News and Events: Sacred Site Tours Restart; Book Release: White Birch, Red Hawthorn; First Minnesotans Caucus at the Legislature

With the weather warming, Healing Minnesota Stories is restarting its Sacred Site Tours. The first open tours are Saturday, April 15, 2017  and Saturday, May 13. Both run from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Tours are led by Jim Bear Jacobs (Mohican) and Bob Klanderud (Dakota). The tours offer an opportunity to learn about Minnesota history from a Native perspective through story-telling and experiencing the sites in silence, meditation, and reflection. To register, to be placed on a waiting list, or for information on a future tour, contact us at info@spinterfaith.org.

There is no cost for the tour, but a free will offering is appreciated. Contributions for individuals are invited in the range of $20-$40. Donations support Healing Minnesota Stories programs and events. Space is limited to 40 people.

We are happy to arrange custom tours for faith communities, community organizations, or other groups of 12 or more. Continue reading

Stop Enbridge Line 3 — Minnesota’s Version of the Dakota Access Pipeline

Just got an email this morning from Honor the Earth with a link to a new website titled: Stop the Line 3 Pipeline. Enbridge Line 3 is Minnesota’s version of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL). The pipeline will pose risks to Minnesota’s waters and wild rice areas and ignore and violate Anishinaabeg treaty rights.

Enbridge, an energy transportation company, has pipelines that carry dirty Canadian tar sands crude oil from Alberta, Canada to various sites in the United States. It is proposing an expansion of Line 3 through Minnesota, 337 miles of pipeline that run from our state’s northwestern border to Superior, Wisc. Its proposal would increase Line 3’s carrying capacity. It would reroute a significant part of the line, taking it through the Mississippi River headwaters region. It would abandon a significant stretch of the old Line 3 and just let it deteriorate in the ground. Those are bad ideas for the state.

In a related matter, Enbridge is suing Minnesota counties to reduce the property taxes it pays for its pipeline right of ways. It could mean a hit of tens of millions of dollars to our state budget.

Continue reading

DAPL Operational, Keystone XL Moves Ahead, But Do We Really Need Them?

The 2013 Mayflower oil spill occurred on March 29, 2013 in Arkansas, releasing 134,000 gallons of crude oil. (Wikimedia Foundation)

Dakota Access LLC has reported that oil would start flowing through the pipeline this week, according an article in Slate.

The Standing Rock Sioux and Cheyenne River Sioux tribe are challenging the pipeline in court, claiming the federal government violated environmental, historic-preservation, and religious-freedom laws in approving the project. The ruling is likely several weeks away, the article said.

Keystone XL also is moving forward, and will get federal approval today, according to a story in MPR:

The go-ahead for Keystone will mark a clear victory for oil industry advocates, who say the pipeline will create jobs and improve U.S. energy security. Both of those arguments are disputed by the pipeline’s opponents. They say new jobs will be minimal and short-lived, and argue the pipeline won’t help the U.S. with its energy needs because the oil is destined for export.

And Enbridge continues to pursue its Line 3 expansion through northern Minnesota, another pipeline carrying dirty Canadian tar sands oils.

These projects make little sense given the U.S.’s decline in crude oil imports and the fact that we are now a net exporter of refined gas products.

Do We Need All These Projects?

Here are a few oil-related facts you might find surprising.

  • Minnesota’s petroleum fuel consumption has been flat since 2010, and since its 2004 peak it is down 19 percent, according to data provided by the Sierra Club’s North Star Chapter. (On a national level, U.S. petroleum fuel consumption also is down since the mid-2000s, but not as much as in Minnesota, about 6 percent.)
  • From its peak in 2006, U.S. crude oil imports had dropped more than 20 percent by 2016. (See: Crude Oil Data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration.)
  • In early 2011, the United States became a net exporter of noncrude petroleum liquids and refined petroleum products, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

So why are we expanding crude oil pipelines?

Weekend Reading: From DAPL Documentary to the Native American Slaves Who Built California’s Wine Industry

Weekend Reading:

  • North Dakota Trying to Get U.S. Taxpayers to Pick Up Costs of Excessive DAPL Police Response
  • Documentary: Beyond Standing Rock
  • Federal Budget Cut Plans Could Hurt Native Radio Stations
  • Trump’s Fondness for “Indian Killer” Andrew Jackson: A Wreath and a Portrait
  • California’s Wine Industry has Bloody Roots in Native American Slavery

Continue reading

Local Methodists to Address Doctrine of Discovery; Mde Maka Ska Community Conversation; Renaming the Jeffers Petroglyphs; Creation Stories Film Screening

Upcoming Events

  • Screening of the documentary: Doctrine of Discovery: Unmasking the Domination Code. Come see the film and join the post-film discussion. The film is being hosted by the United Methodist Church, and Bruce Ough, the UMC Bishop for Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota will attend. (March 16)
  • Mde Maka Ska Community Conversation: Following the Sacred Current of Water (March 22)
  • Minnesota Historical Society to hold public meeting on renaming and reinterpreting the Jeffers Petroglyphs. (March 25)
  • Walker Film Series INDIgenesis: Indigenous Filmmakers, Past and Present. (Runs through March 25.)
  • Screening of Dakota Creation Stories film. (March 26)

Details follow.

Continue reading

Center Planned to Honor Dakota People’s Sacred Site and Heritage: Take a Survey to Help Shape the Idea

Historic stereoscope of Wakan Tipi (Carver’s Cave). Wikimedia Foundation

A nonprofit group wants to build an interpretive and visitors center to honor the Dakota sacred site “Wakan Tipi” (House of the Spirits, also known as Carver’s Cave) in St. Paul.

The idea comes from the Lower Phalen Creek Project, a group whose mission is to strengthen St. Paul’s East Side and Lowertown communities by developing local “parks, trails, ecological and cultural resources, and by rebuilding connections to the Mississippi River.” It was the lead agency in reclaiming a once contaminated rail yard and transforming it into the 27-acre Bruce Vento Nature Sanctuary, a site which includes Wakan Tipi.

Continue reading

Native Women Speak Up for Immigrants; ND Oil Production Down, So Why DAPL? and Native Nations Rise March on DC

News summary:

  • The group Indigenous Women Rise is making a strong statement in support of immigrants that the Trump administration is trying to keep out.
  • Once economically booming, the state of North Dakota is facing large revenue drops because of declining oil and agriculture revenue. It begs the question: If oil production is down, why build the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL)?
  • Today is the Native Nations Rise March in Washington D.C. What you can do.
  • U.N. Official: Trump administration retreating on Indian Rights

Keep reading for the details on these stories. Continue reading