Support: Rebuilding MIGIZI, Native Lives Matter Youth Alliance, and more

In this blog:

  • Help MIGIZI rebuild after fire
  • Native Lives Matter Youth Alliance holding march Saturday against police brutality
  • Support clean drinking water for Fond du Lac (a must read)
  • Lower Phalen Creek Project asks for help to get Wakan Tipi Center into special session bonding bill

Help MIGIZI rebuild after fire

Fires ruined many buildings during the uprising, including MIGIZI’s new home. (Photo: Lorie Shaull)

MIGIZI, a Native-led organization supporting Indigenous youth, lost its building in one of the fires set during the uprising over George Floyd’s murder. It had just opened its new building last year, a block away from the Minneapolis Police Department’s Third Precinct headquarters which was the target of protestors.

Please click here to support this important organization in the Native community.

Migizi means bald eagle in Ojibwe. MIGIZI issued a statement after the May 28 fire, and it reads in part:

IT IS PAINFUL TO LOSE A HOME. THE YOUTH WE PROUDLY SERVE DESERVE OUR BEST. WE REFER TO CHILDREN AS WAKANYEJA, SACRED ONES. OUR YOUTH ARE WAKAN, SACRED. THIS HOME IS SACRED.

OUR SACRED YOUTH PRIMARILY NEED TWO THINGS – A POSITIVE IDENTITY BASED ON THEIR TALENTS, DREAMS AND AMERICAN INDIAN CULTURAL WAYS. THEY ALSO NEED A SENSE OF BELONGING – CONNECTIONS TO OTHERS IN A CIRCLE OF SUPPORT.

MIGIZI IS THAT CIRCLE, AN EXTENDED FAMILY OF RELATIVES WHO ARE TRYING TO HELP YOUTH BE SUCCESSFUL, CONTRIBUTING MEMBERS OF THE AMERICAN INDIAN AND BROADER COMMUNITY – AS STUDENTS, STORYTELLERS, WORKERS EARNING A LIVING WAGE OR BETTER, AND AS FIERCELY PROUD INDIGENOUS PEOPLE.

New Native Lives Matter Youth Alliance holding march Saturday against police brutality

The newly formed Native Lives Matter Youth Alliance is the lead host of the 7th Generation Youth Solidarity and March tomorrow, Saturday, June 13, starting at 10:30 a.m. at Loring Park, 1382 Willow Street.

There will be an opening prayer at 11 a.m., then the group will march to the Hennepin County Government Center “to bring awareness to our children murdered at the hands of the police, in addition to honoring those left parentless due to police violence.”

Support clean drinking water for Fond du Lac

The environmental group WaterLegacy is appealing for citizens to put political pressure on Gov. Tim Walz and Mark Phillips, chair of the Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board (IRRRB) to secure the needed grant money to improve the “undrinkable” drinking water on the Fond du Lac Reservation.

It seems Minnesota State Sen. Tom Bakk led the charge to oppose Fond du Lac’s grant application as punishment for Fond du Lac’s anti-mining stance. Here is the text from WaterLegacy’s email:

Earlier this week, the Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board (IRRRB) put divisive political posturing above clean drinking water …

Their action should shock the conscience of every Minnesotan.

The IRRRB is made up of legislators from the Taconite Assistance Area and citizen members, considered 10 grants for local infrastructure projects. The only grant not approved was a proposal made by the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa to provide safe drinking water to a portion of their reservation.

Why was the Fond du Lac safe drinking water denied?

1) The project is urgently needed. According to IRRR staff, “the water serving these folks is not drinkable. This water is contaminated at a level that people would be sick, going for treatments.

2) The money is available. The $250,000 drinking water project scored higher than other projects. While rejecting the Fond du Lac Band’s clean water project, the Board approved a $350,000 grant for a hockey movie.

Sen. Tom Bakk led the charge to block the tribe’s clean water grant, attacking the Fond du Lac Band as “anti-mining” for protecting their water, air, wild rice, and the health of their members. Bakk said he “wasn’t comfortable” with providing funds for safe drinking water to people who didn’t share his mining-above-all-else politics. Not a single board member voted to provide the Mahnomen community with safe drinking water.

Please speak up for all of Minnesota. Safe drinking water is a right, not a political weapon.

Support the Lower Phalen Creek Project’s special session bonding request for the Wakan Tipi Center

Lower Phalen Creek Project is asking for your support in securing state bonding funds for the Wakan Tipi Center in the Bruce Vento Nature Sanctuary in St. Paul.

The Minnesota State Legislature is reconvening today and its agenda includes approving a bonding bill.

The Wakan Tipi Center will be  a cultural and environmental interpretive center, under an agreement with the City of Saint Paul. The Minnesota House of Representatives recommended Wakan Tipi Center funding in its bonding bill, the Minnesota Senate did not.

Here is a link to Wakan Tipi Center’s advocacy tool, which includes an email that you can personalize. Legislators need to hear from you now.

“Wakáŋ Tipi means Dwelling Place of the Sacred in the Dakota language,” according to the project’s website. (This is what white settlers renamed Carvers Cave. “Dakota oral history tells of the nature of the sacred beings who dwell within the cave.”

The Center would:

  • Honor the significance of Wakan Tipi cave as a Dakota sacred site.
  • Provide authentic Dakota interpretation of the culture and history of Dakota people in Saint Paul.
  • Offer environmental education on the geology, urban ecology, restoration, and migration routes within and around Wakan Tipi, through an authentically Indigenous lens.

 

One thought on “Support: Rebuilding MIGIZI, Native Lives Matter Youth Alliance, and more

  1. Hi Scott, this is Holly Ristau. The water quality grant mentioned above is for Fon du Lac. Mahnomen is on the White Earth Reservation so would not usually be affected by any grants Fon du Lack won. Could you clarify this?
    Thanks

    Like

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