Anishinaabe ‘Rights of Manoomin’ Laws Create Legal Basis to Protect Sacred Wild Rice

‘This would be the first law to recognize the legal rights of a plant species

The White Earth Band of Ojibwe and the 1855 Treaty Authority are taking action to address the growing threats to native wild rice, such as potential crude oil pipeline spills or the spread of genetically modified wild rice. They are establishing new laws and claiming treaty rights to protect their culture and sacred food.

The 1855 Treaty Alliance was established to protect the treaty rights of Leech Lake, Mille Lacs, White Earth, East Lake and Sandy Lake bands. The Alliance covers those lands the Anishinaabe ceded as part of their 1855 Treaty with the United States. (Among those treaty rights, bands claim the right to hunt, fish and gather — including harvesting wild rice — on ceded lands.)

According to a media statement from the 1855 Treaty Alliance:

Recently the White Earth Band of Ojibwe and the 1855 Treaty Alliance adopted Rights of Manoomn for on and off reservation protection of wild rice and the clean, fresh water resources and habitats in which it thrives. The Rights of Manoomin were adopted because “it has become necessary to provide a legal basis to protect wild rice and fresh water resources as part of our primary treaty foods for future generations” …

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DAPL Fails to Meet Tree Planting Agreement and Other News

News in this blog:

  • DAPL Fails to Meet Tree Planting Agreement
  • Native Nations Win Big in New Federal Farm Bill
  • Brazil’s Indigenous Peoples Face Increasing Threats from New President

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Problematic St. Paul City Murals to be Covered, and other News and Events

In this blog:

  • MPR: Problematic St. Paul city murals to be covered … sometimes
  • MPR: Sacred Prairie Island pipe reclaimed
  • New Exhibit at All My Relations Gallery: Responsibilities and Obligations Understanding Mitákuye Oyásʼiŋ
  • MPR: New shelter opens for homeless people at Hiswatha camp
  • Star Tribune: Push to more aggressively fight crime on tribal land
  • Washington Post’s gaffe in its Reds*ins coverage

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Oregon Passes “Tribal History/Shared History” Law

From the “Better-Late-Than-Never Department,” it just came to our attention that the state of Oregon passed the “Tribal History/Shared History” Law in 2017, which “calls upon the Oregon Department of Education (ODE) to develop a statewide curriculum relating to the Native American experience in Oregon, including tribal history, tribal sovereignty, culture, treaty rights, government, socioeconomic experiences, and current events,” according to its website. The bill was proposed by Oregon Gov. Kate Brown.

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Reflections on Reconciliation, Sacred Sites, and Broken Treaties

The term “reconciliation” is a deeply problematic word when it comes to indigenous-colonizer relationships. The word refers to restoring friendly relationships when for indigenous peoples, friendly relationships never existed with colonizers.

Canada had a lengthy Truth and Reconciliation Commission, something not attempted yet in the United States. We struggle with the first half of the proposition — simply telling the truth. Continue reading

Indigenous Women Make Electoral Strides, Face Ongoing Challenges and Abuse

Recent news stories about indigenous women have run the gamut from significant election wins to the ongoing indifference to the horrors of missing and murdered indigenous women.

As you have time during the holiday break, hold these stories in your hearts.

  • Native women make electoral strides
  • Standing Rock pushed back against voter suppression; Native woman beats State Rep who pushed voter ID law.
  • U.S. cities show weak reporting on missing and murdered indigenous women
  • Class action lawsuit started over forced sterilization of First Nations women in Saskatchewan

News summaries and story links below.

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Go Fund Me Page Set Up to Help Those in Homeless Camp Along Hiawatha Ave. Stay Warm

Ben Jammin Yawakie has created a Go Fund Me Page to help those in the homeless camp along Hiawatha Avenue stay warm until the temporary housing is available. (According to his LinkedIn page, Yawakie is a research assistant at the Public Health Law Center.) According to his fundraising page, the money will help pay for “firewood, hand warmers, blankets, and any other heating supplies that are desperately needed as the snow and below freezing temperatures have arrived.” Many of those in the camp are Native American.

An Oct. 31 MPR story updated the camp situation and difficult choices faced by those staying there.

Hennepin County, which operates about 1,000 shelter beds, says it’s been able to place 18 encampment families into shelters. They’ve found supportive housing for three families. But tents continue to pop up, now surpassing 200.

The city agreed to spend $1.5 million to build an emergency shelter on property owned by the Red Lake Nation. They hope to have it ready by early December to house about 150 people through winter. It’s described as a low-barrier alternative to traditional shelter, which city and tribal leaders hope will be attractive to people at the encampment.