News and Events: Biden to nix Keystone XL, remembering the 1898 overthrow of Wilmington, N.C. by white supremacists, and more

In this blog:

  • President-elect Biden to cancel Keystone XL pipeline permit his first day in office, news reports say
  • Tribes slam Minnesota U.S. Representative for trying to derail confirmation of first Native American to lead the U.S. Dept. of the Interior
  • Remembering the 1898 white supremacist overthrow of Wilmington, N.C. city government
  • Free online screening of Dawnland, a film on Maine’s truth and reconciliation effort with Native peoples, Jan. 28
  • Direct action against Line 3 in Fond du Lac on MLK Day
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Laura Waterman Wittstock walks on at 83

Laura Waterman Wittstock, a leader in the local Indian community, a pathfinder and pathbreaker for Native American journalism, a co-founder of MIGIZI Communications, and former president of the Minneapolis Library Board, walked on at 83, according to an announcement from MIGIZI.

Laura Waterman Wittstock. Photo: KFAI

Waterman Wittstock was a mother, grandmother and wife, and a citizen of the Haudensaunee Seneca Nation, Heron Clan. She led MIGIZI for nearly three decades.

MIGIZI started in 1974 as a Native American news collective. It evolved over time. It now focuses on Native youth development. It “acts as a circle of support that nurtures the development of Native American youth in order to unleash their creativity and dreams – to benefit themselves, their families and community,” its website says. The organization “puts youth first, supporting youth-driven activities that fully engage youth in a self-directed path to holistic wellness and to success in education and employment.”

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U.S. Treaty Signers Project launched, and other news

In this blog:

  • New online resource “U.S. Treaty Signers Project” pushes back on the American myth
  • Documentary “Doctrine of Discovery: Unmasking the Domination Code” now available through online streaming
  • Enbridge files shallow “Environmental Justice” update
  • U.N. raises human rights concerns over last summer’s arrest at anti-Trump rally at Mt. Rushmore
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Line 3 protesters jailed in Aitkin County call COVID protection inadequate, a form of ‘intimidation’

Line 3 protest near the Mississippi River in Aitken County.

Simone Senogles, Mary Breen, Priya Dalal-Whelan, and Josh Phenow were four of the 22 people arrested Monday in Aitkin County for civil disobedience against the Enbridge Line 3 tar sands pipeline.

The action happened where Enbridge plans to bore a tunnel under the Mississippi River for the pipeline. A lot of people think boring a tunnel under the Mississippi River is a really bad idea. The protest was on public land where Enbridge holds an easement. The site had “No Trespassing” signs posted.

Most water protectors received misdemeanor charges for trespass and unlawful assembly, seemingly minor offenses. Nonetheless, they spent the night in jail worrying about COVID exposure for themselves and their friends.

Senogles and Breen were among nine arrestees transported in a crowded van. The driver didn’t wear a mask, Breen said. The women were held in an overcrowded cell, with four sleeping on the floor. Not all jailers wore masks or wore them properly.

Senogles, a member of the Red Lake Nation and staff for the Indigenous Environmental Network, attended the action to live stream it and provide media support. She hadn’t planned on participating in the action. In the moment, she found herself wanting “to hold the line.”

“I live on the Mississippi River,” she said. “I couldn’t sit in my home, and look out on the beautiful river, if I wasn’t willing to engage in civil resistance to protect it.”

“We don’t need the oil,” she said. “It’s not serving the common good.”

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Indigenous leaders make urgent call for Water Protectors to attend Line 3 protest near Palisade, Monday at 9:30 a.m.

Site is near where Enbridge plans to drill a tunnel under the Mississippi River

This from MN350: Native leaders on the frontlines of the fight against Line 3 have issued an urgent call: come on Monday, Dec 14 at 9:30am to stand with them and stop construction that imminently threatens the Mississippi River.

Watch the powerful call-to-action video here, and read more information on what you should bring and know before you arrive, including necessary COVID-19 precautions.

Go to Palisade, MN and then head north on Great River Road — you’ll see the meetup point. Since construction began nearly two weeks ago, many people have protested legally along the route, and some have been cited for protecting the water or engaging in peaceful civil disobedience on land where Enbridge is trying to build this harmful pipeline. At the meeting spot, you’ll learn more about the options for how to participate.

Google Earth screen grab of map showing Palisade, MN
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News and events: Updates on DAPL, Keystone XL, winter gear drive for Fond du Lac children and more

In this blog:

  • Standing Rock, other Native nations, try again to shut down DAPL
  • Judge denies Native nation’s bid to halt Keystone oil pipeline work
  • Tanka Fund raising money to return buffalo to Native lands
  • Winter gear drive for Fond du Lac children
  • Students at the U. of M. Forest Resources Dept. sign-on letter to address systemic racism 
  • A look back at Native vote suppression
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MN Council of Churches to launch community process for truth telling, repair around the historic harms done to Native American, African American communities

The goal: To build a structure for racial equity in the church and the state and make repairs

The Minnesota Council of Churches (MCC’s) Board of Directors this week approved a Racial Justice Vision Statement and Rationale to begin a decade-long process to engage faith communities — and the community at large — in truth telling, education, and repair around the United State’s twin sins of slavery and Native American genocide. Continue reading

News: David Smith’s death 10 years ago echoes George Floyd’s; key PolyMet decision expected Thursday, and more

In this blog:

  • Washington Post: How Minneapolis police handled the in-custody death of a Black man 10 years before George Floyd
  • WaterLegacy: Key PolyMet decision expected this Thursday, Sept. 3
  • The Intercept: Trump Supporters Rush to Defend One of Their Own Who Killed Protesters in Kenosha
  • The Koncow Maidu’s Trail of Tears in California

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