Federal legislation moves on Boarding School accountability, Tribal Civics Guide released, and more

In this post:

  • Federal bill pushes for Indian Boarding School accountability; testimony from survivors sought
  • Tribal Civics Guide released
  • Finding language that affirms kinship with the natural world
  • State court in India makes ‘Rights of Nature’ ruling
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White Earth Appeals Court dismisses Right of Manoomin suit; Canada tries to sell Indigenous groups the Trans Mountain Pipeline: Buyer Beware!

In this post:

  • White Earth Court of Appeals dismisses Rights of Manoomin (wild rice) suit against DNR
  • Canadian government’s effort to get First Nations to buy financially troubled Trans Mountain pipeline seems cynical
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Manoomin (wild rice) is suing the DNR in White Earth Tribal Court

Manoomin (wild rice), the White Earth Nation, and others are suing the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) in White Earth Tribal Court over the DNR’s decision to approve excessive dewatering as part of Enbridge Line 3 pipeline construction.

Those speaking on behalf of Manoomin, the lead plaintiff, said Manoomin requires water to live and thrive and the Line 3 dewatering threatened its very existence during a severe drought.

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Rights of Mahnoomin webinar, voter registration in Indigenous languages, a state park honoring the original people of the area, and more

In this blog:

  • Webinar on the Rights of Manoomin (wild rice) Tuesday
  • A first! Voter Registration cards in three Native languages
  • New Virginia state park honors Indigenous people who lived there
  • Native corn thought extinct returns to Nebraska
  • The Lewis and Clark Expedition from an Indigenous point of view
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Zoom webinars: Rights of Nature, Yes on Mpls. Public Safety Charter Amendment, and more

In this blog:

  • Rights of Nature webinar, Tuesday, Oct. 19, 1 p.m.
  • Yes on 2: Towards Real Community Safety webinar, Thursday, Oct. 21, 7-8:30 p.m.
  • Buddhist Action Coalition webinar: Listening to Mother Earth and Honoring Native Voices, Thursday, Oct. 28, 6-7:30 p.m.
  • Arrests follow Indigenous-led occupation of the U.S. Dept. of Interior over climate damage
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Weekend Reading: Unmasking treaty signers; key treaty rights case goes to U.S. Supreme Court and more

In this blog:

  • Treaty Signers Project website launched (Indian Land Tenure Foundation)
  • Can Congress Void a Tribal Treaty Without Telling Anyone? (The Atlantic)
  • Thousands march in Minneapolis to protest violence against American Indian women (MPR)
  • Can we protect nature by giving it legal rights? (MinnPost)

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Anishinaabe ‘Rights of Manoomin’ Laws Create Legal Basis to Protect Sacred Wild Rice

‘This would be the first law to recognize the legal rights of a plant species

The White Earth Band of Ojibwe and the 1855 Treaty Authority are taking action to address the growing threats to native wild rice, such as potential crude oil pipeline spills or the spread of genetically modified wild rice. They are establishing new laws and claiming treaty rights to protect their culture and sacred food.

The 1855 Treaty Alliance was established to protect the treaty rights of Leech Lake, Mille Lacs, White Earth, East Lake and Sandy Lake bands. The Alliance covers those lands the Anishinaabe ceded as part of their 1855 Treaty with the United States. (Among those treaty rights, bands claim the right to hunt, fish and gather — including harvesting wild rice — on ceded lands.)

According to a media statement from the 1855 Treaty Alliance:

Recently the White Earth Band of Ojibwe and the 1855 Treaty Alliance adopted Rights of Manoomn for on and off reservation protection of wild rice and the clean, fresh water resources and habitats in which it thrives. The Rights of Manoomin were adopted because “it has become necessary to provide a legal basis to protect wild rice and fresh water resources as part of our primary treaty foods for future generations” …

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A Tale of Two Rivers: One Threatened by a Pipeline Spill, the Other Protected with Personhood

The Missouri River faces environmental threats from possible breaks in the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL). Meanwhile, in Aotearoa (the Maori term for New Zealand) the Whanganui River, the country’s largest river, now has the legal protection of personhood status. It requires review of development projects keeping the river’s best interests in mind.

DAPL’s potential threats to the Missouri River remain shrouded in secrets. The federal government has rejected a Freedom of Information (FOIA) request which sought more details. The government’s fear seems to be that someone with access to its analysis could use it to sabotage the pipeline. Yet by implication, it also means that the government acknowledges that if the pipeline fails on its own, significant environmental damage will happen.

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