Healing Minnesota Stories Launches St. Paul Racial Justice Tours May 11

This May, Healing Minnesota Stories (HMS) is launching Twin Cities Pilgrimage, a sacred journey of historical black narrative in Minnesota led by by Pastor Danny Givens. This builds on HMS’s well known for its Dakota Sacred Sites Tours, which reached over 1,200 people last year alone.

The first Twin Cities Pilgrimage tour will be May 11, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Continue reading

Please Attend, Support Winyan Awanyankapi: Protecting the Lifegivers Conference April 5-7

An indigenous designed and led conference titled: “Winyan Awanyankapi: Protecting the Lifegivers — Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Indigenous Peoples Sovereignty of Housing and Water“ will be held April 5-7.

All are welcome. Here is the Facebook Event Page. Registration is open, but more than half the spots are filled. Now is a good time to register.

Attendance is free for indigenous people. If you can’t attend but would like to support this important work, please consider donating to our fundraising page. This will support the conference and provide scholarships for young people who cannot afford to attend.

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At Critical Juncture, Faith Leaders Call on Gov. Walz to Stop Enbridge Line 3

Healing Minnesota Stories Founder Rev. Jim Bear Jacobs joined other faith leaders today in calling on Gov. Walz to halt Enbridge Line 3.

Rev. Jim Bear Jacobs, founder of Healing Minnesota Stories, joined roughly 75 other faith and indigenous leaders who gathered in the Governor’s Conference Room today to pray, sing, hold an Anihsinaabe water ceremony, and make a clear demand that Gov. Tim Walz stop the Enbridge Line 3 crude oil pipeline — an unnecessary and dangerous project that violates treaty rights.

“Today, my message to Gov. Walz is that you cannot claim to be an ally to indigenous people when you knowingly introduce toxins into the food and water systems. And that is exactly what Enbridge Line 3 will do,” said Jacobs, who is a member of the Mohican Nation. “… I stand with all of you in hope that Gov. Walz will take heroic action and sign an executive order halting Line 3 where it stands,”

At a minimum, Jacobs said Walz needs to support a Minnesota Department of Commerce lawsuit to stop Line 3, an action begun by former Gov. Mark Dayton’s administration. The suit argues Enbridge failed to prove the new and expanded Line 3 was needed. The Walz administration is now reevaluating the lawsuit and the Governor is expected to announce early next week which side he will take.

Minnesota Interfaith Power and Light organized the event. (Note: There’s still time to call the Governor this weekend — 651-201-3400to oppose Line 3.) Continue reading

Winyan Awanyankapi: Protecting the Lifegivers Conference Set for April 5-7

An indigenous designed and led conference titled: “Winyan Awanyankapi: Protecting the Lifegivers — Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Indigenous Peoples Sovereignty of Housing and Water “will be held April 5-7, Friday evening to Sunday noon. All are welcome. Registration is now open.

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Healing Minnesota Stories Moves to the Minnesota Council of Churches

Celebration of Healing Minnesota Stories transitioning to the Minnesota Council of Churches.

Healing Minnesota Stories is now a program of the Minnesota Council of Churches (MCC), expanding its reach and opportunities for transformation.

Jim Bear Jacobs on St. Paul Neighborhood Network’s news show, Forum. (File)

Begun in 2011, Healing Minnesota Stories is an effort to create dialogue, understanding and healing between Native peoples and Minnesota’s faith communities and their individual members. The initiative grew out of a Saint Paul Interfaith Network (SPIN) conference on racism in the church. SPIN has supported Healing Minnesota Stores over the past seven years.

Rev. Jim Bear Jacobs, Healing Minnesota Stories founder, will now serve as the Director of Racial Justice at MCC, continuing to lead Healing Minnesota Stories and other initiatives. “I’m excited for this opportunity with MCC as we begin to dream how we might continue and expand the work of Healing Minnesota Stories on a larger scale,” Jacobs said in a media release issued today Continue reading

Religious Leaders Speak Out Against Enbridge Line 3 as Vote Looms this Month

Religious leaders gathered at Leif Erickson Park before crossing to the state Capitol to deliver their letter to Gov. Mark Dayton.
Curtiss DeYoung, CEO of the Minnesota Council of Churches

Curtiss DeYoung, CEO of the Minnesota Council of Churches, stood before a crowd of hundreds of people Monday afternoon at Leif Erickson Park to state the shared belief of many religious leaders that the state should reject the Enbridge Line 3 crude oil pipeline on moral grounds.

“Oftentimes the faith community historically has been on the wrong side, particularly as it relates to indigenous communities and sovereign nations who we are in relationship with.” DeYoung said. “Today we decided to be on the right side.”

The event was organized by the Minnesota Poor People’s Campaign, and Minnesota Interfaith Power and Light (MN IPL), and had the support of the Minnesota Council of Churches. (Star Tribune article here.)

The event, held just west of the state Capitol, included civil rights songs, a Jewish cantor, a brass band, chants, and a Buddhist moment of silence. It included indigenous prayer and truth-telling. It included a number of brief speeches from religious leaders from different traditions. But the event’s main goal was to Stop Line 3. To that end, the group delivered an interfaith letter opposing Line 3 to both Governor Dayton and the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC). Some 540 faith leaders signed.

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Red Lake Nation Votes to Evict Enbridge Pipelines; Native Youth to Visit Pope, Ask Him to Repudiate the Doctrine of Discovery

The Red Lake Tribal Council voted last week to evict Enbridge crude oil pipelines from sovereign tribal lands. Enbridge, a major Canadian crude oil pipeline company, has four lines that cross 8 acres of Red Lake land; they were built decades ago, apparently without proper land title search.

According to the March 16 story:

The land in question was originally ceded by the Red Lake band to the federal government in 1889. But it was never sold, so in 1945, the U.S. Department of the Interior restored the land to the tribe.

In the 1980s, the BIA discovered that Enbridge’s pipelines appeared to be in trespass on Red Lake land.

The federal government never resolved the problem. Red Lake started pushing the issue back in 2007. Red Lake and Enbridge had negotiated a land swap and $18.5 million cash deal, but Red Lake pulled out of that deal earlier this year and now is taking the next step to tell Enbridge to remove its pipelines.

Pipeline opposition is sweeping through Indian Country. Red Lake and other Native nations opposed construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline near Standing Rock in 2016. Red Lake strongly opposes the construction of a new Enbridge Line 3 across northern Minnesota.

Rerouting the four existing pipelines off of Red Lake land would cost Enbridge $10 million, the story said. (That’s less than the $18.5 million Enbridge had on the table, but that amount included back pay for the decades of trespass on Red Lake lands. That issue remains unresolved.)

Red Lake member Marty Cobenais pushed for the measure to force Enbridge to remove all of its existing pipelines from Red Lake lands. Continue reading