportunity to help her
Ojibwe people. She investigated the availability of American Indian
items such as traditional art and jewelry, and hand-harvested
Minnesota wild rice.
The “Native American art” Gorney
found in Parisian shops was of poor quality and manufactured in
China. Gorney’s search for wild rice led her across the French
capital. French cookbooks and menus frequently reference an
ingredient called “riz sauvage (translation: wild rice),” so
Gorney was mystified when she couldn’t find it in stores. Finally,
at an obscure kosher market, Gorney ran across riz sauvage, but found
the product nothing like the natural cereal grain which flourishes
upon Minnesota’s northern waters.
The graphic on the packaging of
France’s leading brand of riz sauvage, Tilda Giant Wild Rice, lends
the impression the black rice is harvested by Native Americans. Its
box cover contains an image of two American Indians poling a birch
bark canoe through a wild rice bed. But a closer look reveals the
truth: the product marketed in France as Native American wild rice is
actually Indonesian, paddy-cultivated, black basmati rice, packaged
and distributed by a Britain-based food brand selling in over 50
Gorney, a former art teacher, soon
returned to Paris with a suitcase full of White Earth wild rice. She
handed out one-pound bags to chefs and others whom she hoped would
spread the word about the nutritious, delicious and sacred grain. “I
wanted them to share, but people loved it so much they kept it for
themselves. So my efforts were dead on arrival.”
An experienced tribal and education
administrator from the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe has been named the
new executive director of the three-state Common Enterprise
Development Corporation based at Mandan, N.D.
Cheryl Ann Kary
(Hunkuotawin) succeeds long-time North Dakota public and private
economic development leader Bill Patrie, nationally known for helping
start several value-added agricultural businesses and services firms
in North Dakota that involved several Indian organizations.
Patrie will remain working at the
nonprofit consultancy during a transition period.
“I wouldn’t say I want to be a
bridge between Indians and non-Indians,” she said in an interview.
“I look at my new role as a resource link for people wanting to do
Kary previously worked with adult
education, student recruitment, public relations, and as vice
president for community development at Sitting Bull College at Fort
Yates. She was executive director of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe
for two years. She also served as curriculum development director and
trainer at the Native American Training Institute, and research
director of United Tribes Technical College, both in Bismarck
She echoes views of Patrie, the
executive director since it’s founding in 2009. Both say persistent
poverty and health problems on reservations and in other communities
aren’t a “people failure,” but rather a “systems failure.”
Farm poverty has at least been partly
overcome by “system change,” Patrie said, whereby farm families
now keep more of the value of their production at home and working in
their state and local economies. Over the years, he helped create
more than 30 such cooperatives including the Fort Berthold
Agricultural Cooperative at New Town and the Twin Buttes Land Owners
Energy Cooperative at Twin Buttes.
Common Enterprise, or CEDC, is a
nonprofit consultancy providing technical assistance to start-up
enterprises mutually or cooperatively owned on and off reservations
in North Dakota, South Dakota and Minnesota. Tribally-owned
enterprises are by definition membership-owned and thus sibling
organizations with agricultural and food co-ops, mutual insurance and
finance companies, credit unions and other forms of community
enterprises owned and operated for the common good by members.
At CEDC, Patrie worked with local
groups involving North Dakota reservations, 11 North Dakota counties,
and others on developing a cooperative health care system; various
community development projects; with North Dakota, South Dakota,
Minnesota and Manitoba agricultural groups in developing value-added
processing enterprises; and on rural and reservation housing
Prior to starting CEDC, Patrie served
16 years as rural development director for the North Dakota
Association of Rural Electric Cooperatives. He later was director of
cooperative business strategies for the multi-state Northcountry
Cooperative Development Fund and Foundation. CEDC is a spin-off
development consultancy still linked with Northcountry.
The city of Minneapolis is anxiously
anticipating the opening of The Sioux Chef’s first venue: Tatanka
Sean Sherman (Oglala Lakota) made waves
over the last year by introducing his unique approach to Indigenous
cuisine. Born and raised on the Pine Ridge reservation in South
Dakota, he attended college at Black Hills State University. Part of
his drive to create an Indigenous cuisine, free of processed sugars,
dairy or flour, came from just being a chef in Minneapolis since the
“I had been cooking since I was 13 in
the Black Hills, in tourist restaurants. And I thought It was silly
that there was no Native restaurants,” Sherman said. “There were
fusion recipes like buffalo burgers, wild rice risotto and pumpkin
cake,” but nothing truly spoke to traditional Native food.
Sherman’s approach has also been
respectful of the regional culture of the Ojibwe and Dakota people
and will be reflected in the offerings of Tatanka Truck. “I’ve
been surrounding myself with awesome foods and learned how people
were preserving things. I learned about the ancestral food cache. For
us around here, there’s lots of wild rice, corn products and all
the produce that people were growing in the region. The meats are
easy. We’re serving bison, turkey, duck, walleye, smoked lake fish
and on occasion, rabbit.”
Written by Bill Sorem and Michael Mcintee, The Uptake,
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Native American activist groups in
Minnesota would like people to learn the real history of Christopher
Columbus and quit putting him up on a pedestal at the State Capitol.
“We all know in 1492 he sailed the
ocean blue. And in 1493 he stole all that he could see,” American
Indian Movement-Twin Cities Chair Mike Forcia said at a rally held on
April 18 outside the Minnesota capitol building, where the statue of
For more than 83 years a statue of
Columbus has gazed from the Capitol toward Minnesota’s Justice
Center. For Forcia, real justice would be removing the statue. “We
need to deport Columbus,” he said. “We can’t be celebrating
Genocide isn’t a word most history
books associate with Columbus, but he enslaved Native Americans.
As governor of the large island he called Espanola (today Haiti and
the Dominican Republic), Columbus’ programs reduced the native
population from as many as eight million at the outset of his regime
to about three million in 1496.
Minnesota’s legislature is
considering a bill that would change the engraving on the statue from
“Discoverer of America” to “Christopher Columbus landed in
America.” A co-sponsor of the House bill includes Rep. Dean Urdahl
(R-Grove City), who taught high school government classes 35 years.
Copyright 2008 The Circle News. All rights reserved. The Circle New is dedicated to presenting news from a Native American perspective, while granting an equal opportunity to community voices. Editorials and articles are the sole responsibility of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect the opinion, attitude, or philosophy of The Circle or the corporation. The Circle does not endorse any product or service accepted as advertising. The Circle reserves the right to reject any advertising, material, or letters submitted for publication. NO PART OF THIS PUBLICATION MAY BE REPRODUCED WITHOUT THE WRITTEN CONSENT OF THE PUBLISHER. West7th**