Church wrestles with name change, latest example of the Doctrine of Discovery, and Line 3 updates

In this blog:

  • Colonial Church wrestles with name change
  • UC-Berkley removes name from campus building of controversial professor who helped steal Native lands
  • Oak Flat: The latest example of the Doctrine of Christian Discovery
  • Charges dropped against treaty protectors opposing Trump’s July 4 Mount Rushmore visit
  • Lheidli T’enneh rejects Enbridge settlement offer on 2018 pipeline explosion
  • Wisc. residents question Enbridge’s slow response to pipeline spill
  • Banks continue to fund fossil fuels, climate chaos, including Line 3

Colonial Church wrestles with name change

Colonial Church of Edina has been struggling with whether to change its name, as “Colonial” and colonialism are tied to Manifest Destiny and white oppression, the Star Tribune reports.

More than 60 percent of church members voted to change the name, but the name change required a 67 percent super majority.

The controversy at Colonial reflects the broader challenges facing religious congregations across Minnesota as they strive to deal with racial justice issues following the death of George Floyd. Faith leaders are grappling with how far to go, how fast to move and what steps to take as they try to balance tradition and change without alienating members.

Star Tribune

Click here for the full story.

UC-Berkley removes name from campus building of controversial professor who helped steal Native lands

And while we’re on the subject of name changes, the University of California-Berkley has removed the name of Alfred Louis Kroeber from the science and arts building, Indian Country Today reports.

But his involvement in the exhumation and collection of Indigenous remains and his treatment of a Native man called Ishi – dubbed “the last wild Indian in the United States” – brought growing demands on Berkeley to remove his name.

Joining the call for removal were leaders of the Muwekma Ohlone Tribe, whose unceded lands are now home to UC Berkeley. Kroeber, who taught at Berkeley for 45 years, erroneously declared the Ohlone tribe to be culturally extinct in 1925, prompting the Bureau of Indian Affairs to remove the tribe’s federally recognized status and forcing members to vacate their protected land.

Indian Country Today

Click here for full story.

Oak Flat: The latest example of the Christian Doctrine of Discovery

Herb Yazzie, former chief justice of the Navajo Nation Supreme Court, wrote a powerful guest blog in the Navajo Times renouncing the racism in the Doctrine of Discovery and offering a recent example.

The latest pronouncement came in the very recent decision of the Arizona federal district in the Apache Stronghold case denying the plea of the Apaches to halt the mining of Chi’chil Bildagoteel (Oak Flat).

Even though the court acknowledged that “the land in this case will be all but destroyed to install a large underground mine, and Oak Flat will no longer be accessible as a place of worship” the court essentially held that its “hands are tied both by Congress and by the Constitution.”

In other words, the courts will not redress the denial of the Apaches’ right to continue their spiritual connection to their sacred land.

Herb Yazzie

Click here for full blog.

Charges dropped against more than 200 treaty protectors charged with protesting Trump’s July 4 Mount Rushmore visit

“Charges against Nick Tilsen, Oglala Lakota, President and CEO of NDN Collective, and all other treaty defenders arrested at a Black Hills protest on July 3 will be dropped, announced NDN Collective, an Indigenous-led advocacy organization,” reports Indian Country Today.

President Donald Trump traveled to Mount Rushmore last year to celebrate July 4. The day before, Tilsen and 200 other people gathered on the highway leading to the monument, “using cars and vans to block the road for nearly three hours.” Law enforcement responded leading to arrests and citations.

Tilsen initially faced felony charges and up to 17 years in prison. He is in a prison diversion program.

Click here for full story.

Lheidli T’enneh rejects Enbridge settlement offer on 2018 pipeline explosion

Lheidli T’enneh, a First Nations people in British Columbia, rejected Enbridge’s proposed settlement for an explosion and fireball that occurred on their ancestral and unceded lands from one of the company’s natural gas pipelines, according to a story in Prince George Matters.

The Transportation Safety Board concluded Enbridge failed to appropriately monitor pipeline corrosion.

The Lheidli T’enneh are seeking both damages and pipeline removal. Its Council also decided “to publicly warn other northern First Nations about their experience in dealing with Enbridge in a campaign called ‘Tell the Indigenous Neighbours.’” Click here for full story.

Wisc. residents question Enbridge’s slow pipeline spill response

“Jefferson County residents are questioning why Enbridge Energy took 21 days to repair a leaking underground pipeline that spilled more than 1,200 gallons of petroleum near Fort Atkinson, contaminating soil and groundwater, and did not report the spill to regulators for more than 15 months,” the Wisconsin State Journal reports.

Click here for full story.

Banks continue to fund fossil fuels, climate chaos

“In the 5 years since the Paris Agreement, the world’s 60 biggest banks have financed fossil fuels to the tune of $3.8 trillion. Runaway funding for fossil fuel extraction and infrastructure fuels climate chaos and threatens the lives and livelihoods of millions,” Rainforest Action Network says in its latest report: Banking on Climate Chaos.

In a blog on Line 3, it writes:

As of March 2021, there are at least 29 banks acting as lenders to seven Enbridge credit facilities totaling $12.9 billion, with participation from banks such as Barclays, JPMorgan Chase, MUFG, and TD. Given that Enbridge is not seeking any project-level financing for the project, these banks are essentially financing Line 3. Their support for the project comes even without the Free, Prior, and Informed Consent of the Ojibwe peoples, whose territory the pipeline cuts through.

Rainforest Action Network

Click here to see how different banks rate in terms of their fossil fuel funding.

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