In this post:
- Podcast: Author Diane Wilson speaks on the power of telling Native American stories
- Self-guided tour shows Enbridge Line 5’s risks to Wisc.’s Bad River watershed
- New U.S. Treasury Secretary is Native American, her signature will appear on U.S. currency
- Settlement strengthens voting rights for Native Americans in South Dakota
- Insurance companies force police department changes
Podcast: Author Diane Wilson speaks on the power of telling Native American stories
The Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community offers a regular podcast series called “Native Minnesota.” In a recent episode, Rebecca Crooks-Stratton, Shakopee’s Secretary/Treasurer, interviews author Diane Wilson on food sovereignty, the power of telling contemporary Native American stories, and Wilson’s new book, The Seed Keeper.
Check it our here. It runs about 40 minutes.
It’s a wide-ranging interview. One part that stood out to me was the balance Wilson tries to strike in her writing. She wants to show how Native people are today, but also with context.
“There is a tendency of the media just to portray the dysfunction,” she said. That needs to be understood in “the broader context of trauma across generations — why this was created.”
“What I want to show in my writing [is] there is such a vibrant, dynamic, thriving Native community that continues to maintain and rebuild … that is the critical message.”
Wilson quotes Crystal Echo Hawk: “Change the story; change the future.”
Wilson is a Mdewakanton descendent, enrolled on the Rosebud Reservation.
Self-guided tour shows Enbridge Line 5’s risks to Wisc.’s Bad River watershed
Those resisting Enbridge Line 5 in Wisconsin have developed a spectacular resource to help citizens understand the pipeline’s significant environmental risks to the Bad River Watershed. You can drive the route yourself or do it on line.
Line 5 currently runs through the Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Reservation. Enbridge’s easement expired in 2013, yet the company continued to operate the pipeline. (Bad River won a court case. The judge ruled Enbridge owed Bad River for the easement violations, but refused to order Enbridge to cease operations immediately as Bad River sought.)
Enbridge has proposed rerouting Line 5 around the Bad River Reservation. The route passes through the watershed that flows back towards the Reservation and Lake Superior. A crude oil spill would be devastating to the sensitive ecosystem. The self-guided tour shows what can be seen following major highways.
New U.S. Treasury Secretary is Native American, her signature will appear on U.S. currency
Chief Marilynn “Lynn” Roberge Malerba, Mohegan Tribe, was sworn in Monday as the 45th Treasurer of the United States, the first Native American to hold the job, Indian Country Today reported. “Her signature will now appear along with Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen on U.S. currency.”
Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland, Pueblo of Laguna, attended the ceremony. Haaland is the first Native American appointed to a Cabinet position.
In other news, Mary Peltola, Yup’ik, won a special election Aug. 30 to become the first Alaska Native to be elected to Congress, Indian Country Today reports. “She also is first woman to hold Alaska’s only U.S. House seat.”
Settlement strengthens voting rights for Native Americans in South Dakota
“South Dakota voters will benefit from a court settlement reached between state officials and two tribal nations that resolves a lawsuit challenging the state’s numerous violations of the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA),” Native News Online reports.
Earlier this year, a District Court ruled that South Dakota was violating federal voting laws. It was a victory for the Rosebud and Oglala Sioux Tribes, the Lakota People’s Law Project, and individual voters who brought the suit seeking NVRA enforcement.
The Lakota People’s Law Project said of particular importance to South Dakota’s Native residents, “the state must also amend its voter registration application form to allow voters without a postal address to provide a description of the physical location of their residence.”
Insurance companies force police department changes
“The high cost of settlements over police misconduct has led insurers to demand police departments overhaul tactics or forgo coverage,” the Washington Post reports.
The story opens recounting a 2019 high-speed chase by the St. Ann (Missouri) Police Department. The fleeing driver slammed into a van, leaving the van’s driver permanently disabled. “Eleven people had been injured in 19 crashes during high-speed pursuits over the two prior years,” the story said.
The police department’s insurer threatened to cancel its coverage if the department didn’t restrict such chases. The department found out switching carriers would double its premiums.
Larger police departments can self insure, avoiding pressure from insurance companies, the story said.