News/Events: Native Youth Visit Vatican; ‘Horse Nation’ Art Opening; and The ‘Necessity Defense’

Some quick thumbnails of news and events.

Report on Native Youth’s Visit to the Vatican: On Thursday, June 14, Mitch Walking Elk and one of the Native youth who traveled to the Vatican in May will give an update on their trip and their efforts to get the Pope to officially revoke the Doctrine of Discovery. The event is free and open to the public. It will be held at St. Olaf Church (215 South 8th Street, Minneapolis) in the Forliti  Gathering Room. Supper (also free) and social begins at 6:30 p.m. and the program runs from 6:45 – 8:30 p.m.

(Note: The Doctrine of Discovery refers to the religious and legal justification used by Europe’s colonial powers to claim lands occupied by indigenous peoples, seize their property and forcibly convert or enslave them. The Doctrine has its roots in 15th century papal edicts granting Spain and Portugal permission to seize foreign lands as long as no baptized Christians had a prior claim. The “Discovery Doctrine” was put into U.S. law through a series of 19th Century Supreme Court decisions. It still applies today.)

Art Opening: Horse Nation of the Očhéthi Šakówiŋ: The exhibit explores how horses shape the history, spirituality, and culture of the Dakhóta, Nakhóta, and Lakȟóta (Dakota, Nakota, and Lakota) people, collectively known as the Očhéthi Šakówiŋ (Seven Council Fires).

Horse Nation opened this week and is on view through October 10 at All My Relations Gallery, 1414 East Franklin Avenue, Minneapolis. The exhibition features more than 20 artworks—including paintings, textiles, film, and beadwork—by nationally renowned contemporary Native American artists.

Minneapolis is the final stop of this national touring exhibit and parts of Horse Nation will be on view throughout the summer at Two Rivers Gallery and Minneapolis Institute of Art.

Star Tribune Op/Ed: Why public should hear our ‘necessity defense’: This piece is written by Valve Turner Emily Johnston. (Valve turner refers to advocates who turn off crude oil pipelines in opposition to the climate change impacts of fossil fuels.) Johnston, 50, was arrested on Oct. 11, 2016 for participating in a valve turner action on Enbridge pipelines 4 and 67 in Leonard, Minn. Here is a snippet from the piece:

We might even get to use the legal “necessity defense” (see, which would allow us to bring expert witnesses (scientists, mostly) to testify not only to what we did (which we’ve never denied) but also why we did it and why our actions were a reasonable response to an unreasonable crisis.

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