Events: Dialogue on Crude Oil Pipeline Impacts on Treaty Rights; Dakhota Language and Scavenger Hunt at Mia

Line 3 marker near Bemidji

Minnesota Interfaith Power & Light is hosting an interactive discussion on treaty rights and crude oil pipelines, Sunday, Feb. 25th, 1-3 p.m., at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, 1895 Laurel Ave., Saint Paul. Here is the Facebook post.

The discussion will include the history and continued significance of treaties in Minnesota, and the impact of the proposed Line 3 pipeline on treaty rights today.

Quick background: Canadian pipeline company Enbridge has several tar sands crude oil pipelines running through northern Minnesota. (They enter the state’s northwest corner and run southeasterly to connect with other pipelines in Superior, Wisc.)
Enbridge Line 3 is old and failing. Enbridge’s plan is to abandon Line 3 in the ground and build a new and larger pipeline along a new route. The new route avoids crossing reservation lands, but it does cross large areas of what is known ans 1855 treaty territory. These are lands where the Anishinaabe (Ojibwe) have protected rights to hunt, fish and gather. The Line 3 review process has done little to nothing to recognize those treaty rights.
Line 3’s new route also crosses the headwaters of the Mississippi River.
Rev. Robert Two Bulls will lead the Sunday discussion. He is a Missioner for the Department of Indian Work and Multicultural Ministries of the Episcopal Church of Minnesota.

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Remembering Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women

Marchers stopped on the Franklin Avenue overpass to tie red ribbons to the chain link fence, a sign of honoring and remembering missing and murdered indigenous women.

On Valentine’s Day, a group of more than 60 of us crowded into the Sierra Club North Star Chapter’s offices in Minneapolis to march in solidarity with the numerous Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women’s Marches happening in communities in the United States and Canada.

The Sierra Club was asked to help co-sponsor this year’s march by Rene Ann Goodrich of the Native Lives Matter Coalition. This is the fourth year Native Lives Matter has held a march in the Twin Cities and Twin Ports (Duluth/Superior) and the second year the Sierra Club has organized a solidarity march. In addition to the Coalition, co-sponsors included MN350, the Women’s Congress for Future Generations, and Minnesota Interfaith Power & Light.

Winona LaDuke, founder of Honor the Earth, spoke during a brief program at the Sierra Club, saying every indigenous family she knows in northern Minnesota “has someone they have lost.”

A number of Native women wore jingle dresses.

Joe Vital, a member of the Sierra Club’s Beyond Oil and Tars Sands Committee, participated in the march. Vital, also a member of the Red Lake band of Ojibwe, commented on how it was odd that some passersby seemed to think the march was something of a parade.

“For many of us, it’s mourning,” said Vital, who has an auntie who is missing. “It’s weird. We’re in solidarity in mourning.” Continue reading

Encountering the Dakota Worldview: A Conversation with Bob Klanderud

Encountering the Dakota Worldview
Thursday, February 22, 12:00 PM at the University of St. Thomas
Conversation with Bob Klanderud

This session is part six of an eight part series running through the 2017-2018 academic year titled Encountering Religious and Cultural Traditions: A Series Fostering Religious Literacy and Interreligious Understanding. In this session, Bob Klanderud will teach about the lived experience of the Dakota worldview as well as address some common misconceptions and stereotypes people have about the tradition.

‌Robert “Bob” A. Klanderud, of Dakota and Lakota heritage, is enrolled with the Rosebud Sioux Tribe in Minnesota. With Healing Minnesota Stories, a project that works towards understanding and healing between Native American and non-Native people, Bob volunteers as a teacher by guiding groups to the sacred sites of Bdote, the place where Wakpa Tanka (Mississippi River) and Mnisota Wakpa (Minnesota River) come together. Central to Dakota origin stories, Bdote is understood to be the center of the earth and the place where the Dakota people trace their beginning to. Bob served for eight years for the Division of Indian Work and Minneapolis Council of Churches as a case worker in the Fathers Program, Strengthening Family Circles program, and mentorship program for incarcerated men. He also served for eight years in the chaplaincy program of the department of corrections for Hennepin, Stearns, Steele, and Anoka counties.‌

This program is sponsored by the Jay Phillips Center for Interfaith Learning, Justice and Peace Studies Department, the American Culture and Difference Program, and Students for Justice and Peace, all at the University of St. Thomas.

Click here for more information.

News and Events: Wakan Tipi Day at the Capitol; “Beyond Historical Trauma” Training; Tiwahe Foundation Names New CEO

The Minnesota State Legislature will go back into session on Tuesday, Feb. 20, and here’s an action item to put on your calendar.

The Lower Phalen Creek Project is organizing a Day at the Capitol on Wednesday, March 14, to rally support for $3M in state bonding funds to design and build the Wakan Tipi Center. It will be an environmental and cultural interpretive center at the Bruce Vento Nature Sanctuary. It is named for the Dakota spiritual site, Wakan Tipi Cave at the Sanctuary.

Bond funding in 2018 will be the decisive step towards making the Wakan Tipi Center a reality! Organizers are trying to get 250+ people to attend. The day starts at 7:30 a.m. at the Minnesota History Center with a celebration and training, followed by visits with your legislators starting at 9 a.m.. The event concludes at 1 p.m.. Organizers will provide training, so that even if this is your very first time talking to your elected officials, you will be prepared. You will also be accompanied by other supporters.

For more background information click here.

To register to attend, click here and select “Wakan Tipi Day Advocate.” Continue reading

March 28: Film and Conversation on Racism, Law Enforcement, and Redemption From Native Experiences

Augsburg Native American Film Series: Native American Conversations on Law Enforcement, Justice, and Redemption

When : Wednesday, March 28
Where: Augsburg University, Sateren Auditorium, Music Hall, 715 22nd Ave. S., Minneapolis
Time: Reception from 6:15-6:45 p.m., screening begins at 7 p.m., discussion with filmmakers follows

This event is free to the public.

Attend an evening of short films focusing on issues of racism, law enforcement, and redemption from various Native American experiences.  The hosts will be: Shirley Sneve, John Gwinn, Binesi Means, and Tiana LaPointe. They represent two Native American media organizations–Vision Maker Media and MIGIZI Communications–which work with filmmakers to produce and distribute Native focused documentaries and shorts on issues important to Native American communities.   The evening will include conversation with our hosts and a variety of short films.


Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women’s March: Feb. 14

Photo by Minnesota Indian Women’s Sexual Assault Center.

Join the 2018 Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women’s March Wednesday, Feb.14, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m., starting at the Minneapolis American Indian Center (MIAC), 1530 E. Franklin.

The is to remember missing and murdered indigenous women, girls, boys, two spirit and transgender relatives. It is being sponsored by the Minnesota Indian Women’s Sexual Assault Center, Native Lives Matter Coalition, Minnesota Indian Women’s Resource Center, and MIAC.

WEAR RED! Bring Banners, Posters, Staffs, Drums, Rattles. All are welcome.

Here’s the schedule:

  • 11 to 11:30 a.m.: Sign In, Make Posters, Visit Information Tables, Visit Each Other! Sign Making material will be available. Informational Tables are free. Contact Cristine at to reserve a table.
  • 11:30 a.m. to noon: Opening Prayer; Welcome Song from Elders Lodge Ogichdaakwe Council Singers; Guest Speakers; Depart on Walk
  • Noon to 1 p.m.: The march starts and ends at MIAC. The loop follows Franklin Avenue to 26th Street, to Bloomington Avenue, and back to Indian Center. Vehicles will be available for elders and children.
  • 1 to 2 p.m.: Honor Song for those who have lost loved ones. Share in Chili, Cornbread, Coffee, and Pumpkin Bar provided by Chef Austin at Gatherings Cafe. Closing Remarks.

An allies march — Protect our Lifegivers, Protect our Sacred Waters — is being organized, starting at the Sierra Club North Star Chapter’s office at 2327 E. Franklin Ave. It is co-hosted by the Sierra Club, MN350, Minnesota Interfaith Power & Light, the Women’s Congress for Future Generations; and the Native Lives Matter Coalition.

People will gather at the Sierra Club office staring at 9 a.m. There will be light refreshments, a short program and time to mingle. People will march one mile down Franklin Avenue to join the main march at 11 a.m.

A Lame Apology and Poems with a Punch

Mark Charles (Navajo) told me a while back about the lamest apology ever made, the one Congress made to Native Americans, the one buried in the  2010 Defense Appropriations Bill.

Until recently I hadn’t heard about the poem that apology inspired.

Before getting to the poem, let’s take a couple of steps back to the beginning of the story: Senate Joint Resolution 14, proposed in the 111th Congress (2009). The resolution starts by acknowledging: “a long history of official depredations and ill-conceived policies by the Federal Government regarding Indian tribes and offer an apology to all Native Peoples on behalf of the United States.” Continue reading