Diane Wilson, author and executive director of Dream of Wild Health, spoke to Healing Minnesota Stories in April to a standing-room only crowd. A summary of her talk is now available online. Here is one excerpt:
The most important thing that I learned at Dream of Wild Health is that food is at the center of our culture. Our songs and ceremonies have been associated with how we plant, how we grow, and how we share our food. For us to maintain a strong cultural identity, we have to pay attention to our food and our relationship to the land. As we deal with historical trauma, one of the most profound ways we can do that healing work is through our relationship with the land.
U.S. Gets Possessive About Native Autonomy
Steve Newcom, co-founder and co-director of the Indigenous Law Institute, is adept at breaking down the subtle ways the federal government uses language to undermine Native sovereignty. His latest analysis is found in the article: “Maintaining U.S. Status Quo in Name of ‘Enhanced Participation’ at UN,” published in Indian Country Today.
In the article, Newcom talks about a recent statement by the U.S. government to the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. The government said it supports enhanced participation at the United Nations “for representatives of its federal recognized tribes, which have a nation to nation relationship with the United States.” (Newcom’s emphasis on the word “its”.) Newcom notes:
“Its” tribes? Really? In English grammar, the word “its” is a possessive. Thus, on the world stage the United States has officially characterized “federally recognized tribes,” as “belonging to” the United States as U.S. “possessions.” Such terminology is clear evidence of the domination system.
In other words, if the U.S. government believes these are “its” tribes, then there really is no nation-to-nation relationship.
For the full article, click on the link above. (Steve Newcom has been a featured speaker at a Healing Minnesota Stories forum on the Doctrine of Discovery.)
Tar Sands Protest
The Indigenous Environmental Network is organizing to participate in the June 6 Tar Sands Resistance March in downtown St. Paul, “the largest anti-tar sands event ever in the region,” according to its Facebook page. “Let’s march together as Indigenous communities to fight for Mother Earth and our future.” The agenda is:
- 10am- Water Ceremony, Lambert Landing, corner of Shepard Road and North Sibley Street
- Noon- March from Lambert Landing to the State Capitol Lawn
- 2pm-Rally & Performances at Capitol
New Federal Legislation Proposed to Boost Native Language Revitalization
According to Native News Online Net, U.S. Senators Jon Tester (D-Montana), Martin Heinrich (D-New Mexico), Heidi Heitkamp (D-North Dakota), Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), and Tom Udall (D-New Mexico) have introduced a bill to preserve endangered native languages. The article said:
The Native Language Immersion Student Achievement Act creates a new grant initiative to establish or expand native language immersion programs. The grants will support the revitalization and maintenance of tribal languages while increasing educational opportunities for American Indian and Alaska Native students.
Click on the link above for more.
Locally, Native leaders have worked to create and sustain funding for Dakota and Ojibwe language revitalization in Minnesota. HF303/SF202 provide critical ongoing funding. The bill passed on the House Floor Monday, May 18,but did not get a vote in the Senate before adjournment. Efforts are underway to get the bill on the Special Session agenda.