Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)



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 Opinion    December 2, 2016

Carrier deal: Good news for workers, good politics, but not sound economics

Once, on a visit to the French countryside, I visited the most beautiful, picturesque little country farm I’d ever seen. The farm produced an organic yogurt for the market and, ever the annoying economist, I asked my host how this boutique operation could compete with factory farms. “We couldn’t possibly do so,” he told me. The farm never came close to profitability and survived only because of deep subsidies. This revelation led to the inevitable compare-and-contrast discussion between the proud French farmer and the...

 Opinion    November 30, 2016

Women Are the Backbone of the Standing Rock Movement

I was sitting in a coffee shop in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, the night it hit me: I had to go to Standing Rock to document all sides of the ongoing Dakota Access Pipeline fight. This has happened before, a film choosing me, rather than me choosing it. Also familiar was what happened just four days later when I arrived at Standing Rock and realized that the story I had set out to investigate wasn’t the one that needed to be told. The first person I contacted was Pearl Daniel-Means, whose Lakota name is Iyoyanbya Izanzan Win, or “Bright...

 Opinion    November 30, 2016

The election really was rigged

A voting scandal of epic proportion tilted this election. The scam involved millions of people. No, I’m not talking about the recount the Clinton campaign joined in Wisconsin and may seek in Michigan and Pennsylvania. Hillary Clinton and her aides were correct before, when they said voting fraud is rare. The recounts won’t change the election’s outcome. And after rightly criticizing Donald Trump for saying he might not honor the election results, Clinton and her aides, who admit they have no evidence of skullduggery, risk looking...

 Opinion    November 29, 2016

Trump on Twitter: More baseless claims by president-elect

Whether it’s petulance or a cunning attempt to spur voter suppression, Donald Trump’s irresponsible, unfounded claim that he would have won the popular vote but for the millions of “illegal” votes cast is a new low in a presidency that has not even formally begun. Trump has yet to name most of his Cabinet members. He has but eight weeks to assemble a new administration, prepare for his first congressional session and get ready to deliver the State of the Union address. Yet here he is, still obsessing about the outcome of an election...

 Opinion    November 28, 2016

Trump dumped his stock in the Dakota Access pipeline owner over the summer

President-elect Donald Trump sold off his shares of Energy Transfer Partners, the owner of the $3.7 billion Dakota Access pipeline that has become the focus of protests by Native American and environmental groups, according to his spokeswoman Hope Hicks. Trump’s share, which in a May 2015 disclosure was listed at between $500,000 and $1 million, had fallen to less than $50,000 by the time he sold it in the summer of 2016, according to a disclosure earlier this year. The sale would eliminate one possible conflict of interest for Trump, who...

 Opinion    November 21, 2016

After the election, make up: Smooth transition is the goal, but it's a two-way street

In 2004, I was dispatched to Florida’s Gulf Coast to help organize initial recovery operations in the wake of Hurricane Ivan. One of the crews assigned to me was filled by firefighters from Mississippi and Texas, and they cast a wary eye on their Yankee supervisor. From past experience, I expected the Civil War would come up. Sure enough, on our first lunch break, one of them casually mentioned “the War between the States.” I said, “Hold on, don’t you mean the War of Northern Aggression?” A burst of congenial laughter all around,...

 Opinion    November 21, 2016

Young tribal citizens barred from holding office

For the last few election cycles I have worked with a team of writers to select the candidates that the we felt were appropriate to endorse on behalf of the paper. During the Democratic primary I endorsed Bernie Sanders, but when he failed to win the nomination, I opted to sit back and observe. What has intrigued me the most about this year's election is the way so many people from my generation have openly employed the use of social media to impact the Oglala Sioux Tribal elections. Our generation was the first to grasp the power of social...

 Opinion    November 18, 2016

The Long Road Ahead: What Children Need From Us After the Election of Donald Trump

I woke the morning after the election with a sense of clarity, calm, and fierce love. My student Xiomara, who is Mexican-American, came up to me as soon as she entered my classroom, choking back tears. She asked, “Does this mean we have to put all the stuff in our house into bags?” I asked what she meant, and she started to cry. Through tears, she explained: “When my mom and I have to move back to Mexico.” She is 7 years old. For many of my Latino students, the world they woke to that morning was a terrifying place. It was a world...

 Opinion    November 18, 2016

Don't Join the Disenrollment Club

“I don’t want to belong to any club that would have me as a member.” – Groucho Marx In 2011, Cedric Sunray wrote a column here simply titled, “Disenrollment Clubs.” He opened with a quote about the Cherokee Freedmen, from Cherokee Nation Tribal Councilwoman Cara Cowan Watts: “This is not a club; you can’t just claim to be Cherokee and show up and be included.” Sunray then deconstructed her position, observing “disenrollments are not the work of the community at large, but rather those who control the power structures within...

 Opinion    November 15, 2016

Clinton failed to grasp discontent in the Heartland

If you’re still trying to make sense of the political earthquake of 2016 and happen to be reading this in Minnesota, just look east to a key Hillary Clinton firewall that crumbled on election night. It’s now clear that Clinton made a major strategic mistake by taking Wisconsin and its 10 electoral votes for granted, last deigning to visit the state in April. Despite its purple hue, the strategy seemed a safe bet: President Obama easily won Wisconsin twice, by nearly 14 points in 2008 and by just under 7 in 2012. As Election Day approached,...

 Opinion    November 15, 2016

Native voters failed to make a big difference in 2016

This election Indian Country was like America. Perhaps only more so. Most American Indian and Alaska Natives voted for Hillary Clinton. But that support was mild. There were not enough votes to make a difference in red states like Montana, South Dakota and North Dakota. Just enough votes to stay the course in blue states like New Mexico, Washington or Oregon. And, most important, not nearly enough votes in the swing states. Hillary Clinton earned the most votes, 60, 839,922, to Donald J. Trump’s 60,265,858. But that, of course, is not the...

 Opinion    November 14, 2016

Snyder: Make School Safe Again - Why We Must Speak Out Against Surge in Election-Related Bullying

We knew America was divided by this election. We knew campaign tensions had carried over to America’s classrooms. (Just last week, we canvassed schools across Los Angeles that reported spikes in bullying — harassment that echoed the words and themes of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign.) But we had no idea just how bad things would get for minority students. Or how quickly. Yesterday, reporters at The 74 started seeing scattered reports of school bullying, intimidation and violence. We decided today to begin compiling accounts from...

 Opinion    November 11, 2016

I cannot unite behind a man who has bullied us

A former teacher of mine, Steve Cwodzinski, was just elected to the Minnesota Senate. It was he who taught me the value of the power of the people. As a senior at St. Olaf College in Northfield, I voted in my first presidential election this year and I am afraid that it is the truth that Obama, victory and progress are basically all I’ve known in my adolescence. Whereas in reality, “We all lose some times.” So I am torn by the call to unify from President Obama and others. I am torn because I feel my Democratic brothers and sisters have...

 Opinion    November 11, 2016

Editorial: American Indian Tribes need to embrace the Trump Presidency

Tribes across the Nation endorsed Hillary Clinton for President, including the Navajo Nation but now Donald Trump will become the next President of the United States. How will President Trump Treat Tribes? We don’t know yet, but tribal governments are scared and uncertain of how the Trump administration will work with them.

 Opinion    November 11, 2016

Moya-Smith: Small Hands On Deck. Donald Will Be 'The Donald' As POTUS

Hope is a beautiful thing – but this is no time for idle hope. This is no time for simply hoping Donald Trump will suddenly become moderate and responsible and sober and less vicious when he slithers onto the American throne this winter. Don’t be fooled, folks. Trump doesn’t only believe he WON on Tuesday, bullwhipping the Democratic party and Hillary Clinton into whimpering hippies, he also believes he BOUGHT the presidency. He dumped millions of his own thuggish cash into his sleazy campaign. Eo ipso, he doesn’t’ see this as just a...

 Opinion    November 11, 2016

Being Indigenous After the Trump Apocalypse

Also Sprach Zarathustra published in four parts between 1883 and 1891 and in that tome Friedrich Nietzsche brought the news that “God is dead!” It was during that publication when the shooting part of the Indian wars spewed leaden death from the Hotchkiss guns at Wounded Knee Creek and declared victory. Few Indians read German philosophy at the time but they did not need Nietzsche to tell them their medicine had lost efficacy. The settlers were innocent of God’s demise as well and it remained for a man named Hitler to mainstream the...

 Opinion    November 7, 2016

Obama & Clinton Push 'Stronger Together'-Unless You're Native American

murder, and assault of white people is always a breaking news story and cover of the New York Times, but when Native Americans are the victims––well, that’s just not that sexy of a story for our media. My answer: go down to Cannonball, North Dakota for a few days ASAP. You’ll come away forever changed.

 Opinion    November 7, 2016

I Am Not Alone in the Wilderness of Native Trump Supporters

It’s a lonely world out there, standing on my soapbox in Indian Country stumping for Trump. I was beginning to think I was living on another planet. But since my last column was published, other Martians have stepped forward. And I feel one with the universe again. With just days until the most important election of our lifetime, it’s important that we all speak out on the issues that matter most to us and our families—civilly, without judgment and ridicule. Read more at

 Opinion    November 2, 2016

Not Raising Hell in Standing Rock: "We're Here to Stop a Pipeline"

As my buddy Rob reminds me: there’s a point to everything that’s been going on in Standing Rock. It’s important to not lose sight of that. See, this whole campaign in Standing Rock has produced some powerful and infuriating visuals and storylines. In real time, Facebook Live and Democracy Now and Unicorn Riot and every once in a while mainstream media has captured the disrespect and state violence that Native people have faced for centuries. Mainstream media has largely sucked—CNN has been especially bad, probably worse than even...

 Opinion    November 2, 2016

Colin Kaepernick Takes a Knee

This election cycle has been a shameful joke that has exposed how America has slid backwards to the "goot ole daze." San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick takes a knee during the national anthem when others stand; I don’t find that disrespectful. Yet he took it in the groin for his peaceful acknowledgment that some things about America are just not true. He is not proposing anything violent. He is just an American citizen employing his right to free speech, even it is in the work place in front of millions. Couple weeks ago I was...

 Opinion    November 2, 2016

Clara Caufield: Tribes are putting more of our people behind bars

It’s great to be back home on the Northern Cheyenne Reservation after a seasonal break. And, to my great surprise, once again working for the Northern Cheyenne Tribe as the Acting Transit Manager, an unexpected development, but helpful for “rez” survival. Depending on how the tribal elections turn out, this could be either a very short or long term gig. Such is the nature of tribal employment. But, the job is a keen reminder of the critical need for transportation on reservations such as Northern Cheyenne. So many need rides for basic...

 Opinion    November 1, 2016

Why your one day as a 'sexy Indian maiden' is dehumanizing

Sitting down at a sports bar on Saturday, I watched as the Florida State Seminole’s mascot galloped to centre field with a flaming spear in full regalia. Then the camera cut to a Clemson Tigers football player mock shooting an arrow with a bow, a sellout crowd performs the tomahawk chop, and my phone buzzes with notifications from racist and sexist online trolls. That moment of disdain was just the latest of a Halloween weekend filled campaigning against offensive “Pocahottie“ and “Indian Warrior” costumes. This year, the Kahnawake...

 Opinion    October 31, 2016

Editorial Board endorsement: Minneapolis voters should approve school levy renewal

Minneapolis residents ought to follow the advice of the Vote Yes signs that have sprouted on lots and lawns across Mill City. Voters should approve the excess levy renewal on the Nov. 8 ballot — just as they overwhelmingly approved the original levy request eight years ago. If passed, the renewal would take effect next year and retain $74 million annually for the city’s public schools. And that amount, plus inflation, would be collected for schools every year until 2024. The original levy was passed in 2008 with just over 71 percent of the...

 Opinion    October 28, 2016

Editorial Board endorsement: Minneapolis voters should approve school levy renewal

Minneapolis residents ought to follow the advice of the Vote Yes signs that have sprouted on lots and lawns across Mill City. Voters should approve the excess levy renewal on the Nov. 8 ballot — just as they overwhelmingly approved the original levy request eight years ago. If passed, the renewal would take effect next year and retain $74 million annually for the city’s public schools. And that amount, plus inflation, would be collected for schools every year until 2024. The original levy was passed in 2008 with just over 71 percent of the...

 Opinion    October 27, 2016

Higher education in Minnesota has become a bottomless money pit

The Oct. 12 editorial, “Be wary of promises to freeze tuition,” stated that “the DFL-controlled 2013 Legislature vowed to reverse that [funding cut] trend when it added $230 million to higher education appropriations for the ensuing two years.” The editorial failed to mention that the Legislature also ordered Minnesota State to freeze tuition (and asked the constitutionally autonomous Board of Regents at the University of Minnesota to do the same) and that the freeze was paid for with new recurring funding to the base budget. Now, a...


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