News From Indian County 02 01 2016 E Edition Page 1

FEBRUARY 2016 NEWS FROM INDIAN COUNTRY: PAGE 1 Referees call on Navajo hair buns overturned, Page 2 Seminole Fair filled with Film, Music and Pow wows, Page 11 Canada $3/U.S. $2.00 February 2016 - Vol. XXX No. 2 How do we Grieve the Death of a River? By Winona LaDuke News From Indian Country T he past eighteen months saw three of the largest mine tailings pond disasters in history. Although they have occurred far from the northern pristine waters of the Great Lakes, we may want to take heed, as we look at a dozen or more mining projects, on top of what is already there, abandoned or otherwise. These stories, like many, do not make headlines. They are in remote communities, far from the media, and the din of our cars, cans and lifestyle. Aside from public policy questions, mining safety and economic liability concerns, there is an underlying moral issue we face here: the death of a river. As I interviewed Ailton Krenak, this became apparent. The people there call the river Waatuh or Grandfather. We sing to the river, we baptize the children in this river, we eat By Mark Trahant News From Indian Country T he media surrounding the Iowa caucuses reduces the story to one basic theme: Whos winning and what does that win (or loss) mean for the New Hampshire primary? Lost in that coverage is a thoughtful discussion about issues and policies. So we get political promises that might fit better in cartoons than in governing papers. My ideal? Presidential campaigns would focus on policy, not the politicians, and the first votes would be cast in states like Arizona, New Mexico, or even Montana, where issues that impact First Americans would get a full airing by all the campaigns. Indeed, we know so many reasons why Iowa should not vote first. The state is 92 percent white, the caucus system favors rural voters and the population of American Indians is roughly one-half of one percent. But thats not the whole story. There are 1,400 enrolled members of the Sac and Fox Tribe of the Mississippi in Iowa/Meskwaki Nation located in central Iowa. And in Tama County, the population News From Indian Country 8558N County Road K Hayward, WI 54843-5800 Trahant Reports: Iowa is 92 percent white; states Indian population is 0.5 percent, but thats not the whole story Members of the Meskwaki Settlement attend the Demcratic Caucus during early February. There are several key states where the American Indian population can tip a party or political candidate into the winners column, and tribes are learning how to flex their impact in the U.S and Canada. Sanders Caucus Campaign Photo of American Indians exceeds 6 percent of the population. Democrats held their precinct caucus at the Meskwaki Tribal Center. (The Republican caucus was at the Tama Civic Center.) There are even hot issues that ought See Iowa is 92 percent white, Page 5 Treaty tensions running deep in Minnesota By DAN KRAKER Minnesota Public Radio News GRAND PORTAGE, Minn. (AP) C urtis Gagnon still holds the summons from 1984, a small piece of paper ordering him to court for shooting a moose off reservation land a mistake, he said, that triggered four years of living hell. Hed shot the animal but it ran. He followed its bloody trail for miles but never found it. That night, Gagnon told the Grand Portage bands game warden where hed shot the moose. He said, Curt, you werent on the reservation. I said, What? No! Gagnon knew hunting off reservation land, outside the states sanctioned hunting seasons, was illegal. He also knew that when his ancestors sold the federal fovernment 5 million acres of whats now northeast Minnesota, the 1854 treaty included language stipulating that Ojibwe people would have the right to hunt and ish on that land. He decided to force the question. It has to be taken to court. It has to be made public, he recalled. The word has to get out that were going to stand up for our rights. Gagnons stand decades ago echoes whats happening today in Minnesota, Our people blocked the road. When the troops arrive, we will face them. " Ailton Krenak, Krenaki People, Brazil See How do we Grieve, Page 6 according to Minnesota Public Radio News ( ). Four Ojibwe protesters were charged in January for illegally harvesting wild rice and netting ish. On February 1st, they appeared in Crow Wing County District Court. Like Gagnon, the protesters wanted to be arrested to force a judge to rule definitively if an 1855 treaty gives Native Americans here the right to hunt and fish outside state law. Gagnons story, though, also shows that getting a final answer won't be easy. He sued the state, and was eventually joined by his band, the Grand Portage Conservation officer Tim Collette, center, approaches a group of Chippewa tribal members along the shore of Gull Lake, Aug. 28, 2015 in Nisswa, Minn. Conservation officers issued citations to tribal members who attempted to net fish on Gull Lake in Nisswa, the second day of efforts by activists to assert rights they say they hold under an 1855 treaty. Brian Peterson/Star Tribune via AP See Treaty Tensions run strong, Page 4

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