Community Discussion About Controversial St. Paul City Hall Murals to Be Held Jan. 10

The East Side Freedom Library is hosting a community discussion about the four murals in the chambers shared by the St. Paul City Council and the Ramsey County Board. These Depression-era murals have been controversial because of how they portray our history. They have images that are not welcoming to all members of the community, including a priest towering over Native Americans and converting them.

The community discussion will be held at the library, 1105 Greenbrier Street, St. Paul, on Thursday, Jan. 10, from 7 – 8:30 p.m. St. Paul City Council Member Jane Prince (7th Ward) and Ramsey County Commissioner Jim McDonough will participate. The event is free and open to the public. Here is the Facebook Event Page to share.

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Questions and Criticisms Abound in Enbridge Line 3’s ‘Tribal Economic Opportunity’ Plan

Enbridge’s promised $100 million in “tribal economic opportunity” as a part of its Line 3 crude oil pipeline project is still under review, well after the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC) has approved the project.

Enbridge’s jobs proposal had some PR appeal. The reasoning goes that since the Anishinaabe of northern Minnesota are bearing a disproportionate share of the project’s risks — oil spills, threats to wild rice, and the risk of increased assaults on women during pipeline construction — surely they should get something back.

But there is no guaranteed benefit for the Anishinaabe. Further, the PUC’s order has no enforcement mechanism or prescribed penalty if Enbridge fails to live up to its word.

Enbridge offered a vague and flawed jobs proposal. If history is prelude, the PUC will rubber stamp it.

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Hiawatha Golf Course Redevelopment Plans to Consider Dakota and Indigenous Peoples History in the Area

The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board is holding a public “focus session” on Dakota and indigenous peoples history around Lake Hiawatha on Wednesday, Jan. 9, 6-8 p.m. at the Hiawatha Recreation Center, 2701 E 44th St. The event is free and open to the public.

This is part of ongoing community conversations around the Hiawatha Golf Course Master Plan and the area’s redevelopment. The evening will include opportunities to learn Dakota language, philosophy and culture, as well as try out a “water bar” featuring different flights of water.

According to the Park Board’s announcement: “The event is intended to broaden our definition of history and reconnect with nature and the importance of water. It will be conducted in partnership with Healing Place Collaborative, an Indigenous-led group of artists, educators, researchers and activists.” Continue reading

Here’s to the Upcoming ‘Greatest Generation’

I am proud to know a few of the indigenous leaders and youth of all colors who are working tirelessly to stop climate disaster by opposing the Enbridge Line 3 crude oil pipeline and other fossil fuel infrastructure projects. I believe these will be part of our next “Greatest Generation.”

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A People’s Hearing on Minnesota Reparations Legislation, Friday, Jan. 4

A People’s Hearing on making reparations to African American and American Indian Minnesotans will be held Friday, Jan. 4, 9:30 a.m. – 1 p.m., in Room 120 of the Minnesota State Capitol.

The hearing will revisit and rekindle House File 2928/Senate File 3767, a bill introduced last session “acknowledging the fundamental injustice, cruelty, brutality, and inhumanity suffered by certain groups in Minnesota’s history.” The bill would have established a “commission to study and report recommendations to provide appropriate remedies.” Continue reading

‘One Heart, One Mind’ Mde Maka Ska Community Conversation Set for Saturday, Jan. 5

The indigenous-led Mde Maka Ska Community Conversations are continuing Saturday, Jan. 5 with a new series of conversations called: “One Heart, One Mind.” The event runs 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. at First Universalist Church, 3400 Dupont Ave., Minneapolis. The event is free and open to the public.

The Mde Maka Ska Community Conversations began in 2015. The fruits of this work includes launching the Mn Ki Wakan World Indigenous Peoples’ Decade of Water Summits. Two summits have been held, one in 2017 and one in 2018. The 2019 Summit is in the planning stages; check it out.

According to the Facebook Post on the ‘One Heart, One Mind’ conversations: Continue reading

MN Dept. of Commerce Joins Appeal Against Enbridge Line 3, Protest at Line 3 Storage Yard, and More

More than 50 pipeline resisters met at this pipeline storage yard in a Carlton County gravel pit Thursday to call on the state to halt all Line 3 construction and pre-construction activities until all Line 3 reviews are complete. Enbridge has several such storage yards around the state that don’t have appropriate permits.

Governor Mark Dayton came out today against the Enbridge Line 3 crude oil pipeline through northern Minnesota, backing a legal challenge by the Minnesota Department of Commerce to overturn the decision of the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC).

Members of MN350, the Youth Climate Intervenors and the Sierra Club stopped by Gov. Dayton’s office today to thank his staff for his support of the Line 3 appeal.

In a decision that didn’t seem to line up with the facts, the PUC voted this summer to grant Line 3 a Certificate of Need and a Route permit. Line 3 will add significantly to climate damage and violate treaty rights. Oil spills from Line 3 could damage the Mississippi River and our clean lakes and streams. The evidence shows Minnesota doesn’t need this pipeline; it will only serve to help Canada’s foreign export efforts.

Indigenous and environmental groups have been pushing Dayton to take a stand against Line 3 for more than a year. Now in his final weeks in office, Dayton took a very positive step to stop this unnecessary project. According to his news release, he said:

“I strongly support my Commerce Department’s appeal of the Public Utilities Commission’s Order.

“Enbridge failed to provide a future demand forecast for its product, which is required by state law. Instead, the company presented its analysis of the future oil supply from Canadian tar sands extractions. It failed to demonstrate that Minnesota needs this pipeline to meet our future oil demand. In fact, most of the product would flow through our state to supply other states and countries.

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