Registration open for MN Council of Churches’ truth-telling event; Walker to unveil new sculpture by Native artist, Line 3 updates

In this blog:

  • Registration now open for MN Council of Church’s first ‘truth telling’ event Sept. 24-25
  • Walker to install sculpture by Native artist where ‘Scaffold’ once stood
  • New report: Indigenous resistance is disrupting climate damage
  • More than 60 water protectors arrested outside Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz’s Residence
  • LaDuke, Hauska register complaints with U.N. Special Rapporteur on Human Rights

Registration now open for MN Council of Church’s first ‘truth telling’ event Sept. 24-25

The registration link is now available for the Minnesota Council of Churches first ‘truth telling’ event, a first step its broader commitment to reparations with Native American and African American communities.

According to the Council’s website:

After announcing the ambitious 10-year plan for Truth and Reparations in Minnesota we immediately began hearing from people eager to be a part of truth-telling, and people eager to hear the truth about Minnesota’s racial legacy. People eager to hear how our past shapes our present and how Minnesotans, knowing the truth, can begin to leave the legacy of a more equitable state.

The first truth-telling event will begin Friday, September 24, at Plymouth Congregational Church. Christine Diindiisi McCleave, Chief Executive Officer of the Twin Cities-based National Native American Boarding School Healing Coalition, will give the keynote address on Friday night. She is an enrolled citizen of Turtle Mountain Ojibwe Nation and a leader and an activist for Indigenous Rights advocating for truth, justice, and healing for the genocidal policy of U.S. Indian Boarding Schools.

The Saturday morning keynote will be delivered by Dr. Yohuru Williams, a history professor at St. Thomas University. He is the Founding Director of St. Thomas’ Racial Justice Initiative and the author of several books, including Rethinking the Black Freedom Movement. 

The event will be in-person as well as on-line. You can choose either option when you register.

Walker to install sculpture by Native artist where ‘Scaffold’ once stood

Image from Walker Art Center website.

The Walker Art Center will unveil the latest piece in the Sculpture Garden Oct. 9, a work by an Indigenous artist on the site where the controversial ‘Scaffold’ once stood, the Center announced.

The work, Okciyapi (Help Each Other), by Angela Two Stars is simultaneously a sculptural form, a gathering space, and a participatory work that provides a site for visitors to engage with Dakota language,” the Walker’s news release said. “The sculptures ringed configuration of seating elements made from custom-cast concrete makes reference to a rippling drop of water.”

Two Stars is a local artist and director of All My Relations Gallery.

Her work is part of a healing process.

In 2017, the Walker erected Sam Durant’s “Scaffold,” which depicted gallows from seven different hangings, most prominently the mass hanging of 38 Dakota men following the Dakota-U.S. War of 1862. It was intended as a commentary on capital punishment, and also triggered strong push-back from the Dakota community.

Before its official unveiling, Dakota elders were demanding the Walker take it down. There had been no conversions with the Dakota people about this painful symbol. Leaders called it a form of cultural appropriation, a white artist making money off of a story that wasn’t his to tell.

The Walker agreed to take down the sculpture.

New report: Indigenous Resistance is disrupting climate damage

A new report, Indigenous Resistance Against Carbon, says “Indigenous resistance has stopped or delayed greenhouse gas pollution equivalent to at least one-quarter of annual U.S. and Canadian emissions.”

The report was written by the Indigenous Environmental Network and Oil Change International are releasing a new report titled Indigenous. The report analyzes the impact that Indigenous resistance to fossil fuel projects in the United States and Canada has had on greenhouse gas emissions over the past 10 years. From the struggle against the Cherry Point coal export terminal in Lummi territory to fights against pipelines crossing critical waterways, Indigenous land defenders have exercised their rights and responsibilities to not only stop fossil fuel projects in their tracks, but establish precedents to build successful social justice movements. 

Read the full report.

More than 60 water protectors arrested outside Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz’s residence

On Saturday, law enforcement “arrested more than 60 individuals who were peacefully protesting outside the residence of Minnesota Governor Tim Walz,” said a news release from the Resist Line 3 Media Collective.

Led by the Line 3 pipeline resistance group Camp Migizi, the group was demanding Walz take action to stop the tar sands pipeline.

“Taysha Martineau, the camp’s founder and one of the Anishinaabe women leading the resistance to Line 3, chained herself through the bars of Governor Walz’s front gate,” the release said. “Law enforcement threatened the crowd with pepper spray, less than lethal munitions, and a Long Range Acoustic Device (LRAD) before violently kettling and arresting dozens.”

LaDuke, Hauska register complaints with U.N. Special Rapporteur on Human Rights

Last month, Tara Hauska, founder of the Giniw Collective, and Winona LaDuke, co-founder of Honor the Earth, met with the U.N. Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders Mary Lawlor to share information and file a formal complaint about “egregious human rights and Indigenous rights violations occurring in Northern Minnesota along the Line 3 tar sands pipeline,” a press release said.

More details here.

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