News: Niibi Center launches website; Map restores Anishinaabe names in northern MN; and more

In this post:

  • Niibi Center launches website
  • Map restores Anishinaabe place names in northern Minnesota
  • Judge orders Bad River Band, Enbridge, to negotiate on Line 5 safety measures
  • Cherokee close to Congressional representation
  • Alaska elects its first Native Alaskan to Congress

Niibi Center launches website

Screen grab from website.

Check out The Niibi Center’s new website, which includes listings of events, programs, and resources. (Niibi is the Anishinaabe word for water.)

The Callaway-based Niibi Center is “dedicated to supporting the traditions of the Anishinaabe (Ojibwe) that have, throughout our presence on this continent, respected the waters of our world through action, ceremony and ritual,” its website said. “The waters are living and need the care we can offer to sustain them in a healthy way or we all suffer.”

Map restores Anishinaabe place names in northern MN map

The Bois Forte Band of Chippewa, the Ely Folk School, and volunteer artists this week will unveil a map featuring “more than 100 Ojibwe place names from across the Band’s territory, including names uncovered in diaries stored in the Smithsonian dating back to the 1800s,” MPR reported.

“This project underscores our voice and our history in the region,” Bois Forte Tribal Chair Cathy Chavers said. “This map will serve as a tribute to all who came before us and to the future generations as well.”

Props to MPR on the story.

Click on the link to see a current draft of the map.

WI judge orders Bad River Band, Enbridge to negotiate

The Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa has been in court trying to force Enbridge to stop operations of its Line 5 pipelines, saying its a public nuisance. Line 5 carries crude oil and liquified natural gas across Bad River’s reservation lands in northern Wisconsin.

In an order issued today, Judge William Conley writes: “Not only is there an actual risk of a significant rupture, but the negative impact in this area on the Bad River watershed and even Lake Superior itself could be catastrophic.”

In an earlier ruling, Conley concluded that Enbridge was trespassing on reservation lands, as easements had expired. However, the trespass wasn’t enough for Conley to order Enbridge to stop operations. (In today’s order, he called an immediate Line 5 shut down “draconian.”)

The Bad River meander, an area of particular concern for a spill. Image: Court ruling.

The order identified one site in particular as a spill risk, where Line 3 crosses a Bad River meaner.

However, Bad River hadn’t shown that a spill was imminent, Conley wrote. He ordered Bad River and Enbridge to come up with a plan to address this particular area, such as adding more shut-off values, that would mitigate problems should a spill occur.

The two sides have a Dec. 24 deadline to either submit a joint proposal or submit their last and best offers.

Cherokee Nation closer to Congressional representation

The U.S. House of Representative’s Rules Committee held its first hearing to establish a non-voting Congressional seat for the Cherokee Nation earlier this month, NRP reported.

The federal government promised to create the seat in the 1835 Treaty of New Echota — as the U.S. government forcibly removed the Cherokee Nation from its ancestral lands in the southeastern United States, in what is known as the Trail of Tears. They relocated to Indian Territory, west of the Mississippi River in what is present-day Oklahoma.

“While the committee meeting ended without a decision, the meeting did bode well for the prospect of an eventual vote in the near future,” the Post story said.

Alaska elects its first Native woman to Congress

Democratic Rep. Mary Peltola “became the first Alaska Native to win a full term in Congress,” the Washington Post reported.

Peltola defeated former Alaska Governor and Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin. Peltola had won a special election earlier this fall, and now will serve a full term.

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