Efforts are moving forward for the indigenous-led “Mni ki Wakan: The Decade of Water Summit” in Minneapolis later this year, and you can help.
Seven members of the LaPointe tiwahe (family) will be traveling to the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues meeting March 24 – April 5 to let people know about the Summit, network, and invite participation. The LaPointe family is hosting an informal gathering and fundraiser to help support its trip to the United Nations. The event is:
Saturday, March 11, 6:00 -8:30 p.m. at All My Relations Gallery, 1414 East Franklin Ave. Those attending will include Oceti Sakowin (Seven Council Fires) traditional knowledge keepers, indigenous human rights observers, relatives from Standing Rock, filmmaker Sheldon Wolfchild (Lower Sioux) and rapper Tall Paul. The event will include indigenous food and music, and be youth and community oriented.
Please come, learn and support this important work.
The idea for a Mni ki Wakan summit grew out of a series of community conversations started by LeMoine LaPointe (Lakota) and his family, including sons Wakinyan and Thorne. (Mni ki Wakan means “water is sacred.”) First Universalist Church in Minneapolis provided the space for the conversations, which included brainstorming on the broader implications of restoring the original Dakota name Mde Maka Ska to Lake Calhoun.
If you can’t make the March 11 event but still want to support this work, the LaPointe family has a GoFundMe site, with more information on the family and the Summit. It says:
[W]e have begun preparation to host international members of the indigenous peoples’ community in a 2-day conference in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA, to help envision and prepare a proactive water preservation and protection agenda for the next 10 years. The summit will be conducted on an annual basis, the first-annual water summit will be held in August, 2017 (date to be determined). The planning of future summits will be largely indigenous-led and youth-oriented. It will be open to all people. Currently, we are partnering with non-indigenous allies and stakeholders to prepare for the opening summit. Crucial preparation tasks remain.
For more, see the Circle newspaper’s 2016 story: Mni Wakan: Water is Sacred. (We blogged on it last year, too: Mni Wakan: Water is Sacred, an International Conference Planned for Minnesota.)