‘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

Second Annual Mni Ki Wakan Decade of Water Summit August 8-9

Autumn Peltier, Anishinaabe (Screen capture from CBC News You Tube video.)

The Second Annual Mni Ki Wakan World Indigenous Peoples Decade of Water Summit, an indigenous-led event, will be held at Neighborhood House, 179 Robie St. E., St Paul, on Wednesday and Thursday, August 8-9.

Autumn Peltier, a 13-year-old Anishinaabe teen from Wimwemikong First Nation will give the keynote address. On March 22, Peltier addressed the United Nations during its Action Water Decade: 2018-2028, calling on members to “Warrior Up.” (CBC story here.) Peltier is calling for the recognition of water’s personhood and for a future of healthy and clean water. (Here is a five-minute video of her speech.)

Comment: Anyone who does a double take at the mention of giving water “personhood” should consider that we give corporations “personhood” and water is more important to our survival than corporations.

On Day Two of the Summit, Julia Faye Muñoz of Guam will give a Pacific Islander perspective on the access, availability, and sustainability of water. The Summit also will include a workshop on digital storytelling, where people can record their stories of water.

Continue reading

Mni ki Wakan: Indigenous Peoples’ Decade of Water Summit

Brothers Wakinyan and Thorne LaPointe (Lakota) and their family are moving forward with plans to hold the first Mni Ki Wakan: Indigenous Peoples’ Decade of Water Summit later this summer. It will be an indigenous-oriented, youth-led, two-day conference, Aug. 1-2. Allies are invited.

More details coming soon on how to register and the conference itself, but right now there is a pre-Summit fundraiser being held Saturday, June 24, 6-9 p.m. at First Universalist Church, 3400 Dupont Ave. S., Minneapolis. The fundraiser will include indigenous foods (provided by the Sioux Chef), indigenous rights defenders, artists, presentations, and a short documentary related to the upcoming Summit.

Your presence and donations will support the inauguration of this Summit, which will become an annual event. Here is the Facebook Page for the fundraiser. Here is some additional background on the history behind Mni Ki Wakan: Indigenous Peoples’ Decade of Water Summit. (Click on the Facebook page for more.)

The Mni Ki Wakan: Indigenous Peoples’ Decade Water Summit emerged from humble beginnings more than a decade ago. With minimal or no funding support, a local youth program resolved to embark upon multi-day canoe expeditions. Paddling the ancient water ways of Dakota ancestors, our indigenous youth paddled every twist and turn of the original maps known to our predecessors since time immemorial. Armed with a map that portrayed the numerous small and large water ways and water bodies of the Great Lakes region, youth set out to explore, discover, experience, and recover the healthy perspectives and wise insights of our indigenous predecessors.

Amidst these enchanting explorations emerged a flagship event known as the Mde Maka Ska Canoe Nations Gathering. Today, it still engages and contributes to youth and community enrichment upon the surface of the largest lake in Minnesota’s largest city, Minneapolis.

Update: Mni ki Wakan: The Decade of Water Summit Planned for August

Efforts are moving forward for the indigenous-led “Mni ki Wakan: The Decade of Water Summit” in Minneapolis later this year, and you can help.

Seven members of the LaPointe tiwahe (family) will be traveling to the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues meeting March 24 – April 5 to let people know about the Summit, network, and invite participation. The LaPointe family is hosting an informal gathering and fundraiser to help support its trip to the United Nations. The event is:

Saturday, March 11, 6:00 -8:30 p.m. at All My Relations Gallery, 1414 East Franklin Ave. Those attending will include Oceti Sakowin (Seven Council Fires) traditional knowledge keepers, indigenous human rights observers, relatives from Standing Rock, filmmaker Sheldon Wolfchild (Lower Sioux) and rapper Tall Paul. The event will include indigenous food and music, and be youth and community oriented.

Please come, learn and support this important work. Continue reading

Newly Created Bears Ears Monument Already Under Attack; Feb. 7 ‘Water is Sacred’ Event, and More

Bears Ears formation (Image from Wikimedia Commons)
Bears Ears formation (Image from Wikimedia Commons)

One of President Obama’s last acts in office was to create the Bears Ears National Monument in southeastern Utah, protecting 1.35 million acres around a pair of distinctive buttes that look like, well, bears ears.

The monument is barely a month old. The commission that will oversee the monument hasn’t been appointed yet. Already, the monument is under attack by Utah state leaders and apparently by the Trump administration. Continue reading

Mni Wakan: Water is Sacred, an International Conference Planned for Minnesota

Bde Maka Ska
Bde Maka Ska

Members of the LaPointe family, other local Native leaders and their allies are working to launch an international conference next year called: Mni Wakan: The Decade of Water. It would be hosted in Minneapolis. Bde Maka Ska would be a focal point.

Bde Maka Ska is the original name for Lake Calhoun (it was the name the lake had before white settlers came.) The name Bde Maka Ska is in the process of being restored; that debate has received considerable attention. Less well known is the work going on behind the scenes to not only to change the lake’s name but to change the lake’s culture and hold up the sacredness of water. Continue reading