The Kansas City Chiefs name represents a form of cultural appropriation, but the backstory is more bizarre than you think

The Washington football team has received considerable criticism over the years for its offensive name, and deservedly so. Less well known is the story behind how the Kansas City NFL franchise got the name “Chiefs,” and its ties to Boy Scout history.

There are several versions of the story, but one consistent thread in the telling is that the team is  named after a white man who appropriated Native traditions for the Boy Scouts — and who went by the nickname “Chief.”

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For a crude oil pipeline carrying 760,000 barrels a day, a “pinhole leak” is bigger than it sounds

Enbridge Line 3 could spill up to 7,600 barrels a day without triggering leak sensors

One of the difficulties writing about the proposed Enbridge Line 3 crude oil pipeline is that one gets buried by thousands of pages of documents, much more than most people have the time to read. There’s testimony, briefing papers, the environmental impact statement, administrative law judge analysis, permit applications, permit decisions, legal appeals … you get the picture.

There are many important stories hidden in these documents. I haven’t scratched the surface. I depend on people who have done the deep dive, people like Nicolette Slagle, Honor the Earth’s research director. She put me onto the “pinhole leak” story. It sounds small enough until you get into the details.

Honor the Earth and its consultant CJE did important work pointing out flaws in Enbridge’s pinhole leak analysis. Stunningly, state regulators failed to acknowledge any of them in Line 3’s final environmental impact statement.

This story is too late to affect change in the Line 3 environmental impact statemenet. But it raises larger questions about state regulators’ ability to effectively review future proposals of similar harmful projects.

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Honor the Earth denounces MN Supreme Court action for failing to protect indigenous rights

The Minnesota Supreme Court today declined to review a case that could have required the state to complete a traditional cultural property survey before it could permit large construction projects such as the Enbridge Line 3 crude oil pipeline.

“We are profoundly disappointed that the Minnesota Supreme Court felt more interested in siding with the rights of a Canadian corporation to proceed with a high-risk project than protecting the rights of the Minnesota Anishinabe and indigenous people and the rights of nature,” Winona LaDuke, Co-founder and Executive Director of Honor the Earth said in a statement. Continue reading

Minneapolis meet and greet for Mark Charles, the only Native American running for president

Mark Charles is the only indigenous person running for president and he will be in Minneapolis Sunday, Sept. 29 for a meet and greet at the Minneapolis American Indian Center, 1530 E. Franklin Ave. Charles is Navajo and Dutch (or as he likes to say, the “wooden shoe people.”) The event will run from 5-7 p.m. A meal will be provided.

Charles is running as an Independent.

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Public Utilities Commission, Enbridge need to go back to square one on Line 3’s Human Trafficking Prevention Plan

When the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission approved the Route Permit for the Enbridge Line 3 crude oil pipeline, it required the company to develop a Human Trafficking Prevention Plan for the project’s construction phase.

Enbridge Line 3 is a proposed multi-billion dollar crude oil pipeline project that would run 340 miles through northern Minnesota. Public testimony and the state’s Line 3’s environmental impact statement raised concerns about the connection between the large influx of out-of-state construction workers for the project and increases in drug and sex trafficking along the construction route.

The Human Trafficking Prevention Plan is done, but Enbridge won’t release it. It appears Enbridge failed to engage a key participant — the Minnesota Human Trafficking Task Force — as the Public Utilities Commission required. Enbridge doesn’t even seem to think the Human Trafficking Prevention Plan is needed as it relates to Line 3.

It’s time to reset this conversation and start over.

A Minnesota Court of Appeals decision has put the Line 3 issue back before the Public Utilities Commission. The Commission now has chance to fix the problems.

Here are six reasons to worry that, without changes, Enbridge’s plan will be inadequate. Continue reading

News: Pine Ridge passes marriage equality; Cherokee Nation seeks Congressional delegate; and Dior’s Native American-themed ad for ‘Sauvage’ perfume stinks

In this blog:

  • Pine Ridge passes marriage equality, anti-hate legislation
  • Cherokee Nation tries to send its first member to Congress
  • Christian Dior pulls its ad campaign for its latest fragrance: “Sauvage”

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Events: A film honoring Warrior Women, an art exhibit honoring George Morrison, Stop Line 3 events and more!

Upcoming Events:

  • Minnesota Court of Appeals to hear oral arguments on case to protect wild rice from mining pollution, Tuesday, Sept. 10
  • Opening reception for “Changing Horizons,” an art exhibit honoring Geroge Morrison, Sept. 12
  • Protecting our Sacred Water: A Gathering at the Headwaters, Sept. 21-22
  • Gichi-gami Gathering to Stop Line 3 in Duluth Sept. 28
  • Augburg Native Film Screening: Warrior Women, Saturday, Oct. 5
  • Panel discussion on Indigenous Land Acknowledgement, Oct. 14
  • Registration now open for the 2019 Overcoming Racism Conference, Nov. 15-16

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