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From the Editor's Desk: Thinking Beyond Our Own Salvation
Monday, March 10 2014
 
Written by Alfred Walking Bull, The Circle Managing Editor,
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whats_new_-_walfred_walking_bull.jpgWhether by flood, fire or rapture, almost every culture has its own form of eschatology. There seems to be no end in how people predict the end of the human race. The earth will be consumed by fire, it will be re-appropriated by the waters or the faithful of the world will be called upward toward heaven, body and soul.

The focus is that there will be an end to humanity as we know it and that there are very clear markers of when, where and how.

The problem with eschatology is that it is a human-centered system of belief that removes any kind of responsibility when it comes to how we treat our environment, other forms of life and each other. As a millennial Catholic Christian, my generation's religious education was not to focus on the Second Coming as a means to judge others and use up what resources we could in our lifetime; we were taught to respect the inherent dignity of other people, in all forms of life and to be respectful of our surroundings.

As a Lakota, educated in Wolakota – our belief system – I was also told the stories of our people's creation and how we became the dominant species on this planet. Lakota are not dominionists, nor are we salvationists; we believe in merit. The story of how we came to be where we are is a story of merit. We believe that we once lived as equals with our relatives in the animal world but over time, the Pte Oyate (Buffalo Nation) began to think they were superior to others because of their size and strength. A great race was held on the outer rim of the He Sapa (Black Hills) between the two-leggeds and the four-leggeds to decide which group would have primacy over the others.

 


Lacrosse Clinics Teach Culture and Engage Community
Monday, March 10 2014
 
Written by Jamie Keith,
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lacrosse_clinics_teach_culture_and_engage_community_2.jpgIndigenous Lax kicked off its first lacrosse clinic on Feb. 15 with special guest speaker and Edmonton Rush player Jeremy Thompson (Onondaga). He also plays for the Iroquois Nationals, is a Nike N7 Ambassador and the co-star of a documentary titled, “The Medicine Game.” He shared his knowledge and experiences with 30 Native youth representing the Arapaho, Blackfoot, Dakota, Ho-Chunk, Lakota, Ojibwe, Omaha, Potawatomi and Yakama nations.

The goal of these introductory clinics is two-fold: introduce Native youth to the history and significance the game has to many tribal communities; and to teach them the foundational skills they need to compete in lacrosse leagues in the Twin Cities.

“Both Native and non-Native [people] locally seem to think the sport is for and began with White Americans from elite communities and schools,” Clinic Director Shane Thompson (Odawa/Seneca) said. “This is far from the truth.”


Native Business Grows With Values and Guidance
Friday, February 07 2014
 
Written by Alfred Walking Bull,
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native_business_grows_with_values_and_guidance-web.jpgBusiness continued to grow in the Minneapolis Native American community with the latest class of graduates from the Fall 2013 Plan It! Entrepreneur Training Program on Jan. 16.

The program is offered by Bii Gii Wiin Community Development Loan Fund, which was established to promote home ownership throughout the Native community in Minnesota, in partnership with Neighborhood Development Center. Eight students in the program spent 11 weeks, meeting at Bii Gii Wiin offices on Franklin Avenue, learning how to start a business and complete their business plans.

The ties between the program and the Native business community run deep. Mike Goze, American Indian Community Development Corporation CEO, has a personal and rewarding relationship with the program. “A number of years ago, my son Tony when through this exact same class and we started a company and this year we did somewhere between 6 and 7 million dollars worth of work. The kind of business you want is a profitable one. That is the key.”

Thousands Pack Final Hearing for Proposed PolyMet Mine
Friday, February 07 2014
 
Written by Elizabeth Dunbar/Dan Kraker, MPR News,
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Minnesota Public Radio News can be heard on MPR's statewide radio network or online at minnesota.publicradio.org .

The public's last chance to speak in front of hundreds about why they like or loathe PolyMet's plan to mine copper and nickel in northeastern Minnesota went out with a bang.

More than 2,100 people packed a Saint Paul RiverCentre ballroom, matching in size but surpassing in feistiness the combined 2,000 or so people who attended two earlier meetings in Duluth and Aurora. There were standing ovations, boos, laughs and even a guy with a guitar and harmonica who sang out his fears for Minnesota if the state embraces PolyMet, which would be the state's first copper-nickel mine.

Moderator Aimee Gourlay asked the crowd on several occasions to avoid interrupting the speakers with applause so they could maximize their three-minute time limit to speak. Those requests mostly went unheeded.


Spotlight On: Charly Etzkorn
Friday, February 07 2014
 
Written by Alfred Walking Bull,
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charlie_etzkorn-web.jpgSeven year-old Cheyenne River Sioux Tribal citizen Charly Etzkorn sang the National Anthem at the home opener for the Minnesota Swarm lacrosse game on Jan. 19.

The game was also the Swarm's Native American Heritage Day where they paid tribute to the Native roots of the game with a traditional version of the game at half-time featuring the Oneida Warriors and Prairie Island Indian Community's lacrosse teams. The Hoka Hey Singers also rendered an honor song for the 8,000 audience members in attendance for supporting the traditional Native American game.

Etzkorn said of her time in the spotlight, “It was really fun. I was nervous but it was really fun.”

From the Editor's Desk: Tribal Sovereignty Through Federalism
Friday, February 07 2014
 
Written by Alfred Walking Bull, The Circle Managing Editor,
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The concept of tribal sovereignty for the uninitiated can seem like a confusing and mercurial legal arena; and often times, it can be. What may work for one tribe may not work for another. But even in the most confusing cases, there are broad truths that can be taken into account where sovereignty is concerned.

We see now on Pine Ridge that an Oglala Sioux Tribal committee is referring a public vote on the legalization of marijuana as a means to produce revenue. Under federal law, which is directly applicable on Indian reservations, the cultivation, distribution and/or sale of marijuana is prohibited and goes directly under federal jurisdiction. For better or worse, the Oglala have always had a history of acting sovereignly, asking no one's permission to do as they please within their own territory. If passed, observing this act of sovereignty come up against federal law will be fascinating, in addition to considerations with the states of Colorado and Washington passing their own legalization laws.


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