United Methodist Church returns Ohio church lands to the Wyandottes, and other news and events

In this blog:

  • United Methodist Church returns Ohio church lands to the Wyandotte Nation — 200 years after the federal government forced its relocation
  • Invitation to attend the “Change the Name” rally at U.S. Bank Stadium when the Washington Reds*ins play the Vikings Oct. 24
  • “Stories from our Native neighbors” event, Oct. 9, First Lutheran Church in Columbia Heights
  • Minnesota Court of Appeals hears oral arguments in Fond du Lac Band member Jim Northrup’s treaty rights case
  • The Tohono O’odham Nation, the Pasqua Yaqui, and the Hopi Tribe are part of suit that blocks large copper mine in Arizona

United Methodist Church returns three acres of church land in Ohio to the Wyandottes

The Washington Post ran the story: The U.S. once forced this Native American tribe to move. Now they’re getting their land back. In case you don’t have access to the site, here’s the short version.

The story starts with John Stewart, the son of slaves and a Methodist, who “dreamed that God told him to travel north from his home in Marietta, Ohio, until he met a people who needed him.”

Stewart stopped in the northern Ohio city of Upper Sandusky, where he encountered the Wyandotte Nation. In 1819, he helped establish the Methodists’ Wyandotte Indian Mission.

In 1843, the federal government forced the Wyandottes west. They “sold” almost all of their Ohio lands, deeding three acres to the Methodists “to secure ‘the house and the place where we have buried friends from being desecrated,’ according to the deed.”

Last Saturday, the United Methodist Church returned those three acres with ceremony.

The story notes:

The UMC this year is celebrating 200 years of missions, of which John Stewart’s ministry among the Wyandottes was the first. The anniversary made Thomas Kemper, the church’s general secretary of global ministries, pay renewed attention to the deeded land and decide it was time to return it to the tribe.

Although the Methodists’ interactions with the Wyandottes were largely positive, Kemper said giving back the property is partly an act of repentance for times when Methodists mistreated Native Americans — sometimes badly. Col. John Chivington, for example, was a Methodist who led a group that killed about 230 Cheyenne and Arapaho Indians in the 1864 Sand Creek Massacre.

Click on the link for the full story.

Here we go again … Change the Name!

The Minnesota Vikings are playing the Washington Reds*ins on Thursday, Oct. 24 in Minneapolis, and you all are invited for “Rally to Change the Name” at U.S. Bank Stadium from 3-9 p.m. that day. It’s important to keep the pressure on the NFL and Washington team owner Daniel Snyder to change the team’s offensive name.

Stories from our Native American Neighbors about Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Oct. 8

File: Mysti Babineau testifies. Rep.Mary Kunesh-Podein sits to her right.

You are all invited to near the stories of Native Women who are leading in the search for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women. The event will be Wednesday, Oct. 9, 6:30-7:30 p.m. at the First Lutheran Church of Columbia Heights, 1555 40th Ave NE, Minneapolis. Facebook event here.

Storytellers are:

  • Mary Lyons, a great-grandmother, Ojibwe Elder, activist and policy changer. She’s worked with Native Lives Matter, Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women.
  • Mysti Babineau, currently a climate justice organizer with MN350.
  • Rep. Mary Kunesh-Podein, Minnesota State Representative, District 41B, Library Media Specialist at Robbinsdale Middle School, and Native American from Standing Rock Lakota tribe.

Kunesh-Podein and Babineau were instrumental in getting the Minnesota State Legislature to create the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women Task Force this year.

Minnesota Court of Appeals hears oral arguments in Northrup’s treaty rights case

Jim Northrup, an enrolled member of the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, was charged in 2015 for illegally netting fish on Gull Lake. Northrup says he was exercising his treaty rights to hunt, fist and gather on lands the Anishinaabe ceded to the U.S. government.

The Minnesota Court of Appeals took oral arguments in the case last week and a decision is expected in 90 days, according to a story by LPTV, the PBS station in Lakeland.

The state is arguing something of a technicality. It’s not arguing that such treaty rights don’t exist, but that Northrup doesn’t have treaty-protected rights to fish in this particular lake because the lake was not within the bounds of Fond du Lac’s treaty area.

According to a story in the Bemidji Pioneer,

Tribal attorney Frank Bibeau indicated that enrollment in any specific band is essentially irrelevant to the Ojibwe’s fishing rights since the various bands are all members of the same people. He said all the lands the Ojibwe ceded were held in common.

We’ll update this story when the Court of Appeals issues its decision.

The Tohono O’odham Nation, the Pasqua Yaqui, and the Hopi Tribe are part of suit that blocks large Arizona copper mine

According to a story by Intercontinetal Cry: A federal judge stopped Rosemont Mine’s plans to begin open-pit copper mining south of Tucson, citing a flawed analysis by the U.S. Forest Service which was going to allow the mining. The story said:

In his ruling, [Judge James] Soto wrote that “throughout the administrative process, the Forest Service improperly evaluated and misapplied: 1) Rosemont’s right to surface use; 2) the regulatory framework in which the Forest Service needed to analyze those surface rights; and 3) to what extent the Forest Service could regulate activities upon Forest Service land in association with those surface rights.”…

The Forest Service noted that the Rosemont Mine would have disturbed and desecrated 33 Native American burial grounds in the area.

Click on the link above for more details.

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