Catch-and-Release for Mille Lacs Anglers: The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources announced on March 19 that catch-and-release only regulations will again be in effect when the Mille Lacs walleye season opens May 12. The lake’s spawning walleye population has improved from last year, the DNR said, so no mid-season closures are planned. The night closure for the 2018 walleye fishing season will be in effect on Mille Lacs from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. beginning Monday, May 14. The night walleye closure remains in effect throughout the entire open-water season, which ends Nov. 30. Source: news.dnr.state.mn.us.
Commissioner Named to Downtown Alliance: Commissioner of Corporate Affairs Joe Nayquonabe was named to the St. Paul Downtown Alliance, a nonprofit board announced last month by new St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter and Chris Hilger, CEO of Securian Financial Group. The board will be dedicated to advocating for the interests of downtown businesses, residents, nonprofits, and government agencies. The Mille Lacs Band owns two hotels in downtown St. Paul. Source: twincities.com.
Drug Court Approved at White Earth: After more than a year of planning, the Minnesota Judicial Branch has approved a new drug court on the White Earth Indian Reservation. The White Earth Tribal and Mahnomen County Healing to Wellness Drug Court will work with prosecutors, public defenders, and social workers to keep felony offenders from the drugs that got them in trouble to begin with. Source: mprnews.org.
American Indian Teens Visit Vatican to Protest Papal Decrees: Teacher Mitch Walking Elk from Guadalupe Alternative Programs in St. Paul is bringing a group of Native students to the Vatican to petition the Pope to rescind historic papal decrees that justified the domination of native peoples. The decrees formed the basis for the Doctrine of Discovery, which said the people and wealth of non-Christians lands belonged to those who ‘discovered’ them. Student Nina Berglund said, “We live with historical trauma; it’s in our DNA. It’s from the taking of our land, the killing of our people. Every day we see it in suicides, drug and alcohol addiction, poverty... We’re still trying to deal with it.” Source: startribune.com.
Ganawenjigeng miinawaa Naadamaageng — Ojibwe Language Added to Bemidji Cop Cars: All Bemidji police cars now sport Ojibwe-language decals, part of the department's efforts to build community trust. The new decals read "To Protect and Serve," along with the Ojibwe translation: "Ganawenjigeng miinawaa Naadamaageng." The department joins more than 180 sites in the Bemidji area that have signage in English and Ojibwe. The Bemidji Police Department added the decals with the help of the Bemidji Ojibwe Language Project, according to a news release. The project started in 2005 and encouraged local businesses to display the bilingual signs. Source: bemidjipioneer.com.
PUC Approves Line 3 Environmental Review: The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC) on March 15 approved the environmental review for the proposed Enbridge Energy Line 3 replacement oil pipeline across northern Minnesota. The decision was expected because the commission asked for relatively minor changes at its December meeting. A state administrative law judge will make a decision in April on the social need for the pipeline and the best route. The PUC is expected to weigh the judge’s decision before taking its final vote in June on the need and route. Source: duluthnewstribune.com.
Red Lake Votes to Remove Pipelines: The Red Lake Tribal Council voted Tuesday, March 13, to remove Enbridge-owned oil pipelines from its land. The unanimous vote came two months after the council agreed to rescind a resolution accepting a land swap agreement with the Canadian energy company. The pipelines are located on a parcel of land northwest of Bemidji and were installed sometime before the 1980s, when the reservation realized it owned the land. Enbridge Energy now owns the pipelines, but not the land. In 2015, the council agreed to accept a payment of $18.5 million to keep the pipelines in place, but in response to claims that the decision was unconstitutional, the council voted to remove the pipelines entirely. Source: wday.com.
Indian Country Today is Back in Business: The National Congress of American Indians announced last month that Indian Country Today will be fully back in business soon under new leadership. The ownership of the digital platform was transferred from the Oneida Indian Nation in New York to the National Congress of American Indians in Washington, D.C. Indian Country Today has been on a hiatus since September. Heading up the Indian Country Today editorial team is Mark Trahant (Shoshone-Bannock) as Indian Country Today Editor and Vincent Schilling (Akwesasne Mohawk) as Associate Editor. The digital publication will continue “publishing lightly” until this spring when there will be a buildup of its operation, a shift to a new web platform, and an increased staff. Source: indiancountrymedianetwork.com.
Ojibwe Student Translates Children’s Book: Skyler Kuczaboski, a freshman at Dartmouth College from St. Paul, has created a children’s book in the Ojibwe language. It came about through a course called Language Revitalization, offered by Dartmouth’s Linguistics and Native American Studies programs. Skyler, who is Ojibwe, attended the American Indian Magnet School at Harding High School. Her professor, linguist Hilaria Cruz, allowed her to translate a book into Ojibwe for her final grade. Visit YouTube.com and type Agindaasodaa! in the search field for a video of Skyler reading the book. Source: startribune.com.
Northern Counties, Indians Face Higher Health Risks: The 2018 County Health Rankings report released last month by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation found that the healthiest counties in Minnesota tend to be in the southern part of the state and its least healthy ones in the northern part. The report also states that the premature death rate for American Indians is more than three times higher than the rate for whites, Hispanics, and people with an Asian/Pacific Islander background. Source: minnpost.com.