Mazinaateseg!, Indigenous Renaming, and This Day in History: Two Native Americans Help Raise Flags Over Iwo Jima

Upcoming Event: Anishinabe Film Series

Come and enjoy the next installment of the Augsburg Native American Film Series as Elizabeth Day and Heid E. Erdrich host an evening of short films by Anishinabe film makers. (BTW, Mazinaateseg is Anishinabe for “It’s a movie.”)

The event is free and open to the public. It will be held Wednesday, March 9, at Sateren Auditorim on the Augsburg Campus, 715 22nd Ave South, Minneapolis. A talk with students begins at 5 p.m., followed by a reception from 6:15-6:45 p.m.

Short and animated films will start at 7 p.m.: “Advice To Myself 2: Resistance,” by Elizabeth Day and Heid E. Erdrich; “Gaa-ondinang Dakwaanowed Makwa” (How the bear got a short tail) by Elizabeth Day and Jonathan Thunder; and “The Path Without End,” by Elizabeth LaPensée. Continue reading

Paiutes To Feds: Deal With the “Bad Men”; Talk: Indigenous Re-Naming; On Air: Indian Rights Attorney Levanthal; This Day in History: Termination Policy Comes to MN

In a story headlined: Oregon Militia Nuts Hold Paiute History, Artifacts Hostage, Indian Country Today reports on the Burns Paiute Tribe’s deep concern that militants are holding a building with “approximately 4,000 artifacts belonging to the tribe.” According to the story:

The tribe is demanding federal action under both the Archaeological Resources Protection Act of 1979 and a “protection against bad men” provision in the treaty the tribe signed with the United States in 1868.

That seems like a reasonable enough request.

Red Power Media has reported on the militants counter offensive, posting a You Tube video of them sorting through boxes of artifacts. They argue that the federal government has mishandled the artifacts, and offer to return them to the Paiute people.

Click on the links above for more details.

Mato Nunpa to Speak on Reclaiming Indigenous Names

When European explorers and settlers came to this area, one of the first things they did was to rename the rivers, hills and and other landmarks that already had indigenous names. Dr. Chris Mato Nunpa, a Dakota elder and historian, will lead off the 2016 Series “What’s in a Name?” for St. Paul’s East Side Freedom Library, talking about the need to reclaim original names.

Mato Nunpa’s talk is called: “The Case for Indigenous Renaming: Acknowledging Minnesota Genocide,” and will be held Wednesday, Jan. 27, at 7 p.m. at the East Side Freedom Library, 1105 Greenbrier Street, St. Paul.

Background: In 2012, both Minneapolis and St. Paul declared 2012 “The Year of the Dakota,” marking the 150th anniversary of the Dakota-U.S. War. The resolutions acknowledged the atrocities and genocide that took place against the Dakota people.

The St. Paul resolution mandated that the city identify, name and interpret sacred Native American sites in St. Paul and along the Mississippi River. Mato Nunpa will present his views on the renaming that still must take place, from the white bluffs below Indian Mounds Park to the streets and places that still bear the names of Alexander Ramsey, Henry Sibley and John C. Calhoun, Euro-American conquerers who were guilty of genocide against the indigenous people of Minnesota.

Indian Rights Attorney Larry Levanthal on KFAI

This week’s First Person Radio show on KFAI features an interview with prominent Indian Country attorney Larry Levanthal.

The show runs 9-10 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 27. Hear it on 90.3 FM in Minneapolis, or 106.7 FM in St. Paul, or listen on

Levanthal has represented Tribes in Minnesota, Wisconsin, North Dakota, South Dakota, Michigan, Oklahoma and other states in issues ranging from tribal government operations, gaming, business development, environmental issues, and litigation.  He currently serves as legal counsel to several American Indian Tribes. He will talk about the Indian Child Welfare Act and a range of tribal topics

First Person Radio is hosted by Laura Watterman Wittstock and Roy Taylor.

This Day in History: MN U.S. Senator Tries to End Federal Recognition of Dakota Communities

Within the lifetime of the Baby Boomers, the federal government was not only trying to unilaterally break individual treaties, but it was trying to make treaties and tribes disappear altogether, including right here in Minnesota.

We have written recently of the federal “Termination Policies,” efforts to end the sovereignty of tribal governments. On this day in history in 1955, those policies surfaced in Minnesota in an effort to officially terminate the Upper Sioux, Lower Sioux, and Prairie Island communities. (The Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community was not officially recognized until 1969.) Wikipedia gives this summary:

On 26 January 1955 Senator Edward Thye introduced into Congress a bill (S704) to provide for termination of the tribes. Opposition, not only of the Indians, but of other citizens who realized their state expenses might increase, were made to the committee reviewing the bill. The Governor’s Commission on Human Rights also opposed the legislation, indicating that it would “not adequately protect the interests of the Indians…” The bill died in committee, never reaching the Senate floor.