Walz Chooses Flanagan as Lt. Governor Candidate; Dakota 38 Screening in St. Paul; Tar Sands Pipeline Stopped in Canada

News and Events:

DFL candidate for governor Tim Walz picks Peggy Flanagan, state representative from Twin Cities, as running mate. The Star Tribune reports:

The DFL congressman from Mankato [Walz] plans to introduce Flanagan to supporters Saturday at the Minneapolis American Indian Center, the first candidate for governor in 2018 from either party to select a running mate.

Flanagan, 38, is a two-term lawmaker from the western Twin Cities metro with deep roots in DFL activism. If Flanagan becomes lieutenant governor, she would be the state’s first American Indian elected to statewide office, and the highest ranking elected American Indian woman in U.S. history.

Dakota 38 Screening and Dialogue in St. Paul, Free and Open to the Public

On Thursday, October 12, the Center for Equity and Culture of St. Paul Public Schools is hosting a screening and panel discussion of the film, Dakota 38. There will be riders and other members of the Dakota community here to speak on historical trauma and efforts being made to heal – both personally and in community. Panelists include Lisa Bellanger, Vanessa Goodthunder, Winona Goodthunder, Reuben Kitto Stately and Ramona Kitto Stately.

Join us at from 5:30-8:30 this Thursday, October 12 at the CEC, Washington Technology Magnet, 1495 Rice St., St. Paul, MN 55117. The even is free and open to the public.  For more information visit our website at spps.org/cec or call us at 651-744-2635.

TransCanada abandons Energy East, Eastern Mainline projects. The BBC reports that TransCanada has abandoned two major Canadian tar sands crude oil pipeline projects: Energy East Pipeline and Eastern Mainline projects. The story said that these project were an effort to “diversify its reliance on the United States for its energy exports.?

But a number of proposed projects have languished or been cancelled amid a commodity price slump, regulatory hurdles, and public opposition from environmentalist groups and others.

Comment: If the Canadians don’t want a tar sands crude oil pipeline in their backyard, why should Minnesota take the risk?

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Media Called Out on Claim Las Vegas Was Deadliest Shooting in U.S. History

The mass media was quick to label the Oct. 1 shooting in Las Vegas the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history. The alternative media and others have been quick to challenge that claim, noting that it fails to take into account the mass killings of people of color, such as the Wounded Knee Massacre of 1890 that left 150 to 300 Lakota men, women and children dead.

This is not to diminish the tragedy of what happened on Sunday and the tremendous grief and suffering that the attack caused. But it is important to remember our past and not ignore other significant massacres that have left communities scarred for generations. It is especially important because many of these massacres happened to communities of color; failing to tell their stories, and their sufferings, only reinforces the narrative that their lives do not matter.

Christina Woods, who is Anishinaabe, posted the following image and comment on her Facebook page.

Image may contain: one or more people, horse and text

The media claims the Las Vegas shooting was the biggest in our HISTORY. Not true… what kind of citizens forget their own massacres? The kind that practice several form of bias. …

Don’t let the media white wash any of this!

The publication The Root provided examples of the other mass executions that have been ignored. The article was headlined: Las Vegas Is Only the Deadliest Shooting in US History Because They Don’t Count Black Lives.

It recounted several other massacres that tend not to make it into the history books or get remembered in media accounts of shootings and massacres:

“Bombing of Black Wall Street” Tulsa, Oklahoma, 1921

In the early 1900s, blacks in Tulsa had developed a thriving business sector, called Black Wall Street. That success angered white residents, the article said. Tulsans “accused a black man of raping a girl and attacked the area.” The article continued:

While white citizens used dynamite and planes to bomb the city, leaving more than 8,000 people homeless, eyewitness accounts charge that the vast majority of the people killed (estimates range from 80 to 300) died because the city’s law-enforcement officers deputized every able-bodied white man and handed out weapons from the city’s armory.

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News and Events

Here is a list of upcoming events and news articles you might find of interest.

  • Monday, Oct. 9 Indigenous People’s Day events
  • Police Militarization Is a Threat to Tribal Sovereignty
  • Key Republican revives bill to strip Bureau of Indian Affairs of recognition powers
  • Young Adults Are Fighting to Stop the Line 3 Pipeline in Minnesota
  • Town Seal of Pioneer Choking Indian Finally Changed

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Ways You Can Support Minnesota Water Protector Camps; Enbridge’s Latest Safety Problem; Island Returned to Grand Portage Anishinaabe

A group called Camps A Rising has created a website to facilitate support for water protector camps in northern Minnesota working to stop the Enbridge Line 3 — a tar sands crude oil pipeline that would threaten our state’s clean rivers and lakes as well as Anishinaabe treaty rights. According to the website, its mission is:

To support peaceful actions that will direct the fossil fuel industry toward proven renewable energy sources. We do this by distributing necessary gear and supplies to established camps of water witnesses and protectors. …

Camps A Rising comes out of the experience of the Standing Rock Water Protectors Camp. We learned that great numbers of people care about the health of our water. The success of that camp is spreading all over the country with new camps establishing coast to coast. As the movement grows, so must the logistics and funding of gear and supplies. With so many additional camps it’s essential resources are managed well.

Camps A Rising is volunteer run, and exists to aid regional Water Protector Camps by collecting and distributing supplies where needed…

The site supports camps in Minnesota and Michigan, including:

Winter is just around the corner and camps will need the cold weather supplies.

Click on the links above for more information and to donate. Remember, there is a rally and march against Line 3 set for Thursday, Sept. 28. The rally starts at the Minnesota Capitol at 4 p.m. The group will march through downtown St. Paul to the Intercontinental Hotel, 11 E. Kellogg, where the Public Utilities Commission will be taking testimony from 6-9 p.m. on Line 3’s Certificate of Need. See you there. Continue reading

The Sioux Chef to Open Riverfront Restaurant in Downtown Minneapolis, Partnering with the Park Board

The Sioux Chef will open a riverfront restaurant and food service venue offering precolonial indigenous foods at the planned public pavilion at Water Works, part of Mill Ruins Park in downtown Minneapolis. The new restaurant is a partnership with the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board and the Minneapolis Parks Foundation.

According to a Sept. 18 Park Board announcement:

The Sioux Chef is a diverse, Indigenous-led team committed to revitalizing Native American cuisine and reclaiming an important culinary tradition that has been long buried and often inaccessible. Water Works, a park development project overlooking St. Anthony Falls and the Stone Arch Bridge, will bring visitor services and recreational and cultural amenities to one of the Minnesota’s most highly visited areas.

The Water Works design includes a park pavilion embedded into the historic remnants of the Bassett and Columbia mills, and expands outdoor gathering spaces with a rooftop patio, outdoor seating plaza, tree-sheltered city steps, playspace for children and families, and an open lawn overlooking the river.

The pavilion will include the new restaurant as well as a public lounge, restrooms and support spaces; a flexible room for small group activities and a Park Board staff desk; and elevator to the rooftop. The restaurant will be the first year-round, full service food venue within the Minneapolis Park System, which is known for seasonal destinations such as Sea Salt. In addition to its full-service venue, The Sioux Chef will also provide casual, counter-service food options.

“Our work within the evolution of the Indigenous food systems offers many opportunities for supportive nutritional and spiritual experiences,” says Dana Thompson, co-owner of The Sioux Chef. “With the removal of colonial ingredients, our plan is to drive economic wealth back into indigenous communities by sourcing food from these growers first. We look forward to sharing and enjoying these diverse and healthy foods with all communities.”

News Round-Up: ‘Scaffold’ Sculpture Wood to be Buried; Indian Country Today Ceases Operations; and More

“Scaffold’ before it was taken down.

The wood from the controversial sculpture ‘Scaffold‘ will be buried, not burned, local Native leaders say. Several news outlets have provided accounts, including MPR and the StarTribune. According to the MPR story:

Tribal elders decided the original plan to destroy the work in a ceremonial fire at Fort Snelling was inappropriate, said Ronald P. Leith, a Dakota member who was involved in negotiations …

The Walker Art Center erected Scaffold earlier this year, a new addition for the reopening of its renowned outdoor sculpture garden. The work was supposed to be a commentary on capital punishment, a conglomeration of several historic gallows. But the sculpture’s most prominent feature was the massive gallows used to hang 38 Dakota men in Mankato following the Dakota-U.S. War of 1862.

Native people found Scaffold offensive and hurtful, as the hanging of the Dakota 38 (plus 2 additional hangings later at Fort Snelling) continues to be a deeply painful part of their history. A white artist did the piece and Dakota people weren’t consulted. Following the controversy, the Walker agreed to remove the sculpture.

The wood will be buried in an undisclosed location, a decision which reflects the issues that arose following the mass hanging.

“During 1862, when the original scaffold was dismantled and the prisoners were buried … there was a deluge of scavengers, grave diggers, that went after the wood — souvenir, hunter types,” said Leith. “We have a concern that if we were to disclose where the wood was going, we might see a repeat of that same thing.”

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News: Knights of the Forest Were Minnesota’s KKK; Line 3 Pipeline Direct Non-Violent Action

The genocide of Dakota people and the history of the Dakota-U.S. War of 1862 has rightfully been getting more public awareness in our state, but a terribly overlooked part of our history is the atrocious treatment of the Winnebago people.

Yes, the Winnebago used to have a reservation in Minnesota. That history is invisible.

The Winnebago (also known as Ho Chunk) had been forced to relocate several times, as business and settlers moved west and wanted their land. In 1855, they got resettled on a reservation in Minnesota near Mankato, just years before the 1862 Dakota-U.S. War. While they did not participate in the fighting, the war became the excuse for state leaders to remove them to get access to prime farm land.

At the urging of the Minnesota delegation, Congress passed a law exiling the Winnebago from Minnesota before they passed the law exiling the Dakota.

Part of this ugly history is the story of the Knights of the Forest, a secret society in Mankato bent on killing the Winnebago. This blog wrote about this last year in a piece titled: Winnebago Removal Act and the Little Known History of the ‘Knights of the Forest.

City Pages has come out with a detailed piece: Knights of the Forest: How Minnesota’s Klan drove out the Ho-Chunk. This story needs to be told and taught. We as a state haven’t acknowledged, let alone repented, from these acts.

The City Pages story notes that the Knights of the Forest started just after the post-war hanging of 38 Dakota men in Mankato, on Dec. 26, 1862. According to the story:

Among the thousands in the audience that day, some viewed the spectacle through the windows of Mankato’s Masonic Lodge across the street. A week later, a group gathered in secret to form the “Knights of the Forest.” They had a singular goal: “To banish forever from our beautiful state every Indian who now desecrates the soil.”

Two years before the first meeting of the Ku Klux Klan, a secret society of white terrorists had sprung up in Minnesota.

Click here for the full story. Continue reading