News: Fond du Lac dedicates new cemetery following 2017 grave desecration, our photo-op Governor, and more

In this post:

  • Fond du Lac band dedicates new cemetery for historic grave desecrated during road project
  • Our photo-op Governor
  • Canadian museum repatriates sacred item taken by missionary 150 years ago
  • Sacheen Littlefeather walks on; she declined Oscar on behalf of Brando
  • Cherokee Nation ongoing lawsuit against the federal government to account for how it’s managed Tribal assets
Continue reading

Drone footage reveals more Line 3 construction damage, water protectors again seek federal intervention

Today, on the one-year anniversary of oil flowing through Enbridge’s new Line 3 tar sands pipeline, Honor the Earth has released a video showing the extent of unreported construction damage.

“We are only beginning to understand the extent of Enbridge’s damage to our fragile fresh water systems – compounded by their botched attempts to fix it,” Honor the Earth said in a media release.

“Minnesota state agencies have not done enough to keep the public informed or ensure our water is safe. Instead, state regulators have continued protecting the Canadian multinational. But the new video evidence says it all: Enbridge has done even more damage than previously known, and they don’t know how to fix it. They must be held accountable and stopped.”

Continue reading

The Minnesota Gold Rush that wasn’t and its lasting impact on Anishinaabe people

Today’s history lesson is on the Minnesota Gold Rush of 1866.

Never heard of it? That’s because 1) It fizzled, and 2) It’s a history we don’t tell because it reflects so poorly on our colonial past. While now but a historical footnote, the Minnesota Gold Rush did incredible harm to the Anishinaabe (Ojibwe) people living in northeastern Minnesota.

Continue reading

The backstory on why Minneapolis is hell bent to expand its Public Works yard in East Phillips in violation of its racial equity commitments

Residents disrupt the Minneapolis City Council Thursday for moving ahead with a plan they say will harm East Phillips residents’ health.

Minneapolis city leaders say their controversial plan to expand the Public Works yard in East Phillips has been in the works for years, an effort to upgrade aging facilities and improve efficiencies.

Much less discussed is how the Public Works project is part of an interlocking set of city plans to build a new fire station and sell city land for private development.

The city’s plan also violates its commitments to reduce racial disparities, an issue city leaders have failed to address.

The East Phillips Neighborhood Institute (EPNI) strongly opposes the city’s plan, saying it would increase local air pollution and harm residents’ health.

While the city has downplayed resident health concerns, federal health agencies recently released a map ranking East Phillips in the highest tier of its Environmental Justice Index, which identifies “communities most at risk for facing the health impacts of environmental hazards.”

Here is a more complete picture of why the city is breaking its racial equity commitments. It begs the question: Just when does the city plan to start living up to those commitments?

Continue reading

Minneapolis city leaders need to explain how their Roof Depot redevelopment vote meets the city’s racial justice promises

Minneapolis city leaders are once again at a fork in the road in their commitment to racial justice.

At issue are competing visions to redevelop the Roof Depot site in the East Phillips neighborhood.

Site map of city Public Works yard and the Roof Depot site. Image: City of Minneapolis.

Mayor Jacob Frey wants the city to use the Roof Depot site to expand the existing Public Works yard near Hiawatha Avenue to consolidate Public Works operations.

The East Phillips Neighborhood Institute (EPNI) wants to develop the site into a community-owned asset, with “an indoor urban farm, affordable housing, cultural markets, and incubators for small businesses near accessible public transit.”

Since 2017, the City of Minneapolis has made several racial justice commitments. They seem to align with EPNI’s plan much better than the city’s Public Works plan.

The City Council will vote on Roof Depot site demolition this week, the first step in expanding the Public Works yard. City councilmembers supporting the project need to explain to the public how their vote meets the city’s racial justice commitments.

It’s a matter of integrity.

Continue reading

Diane Wilson interview, Enbridge Line 5 self-guided tour, and more

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
Continue reading

Wounded Knee land purchase, Water Protectors court win, and other news

In this post:

  • Land purchase preserves Wounded Knee sacred site
  • Another win for Water Protectors, court finds law enforcement acted illegally
  • Congressional hearing Wednesday morning to address aggressive corporate lawsuits against environmental activists
  • A fix is in the works to significantly reduce mining’s wild rice-damaging sulfate pollution
  • Still no answers on knife attack in Cree territory that left 10 dead, 18 injured
Continue reading

Bad River Band calls Line 5 court ruling a “positive step,” and other news

In this blog:

  • Bad River Band: Court ruling in Enbridge Line 5 trespass case a “positive step”
  • Nez Perce defendants get court win upholding off-Reservation Treaty rights to fish
  • Report: Former Interior Secretary Zinke lied about his involvement to undermine Tribal casino plans
Continue reading

Bad River Band gets big court win against Enbridge and its Line 5 crude oil pipeline

The Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa got a significant victory Wednesday in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin, where a judge ruled that Enbridge Energy and its Line 5 pipeline had trespassed on Reservation lands and unjustly enriched itself since 2013.

In the 56-page ruling, Judge William Conley said the Band was entitled to financial compensation. He stopped short of granting the Band’s request that Enbridge immediately cease pipeline operations across its lands.

“[A]n immediate shutdown of the Line 5 pipeline would have widespread economic consequences,” and have significant implications “on the trade relationship between the United States and Canada,” Conley wrote.

[Update: Getting valid feedback that this isn’t a win. Here’s one comment: “This ruling seems in no way a victory for the Band, except in short-term monetary gain. Basically, Enbridge got what it wanted–the opportunity to bribe the Band (now it’s a forced bribe) to keep the pipeline operating.”]

Continue reading

Lower Phalen Creek Project starts constructing the Wakáŋ Tipi Center

Big news from the Lower Phalen Creek Project (LPCP): It started construction Aug. 29 on the Wakáŋ Tipi Center in St. Paul’s Bruce Vento Nature Sanctuary, and it secured $3.3 million from the Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage Council to daylight the first section of Phalen Creek, just south of Lake Phalen. 

This spring, LPCP also is going to announce a name change, “to better align our name with who we have become as a Native-led environmental organization,” it said.

You can learn about the organization’s ongoing work at “Keeping Up with the Creek,” its annual fundraising event, Thursday, Sept. 15, 6 – 8 p.m. at the Minnesota History Center. 345 W Kellogg Blvd, Saint Paul. Register here.

There isn’t a charge to attend. People are asked to make voluntary donations.

Continue reading