Dunbar-Ortiz to Speak on the White Supremacist Roots of the Second Amendment

Save the Date! Dr. Roxanne Dunbar Ortiz, author of “An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States,” will be in town Sept. 27 to talk on her new book: “Loaded: A Disarming History of the Second Amendment.” The event will start at 7 p.m. at First Unitarian Society, 900 Mount Curve Ave., Minneapolis. (Flyer for Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz lecture.)

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News/Events: Native Youth Visit Vatican; ‘Horse Nation’ Art Opening; and The ‘Necessity Defense’

Some quick thumbnails of news and events.

Report on Native Youth’s Visit to the Vatican: On Thursday, June 14, Mitch Walking Elk and one of the Native youth who traveled to the Vatican in May will give an update on their trip and their efforts to get the Pope to officially revoke the Doctrine of Discovery. The event is free and open to the public. It will be held at St. Olaf Church (215 South 8th Street, Minneapolis) in the Forliti  Gathering Room. Supper (also free) and social begins at 6:30 p.m. and the program runs from 6:45 – 8:30 p.m. Continue reading

Book Release: The Relentless Business of Treaties: How Indigenous Land Became US Property

Portrait of Henry Sibley in the Minnesota State Capitol.

Henry Sibley, the state’s first Governor, did deplorable things. At the top of the list, he developed trust with the Dakota people then betrayed them. He strong armed the Dakota people into signing treaties from which Sibley profited and the Dakota people suffered.

The Minnesota Historical Society’s new interpretive plaque next to Sibley’s Capitol portrait explains:

He [Sibley] used his influence with the Dakota to force through the treaties of Traverse des Sioux and Mendota in 1851 which stripped them of more than 24 million acres of land and diverted a significant portion of the payments to cover alleged debts to fur traders, including Sibley himself.”

According to the NPR piece Little War on the Prairie, because of the duplicitous treaty language, Sibley got $66,000 from the initial treaty payment while all Dakota people combined got $60,000, Sibley was now out of debt; in seven years, he would be Governor.

The tragic thing is, Sibley wasn’t the exception, he was the rule. Treaty making was a money maker for white colonial businessmen and politicians.

If you want to learn more of these stories, check out the new book: The Relentless Business of Treaties: How Indigenous Land Became US Property, written by Martin Case. It will be released by the Minnesota Historical Society Press in June.

The book launch is Thursday, June 7, at 7 pm, at the Mill City Museum in Minneapolis,

According to the early publicity:

Case provides a comprehensive study of the treaty signers, exposing their business ties and multigenerational interrelationships through birth and marriage. Taking Minnesota as a case study, he describes the groups that shaped US treaty making to further their own interests: interpreters, traders, land speculators, bureaucrats, officeholders, missionaries, and mining, timber, and transportation companies.


Mde Maka Ska Four Sacred Directions Water Walk this Friday

The annual Four Sacred Directions Water Walk at Mde Maka Ska (White Earth Lake, formerly Lake Calhoun) will be held this Friday, May 25, starting at 6:15 a.m. Here is the Facebook event, text is copied below.

You are cordially invited to join us upon the south shore of Mde Maka Ska (White Earth Lake), at South Thomas Beach, as we gather to walk for the health, vitality, and spirit of Mni Wakan (Sacred Water).

Our clockwise route around Mde Maka Ska will be in honor of and prayer for the sustainability and increasing recovery of clean, fresh water. The Four Directions Water Walk will respectfully embrace the fluid heart of the most populous community in Mni Sota (Land of Misty Water).

The water walk will precede and connect with the opening ceremony for the 10th Annual Mde Maka Ska Canoe Nations Gathering. Your participation will emit a resounding message to the world regarding our resurgent relationship with the sacredness of water now and for generations to come.

For questions, email wakinyan.lapointe@gmail.com

(Note: The lake’s name is Bde Maka Ska, but some prefer Mde Maka Ska, which has the same meaning.)

Governor Dayton to Host “First-in-the-Nation” Tribal Youth Gathering

Gov. Mark Dayton will host what is being called a first-in-the-nation statewide gathering to focus on Native youth, their leadership skills, and community building. The idea is growing out of Generation Indigenous (Gen-I), a federal program launched during the Obama administration.

Dayton has appointed a 22-member Native Youth Steering Committee to guide the event planning. Youth were selected by leaders of Minnesota’s 11 tribal nations, along with Minneapolis and St. Paul Public Schools Youth Councils.

Native youth (ages 14-24) need to apply to participate in the July 27 gathering. The youth apply by  completing the Gen-I Challenge by June 30. The Challenge is a pledge from Native American youth to make a positive difference in their communities (details below).

Comment: I’m pretty sure tribal youth have been gathering from around the state for generations at Pow Wows and other indigenous-led events that support their leadership and build community. I’m guessing what Dayton means to say is that this is the first time state leaders have convened such a gathering with a goal to listen to Native youth and encourage their good works in the community. Props to Dayton for convening the event.

Here is the media release from Dayton’s office: Continue reading

Native Women the Musical and Other Events During American Indian Month

Native Women the musical is showing at the Park Square Theater, 20 W. 7th Place in St. Paul, on Wednesday-Saturday (March 9-12) at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday March 13 at 2 p.m. It is directed by Rhiana Yazzie.

Native women tell stories with a musical twist. This multi-media production highlighting the strength of the Native female voice will dare to speak truth through story, music, dance, humor and more!

It is one of many events you can explore during American Indian Month. The Circle newspaper has an Indian Month Calendar.

Here are a few other events to consider. Continue reading

Tonight at the Walker: “Choosing Home: A Right, A Privilege or An Act of Trespass”

Tonight, Thursday, May, 3, the Walker Art Center is hosting a free event called: Choosing Home: A Right, A Privilege or An Act of Trespass. It is described as: “a multidisciplinary presentation where artists/collaborators Dyani White Hawk Polk, Alanna Morris-Van Tassel and Rosy Simas assess the current state of the North American landscape and one’s ability to claim it as home.”

“Scaffold” sculpture was removed from the Walker Sculpture Garden.

Coincidentally, the New York Times and the Star Tribune both ran recent Op/Eds by Olga Viso, the Walker’s former executive director, who left the job after the “Scaffold” controversy. Viso’s Op/Ed was headlined: Decolonizing the Art Museum: The Next Wave. She opens with this question:

Museums have long considered themselves above the fray of the political. But the past 18 months have brought unexpected challenges, and leaders across the country are being confronted with an urgent question: How do museums reconceive their missions at a time of great societal reckoning around race and gender, and as more diverse audiences demand a voice and a sense of accountability?

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