MN Office of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Relatives has first director, and other news

In this post:

  • MN Office of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Relatives has first director
  • Tribes can prosecute non-tribal members for sexual violence on reservation land under new federal law
  • Plans for Wakan Tipi Center moving forward
  • CUAPB: Minneapolis eviction of homeless encampment mirrors no-knock warrant
  • Rapid City hotel owner wants to bar Native Americans after shooting
  • Virginia: Monacan Indian Nation wins pipeline battle

Hired: First director of the MN Office of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Relatives (MMIR)

Juliet Rudie, a Lower Sioux Indian Community member, has been named as director of Minnesota’s new Office of Missing And Murdered Indigenous Relatives (MMIR), according to an article in The Circle. The office is first of its kind in the country.

For far too long, Native women and girls, men and boys, and two-spirit relatives have been disproportionately impacted by violence. It is through generations of advocacy from elders, mothers, sisters, and friends that we are able to launch the first-of-its-kind Missing and Murdered Indigenous Relatives Office, now under the leadership of Ms. Juliet Rudie. We have made critical strides in the last few years in Minnesota to better address and disrupt these cycles of violence, and I look forward to the MMIR Office making more progress under the direction of Ms. Rudie.

Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan

New law allows tribes to prosecute sex offenders on reservations

A federal new law allows Native Nations to prosecute outsiders who commit sexual assaults on reservation land, according to a StarTribune article.

Minnesotans were at the forefront of the change — decades in the making — which was tucked into the massive federal spending package signed last week by President Joe Biden. Advocates say it’s a major step in addressing the epidemic of violence against Native American women and girls, who face staggeringly high rates of sexual assault and violence.

StarTribune

The law change was part of the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act.

Wakan Tipi Center moving forward

Organizers have raised $9 million of the $12.4 million needed to build the Wakan Tipi Center, a Native-led cultural and environmental interpretive center near Indian Mounds Park.

Wakan Tipi (named Carver’s Cave by settlers) is a sacred site for the Dakota people.

Wakan Tipi location map. Image from the Visitor Interpretive Experience Plan.

The Lower Phalen Creek Project (LPCP) and the City of Saint Paul are partnering to develop the Center. Organizers have released a 36-page Visitor Interpretive Experience Plan.

The Center will be located on the west end of the Bruce Vento Nature Sanctuary … a 27-acre nature preserve east of downtown Saint Paul. The Center will interpret the site’s history, ecology, and cultural significance and reveal its relationship to other interconnected places in Saint Paul, all from a distinctly Daḳota perspective.

CUAPB: Minneapolis eviction of homeless encampment mirrors no-knock warrant

Communities United Against Police Brutality (CUAPB) compared the Minneapolis police eviction of a homeless encampment earlier this month to a no-knock warrant.

Just three days after Mayor Frey promised a permanent ban on no-knock warrants, he and the Minneapolis police appear to have already found a loophole. City staff and police arrived quietly before 7:00 am on March 16 to clear the North Loop encampment by force, giving people little notice before seizing and disposing of any property residents could not quickly secure.

The conduct at the encampment is reminiscent of the treatment of others whose homes were raided during predawn warrant executions. Encampment residents were startled awake and given little opportunity to react or even comply with police commands. A key difference, however, is that police did not even have to obtain a warrant to obliterate the homes of the poorest residents of the city.

CUAPB news release

Rapid City hotel owner wants to bar Native Americans

One Native teenager shot another Saturday at the Grand Gateway Hotel in Rapid City. One of the hotel owners responded with a Facebook post saying she didn’t want Native American at her business, Indian Country Today reports.

It’s drawn immediate reaction, including a lawsuit, the story said.

South Dakota Public Broadcasting obtained an email chain of area hospitality managers, discussing the issue. The Grand Gateway Hotel co-owner wrote: “The problem is we do not know the nice ones from the bad Natives … so we just have to say no to them!!”

Rapid City Mayor Steve Allender tweeted: “I just felt that I couldn’t be silent and pretend like this is just a harmless venting out of frustration. … This is an attack on not only the 12% of Rapid Citians who are Native American, but also the larger Native American population nationwide.”

Click here for the full story.

Virginia: Monacan Indian Nation wins pipeline battle

The Saint James Water Authority in Virginia proposed a new pumping station and pipeline that would have run through much of a site believed to be the Monacan’s “historic capital of Rassawek, including a burial ground there,” the Washington Post reported.

After a four-year struggle, the Water Authority agreed to relocated the facility and the Monacan Nation agreed to drop its opposition.

“The water authority has also agreed to facilitate a transfer of land to the tribe, attorneys for the tribe said,” the Post reported.

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