News and Events: New Study on Impact of Indian Child Removal, Lorenz to Lead Wakan Tipi Center, Native-Themed Video Game, and More

In this blog:

  • First Comprehensive Study on Removal of Native Children from their Families
  • Maggie Lorenz Hired to Lead Wakan Tipi Center in St. Paul
  • “Why Treaties Matter” Community Conversation at East Side Freedom Library April 28
  • New Decision-Based Video Games Set in the Late 1800s Flips the Script, Takes the Indigenous Perspective
  • Why White Women Tried to Ban Native American Dances

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News and Events: Prairie Island’s Net-Zero Carbon Plan, Good Friday Justice Walk, Pine Ridge Needs Flood Aid, and More

Current news and events coming into our Inbox:

  • Prairie Island Makes Strong Case for State Aid to Get to Net Zero Carbon Emissions
  • Good Friday: Justice Walk of the Stations of the Cross, April 19 — From the Site of the Dakota Concentration Camp of 1862-63 to Immigration Court
  • Water Music Concert, April 23, at Augsburg University, connecting water and spirituality across religious traditions
  • Pine Ridge Needs Flood Relief Help
  • Flooding Threatens Pipelines

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DNR Approves Enbridge Line 3 “Pre-Construction” Work; Trump Expected to Weaken State’s Pipeline Oversight

The controversial Enbridge Line 3 pipeline still faces significant court challenges and needs numerous state and federal permits, but Enbridge already has begun to work on the project.

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has given Enbridge permission to conduct “pre-construction” work for its Line 3 crude oil pipeline on DNR-administered state lands, the DNR says. “These activities include civil and environmental survey and geotechnical boring,” the statement said.

The DNR’s statement came in response to questions posed by Healing Minnesota Stories about reports that Enbridge might have begun Line 3 construction prior to receiving necessary permits. Continue reading

Going Back to the 1800s, U.S. Leaders Have Acknowledged Abuse of Indians

On this day in history, April 9, 1830, U.S. Sen. Theodore Frelinghuysen of New Jersey, a Whig Party member, gave a long and stirring speech on the Senate floor opposing the Indian Removal Act.

Sen. Frelinghuysen is unknown today, but his speech makes it clear that there were voices of conscience opposed to this immoral law, a voice other leaders chose to ignore.

President Andrew Jackson pushed the Indian Removal Act, which eventually passed. It resulted in the massive forced removal of the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Seminoles, Chocktaw, and Muskogee-Creek from the southeastern United States to present day Oklahoma. Most notably, the Act resulted in what is known as the Trail of Tears, referring to the many indigenous people who suffered and died from exposure, disease, and starvation during the long walk.

Frelinghuysen’s speech, excerpted in Paul Prucha’s Documents of United States Indian Policy, begins:

God, in his providence, planted these tribes on this Western continent, so far as we know, before Great Britain herself had a political existence. I believe, sir, it is not now seriously denied that the Indians are men, endowed with kindred faculties and powers with ourselves; that they have a place in human sympathy, and are justly entitled to a share in the common bounties of a benignant Providence. And, with this conceded, I ask in what code of the law of nations, or by what process of abstract deduction, their rights have been extinguished?

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State to Audit PUC’s Flawed Public Engagement Process

The Minnesota Legislative Audit Commission voted this morning to review the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission’s (PUC’s) public engagement process, a process that came under heavy criticism during its recent handling of the Enbridge Line 3 crude oil pipeline case.

(For details, see: PUC Staff Oversteps Authority, Shows Bias Against Pipeline Resisters.)

Legislative Audit Commission Chair Rep. Rick Hansen said there was bipartisan support for the PUC review. “It is somewhat unique, because it’s both public participation but it’s also commerce, energy, environment all kind of wrapped together,” he said after the meeting. “It’s a good and timely topic.” Continue reading

Pipeline Updates: Breathing Room on Line 3 Construction, the Necessity Defense Gains Ground, and More

Lots of news to share on the pipeline front, short summaries and links follow

  • Positive sign: Enbridge tells shareholders Line 3 construction won’t start until year’s end
  • Massachusetts judge affirms “Necessity Defense” for civil disobedience against pipeline causing climate damage
  • Michigan Governor stops Enbridge Line 5 tunnel under the Great Lakes
  • “Stop bankrolling Line 3” event
  • Enbridge’s greenwashing

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Healing Minnesota Stories Launches St. Paul Racial Justice Tours May 11

This May, Healing Minnesota Stories (HMS) is launching Twin Cities Pilgrimage, a sacred journey of historical black narrative in Minnesota led by by Pastor Danny Givens. This builds on HMS’s well known for its Dakota Sacred Sites Tours, which reached over 1,200 people last year alone.

The first Twin Cities Pilgrimage tour will be May 11, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Continue reading