Bde Maka Ska Dedication, Mayo Clinic Apologizes for 1862 Grave Robbing, Indigenous Food Tasting, and Other News

Inbox is full with news and events:

  • Dedication for restoring the name Bde Maka Ska set for Saturday.
  • Belated Apology: In 1862, Dr. William Mayo stole the remains of Cut Nose, one of the 38 Dakota men hung in Mankato following the U.S. Dakota War. One hundred and fifty six year’s later, the Mayo Clinic apologizes.
  • Indigenous Food Tasting Oct. 8
  • Mindful direct action training set at Common Ground Meditation Center Saturday.
  • Water protectors face felony trespass charges as they try to stop DAPL in Louisiana, an example of how states are trying to stifle protest with stiffer penalties.

Details below.

Bde Maka Ska Dedication Saturday

Bde Maka Ska

A dedication for the restoring of the name Bde Maka Ska will be held Saturday, Sept. 22, from 9 – 11 a.m. at Thomas Beach, 3700 Thomas Ave. S. in Minneapolis, according to the website The event is called “The Gathering of Nations for Peace and Unity Circle Dedication Bde Maka Ska.”

According to the announcement: Ojibwe Healer and Elder Linda Lucero will join Nancy Bordeaux, Indigenous Cultural Consultant, to conduct a Circle of Healing from Violence using the 7 Grandfather’s Teachings: Wisdom, Bravery, Integrity, Love, Humble, Courage and Honor.  Following the Healing Ceremony – The AZTEC Dance group will perform, followed by “The Heart and Soul Drum Academy” from Minneapolis.

Click here for Facebook Event Page.

Belated Apology from the Mayo Clinic

Dr. William Mayo, co-founder of the Mayo Clinic and grave robber.

Mayo Clinic leaders traveled to Santee, Nebraska this month to apologize to the descendants of Cut Nose and the Santee community for the desecration of Cut Nose’s body some 156 years ago. Cut Nose (whose Dakota name is Marpiya Okinajin) was one of the 38 Dakota men hung in Mankato following the U.S. Dakota War.

News coverage of the apology included stories in and MPR.

Cut Nose was buried in a shallow grave along the river. Dr. William Mayo dug up his body the same day as the hanging, according to the story.  “The young doctor carted the corpse to his office, dissected it, melted off the flesh and made a skeleton he studied and allowed his children to play with.”

Cut Nose’s stolen skull remained on display at the Clinic, then got lost. It was eventually found and the Mayo Clinic returned it to his family in the late 1990s.

After the Dakota-U.S. War, Dakota people were exiled from Minnesota. Some ended up in Nebraska.

Mayo Clinic officials have been making visits and doing outreach to the community, the story said. They recently contacted LeAnn Red Owl, one of Cut Nose’s descendants. The Clinic wanted to create a Medical School scholarship, allowing one Native student per year to attend for free. They wanted to name the scholarship in honor of Cut Nose. Would that be OK?

Yes, LeAnn said. But you can’t do it in Minnesota. You need to come here, to the reservation, and say what needs to be said in front of the whole family.

Click on the links above for the full story.

Indigenous Food Tasting

Dream of Wild Health, in conjunction with the Indigenous Food Network, is hosting an Indigenous Food Tasting as a part of Indigenous People’s Day. The event is Monday, Oct. 8, 4-6 p.. at the Minneapolis American Indian Center, 1530 E. Franklin Ave., Minneapolis.

The featured chefs are Brian Yazzie of Yazzie The ChefGatherings Cafe, Howasta Means, Christina White of Native Food PerspectivesThe Sioux Chef team, and the Dream of Wild Health Youth Leaders!

For more information, see the Indigenous Food Tasting event page.

Mindful Direct Action Training Saturday, Oct. 6

Common Ground Meditation Center, 2700 E. 26th Street, is hosting an event Saturday, Oct. 6, titled: “Mindful Direct Action Training: How to support and participate in spiritually grounded protest.” It will run from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. According to the announcement:

What does it look like to answer moral injustice with mindful/prayerful direct action? How can we “calm the waters” of direct action events for all involved by maintaining a centered, mindful presence? In these turbulent times we are called to act in the rich tradition of spiritually grounded protest for a better world.

From the Line 3 tar sands pipeline to police violence and the ongoing attacks on immigrant communities, come learn ways to directly confront injustice while practicing how to be in better community with each other and our Earth.

Join us for an introductory training to the skills needed to spiritually ground ourselves and defend our communities. This training will combine mindfulness techniques to reflect on your spiritual calling to act, to practice de-escalation during protests, and to organize for inclusive direct action.

This event is open to the public and everyone is encouraged to attend.

RSVP here.

Facilitated by Kaia Svien and Ethan Nuss from Common Ground

Water Protectors Face Felony Charges as States Increase Protest Penalties

The final section of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) runs through Louisiana, and water protectors there are facing felony charges for their actions to stop it, according to an MPR story.

This final stretch of DAPL will allow fracked oil from North Dakota to flow south for export to other countries. Opposition in Louisiana has focused on a section known as the Bayou Bridge Pipeline. Water Protectors are getting charged with trespass, typically a misdemeanor crime in Louisiana, the MPR story said. But new state laws make trespass on oil and gas pipeline property, deemed to be “critical infrastructure,” a felony. As of Aug. 1, trespass on these pipelines properties is punishable with up to five years in jail

During a recent Bayou Bridge action deep in the swamps, several water protectors were arrested, including some in kayaks, the MPR story said. The water protectors were in public waters, so they didn’t think they were doing anything illegal, they said.

“It’s a ridiculous over-criminalization of people who protest,” says Bill Quigley, a law professor at Loyola University in New Orleans who represents protesters here and in other states.

Quigley calls the new law unconstitutional on First Amendment grounds, and he says he plans to challenge it in court. He hopes doing so will encourage other states to walk back their own laws.

Click on the link above for the full story.

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