INDIAN COUNTRY NEWS

What Enbridge Money Can and Cannot Buy

By Winona LaDuke
- News From Indian Country -

Earlier this year  the Ojibwe Enbridge battle showed the political pressure that $5 million worth of lobbying can buy in Minnesota, and that the Ojibwe still remain opposed to the line.

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Taboo Finds His Stand In Native Roots

By Sandra Hale Schulman
- News From Indian Country -

“I owe it all to my grandmother,” says Jamie Luis Gomez, better known as Taboo, an American rapper, singer, songwriter, actor and DJ, best known as a member of the hip hop group Black Eyed Peas.

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European academic conference on American Indians

Submitted by Amy Ruckes

The 39th annual American Indian Workshop (AIW) took place on April 10th through the 13th in Gent, Belgium. It is an academic conference for professors, historians, artists, lecturers, teachers, museum curators, students, workshop organizers, and tribal members.

While searching Twitter,  I came across an announcement about the workshop taking place in Belgium and the call for academic papers.

Upon informing the organizer, Thomas Donald Jacob, about the discovery of AIW on social media, he was unaware of the conference being advertised using that platform. While the Twitter presence was not the foremost concern on this year’s host’s mind, that might change in the coming years considering the usage of social media in connecting Native American groups with each other.

Since the tribes encompass the entire North American continent and the gathering of native voices in a group chorus has had a dramatic effect in recent years concerning protests, legislation, and litigation; we will hope that the conference continues to use the social media platforms to not only inform their academic members of the scholarly references discussed during the conferences, but also seek to continue the dialogue with the native community as a whole about the historical information available and including their critical voices, oral histories, and concerns in the discussion.

The American Indian Workshop has had a long history in Europe. However, the responsibility to host the event has not always been an easy decision. Many hours and more than a few very long nights were spent by Thomas Donald Jacobs, Fien Lauwaerts, Adeline Moons, and Jeroen Petit preparing the theme, the sessions, the moderators, and the schedule.

However, the majority of the time was spent negotiating conference facilities, financial sponsors, and available university assistance. Considering the budgetary constraints and the lack of enthusiasm by many universities and organizations to fund humanities focused projects, the conference was a success and resulted in extensive networking and discussions among attendees.

The enthusiastic response from future host universities further indicated the success of such a gathering by destinations reserving the right to host conferences until 2022.

During the initial reception, I was warmly welcomed by Prof. Dr. Michael Limberger and Thomas Donald Jacobs, who has Cherokee origins.

For the conference opening, the keynote speakers were Elizabeth James-Perry, native artist, marine biologist, and tribal member of the Aquinnah Wampanoag Tribe; Camiel van Breedam, Belgium artist who has focused on the Native American theme in his art and literature; and Dr. Lomayumtewa Ishii, tribal member of the Hopi Nation and professor at Northern Arizona University.

The three keynote speakers addressed a range of issues from the tribal traditions, foods, stories, clan structure, economics, environmental issues, ceremonies, and activities of native life to the present issues faced by tribal members and the future survival of language and culture amongst societies that are eager to embrace the Native ideas.

Along with the conference discussion begun by the keynote speakers was a parallel dialogue about the enthusiasm that Europeans unwillingly engage in and the ensuing appropriation of the indigenous culture they are fascinated by and may profit from it through their artistic endeavors. This topic was initiated through the interview with Camiel Van Breedam, who has had a prodigious career as a Belgium artist in Europe and beyond since 1958. His focus is on recycling materials and drawing his inspiration from nature, social change, and the plight of Native Americans. However, his artistic piece, characterized as an ‘environment’, is displayed in Ghent University’s UFO atrium and is entitled ‘’Als het heidens oog vol is’’ (‘’When the heathen eye is full’’).

The artistic depictions of hatred toward the Native Americans which was expressed through violence towards them seems to evoke an austere reflection on the past as the natives were victims of genocide, while the descriptive term ‘’heathen’’ conjures up images of European domination and colonization effects that continue to this day. During the interview with the artist, he revealed a Eurocentric viewpoint influenced by European media accounts and literature.

At the end of the conference, we were elated to learn that the presentation of Mr. van Breedam artistic ‘environment’ at the University would, in the future, contain information from Native Americans who could impart an Indigenous perspective on the atrocities experienced on the North American continent. The dialogue which began with Mr. van Breedam will, hopefully, be a continual one within the university, Belgium, and the European academic scene as a whole.

The conference session extended between Tuesday through Friday. The presentations that took place during those brief four days were centered around the theme ‘’Arrows of Time: Narrating the Past and Present.’’ The expansive spectrum of topics contained within the theme and the limited time frame meant that sessions were overlapping and discussions were held at the end of several related presentations.

Using this method of related subject matter viewed from a multidisciplinary view gave an interesting perspective on topics such as Native American valor and atrocities in war demonstrated through presentations on documentary evidence of World War I and World War II’s Battle of the Bulge contrasted with visual art by Canadian First Nations artist Carl Beam which depicts the similarities between Native American and Jewish genocide.

The first session at the conference began with the presentation by Dr. Karim Michel Tiro, Xavier University in Cincinnati, about the Belgium Catholic missionary, Father Pierre Potier, who served the Native Huron populations at Detroit as military diplomat and ‘’seelsorger’’, a priest highly dedicated to converting souls and actively involved as mediator between the tribes and governmental and military institutions. The manuscripts by Fr. Potier include transcriptions not only on Jesuit theological teachings but also some of the best archival evidence of French North American language along with Huron linguistic documentation.

Potier seemed to be focused on Christian theology and his responsibilities in converting native Wyandots, while Wyandots viewed his presence among them as a status symbol and immediately requested a new missionary diplomat upon Fr. Potier’s untimely death.

The presentation was followed by historian E. Richard Hart, who gives expert testimony in litigation cases concerning the Sinixt tribe and other western tribes in land and treaty disputes with the U.S. government, discussing the European Catholic missionary, Fr. Pierre-Jean De Smet, and his travels through the Western regions of America and his continual impact on current tribal litigations occurring in today’s society through his documentary cartographic evidence that he developed during his 39 years and thousands of miles of land and sea travels extending from the American and Canadian Western territory into the Midwestern territory and even to South America.

De Smet used a strategy of inoculation against small pox as a way of converting natives to Christianity. His desire to set up Jesuit missions to serve the educational needs of the native population compelled him to cross the Atlantic 19 times to seek further funding from church officials. Although his intentions were clearly not altruistic in his behavior towards the Salish and Sinixt population, his achievements in negotiating peace between the tribes and the military prevented the utter devastation of war in the region.

The resounding influence of Jesuit missionaries is still felt to this day within the Sinixt tribe as they have an excessively high regard for higher learning.

The conference continued with presentations which discussed genocide; war; Indian residential schools; official public apologies by Canadian political leaders; the Native historical narrative in pedagogical institutions; Indigenous storytelling, music and art; political use of Plains Indian image in European right-wing propaganda; cinema representation of Indigeneity in popular culture; economic influence of Wampum; cultural appropriation of the Native identity in modern Polish and German literature and post-modern entertainment demonstrated in one session by Ojibway author Drew Hayden Taylor’s cinematic depiction of the German Karl May fest in ‘’Searching for Winnetou’’; health concerns of the Native population; native Andean sounds in Ecuadorian music; problems crossing the US-Mexico border during the pilgrimage to Magdalena; climate change and the effect on permafrost in Nunavik; the immense impact of American Indian code talkers and other native soldiers who fought in US military engagements in Europe; Indian protests in the last century; and reflecting on the need for environmental protection for Indigenous territory and reconciliation for past mistakes.

Four days seem barely competent to encompass such a breadth and depth of topics. The many centuries of Anglo interactions with the Native American population documenting their stories, traditions, culture, land, art and ceremonies simply cannot be dealt with in a timespan of a few days. However, the resulting dialogue pertaining to the Eurocentric documentary evidence on Native American culture and the ‘’historical authoritativeness’’, expressed by Dr. Ishii, concerning the indigenous population will continue between academics, historians, and tribal members as they return to their museums, higher educational institutions, and colleagues.

I, as simple observer, will be returning to my home and sharing with my family the knowledge that I gained from such a detailed narrative on my country’s history and my white and native ancestors impact on law, society, trade, food, and environment and the lack of ethical behavior towards indigenous populations. I hope that the enthusiasm will continue to be seen among humanities departments across Europe and America in order to provide a future platform such as this conference in discussing Anglo - and Indigenous history and the issues that still remain. The interactions between native culture, the church, the military, and the US government can still be contentious to this very day. There is much to learn about past interactions in order to grasp the realities of two interconnected nations living side-by-side and truly being interdependent on one another, whether both sides fully recognize it or not.

About the American Indian Workshop

The American Indian Workshop (AIW) was founded in 1980 at the Amsterdam Meeting of the European Association for American Studies. There were nine participants at the first meeting, but the AIW has since become the largest conference in Europe for researchers concerned with topics related to the Native Peoples of North America. The AIW also draws scholars from across the globe, working in diverse disciplines such as history, literature, anthropology, ethnology, art history, gender studies, museology, ethnomusicology, religion, law, linguistics, political science, cultural studies, philosophy, Canadian and American Studies, Native American Studies, Inuit Studies, and performance studies as well as communication and media studies. As such, the AIW provides an important platform for both established academics and young scholars for sharing their expertise, and benefiting form critical engagement.

The 39th edition of the AIW, titled “Arrows of Time: Narrating the Past and Present,” was held in Ghent, Belgium, while the 40th will be held in Poland.
On The Net:
www.american-indian-workshop.org/

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Brent Learned's Native Pop Mission

By Sandra Hale Schulman
- News From Indian Country -

Oklahoma City artist Brent Learned is on a mission. He wants to show Native art on the same plain as art from other genres and parts of the world. He is an enrolled member of the Cheyenne and Arapho Tribes of Oklahoma, and wants people to know that “We’re still relevant, we want our voices to be heard.”

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Three New Films Expose Native Music History

By Brian Wright-McLeod, 2018
- News From Indian Country -

Rumble: Indians Who Rocked the World [Smithsonian/Rezolution Pictures]

Perhaps the first in depth overview of Native presence in and influence on popular music in America that influenced the world, is finely detailed through story, song and image. Full of archival photos and footage, interviews with family members, associates, and writers on Native music, Rumble manages to reveal this little known history.

Featured artists include Mildred Bailey, Link Wray, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Robbie Robertson, Jimi Hendrix, Pura Fe, Stevie Salas (the film’s executive producer), Redbone, Charley Patton, Monk Beaudreax (the Wild Tchoupitoulas), Taboo (Black Eyed Peas), John Trudell, Randy Castillo (Ozzy Osbourne, Motley Crue), author John Troutman and others.

One glaring omission was the exclusion of the author of The Encyclopedia of Native Music – the book that was the basis for the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian exhibit “Up Where We Belong,” from where the film was derived.

The focus is purely American and belabors Black roots in popular music to the point of exhaustion thus deviating from other cultures that were just as important. For example, the Metis people of Western Canada, who extend predominantly from Cree and French/Scottish roots, and developed their own distinct language with a specific cultural, geographical, and musical heritage.

An award-winner at the Sundance Film Festival Story Tellers Award in 2017, Rumble went on to win the TIFF/Rogers Award for Best Canadian Documentary and Hot Docs Audience Award (Toronto, Canada).

Rumble provides an important overview of a music history that is only just beginning to be understood and told. The doc has since been released to Netflix and other platforms with a forthcoming DVD version to be released later this year.

There is no official soundtrack available, and due to clearance issues, it is doubtful that there will be one. Yet, the three-CD project The Soundtrack of a People (produced by Brian Wright-McLeod with EMI Music Canada) includes the majority of artists featured in the film.

When They Awake [independent]

Produced and directed by Pedro Marcellino and Hermon Farahi, When They Awake celebrates a cross-country overview of current Native music in Canada.

Following a year of filming a variety of artists from traditional drummers of Iqaluit to the club scenes of Vancouver, British Columbia and Toronto, Ontario, the filmmakers have amassed a sweeping documentation of an incredible movement.

Featuring Tanya Tagak (Inuit), A Tribe Called Red, Susan Aglukark (Inuit), Iskwe (Cree), Leela Gilday (Dene), Derek Miller (Mohawk), and Logan Staats (Mohawk), the documentary also profiles more than 20 other artists.

Although Eastern Canada is absent, the omission was not intentional. “The original idea was to focus on the Inuit and other northern people,” Marcellino said. “We had no idea the film would grow to this magnitude. There is much more to come, and we hope to include the East too.”

Utilizing DAPL/Standing Rock, Idle No More and the effects 100 years of residential school system in Canada (1896 to 1996), this backdrop adds a texture to the music and its message. The film’s title is taken from a quote by historic Metis figure Louis Riel.

“As non-indigenous filmmakers, we hope to build bridges between communities, and to provoke thought, discussion, dialogue, and above all, long overdue recognition to the music and culture of Native people,” Marcellino said.

The film premiered at various 2017 film festivals including Las Vegas, Nevada; Montreal, Quebec; and Calgary, Alberta.

“It’s one of the best music docs I’ve ever seen and I’m extremely proud we presented it as our opening film,” said Calgary’s film festival executive director Steve Schroeder.

On The Net:
https://whentheyawake.com    

The Road Forward
[National Film Board of Canada]

Filmmaker Marie Clements’ The Road Forward is a musical that features piano bluesman Murray Porter (Mohawk), songwriter Russell Wallace (Stl’atl’imx), vocalists Cheri Maracle (Mohawk), Jennifer Kreisberg (Tuscarora), and others. Through song and performance, the film spins a tale of indigenous perspectives on history and current events.

On The Net:
www.nfb.ca/film/road_forward/
www.brainwrightmcleod.com


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Enbridge Seeks Deal With Akwesasne Mohawks

by Doug George-Kanentiio
News From Indian Country

Credit goes to the Mohawk leadership for trying to find a way to relieve the extraordinarily high utility rates paid by homes throughout Akwesasne. Those costs take a major bite out of the budgets for the families, a situation which is galling whenever one drives across the International Bridges, looks to the west and sees the St. Lawrence Power Dam, the largest source of hydro electrical power in the region-and knowing that both the land and the water used by that facility are a part of our resources, never ceded, never sold.

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Walking On as listed in the June 2018 NFIC

Arizona, Holbrook – Funeral services for Marcus James, 56, of Holbrook were held May 11, 2018 at the Faith Assembly of God Church in Holbrook.  Burial followed at the Holbrook cemetery.  Marcus passed away May 6. 2018.  


Marcus is survived by his wife, Tina M. Marcus; daughter, Martina (Abel) Martinez; and grandson, Marcus Fenix Martinez.  He is preceded in death by his son, Matthew Leo James. Marcus was a minister at Faith Assembly of God Church in Holbrook, the Co-op Assembly of God in LaVeen, AZ and The Living Word Assembly of God in Carson, NM. (Navajo Times, May 10, 2018)

Arizona, Tsaile – Funeral services for Emmajean Tsosie H. Begaye, 73, of Lukachukai were held May 10, 2018 at the LDS Church in Tsaile, AZ.  Burial followed in Lukachukai.  Emmajean was born Sept. 29, 1945, in Chinle, into the Tachii’nii (Red Running Into the Water People Clan), born for Todich’ii’nii (Bitter Water Clan).  Emmajean passed away May 7, 2018 in Lukachukai. Emmajean is survived by her sons, Franklin S. Begaye and Jackie Ray Hall; daughters, Dorothy M. Claw and Coretta Sigrid Hall; brothers, Isidore T. Begaye, Ralph T. Begay, and Marcellus S. Begaye; sisters, Angela A. Sandoval, Ellouise Thompson, LaVerne T. Begaye and Gladeeh Begaye; grandparents, John D. Davis, Lucy Pete, and Hosteen Chee; and 18 grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren.  She is preceded in death by her husband, LaSalle Hall; parents, Steven Tsosie and Dorothy Davis; sisters, Louise Ann Harvey and Patricia Mae Begaye; brother, Leroy T. Harvey; and son, LaSalle Faron Hall. (Navajo Times, May 10, 2018)

Arizona, Fort Defiance – Funeral services for Erma J. Eddie, 55, were held in May.  Erma was born in Fort Defiance, into the Totsohnii (Big Water Clan), born for Kiyaa’aanii (Towering House Clan).  Erma passed away May 7, 2018 in Gallup. Erma is survived by her father, Naswood Begay; sisters, Ruth Marrietta and Veronica Keetso, Priscilla Dempsey and Jolene Kee; and brothers, Gilbert Begay, Jonathan Kee and Joe Kee Jr.  She is preceded in death by her mother, Ruth J. Begay. Erma graduated from the University of New Mexico and served in the Army National Guard.  She was an accountant and receptionist. (Navajo Times, May 10, 2018)

Arizona, Winslow – Funeral services for Henry Moore Jr., 70 were held May 19, 2018 at the Winslow Funeral Home.  Burial followed at Desert View Cemetery.  Henry was born Nov. 14, 1947 in Flagstaff, into the Tsi’naajinii (Black Streak Wood People Clan), born for Ye’ii dine’e Tachii’nii (Red Running Into the Water People Clan).  His nali is Ashiihi (Salt People); chei is Kinlichii’nii (Red House).  He passed away May 13, 2018 in Flagstaff. Henry is survived by his wife, Marie Moore; children, Henry Moore III, Kimberly Salas; Kordell Moore, Ernie Tsosie, Robin Oso, Tommy Tsosie, Samantha Barrales, Quentin Fernando and Sharon Curley; sisters, Leatrice Lane and Lea Lane; 21 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.  He is preceded in death by his son, Lyle Moore; parents, Henry Moore Sr. and Aurelia Charlie-Moore; sisters, Lydia Moore and Beatrice Moore-Vezie; and brothers, Donald and Harold Moore. Henry earned an associate’s degree for Eastern Arizona College and a bachelor’s degree for Eastern Tennessee State University.  He served with the U.S. Public Health Services Department of Environmental Health under the Indian Health Service.  Henry was employed with the Navajo Nation Office of Environmental Health.  He held public offices, Birdsprings Chapter vice president, Leupp Schools Incorporated Board of Directors, and member of the Winslow Indian Health Care Center Health Board. (Navajo Times, May 17, 2018)

Arizona, Kayenta – Jeanette Parrish passed away May 5, 2018 at the San Juan Regional Hospital in Farmington.  Jeanette was born Nov. 11, 1918 , in Kayenta, into the Todich’ii’nii (Bitter Water Clan), born for Tachii’nii (Red Running Into the Water People Clan). Jeanetter is survived by her sons, Robert, Arthur, Norman and Albert Parrish; daughter, Stella Edwards, Lillian Wallen, Felicita Young, Jane Parrish, Helen Cody, and Gladys Yellowhair; and 207 grandchildren and many great-grandchildren.  She is preceded in death by her husband, Rodney Parrish Sr.; daughter, Lois Mitchell; and sons, David, Raymond Parrishand Rodney Parrish Jr. Jeanette raced horses, wove rugs and saddle blankets and was herbalist. (Navajo Times, May 17, 2018)

Arizona, Fort Defiance – Funeral services for Lee “Lefty” Litson Jr., 50 were held May 15, 2018 at Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament in Fort Defiance.  Interment followed at the family plot in Black Rock, AZ.  Lee was born May 7, 1968, in Fort Defiance into the Tachii’nii (Red Running Into the Water People Clan), born for Kiyaa’aanii (Towering House Clan).  His nali is Totsohnii (Big Water); chei is Bit’ahnii (Under His Cover).  Lee passed away May 9, 2018, in Mesa, AZ. Lee is survived by his parents, Doris and Lee Litson Sr.; and siblings, Leanne, Wendi, Dawnel, Janel, and Tenneile Litson.  He is preceded in death by his grandparents, Marion and Frank Todakonzie Sr.; and Isabel and Martin Litson. Lee attended Mesa Community College.  He was employed as a chef and automotive mechanic. (Navajo Times, May 17, 2018)

Arizona, Fort Defiance – Funeral services for Doris Marie Litson, 74, were held May 22, 2018 at Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament in Fort Defiance.  Interment followed at the family plot in Black Rock, AZ.  Doris passed away May 17, 2018, in Albuquerque.  Doris was born Jan. 16, 1944 in Fort Defiance, into the Tachii’nii (Red Running Into the Water People Clan), born for Bit’ahnii (Under His Cover Clan).  Her nali is Todik’ozhi (Salt Water); chei is Tabaaha (Water’s Edge). Doris is survived by her husband, Lee Litson Sr.; daughters, Leanne, Wendi, Dawnel, Janel, and Tenneile Litson.  She is preceded in death by her son, Lee Litson Jr. (Navajo Times, May 24, 2018)

Arizona, Fort Defiance – Funeral services for Marie Ann Gorman, 68, were held May 19, 2018 at the Fort Defiance Potter House.  Interment followed at the Fort Defiance cemetery.  Marie passed away May 15, 2018 in Phoenix.  Marie was born Oct. 11, 1949 in Fort Defiance, into the Tsenabahilnii (Sleep Rock People Clan), born for Hashk’aahadzohi (Yucca Fruit-Strung-Out-In-A-Line Clan).  Her nali is Kiyaa’aanii (Towering House); chei is Bit’ahnii (Under His Cover). Marie is survived by her daughters, Karlene Shirley, Karen Haskie; sons, Carl Dedman Jr., Nathaniel Karlsson, and Kyle Karlsson; sisters, Fose Gorman Dedman, Julie Gorman Begaye, Theresa Upshaw, and Bernice Roanhorse; and brothers, David Bryant Jr. and Anslem Gorman. Marie worked for Sage Memorial Hospital, Project Hope and Window Rock Police Department. (Navajo Times, May 24, 2018)

Arizona, Rock Point – Funeral services for Elsie T. Descheny, 84 of Rock Point were held May 25, 2018 at the Navajo Lutheran Mission Church in Rock Point.  Burial followed at family plot in Rock Point.  Elsie passed away May 22, 2018 in Chinle.  Elsie was born July 25, 1933 in Chinle, into the Kinyaa’aanii (Towering House Clan), born for Tabaaha (Water’s Edge Clan). Elsie is survived by her sons, Reeder, Roger, Leroy, Roy Descheny and Ralph Descheny Jr.; daughters, Rita Wilson, Darlene Shepherd, Ophelia Burnside, Matilda Descheny and Lorinda Lee; parents, Kee and Asdzaa Yazzie Tsosie; and brother, Tom Tsosie.  She is preceded in death by her husband, Ralph Descheny Sr. Elsie worked for the Rock Point Community School for 47 years. (Navajo Times, May 24, 2018)

Arizona, Winslow – Funeral services for Terry Clyde, 49 of Dilkon AZ., were held May 25, 2018 at the First Baptist Church in Winslow.  Burial followed in Winslow.  Terry passed away May 18, 2018 in Holbrook, AZ.  Terry was born Sept. 18, 1968 in Winslow. Terry is survived by his mother, Betty Clyde; brother, Darrin Clyde; and sisters, Beverly Nez, Christina Davis, Delphenia Clyde, Carm Johnson, Sylvia Begishe and Natalie Brown.  He is preceded in death by his father, Hoskie Clyde; and brothers, Dalton Clyde, Gabriel Vaughn and Juwayne Nez. Terry was employed as a silversmith. (Navajo Times, May 24, 2018)

Minnesota, Red Lake – A wake and service for Alfred James Benais, 83, of Red Lake was held Apr. 26 and Apr. 27 at the New Little Rock Community Center in Red Lake.  Interment followed in the St. Mary’s Catholic Cemetery.  Alfred passed away Apr. 23, 2018 at the Corner Stone Residence in Kelliher, MN.  Alfred was born July 7, 1934 in Red Lake to Henry and Alice (Johnny) Benais. Alfred is survived by his brothers, Joe Benais and Herman Littlejohn; sisters, Judy and Darlene Littlejohn; numerous nieces and nephews; and other relatives and friends.  He is preceded in death by wife, Roselynn King Benais; parents; brothers, Clarence Leonard Benais, Francis and Ronald Littlejohn; sisters, Verna Redeagle, Mary Jane Cloud and Jenny, Delores, Carol and Doreen Littlejohn and Joyce Littlejohn McArther. Alfred worked for the Red Lake DNR as a trapper he was stationed at the Red Lake Farm. (The Red Lake Nation, May 11, 2018)

Minnesota, Red Lake – A wake and service for Myrna Jean Hardy, 73 of Ponemah was held Apr. 30, 2018 and May 1, 2018 at the Boys and Girls Club in Ponemah.  Myrna passed away Apr. 27, 2018 in Red Lake.  Myrna was born Aug. 10, 1944 in Red Lake to Roy and Elsie (Johnson) Mosher. Myrna is survived by her husband, Clifford C. Hardy; daughter, Celeste (Anthony) Erickson and Shari (Tyrone Schoenborn Sr.) Hardy; son, Robin (Savannah Martin) Hardy; step daughter, Jerry Begs His Own; son-in-law, Roland Wilson Sr.; 12 grandchildren, 4 great-grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews.  He is preceded in death by her parents; step parents, Anthony and Mary Wilson; brothers, Greg Johnson and Roy Mosher Jr.; sister, Karen Bowman; and daughter, Karen Goodteacher.  Myrna did internship in Washington DC and worked for the BIA. After returning to Ponemah she worked within the Bureau of Red Lake and opened a store and worked for AmeriCorps as a director. (The Red Lake Nation, May 11, 2018)

Minnesota, Red Lake – A wake and traditional service for Anthony Allen Wells, 22 was held May 3, 2018 thru May 5, 2018 at the Redby Community Center in Redby, MN.  Interment followed in the St. Mary’s Catholic Cemetery at Red Lake, MN.  Anthony passed away Apr. 28, 2018 in Red Lake, MN.  Anthony was born Apr. 2, 1996 in Red Lake to George Allen Schoenborn and Toni Wells. Anthony is survived by his parents; special dad, Elwin Jourdain Jr.; sisters, Tyra Schoenborn, Keira and KeiAuni Love Johnson; brothers, D’Andre Wells, Gavin Jourdain, Tyrell, Jerrell and Tyrese Schoenborn; grandmas, Doreen Wells and Molly Sigana; aunties, Rose Schoenborn and Brandi Wells; uncles Dan and Chris Wells, Avery, Shaun and Kevin Schoenborn ; friends and cousins, Dan Sayers, Lonny Kingbird Jr. and Dave Johnson; and many other family and friends.  He is preceded in death by his grandpas, George Schoenborn Sr. and Raymond “Burr” Strong; great-grandmas, Carol Wells and Alvina Strong; great-grandpa, Anthony Wells; and several relatives and friends. (The Red Lake Nation, May 11, 2018)

Minnesota, Red Lake – Funeral services for Ronald Lee Smith, 58 were held May 18, 2018 at St. Antipas Episcopal Church in Redby, MN.  Ronald passed away May 15, 2018 at home in Redby.  Ronald was born Aug. 20, 1959 in Red Lake, MN., to John Delbert and Ethel (Garrigan) Smith. Ronald is survived by his wife, Bonnie Smith; sons, Floyd Strong, Ronald Strong, Lee Neadeau, Lucas Hanson, and Dusti Southworth; 11 grandchildren; mother; sisters, Leah Smith and Collette Maxwell; and brother, John Delbert Jr.  He is preceded in death by his father; brother, Rick Smith; grandparents, John and Anna Garrigan and William and Ellen Smith. Ronald attend forestry school and worked as a commercial fisherman and worked for Red Lake Builders as a carpenter. (The Red Lake Nation, May 25. 2018)

Minnesota, Red Lake – A wake and traditional service for Delton Reeves Buckanaga “Gitchi Makwa” The Great Bear, 16 of Red Lake were held May 17, 2018 thru May 19, 2018 at the Red Lake Center.  Burial followed in St. Mary’s Cemetery, Red Lake, MN.  Delton passed away May 12, 2018.  Delton was born Mar. 28, 2002 in Bemidji, MN., to Dennis Buckanaga and Charla Geionety.  Delton is survived by his parents; brothers, John Graves, David St. John, Charles May II; sisters, Leah Bevins, Denise Buchanaga, Laberta Geionety, Chiana Roberts, Amber Bevins, Denessa Buckanaga, Shaliecia Geionety, Dariun Caldwell, Chisa and Cheina Roberts; many nieces, nephews and cousins.  He is preceded in death by his brothers, Timothy Geionety, Dennis Floyd “Makwa” Roberts and his grandparents. (The Red Lake Nation, May 25. 2018)

Minnesota, Red Lake – A Traditional Lakota ceremonies for Walter Dan Hardy III were conducted by Guy Red Owl, Richard Two Dogs, and Richard Broken Nose.  His Minnesota Anishinaabe family kept a spirit fire going for four days followed by a feast.  Funeral services were held May 1, 2018 at St. Katharine’s Episcopal Church of Martin.  Interment of his ashes will be next to his mother in Redby Community Cemetery in Red Lake, MN.  Walter passed away Apr. 19, 2018 in Martin, SD.  Walter was born Nov. 23, 1985 in St. Paul, MN., to Kathleen Renee Smith. Walter is survived by his sisters, Geraldine Hardy and Paula Hare; nieces, Shania Buck, Davie Lynn Hare, Miley Hare; nephews, Lordez, and Joel Hardy and David Hare Jr.; friend, Pete Janis; father, Mark Butterbrodt, MD; aunts, Gerri Howard, Clarice Cloud, Beverly, Vicky, Marilyn, Tracy, Alberta, Patricia and Diane Smith; uncles, Ejay and Herb Smith; aunts, Mary Ann Jackson and Lynn Hublou; uncles, Bob and John Butterbrodt; many cousins, nieces and nephews.  He is preceded in death by his father, Walter Hardy Jr.; mother; grandparents, Herb and Delores Smith; aunts Thelma “Rosie” and Marjorie Smith; uncles, Gary and Clinton “Cootie” Smith; and cousins, Curtis and Roxianna Cloud, and Gary and James Smith.  Walter graduated from Oglala Lakota College. (The Red Lake Nation, May 25. 2018)  

New Mexico, Gallup – Funeral services for Gorman Yazzie, 60, of Asaayi, NM., were held May 10, 2018 at Cope Memorial Chapel in Gallup.  Burial followed at Sunset Memorial Park.  Gorman was born Apr. 30, 1958 in Fort Defiance, into the Tsenjikini (Honey Combed Rock People Clan), born for Tachii’nii (Red Running Into the Water People Clan).  Gorman passed away May 6, 2018 in Gallup. Gorman is survived by his wife, Jolene J. Yazzie; sons, Jeb Gould, Kevin Yazzie, and Todd Yazzie; stepson, Ryan Manygoats; stepdaughters, Rachel Lavea and Tricia Manygoats; brothers, Herman, Hershman and Freeland Yazzie; sisters, LeNora Y. Fulton and Christine Cazares; and 14 grandchildren and one great-grandchild.  He is preceded in death by his parents, Sam and Fannie Barney-Yazzie and Sherman Yazzie; and grandparents, Hataali Anagholi (Laughing Medicineman) and Astaa (Lady) Mose. Gorman earned a four year scholarship to Northern Arizona University and graduated with a  bachelor’s degree in forest management and a master’s degree in forestry.  He was a Helitech certified firefighter and was employed with BIA Fort Apache, Navajo Nation Forestry Dept, Navajo AML, EPA, and Ecosystem Management with NAU, Utah State University and Colorado State. (Navajo Times, May 10, 2018)

New Mexico, Counselor – Funeral services for Jake Pinto, 89, of Counselor were held May 3, 2018 at the Cedar Hill Church in Counselor.  Interment followed in Counselor.  Jake was born Feb. 20, 1929 in Pueblo Pintado, NM., into the Naakai dine’e (Mexican Clan), born for Hashk’aahadzohi (Yucca Fruit-Strung-Out-In-A-Line Clan).  Jake passed away Apr. 23, 2018 in Rio Rancho, NM. Jake is survived by his wife, Bessie S. Pinto; daughters, Joann Manygoats and Jena Pinto; brothers, Charlie Yazzie, Jimmie Y. Pinto, Donald, Johnny and Gary Wood; sisters, Fannie Jim, Francina Ramone, Roberta Sandoval, and Nancy W. Brown; and 16 grandchildren, 40 great-grandchildren, and one great-great-grandchild.  He is preceded in death by his parents, Frank Wood and Emma Pena Pinto; sons, David, Mike and Teddy Pinto; and six great-grandchildren. Jake worked as a pipe worker, DNA representative, Cuba liaison bus driver, railroad worker, rancher, irrigator and local driver education teacher.  He spoke five languages (English, Navajo, Spanish, Pueblo and Apache). (Navajo Times, May 10, 2018)

New Mexico, Gallup – Funeral services for Janett T. Naswood, 77 of Fort Defiance, were held May 18, 2018 at the Cope Memorial Chapel in Gallup.  Burial followed at Sunset Memorial Park in Gallup.  Janett was born Aug. 21, 1940 in White Horse Lake, NM., into the To’ahani (Near the Water Clan), born for Naakai dine’e (Mexican Clan).  Janett passed away May 13, 2018 in Fort Defiance. Janett is survived by her sons, Elmer, Elbert, and Elton Naswood; sisters, Lalie Yazzie, Lucy Sandoval, Helen Sandoval, Esther Tsosie, Angie Tsosie; Charlotte Salt, and Alice Jones; and two grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.  She is preceded in death by her son, Eldon “Ebba” Naswood; parents, Bessie and Charlie Tsosie. Janett attended Kiowa School of Practical Nursing and the University of New Mexico-Gallup School of Nursing.  She was employed with Indian Health Service in Crownpoint and Fort Defiance. (Navajo Times, May 17, 2018)
 
Minnesota, Cass Lake - Harold R. “SkipFinn, 69, of Cass Lake passed away May 17, 2018 at the University of Minnesota Medical Center in Minneapolis.  A memorial meal was held May 21, 2018, at Veterans Memorial Building, Cass Lake, MN.  Skip was born on Oct. 27, 1948, in Cass Lake, MN, to Harold “Haley” and Elverna Finn.  Skip is survived by his wife of 37 years, Teri, daughter Jamie (Gabe) Becker-Finn of Roseville, MN, son Jacob Finn of Las Vegas, NV, beloved grandchildren Koivu and Vida Becker-Finn of Roseville, MN, siblings Jerry Finn, Susie Morris, Pat Finn, Randy Finn, Jewell Finn, Deb Suchon, Mick Finn, best friend Mike Schmid, and many much loved nieces and nephews.  He was preceded in death by his parents and siblings Mike Finn and Holly Finn. Skip was a member of the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe. Cass Lake was always his home. He worked as an attorney and small business owner and was the first Native American to serve as a Minnesota State Senator.  Skip mentored many DFL and Native political candidates throughout the years, including his daughter, State Representative Jamie Becker-Finn. Skip was the first in his family to attend college, at Moorhead State College and the University of Minnesota. He majored in both Sociology and American Indian Studies, and in 1971 was the first student to receive a degree in American Indian Studies at the U. He later received a law degree from the U of M in 1979.

Washington, Tulalip – Interfaith services for Rose Margie Kempf-Harvey, 73, were held May 8, 2018 and funeral services held May 9, 2018 at the Tulalip Gym.  Burial followed at Mission Beach Cemetery.  Rose passed away May 3, 2018 in Everett, WA.  Rose was born June 4, 1944 in Darrington, WA., to Jackson and Jessie Harvey. Rose is survived by her children, Lila Pierce, Donald Kempf Jr., Edward Kempf, Marvin Kempf, and Angie Thurbush; several grandchildren and great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews.  She is preceded in death by her husband, Donald Kempf Sr.; parents; brother, Paul Harvey; Sally Moses, Violet Napoleon, Helen Pierce, Mary Jack, Jasper Harvey, Brandon Kempf, and Violet Pierce. Rose helped the Sauk-Suiattle Tribe get federally recognized and was involved in initiating the ICW Act. (dx lilap syacab, May 12, 2018)

Washington, Tulalip – Interfaith services for James Douglas “JD” Fryberg, 29 were held May 17, 2018 and funeral services held May 18, 2018 at the Tulalip Tribal Gym.  Burial followed at the Mission Beach Cemetery.  James passed away May 11, 2018 in Walla Walla, WA.  James was born Dec. 7, 1988 to Gina Harrison and Dean Fryberg Jr. James is survived by his children, Tarynn and Autumn Fryberg; parents; Theseus Jones and Kathryn Cavendar; siblings, Josh (Danielle) Fryberg, Ashley Harrison, Danika (Aurelia) Hatch-Aguilar, Deanne Fryberg, Rocky (Stephanie) Harrison, Tabatha Fagundes, Trevor (Cierra) Fryberg, David (June) Cavendar, Michael “Dub” Thompson; grandpa,  Dean Fryberg Sr., Richard Madison; great-grandparents, Glen and Lee Parks; special aunt, Deedee Parks; special uncle, Alex Salinas; and numerous nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles, cousins, and special brothers.  He is preceded in death by his sister, Jennifer Fryberg; grandmothers, Charmaine Harrison and Betty Henry; grandfather, Frank Madison Sr.; uncle, Hanford James Sr.; aunties, Marylou Williams and Lois “LouLou” Jones; great-grandparents, Violet “Speedy” Parks and Orville Harrison. (dx lilap syacab, May 19, 2018)

Washington, Tulalip – Bonnie Jean Hynes, 58 of Lynnwood, WA., passed away Apr. 25, 2018.  Bonnie is survived by her mother, Audrey Hynes; sisters, Johanna Van Scoy, Lora Seaward, Debbie Hynes and companion, Ralph McIntosh. (dx lilap syacab, May 26, 2018)

Wisconsin, Appleton - Funeral services for Charlotte A. Kaquatosh, 69, of Shawano was held May 21, 2018 at St. Anthony Catholic Church in Neopit. Burial followed in the church cemetery.  Charlotte passed away May 17, 2018 in Appleton. Charlotte was born on August 28, 1948 in Two Rivers, to Ralph F. and Thelma L. (Stueck) Hoffman.   Charlotte is survived by her husband, Ben; one son, Jon (Teresa) Kaquatosh; grandchildren, Tyler, Austin, JaCee, Avery, Danielle, Cheyanne, Jonny and Julien; brothers, Joseph (Betty), John (Kim), James (Kristin), Jeffrey (Wendy), Jerry (Wendy), Jule (Teresa), Jay (Susan), Jan (Cindy) and Jed (Gina) Hoffman; sisters, Carol (Leon) Goska and Christine (Jim) Frederick; her in-laws, Jeanette (Bob) Orheim and Clara (Tom) Hartman; as well as numerous nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.  She was preceded in death by her parents. Charlotte was a faithful member of St. Anthony Catholic Church in Neopit.  Through the church, she helped teach the Menominee people religion and the Menominee language.
 
Wisconsin, Oneida – Service for Scharlene F. Kasee, “Shady Lady”, 81 followed the Oneida Hymn Singers on May 18, 2018.  Scharlene was born Apr. 19, 1937 to Malphais and Grace Smith.  Scharlene passed away May 13, 2018.  Scharlene is survived by her children, Doug Laster, Richard (Patricia) Buhr, Kelly (Dan) Skenandore, Buddy Laster and Sam (Melissa) Goodman; numerous grand and great grandchildren, nieces and nephews and a special grandchild Shannon Laster; siblings, Betty (John) Dennison, Cecil Smith, Rose Smith, Valerie (Gerald) LaPlante, Malphais (Sue) Smith Jr., Mike Smith, Davis Smith, Verda (Kim) House, Earl Smith, and Selma Smith.  She is preceded in death by her sons, Crete Kasee, and Steven Lee Kasee; and siblings, Judy Adams, Joan Lee Smith, Jerry Smith, Melvin Smith and Terry Smith. Scharlene worked for many years at the Oneida Police Department as a dispatcher and then at the Oneida Casino. (Oneida Kalihwisaks, May 17, 2018)

Wisconsin, Oneida – Funeral service for Richard K. Smith, 76, of Wausaukee followed the Oneida Hymn Singers on May 12, 2018 at the Ryan Funeral Home & Crematory.  Richard passed away May 6, 2018 at home.  Richard was born Sept. 2, 1941 in Tomah WI., to Jeanette (Skenandore) and Ervin Doxtater. Richard is survived by his wife, Gloria Smith; children, Richard (Chris), David and Rhonda Smith; nine grandchildren, 11 great-grandchildren, 1 great-great-grandchild; god child, Richard Jorgenson; and nieces and nephews.  He is preceded in death by his parents; and siblings, Virgil Doxtater, Marian Gonzales and Arnold Doxtater. Richard was an OTR truck driver for 30 years. (Oneida Kalihwisaks, May 17, 2018)

Wisconsin, Oneida – Funeral service for Stacey Brightstar King, 35, of Oneida followed the Oneida Hymn Singers on May 10, 2018 at the Ryan Funeral Home & Crematory.  Burial followed in the Oneida Sacred Burial Grounds included the Big Drum Service.  Stacey passed away May 5, 2018.  Stacey was born June 11, 1982 to Danny King and Patsy White in Green Bay. Stacey is survived by her sons, Abel, Carlos Martinez-King and David Cortez; daughter, Selena Jentz; sibling, Gloria White, Jason King, Joey Webster, Shelly and Danielle King, Lindsey and Kimberly Metoxen, Conrad White and Daniel King Jr., special caretakers, Moon and Michelle Hill, special cousins, Sheila, Sheri, Lynn and Robin; aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends.  (Oneida Kalihwisaks, May 17, 2018)

Wisconsin, Oneida – Private funeral service and interment for Judy Ann Sauer, 74 of Menasha was held at Southern Wisconsin Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Union Grove, WI.  Judy passed away May 3, 2018 in Menasha.  Judy was born Sept. 9, 1943 in Shawano. Judy was married to Byron; mother of Michael (Maribel) and grandmother to Seth. Judy worked at St. Elizabeth Hospital in Appleton. (Oneida Kalihwisaks, May 17, 2018)

Wisconsin, Oneida – Funeral service for Michael S. LaFond, 71, Oneida was held on May 7, 2018 at the Ryan Funeral Home.  Burial followed at the Oneida Sacred Burial Grounds.  Michael passed away May 4, 2018 .  Michael was born Oct. 23, 1946 to M. Lawrence and Winifred “Winny” LaFond.  Micheal is survived by his wife, Victoria; children, Catherine (Gary) Smith, Colleen (Wayne) Griffin, Jessica (Leo) Stenstrom, Joshua Racine, five grandchildren, Chase, Chelsey, Autumn, Oliver, and Winnie; brother, Larry (Cathy) LaFond, and Victoria’s family, Vivian (Pete) Dittel, Veronica Glass, Valerie (Joe) Yazzie, Terry (Tania) Cornelius, Andy (Pala) Cornelius.  He is preceded in death by his parents; siblings, Davis, Robert, and Patricia LaFond; nephew, Mark LaFond; and in-laws, Harrison and Diane Cornelius. (Oneida Kalihwisaks, May 17, 2018)

Wisconsin, West Allis - Funeral services for Roderick Greengrass, age 63 of West Allis, were held Thursday, May 31, 2018 at the Native American Church.  Roderick passed away May 27, 2018.  Roderick, aka “Daga Hollywood” was born September 2, 1954 in Baraboo, WI., to John and Margaret (Lonetree) Greengrass. Roderick is survived by his brothers, Michael, Edward, and Morris and sisters, Denise, Darlene, Susan and Angela. He was preceded in death by his parents, a brother, Craig and sisters, Cynthia and Jeanette. Roderick was an avid activist for Native American rights and the environment. He was also a concert promoter and was involved in the music industry for over 45 years and a member of the American Indian Movement, “AIM” since the 1970’s. He studied cinematography in Los Angeles and a former editor of the Circle newspaper in Minneapolis.  Roderick was well known for his feathered earrings. He also helped build the Native American Church in Wisconsin Dells along side his Father and Brothers.


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Native News Update June 15, 2018

This week's stories:  A treaty rights victory for Tribes in Washington state; Blackfeet water-rights settlement signed; Puyallup Tribe partners with the Seattle Seahawks to give to charities; The U.S. Open honors first Native American golfer, Oscar Bunn; The Yurok Tribe featured in a new California Academy of Sciences exhibit.

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It ain’t easy being Indian… (June 2018)

By Ricey Wild
News From Indian Country

Boozhoo and happy summertime to all! Up here in the Rezberrian tundra spring was skipped completely and we were tossed straight into August! I’m not complaining no, not even at my first mosquito bite of the year.

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The gift of silence

By Arne Vainio, M.D.
News From Indian Country

My wife Ivy and I traveled to Grand Portage for a memorial service for a friend of ours. We had known Ernest for years and he died a few months ago. We had to go to another town first and we didn’t get to our hotel until after midnight.

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Oil, Water, and the Judges

By Winona LaDuke
- News From Indian Country -
 
The Husky Oil Refinery’s catastrophic spill and fire during late April illustrates the problem of oil and water.  With immense gratitude for the firefighters who extinguished the  fire, we are alive. They were able to stop the fire before it spread to the tank of hydrogen fluoride, 200 feet away. That would have been a major catastrophe.

According to the Star Tribune, a “dense cold killing cloud” would have put l80,000 people at risk. We got a break, we all should be grateful. The situation we are in is dangerous, getting more so. The oil/asphalt which gushed and burned was delivered by Enbridge, through their present lines to the Husky Refinery. Enbridge and Husky are both Canadian corporations, who have an immense impact on the future of our region.  The impact on Gichi Gummi, or Lake Superior, and our health of this accident is not clear, nor will it be this year as lingering contamination is unknown.

Neil Carman, a former refinery inspector for the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and now with the Lone Star chapter of the Sierra Club explained, “The unburned chemicals in the smoke are full of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons... they have benzene in them... They are very nasty chemicals. They are human carcinogens. It’s microscopic stuff,’’ Carman said. “Even where the plume looks like it’s dissipating, these little particles are still out there”

Wilma Subra, a chemist and technical adviser for the Louisiana Environmental Action Network, said polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons can remain in soil, on grass, on homes and in water long after it has settled out of the air - sometimes for years after events like fires and train derailments.

“By the time they (EPA) took the air samples, the unburned hydrocarbons were already out of the air. They should be testing the property downwind where the smoke deposited.”

All we know is that we are lucky, and that it’s time to clean up, not make more of a mess.

This aerial image from video provided by KSTP-TV in Minneapolis, shows smoke rising from the Husky Energy oil refinery after an explosion Thursday, April 26, 2018, at the plant in Superior, Wis. Several people were injured in the explosion and thousands evacuated out of the city. Husky uses Enbridge oil pipelines that run through this property to bring Husky excavated oil products to the United States where it is refined at this production facility. KSTP-TV via AP


Minnesota Judge Does Not Recommend Pipeline Route

Essentially, that’s what Administrative Law Judge Anne O’Reilly said in the April 23 decision on the proposed Line 3.   Noting, climate change is increasing; Enbridge’s liability is limited, and the old pipeline would be abandoned, leaving the mess for Minnesota landowners and tribes, the Administrative Law Judge did believe that Enbridge needs a non-leaking pipeline, but did not recommend approving the so called “preferred route” and opening a new corridor.  Instead, the judge ruled that the permit, if granted, should be in the present corridor.  The Judge noted clearly that she could not order sovereign tribes to grant an easement. This is a problem for Enbridge, as a quarter of the line crosses Leech Lake, Red Lake and Fond du Lac reservations, and more crosses treaty territory.  

As Judge O’Reilly notes, “To give Applicant the right to place and, thereafter, maintain Existing Line 3 (and five other pipelines) on the Leech Lake and Fond du Lac Reservations, both Tribes had to voluntarily execute a grant of easement for right-of-way to Applicant. An evaluation of those easement agreements – and the current sentiment among tribes about pipelines running through tribal property – shed light on why Applicant has chosen to pursue a new route for Existing Line 3 outside of the Mainline corridor. It also brings into question whether Applicant will be required to remove Existing Line 3 from the Reservations if the Commission allows the line to be abandoned in-place, as proposed. Moreover, it begs the question of what will happen in 2029 when the existing easements for these six pipelines in the Mainline corridor expire…”

The Leech Lake government has been adamant about the opposition to the routing of the pipeline in the old corridor; and Red Lake has asked the company to remove pipes illegally trespassing on tribal trust land. This leaves Enbridge in a legal and policy conundrum. Enbridge has proceeded with extreme confidence, and placed all corporate eggs in one basket - a new route.

That route, called the “preferred route”, cuts south of Park Rapids, Outing, the White Fish Lake chain, and the heart of Sandy Lake territory. They have done no major assessment of another route. Although the company says that most landowners support the line, the company does not disclose that many easements are granted across the tax forfeiture land in some of the poorest counties in the state.

Spring has finally come. Winter, the longest I can remember in my history, lingered, and lingered.

In Ojibwe traditions, the time of the Wiindigo came, Gaa Biboonike the Winter Maker finally has been sent to rest by Ziigwan, Spring. Climate change related disasters caused the US $l90 billion last year, from the collapse of Puerto Rican infrastructure to the California wildfires. This year we hit 440 PPM Co2, the largest amount of carbon in our atmosphere in history.  

Enbridge’s proposed Line 3 would add 220 million more metric tons of C02 to the environment annually.  As well, it turns out that Enbridge, although the third largest corporation in Canada, is not liable for a catastrophic spill here, whether in Hubbard County or the heart of Wild Rice territory. That’s what Judge O’Reilly found in her 450 plus page decision, recommending against issuing Enbridge a permit for a new route.

Although Enbridge is the third largest corporation in Canada, O’Reilly found that through a series of limited liability subsidiaries, the mother ship is protected from liability for a spill of catastrophic magnitude.  “As explained by Applicant’s own witness, Chris Johnston, neither Enbridge, Inc. nor Applicant’s limited partner, EEP, would be liable for spills or costs of cleanup that could or might result from the Line 3 Project…. as a limited partner, EEP’s financial exposure and risk is limited solely to its capital contribution in Applicant.”  

In short, O’Reilly finds that liability would remain with the people and land of Minnesota, not the big Canadian corporation. That’s a bit of a problem in her mind, and along with the recognition of the ecologically sensitive corridor, the broader issues of energy economics, survival of Anishinaabe people, and deep concerns about “abandonment”, which span many pages of the report.

The Judge did not recommend the new corridor. For Superior Mayor Jim Paine, the catastrophe of an Enbridge Oil explosion at the Husky Refinery was probably enough to jar his city and all of us, frankly into a dose of reality of not only that oil and water do not mix, but that we are in a dangerous time.

Necessity Defense

The dangers of this time were also recognized by the Minnesota Court of Appeals in a landmark case of two women charged with turning the valves at Enbridge’s Clearbrook facility and stopping the flow of oil. On April 23, hours before the ALJ decision, the Minnesota Court of Appeals recognized the unusual “necessity defense” case for the Water Protectors.  

Faced with felony charges, Emily Johnston and Annette Klapstein shut off valves on October 11, 2016 as a part of a national coordinated effort by Climate Direct Action activists who shut down five pipelines carrying tar sands oil from Canada.  Tar Sands oil is considered the dirtiest oil in the world.   

This is a moment in history. State agencies like the Department of Health, Commerce, the Administrative Law Judge, tribal governments and at least 68,000 people have testified against Enbridge’s Line 3 proposal. As Annette Klapstein and Emily Johnston courageously face felony charges for stopping the tar sands pipeline, it is indeed a time of necessary and courageous action.

Water Protectors prepare to camp on the line in the l855 treaty territory. Over half the line is on public lands, where anyone can camp for up to two weeks at a time. Summer is the season of excellent camping in Minnesota, and for many of us “necessary action”.

In the meantime, Summer is here, full of promise after a brutal winter. Let us pray for our Gichi Gummi, Lake Superior and those who live on her shores in Superior. And, let us be grateful for the water and life bestowed upon us.

About that Hydrogen Flouride

According to the Duluth News Tribune, the Husky Refinery is one of about 50 nationally that still uses hydrogen fluoride to process high-octane gasoline. An acid catalyst, hydrogen fluoride is one of several federally regulated toxic chemicals at the refinery, such as propane and butane. The refinery can handle about 78,000 pounds of hydrogen fluoride, according to federal EPA records from 2012.

“It’s a deadly chemical. A lot of things can burn your skin, but this stuff can go through your skin,’’ Carman said. “It’s the worst-case scenario chemical in every refinery that uses it. It’s what sets the parameters for evacuations. It’s basically a kill zone that can go out several miles. ... And the thing is, they don’t have to use it. There are other options, like sulfuric acid, which is not nearly as deadly. It won’t kill you if it’s released like hydrogen fluoride will.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, hydrogen fluoride is a highly dangerous gas, forming corrosive and penetrating hydrofluoric acid upon contact with moisture. On any exposed skin, it immediately converts to hydrofluoric acid, which is corrosive and toxic and requires immediate medical attention upon exposure. Breathing in hydrogen fluoride at high levels, or in combination with skin contact, can cause death from an irregular heartbeat or from fluid buildup in the lungs. The gas can also cause blindness by rapid destruction of the corneas.In high doses, hydrogen fluoride can cause convulsions and death from irregular heartbeat, and when exposed to water it is “one of the strongest acids known.” Nice to think that the Refinery is on the shore of Lake Superior.

An EPA report from 1993 said a vapor release “could pose a significant threat to the public, especially in those instances where hydrogen fluoride is handled at facilities located in densely populated areas.” Twenty-five years later, about a third of American refineries still use the compound. The Center for Public Integrity said refineries using hydrogen fluoride put a combined 16 million people at risk.


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Native News Update June 8, 2018

This week's stories:  Deb Haaland is on track to become the first Native American congresswoman; British museum loans Native American artifacts to tribal museum; REI teams up with the National Forest Foundation to restore national forests; Henry Red Cloud educates tribes on energy independence; Yankees draft Navajo member, Anthony Seigler.

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Native News Update June 1, 2018

This week's stories:  Pilot program to increase homeownership in Indian Country; Mary Annette Member and Mark Trahant receives top honors by NAJA; Tribal history grants awarded to Tribes across the country; The Morongo Band of Mission Indians receives award for excellence in air quality; 2018 Remember the Removal Bike Ride.

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Native News Update May 25, 2018

This week's stories:  Native American Veterans exhibit opens at Mille Lacs Museum; Three new appointees on the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Review Committee; Documentary on legendary drummer, Randy Castillo gets worldwide release; Cherokee Nation partners with Blue Star Museums; Sihasin releases new album.

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