Episcopal Bishop in MN: The church is dying, and needs to die to move forward

Reject division, white supremacy; return to community, simplicity

The Rt. Rev. Craig Loya, Bishop of the Episcopal Church in Minnesota, said the Episcopal church has been dying for more than 50 years. It needs to die and return to its roots in Jesus’ teachings.

The church, he said, has been co-opted by the state.

“The church we’re afraid of losing is largely one that went along for the ride of the domination systems, of empire and white supremacy and patriarchy and genocide of Indigenous peoples, decimation of the planet, on and on and on,” Loya said Nov. 6 in an address to the Episcopal Church in Minnesota’s 2021 online Convention.

Continue reading

Rights of Mahnoomin webinar, voter registration in Indigenous languages, a state park honoring the original people of the area, and more

In this blog:

  • Webinar on the Rights of Manoomin (wild rice) Tuesday
  • A first! Voter Registration cards in three Native languages
  • New Virginia state park honors Indigenous people who lived there
  • Native corn thought extinct returns to Nebraska
  • The Lewis and Clark Expedition from an Indigenous point of view
Continue reading

Never seen James Baldwin interview released, ‘Honoring Water Protectors’ event at Unity Unitarian, and more

In this blog:

  • Honoring Water Protectors event and photo exhibit at Unity Unitarian, Wednesday, 7-8:30 p.m.
  • Esquire: Suppressed ABC interview with James Baldwin released
  • The Tyee: Pipeline protesters punished but not pipeline firms
  • The lesser-known side of Norman Rockwell
Continue reading

What does Tribal Consultation look like?

The Minnesota Legislature strengthened the state’s commitment to consulting with Native Nations, but agencies still need to follow through

On April 5, 2019, Governor Walz issued Executive Order 19-24: “Affirming the Government to Government Relationship between the State of Minnesota and Minnesota Tribal Nations: Providing for Consultation, Coordination, and Cooperation.” It commits the state to “meaningful and timely” consultation.

That’s profound. It means sharing power with Native Nations on issues of mutual concern to make decisions beneficial for both sides.

The executive order states agencies “must consider the input gathered from tribal consultation into their decision-making processes, with the goal of achieving mutually beneficial solutions.”

The Enbridge Line 3 tar sands pipeline provided an early test for the Walz administration’s promise. The administration failed.

A bill passed during special session this year makes another effort to strengthen the state’s commitment to meaningful consultation with Native Nations.

Key to this conversation is being precise about exactly what “meaningful consultation” means and looks like.

Continue reading

Landowner forces closed a camp for unhoused Indigenous women; it has nowhere to go

Camp Nenoocaasi for unhoused Indigenous women was forced to close.

Three days before “Thanksgiving,” a squatters camp of unhoused Indigenous women in South Minneapolis is closing following the property owner’s demand to leave.

Camp Nenoocaasi (Ojibwe for hummingbird) had provided a safe space for Indigenous women since Sept. 19. It was located on the site of an abandoned Speedway gas station at East 25th Street and Bloomington Avenue South. It was serving 30-35 women.

The camp got notice last week it needed to leave on Monday, said Erica Whitaker, one of the camp’s volunteers.

Rather than be forcibly removed, volunteers began packing up tents and other supplies this morning.

“We don’t have anywhere to go right now,” Whitaker said. “I acknowledge and understand property rights. But these women, this is their land to begin with.”

Continue reading

Unhoused Indigenous women’s camp faces eviction, asks for show of public support Monday

Rally Saturday: ‘Justice for Rittenhouse Victims’

Camp Nenoocaasi (Hummingbird) at 25th and Bloomington. Organizers asked no photos be taken inside the camp for security reasons.

Nenoocaasi, a camp for unhoused Indigenous women, is asking for a public show of support during the day Monday as it faces eviction.

Community members helped organize the camp, located at the vacant Speedway gas station at 25th and Bloomington Ave. S. in Minneapolis. The camp is behind the chain-link fence surrounding the property.

Erica Whitaker, one of the camp’s volunteers, said representatives of the city and the property owner will come to camp Monday to get them to leave. There will probably be police presence, she said.

Continue reading

Line 3 updates: ‘Drop the Charges’ petition launched, new frac out site videos, and more

In this post:

  • ‘Drop the Charges’ petition launched for water protectors arrested during Line 3 resistance
  • Recent videos of frac out sites near the Mississippi Headwaters available
  • Indigenous groups engaged in ongoing Line 3 monitoring, including thermal imaging
  • The Star Tribune’s uncritical eye on Line 3 revisited
Continue reading

Star Tribune steps up to the plate on treaty rights, swings, and misses

I was excited when I read the Nov. 13 Star Tribune headline: Minnesota officials work to mend historically fraught relationship with tribes. I was hoping for a thoughtful analysis.

Reading it, I was reminded of what my friend Bob Klanderud called a “wish sandwich”: Two pieces of white bread with nothing in between other than a wish for some peanut butter.

The story lacked peanut butter, I wish it were there.

The story didn’t mention Enbridge Line 3 once. It’s an open wound and central to Minnesota’s current “fraught relationship” with Native nations in northern Minnesota.

For years, the Red Lake and White Earth nations have argued that the Enbridge Line 3 pipeline violates treaty rights to hunt, fish, and gather on lands they ceded to the U.S. government. They have received zero support from the Governor’s Office or his agency heads.

The Star Tribune was willfully ignorant of how important Line 3 is in Indian Country and/or it didn’t want to ask tough questions.

Continue reading

Haiti, its historical and ongoing trauma, the latest call for U.S. intervention, and the brutal backstory on zombies

Back in 2017, I had a fascinating conversation about zombies with author and Professor Zara Zimbardo, who was leading an equity workshop I attended. She shared an article she wrote on zombies. I saved it in my “things-I-should-write-about” file.

I was recently reminded of that conversation while reading an editorial in the Washington Post headlined: Haiti descends into chaos, yet the world continues to look away. It spoke to the latest in a litany of the island’s tragic stories.

And it got me reading articles on Haiti’s history and rereading the article on zombies, spirits which grew out of Haiti and the African slave trade.

Continue reading

Weekend Reads: Landback lessons, MN/DOT marks 1854 treaty boundaries, Mary Lyons in Glasgow, and Line 3 updates

In this blog:

  • A Tale of Two Landbacks
  • The Guardian: Osage Nation decries sale of sacred cave
  • MPR: MN/DOT erects road signs to mark treaty boundaries
  • Anishinaabe Grandmother Mary Lyons in Glasgow, speaking for the land and water
  • The Progressive: How Superior, Wisc. became a sacrifice zone for the oil industry
  • Line 3 resisters keep bird dogging Sen. Klobuchar on her Line 3 inaction
  • Check out ‘Let the Wave’ Line 3 video
Continue reading