On Monday, October 10, St. Paul Public Schools is hosting an inaugural Indigenous Peoples Day Parade. In 2015, the City of Saint Paul declared Oct 10th, formerly recognized as Columbus Day, as Indigenous People’s Day. Parade organizers say this is the first year they had enough planning time to coordinate a public celebration.
The Parade will start at 11 a.m. at the American Indian Magnet School, 1075 East 3rd Street, St. Paul. It will end at Indian Mounds Park. In addition to the parade, there will be food, speakers and demonstrations. This year’s theme is “Water is Life.” Here is a link to the saint-paul-indigenous-peoples-day-parade-flyer.
The Minnesota History Center also is hosting an Indigenous Peoples Day event, 6-9 p.m. on Oct. 10, with precolonial foods prepared by the Sioux Chef. Speakers include State Representative Peggy Flanagan and Minneapolis City Council Member Alondra Cano. (There is a $25 admission fee.)
For more on climate change and efforts to stop the Dakota Access Pipeline, keep reading.
Pope: Polluting the Earth is Sinful
Let’s start with the big picture. The Guardian newspaper reported Sept. 1 on Pope Francis’s call to save the environment. It said:
Pope Francis has called for urgent action to stop climate change and proposed that caring for the environment be added to traditional Christian works of mercy such as feeding the hungry and visiting the sick. …
Francis described man’s destruction of the environment as a sin and accused mankind of turning the planet into a “polluted wasteland full of debris, desolation and filth”.
While the Pope made no mention of North Dakota, this seems like a good segue into updates on the Dakota Access Pipeline and efforts there to protect the environment.
Horse Ride to Stop the Dakota Access Pipeline
In a fundraising letter to supporters of Honor the Earth, Founder Winona LaDuke talked about plans for a horse ride from the Standing Rock Reservation to Tioga to promote efforts to stop the Dakota Access Pipeline. (Tioga is the self-proclaimed “Oil Capital of North Dakota.”) LaDuke wrote:
We are supporting Standing Rock as they fight this pipeline, but we are also helping to create a new future. We plan to install 20 solar thermal panels on tribal houses at Standing Rock, beginning to address fuel poverty on the reservation.
We are here to defend the water, the land and the people. No new pipelines anywhere. It is time to move on. From October 8-13, Honor the Earth is proud to join forces with the Wounded Knee Memorial Riders, the Dakota 38 and Big Foot riders, and many horse nation societies, in a spiritual horse ride to protect our sacred waters from the Dakota Access pipeline and all the black snakes that threaten our lands.
Honor the Earth is trying to raise $10,000 to support the ride.
Task Force to Investigate Clash Between Water Protectors and Security Guards
MPR reports today that a joint task force of state and federal officials are going to investigate a Sept. 3 clash between those protecting the water and the pipeline’s security guards. The Morton County Sheriffs Department will lead the probe.
The pipeline company provoked the clash by bringing in heavy machinery to disturb an area the Standing Rock Nation had designated as sacred, including a burial site. Security guards used mace and attack dogs on those trying to protect the site and stop the digging. Tribal officials say 30 people were sprayed or bitten.
Good Background on the Dakota Access Pipeline
Local blogger Mary Turck, former editor of the Twin Cities Daily Planet, has published a five-part series on the Dakota Access Pipeline. Here are the links:
- Dakota Pipeline Part 1: Breaking the rules
- Dakota Pipeline Part 2: Betrayal by bulldozer
- Dakota Pipeline Part 3: Water protectors and the Emperor’s New Pipeline
- Dakota Pipeline Part 4: Protest on the prairie
- Dakota Pipeline Part 5: Jailing journalists and paying sock puppets
[The original post had the incorrect date for the Indigenous People’s Day Parade. It is Oct. 10.]