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



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 Opinion    April 18, 2014 

What would God think about the selfie phenomenon? Bible offers clues

I believe the Selfie Generation could be getting a heads-up from God. The basic message might be summed up in four words: “Repent! Try some humility.”...

 Opinion    April 18, 2014 

Cobell Settlement: Who Are the Real Winners?

While the Cobell Settlement, approved on November 24, 2012 by the U.S. Congress, allocated $3.4 billion to the plaintiffs in the landmark Indian case, the disbursement of the money is still in process. Recently the Washington, D.C. Court of Appeals denied the lead plaintiffs’ motion to have the Court reconsider its June 20, 2011 decision, which declined to further diminish the common fund benefitting class plaintiffs by granting the Class...

 Opinion    April 17, 2014

Opinion: Native American students are receiving inferior educations

Although I grew up in Missouri, I knew from a young age I wanted to attend college in Oklahoma to connect with my Cherokee culture....

 Opinion    April 15, 2014

Walk on Water, Walk for Water

Soon, we begin the third of our River Water Walks. The Ohio River Water Walk begins April 22 in Pittsburgh. The Ohio is the most polluted river in the United States. Once it ran pure and clean and at times the water level was so low, our ancestors could walk across it. Now, over 41 dams control the water levels so barges can move up and down the river carrying goods, oil and coal. Recent chemical spills at Elk River, and the Dan River coal ash...

 Opinion    April 2, 2014

'And No Opposition Was Offered to Me'

The title of this column is taken from a letter sent by Christopher Columbus to Ferdinand and Isabella, explaining how he had found “many islands filled with people innumerable, and of them all I have taken possession for their highnesses, by proclamation made and with royal standard unfurled and no opposition was offered to me.” (emphasis added) Read more at

 Opinion    March 31, 2014

The School-to-Prison Pipeline Tragedy on Montana's American Indian Reservations

You can read the full report here, but here’s some of the stand-out information: Only 2.9% of Montana’s white students in grades 7–12 drop out of school, but the dropout rate for American Indian students is 8.8%....

 Opinion    March 28, 2014

It's never too late to tell the truth about America's genocide

Mayor Frank Jager did a courageous thing last week. He apologized for the Wiyot massacre on Indian Island. The letter read in part: “As Mayor of Eureka, on behalf of the City Council and the people of Eureka, we would like to offer a formal apology to the Wiyot people for the actions of our people in 1860. Nothing we say or do can make up for what occurred on that night of infamy. It will forever be a scar on our history. We can, however, with...

 Opinion    March 27, 2014

Around the Campfire: The Disappointing ACT Scores

For years I have tried to find data on Indian students—college preparation, high school completion rates, college entrance rates, college pre-test scores (ACT and SAT), college dropout rates, and college completion rates. I have also tried to find information on the fields that Indian students majored in....

 Opinion    March 26, 2014

The Affordable Care Act ought to be transparent; we need to know what's working

The Affordable Care Act is a grand promise. Basically it’s a complicated insurance mechanism that’s designed to reduce the number of uninsured Americans, including those who rely on the Indian health system....

 Opinion    March 26, 2014

An Agenda Banks on Weed

Everyone, as they say, has an agenda. Everyone—the president, the Congress, and politicos of all stripes—tries to look good, regardless of party. Read more at

 Opinion    March 25, 2014

Pipelines are necessary, safe and beneficial

Crude oil and natural gas development and production in the United States are undergoing a historic transformation. Vast sources of oil and natural gas are being discovered across the continent, particularly in North Dakota and Canada. New technologies and global economics make Bakken formation and oil sands crude viable in ways they were not just a decade ago....

 Opinion    March 19, 2014

Not guilty? Cops might still keep your property

It’s been five years since the Metro Gang Strike Force ignominiously imploded, but lawmakers are sorely mistaken if they believe public trust in the state’s public safety officers has fully recovered from the force’s scandalous abuses....

 Opinion    March 19, 2014

How to fix Mille Lacs: One man's perspective

Editor’s note: In the commentary below, Dick Sternberg of Deephaven offers his insights on current Lake Mille Lacs walleye management. He is a former DNR fisheries biologist who 12 years ago forecast problems for the lake’s walleyes. The Department of Natural Resources and Great Lakes Indian Fish & Wildlife Commission (GLIFWC) have been invited to offer their versions of the Mille Lacs situation to appear in coming weeks....

 Opinion    March 18, 2014

Why the 'Cowboys-and-Indians' photo is not OK

A hard pit started to form in my stomach as I looked at the ‘Cowboys-and-Indians’ photos posted by the University of Regina cheer team: white women (well, they appear white anyways) dressed in short, tan buckskin-like dresses, one of the women with a feather in her hair, another making a ‘whooping motion....

 Opinion    March 17, 2014

For safer schools, antibullying law must be strengthened

One man said he grew up in a large, poor family and was bullied at school because of how he looked. He added that his own children have been teased and harassed for different reasons....

 Opinion    March 17, 2014

Reforming the status quo of K-12 mediocrity

The mediocrity of K-12 education in the United States originates in departments, colleges and schools of education wherein professors do not believe that systematically acquired knowledge of the liberal arts is important. They believe, instead, in so-called “constructivist” approaches that begin with the knowledge base and life experiences of the student as a foundation for seeking information that is relevant to each particular young...

 Opinion    March 17, 2014

The majestic elk here in Minnesota

It was within the Cabinet Mountain range of extreme northwestern Montana near the Idaho border where I saw my first wild elk....

 Opinion    March 17, 2014

The Deadly Trend of American Indian Disenrollment

Four people are dead and two critically injured after a recent shooting spree in the tribal headquarters of the Cedarville Rancheria, a small American Indian tribe in Northern California. It all happened, police say, during a meeting at the Alturas headquarters where tribal leaders were discussing the banishment of Cherie Lash Rhoades—who has been arrested for the violent acts—and her son. Frustrations are boiling over in tribal membership...

 Opinion    March 15, 2014

Eliminate antiquated teacher-tenure provisions

Here’s what can happen when seniority alone drives teacher staffing decisions when layoffs occur: A dynamic teacher of the year, selected by peers, can find herself out of work. Educators who connect well with students because of their new-media skills could be laid off. Classroom leaders who speak languages other than English and are essential for English-language-learning classes might lose their jobs. A school community may have worked to...

 Opinion    March 11, 2014

Expanding access to oral health means changing the law to back tribal sovereignty

The challenge in health care can be boiled down to two ideas: Improve the quality and cut the costs....

 By Joe Nathan    Opinion    March 10, 2014

'Dang, I'm really going to college!'

Taking college-level courses at his high school was “fantastic,” according to Khalique Rogers, a student at Gordon Parks High School in St. Paul. “Our research shows that in just one year, these courses produced more than $13 million in potential savings for students and families,” according to Mary Olson, director of communication and public relations in the Anoka-Hennepin School District. Olson reported that in the 2012-13 school year,...

 Opinion    March 6, 2014

Be Smarter About Education! The Ph.D Crisis in Indian Country

This was to be a weekend of data entry for my income taxes. TurboTax wants to triple what they charge to file Schedules C and D, and I have to either pay up or enter a lot of stuff for myself the first year that any of the programs will do for you in subsequent years. I got interrupted when a big envelope showed up at my door. Read more at

 Opinion    March 4, 2014

Kick Andrew Jackson Off the $20 Bill!

My public high school wasn’t the best, but we did have an amazing history teacher. Mr. Lowes brought our country’s story to life. So when he taught us about the Indian Removal Act and the Trail of Tears, Andrew Jackson’s campaigns to force at least 46,000 Cherokees, Choctaws, Muscogee-Creeks, Chickasaws, and Seminoles off their ancestral lands, my classmates and I were stricken....

 Opinion    March 3, 2014

Editorial board: On reservations, justice still needs work

Justice at a distance may very well be justice denied. That's why it's important to recognize and study the recent work done by the Tribal Law and Order Commission, mandated by federal law to study justice on the reservation and come up with policy suggestions. The commission has spent the last two years working on a report -- a roadmap -- for policymakers about law and order on reservations across the U.S....

 Opinion    March 3, 2014

Is this The Death of Facebook?

At this point I think Facebook has not only lost its appeal as a vehicle for self promotion, its become detrimental. There's a massive amount of copyright law that's broken every single day and this practice is not only condoned but encouraged by FB. FB itself affords you no copyright protection. So people post up beautiful artwork, poems, lyrics, etc. for our enjoyment and to attract business, but all too often they go uncredited and work...

 By Paul Nelson    Opinion    February 28, 2014

Anglers should consider removing fish houses from area lakes

The 2013 Minnesota fishing licenses expire Friday and the 2014 licenses take effect on Saturday. The area immediately around Bemidji wasn’t hit too hard by the latest snowstorm but Upper Red Lake, Lake Winnibigoshish, Leech Lake and most other lakes between Bemidji and Grand Rapids were affected. Upper Red Lake had many anglers trying to fish the last weekend of the gamefish season when the storm hit. Many of the anglers who tried to wait out...

 Opinion    February 28, 2014

House Opens Legislative Session by Proposing $500 million in Tax Cuts and $20 million in Heating Assistance

This past week, I returned to the Capitol in St Paul to start a new legislative session in the House of Representatives. In our first week alone, we approved $20 million in heating assistance and proposed $500 million in tax cuts for families and businesses across Minnesota. The heating assistance, which passed unanimously out of the House, will help supplement the federal heating aid that is expected to run out by March 1 of this year. As I’m...

 Opinion    February 28, 2014

Idle No More: Harper Launches Major First Nations Termination Plan

The following editorial was originally featured in the First Nations Strategic Bulletin (FNSB), June-October 2012. You can view/download this latest edition of the FNSB by clicking the following link: FNSB June-October 2012....

 Opinion    February 26, 2014

An 'honorable' budget? No, but it's headed in the right direction for Indian Country

President Obama’s next budget, due to be released soon, will be good news for Indian Country....

 Opinion    February 25, 2014

Jenni Monet: Bringing some justice to Indian Country with VAWA

Reporting for Al Jazeera America, Jenni Monet discusses tribal jurisdiction provisions in S.47, the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act:...

 Opinion    February 24, 2014

What caused the uptick in Minnesota graduation rates?

Did a larger percentage of Minnesota high school students graduate on time in 2013 because of improved performance in the classroom, or simply because previously required tests were scrapped?...

 Opinion    February 24, 2014

BabyVeronica case discussed at Yale, missing aspects of #HumanTrafficking

I plan to write a longer piece on this discussion but essentially the panel said that the Capobiancos won this case in the media first which paved the way to their winning permanent custody of Veronica Brown in rulings handed down by the Supreme Court and the South Carolina Supreme Court. Despite 17 total amicus briefs, written support by 393 tribes, 600 groups interested in this case including some adoption agencies, and 19 State's Attorney...

 Opinion    February 24, 2014

Freezing to Death in the Land of Greed and Plenty

Debbie Dogskin froze to death in Fort Yates, North Dakota on February 4 while housesitting a trailer for a friend. The propane tank that supplied fuel to heat the residence went dry sometime while she was there and she apparently fell asleep, unable to help herself find warmth within the thin walls of the trailer. Her kindness toward her friend led to her own untimely death and it was felt throughout the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s...

 Opinion    February 24, 2014

Bowlers With Balls and Silverback Politicians

I don't know if Woody Allen did it. I'd like to think the four-eyed filmmaker didn't sexually assault the girl, Dylan, but only he knows the truth, and she does, too – and maybe also the fly that was on the wall that fateful day in 1992. But you can't subpoena flies, or dogs and cats for that matter, which is a cruel twist of fate, because dogs and cats and flies can't lie. It's not in their genetic makeup. They're the epitome of a perfect...

 Opinion    February 21, 2014

Frightening words: Indian Health Service is out of money, will you die waiting?

On a tribal bulletin board these chilling words were recently posted, “Due to budget issues, Contract Health Service will be on Priority One until further notice.”...

 Opinion    February 20, 2014

If Only! 'Columbus Day Cancelled' & 9 Other Long-Overdue Headlines

Considering all of the news Native American people see on a daily basis that is tough to stomach—why not have a bit of fun? We all know those news stories we would like to see happen, so we thought we would take some time to construct a few. Read more at

 Opinion    February 19, 2014

CVS Caremark Pulling Tobacco Products - A Public Health Game-Changer

For the past 30 years, I've fought for lung health with the American Lung Association. Our organization has been a leader in the battle against tobacco, which is the leading cause of preventable illness and death in the U.S. Over the years, this battle has experienced dramatic highs and disappointing lows. CVS Caremark’s recent announcement that they will no longer sell tobacco products at CVS/pharmacy locations represents a great milestone in...

 Opinion    February 19, 2014

New economic hope on Pine Ridge Reservation

When I read the Lakota Country Times I am heartened by the economic progress that oftentimes is hidden in the more alarming media reports of rampant alcoholism and the resulting horrors that the disease brings to the communities there on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation....

 Opinion    February 19, 2014

Education builds foundation for Indian Country

Living in Montana, you’re never too far from Indian Country. But I live closer than most. Right down the road from my farm in Big Sandy is the Rocky Boys Reservation, home to the Chippewa-Cree Tribe....

 Opinion    February 18, 2014

Let tribe legalize pot? Some respond: Why not?

“It is hard to imagine how adding marijuana to a toxic mix of unemployment, poverty, suicide, and alcoholism could possibly be a good thing. The reservations have enough difficulties without adding legalized drugs to the mix.”...

 Opinion    February 17, 2014

St. Paul teachers are asking for too much

St. Paul teachers and public school administrators say they agree on some of the key strategies necessary to help boost student achievement, including smaller class sizes, better ratios of support staff to students and increased access to preschool....

 Opinion    February 17, 2014

Indian-Killer Andrew Jackson Deserves Top Spot on List of Worst U.S. Presidents

Unlike the statement in Indian Country Today Media Network’s “Best Presidents for Indian country” story, it’s a bit easier identifying the “worst” presidents for Indian country. Five tend to stand out with the majority of the rest huddled together after that. Here are our nods to the presidents who did more harm than good for Native Americans while in office. Read more at

 Opinion    February 17, 2014

Winona LaDuke: Dirty coal taints Crow Nation and Lummi Nation

Winona LaDuke discusses a controversial energy deal that could benefit the Crow Tribe of Montana and hurt the Lummi Nation of Washington:...

 Opinion    February 17, 2014

'There is no DNA test to prove you're Native American'

DNA testing is changing how Native Americans think about tribal membership. Yet anthropologist Kim Tallbear warns that genetic tests are a blunt tool. She tells Linda Geddes why tribal identity is not just a matter of blood ties...

 Opinion    February 14, 2014

Rep. Roger Erickson: Letter to the Editor

Letter to the Editor February 13, 2014 - In a couple weeks, the Legislature will return to the Capitol to begin a new legislative session. Since our budget was passed into law last summer, Minnesota has continued to do well. After significant investments in education and job creation, Minnesota’s economy has been steadily improving to the point that a $1 billion budget surplus was forecasted in November. Since then, state revenue has been even...

 Opinion    February 14, 2014

A $4 minimum wage (supplemented, of course) could ease long-term joblessness

The fate of the long-term unemployed is arguably the most immediate challenge facing the United States today. How have our leaders in Washington responded?...

 Opinion    February 13, 2014

Life or Death: Heat Is a Necessity, Not a Luxury

The recent death of Debbie Dogskin, found unresponsive inside her own frozen home on the Standing Rock Sioux reservation, hit hard across Indian Country. Many of us face similar circumstances or have relatives who do. Dependent on murderously expensive propane and living in sub-standard housing makes tribal living an act of survival in harsh winter conditions that see temperatures well below zero. Yet very little seems to be happening at the...

 Opinion    February 12, 2014

Congress, protect the nation's free press

On Tuesday, Reporters Without Borders released its annual World Press Freedom Index. The usual suspects — repressive regimes in Eritrea, North Korea, Turkmenistan and Syria — were named as the worst places for press freedom. Conversely, the usual exemplars — Western European and Scandinavian nations Finland, the Netherlands, Norway and Luxembourg — were beacons....

 Opinion    February 12, 2014

Tribes are large employers ... and those employees make the best customers

So here is something cool: Google three words -- tribes largest employers -- and dozens of entities pop right up. This is our generation’s success story because across the country, in communities large and small, tribal governments and enterprises are writing lots and lots of pay checks. Tribes are big business....


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