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



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 Opinion    June 22, 2016

Slow down to appreciate every minute of your life

A friend from Chicago was telling me about how he watched a coyote carrying her pup across the freeway and thought she was safe when she was only in between the two freeways so she kept going. A car hit her and it caused a pile up. He said “Something must be wrong with me, I was more worried about her than the human aspect, but humans are in such a hurry.” He then went on to tell me how fast people drive there. People drive too fast everywhere, they don’t appreciate their surroundings, the drive, the world going by. They want to get from...

 Opinion    June 21, 2016

Republican 'Reform' Without Money Won't Help Indian Health, Sioux Editor Says

PIERRE, S.D. (CN) — Republican senators from South Dakota and Wyoming say their Indian Health Service Accountability Act will help cure the nation's ailing Indian Health Service, but a Sioux newspaper editor says it won't work without money. Senators John Thune, of South Dakota, and John Barrasso, of Wyoming, say Senate Bill 2953, the Indian Health Service Accountability Act of 2016, will "promote patient-centered care and accountability at the Indian Health Service." The bill would require consultation with tribes before key staff members,...

 Opinion    June 17, 2016

Congratulating our graduates on a major milestone

We were at the graduation ceremony for the Harbor City International School in Duluth, Minnesota and the keynote speaker was Gaelynn Lea Tressler. She is the winner of the 2016 NPR Tiny Desk Concert series and she knows about and exemplifies overcoming hardships and truly appreciating the things we take for granted. She is beautiful and eloquent and she speaks from a position only she can speak from and she sings and she plays her violin from somewhere deep in her soul. She talked to the graduating high school seniors and she talked to our son...

 Opinion    June 13, 2016

Attawapiskat, a place where even the chief is homeless

OTTAWA — It was the six-week “hunger strike” by former Attawapiskat chief Theresa Spence in 2012 which, while more publicity stunt than self-deprivation, put her reserve on the map of the Canadian psyche. Before that it was largely out of sight and out of mind. But it has almost always been a hellhole of a place — an isolated Cree reserve on the shores of James Bay, virtually inaccessible, its traditional way of life eroded, its infrastructure beyond crumbling, its so-called housing deplorable, its hunting grounds depleted, and its...

 Opinion    June 6, 2016

If Native Americans aren't offended by the word Redskins, why should we?

Many consider “Redskin” a racial slur against Native Americans. But if Native Americans are not offended by the word, do others still have the right to be offended for them? A recent poll by the Washington Post may have taken the air out of the national fight to remove the mascot “Redskins” from teams at high schools, colleges and, most famously, in the NFL.

 By Blair E. Lybbert    Opinion    June 3, 2016

Why 10th Grade Should Be the New Senior Year

In 1983, "A Nation at Risk" focused political decisionmakers on the necessity of reframing public education into an accountability model designed to provide minimum standards of achievement. By 2001, the No Child Left Behind Act ensured that all states receiving federal funds would meet requirements for standardized testing, teacher qualifications, and funding priorities. Most recently, President Barack Obama signed the Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015 to continue accountability efforts while empowering states with greater flexibility. And wh...

 Opinion    June 3, 2016

Many Indians die too young

This issue of Native Sun News will be printed on or near Memorial Day. That is a day of mixed emotion for many Native people. On one hand, we are proud to honor the Veterans who have sacrificed for country, Tribe and family. Across the land, tribal communities will hold celebrations in honor of our fallen warriors and those who succumbed to natural causes after valiant military service. On this occasion, it is good to once again acknowledge that Native Americans have the highest military enlistment rate of any ethic group in America. This...

 Opinion    June 2, 2016

Democracy in Indian Country: Yeah, Right!

The election season in northern Minnesota Indigenous territories was especially contentious this year. Primary election results were contested in all six Minnesota Chippewa Tribe territories. Everyone who contested lost. In the Leech Lake territory the contest went as far as the Tribal Appeals Court. At issue were key questions regarding the conduct of candidates and the use of unauthorized voting practices. Some candidates were engaged in vote buying, electioneering, voter intimidation and illegal use of absentee ballots. A completely...

 By Earl Holdridge    Opinion    June 1, 2016

School climate: Students are stuck in a dysfunctional system

I applaud the students who wrote the May 27 commentary "Student voices are to be heard, not ignored." Their main point: "School climate isn't about fights and suspensions, but about creating an environment within our schools where everyone can thrive." As a teacher-counselor, I'd like to reinforce their thoughts with my observations and experience. Perhaps it will shed some light on giving hope for the kind of school the writers seek. First, I'd like to say in no way are administrators, school...

 Opinion    June 1, 2016

Trump's Last Stand

On Thursday, Donald Trump, flanked by enthusiastic brown noser Congressman Kevin Cramer (R-ND), who pushed for legislation that makes it more difficult for Natives to vote and threatened to “wring Tribal council’s necks” while making Native women cry at a state gathering on domestic violence a few years ago, appeared in Bismarck, North Dakota. During a press conference, he couldn’t resist tearing into Senator Elizabeth Warren, once again referring to her as “Pocahontas.” Read more at http://indiancountrytodaymedi...

 Opinion    June 1, 2016

Trump and Warren are Racists and I Won't Defend Either

Trump’s a racist. He’s also an idiot. He has a limited vocabulary that boils down to “great,” “very best,” “I,” and “loser.” His troll-like attacks on Elizabeth Warren are reductive, reducing Natives down to romantic imagery, and chiming back the colonialist tale of “Pocahontas,” a Native girl white people fetishized to promote their idea of “The Good Native.” We all know the real story; Pocahontas was a victim of child sexual exploitation and died away from her people, “converted” on a boat, amidst a genocide...

 Opinion    June 1, 2016

A Live Study On Medical Marijuana

In Canada, medical marijuana is to be fully legalised in 2017. Marijuana was given to us by Mother Earth for a reason, yet for many years we let it slip through our fingers. Many decades later we finally have a hold on the substance and in just one step we could have the answer. Many years I have been placed on man-made prescription drugs, due to having Temporal Lobe Epilepsy. My body has never agreed with man-made prescription drugs, it never once stopped the epileptic seizures and instead I just got horrible side effects. Read more at...

 Opinion    June 1, 2016

Northern Cheyenne Tribe shows love for 'commod' cheese

As promised in an earlier column, I now will mostly pen about things other than tribal politics. A really ‘goot’ topic this week, was suggested by my Cheyenne partner. As he is modest, wanting to stay in the background, his real name cannot be revealed. “Don’t print my name,” he insists. (Jokes, most Cheyenne readers already know who he is). This little story revolves around commodity cheese, the “gold standard”, which we call “best of the world cheese” in high demand by creative Cheyenne chefs. It is easily obtained by the...

 Opinion    May 31, 2016

ystem: Wrongly imprisoned, but finally compensated

In 2006 and 2007, each of us faced the worst day of our lives. We stood convicted of horrible crimes that we did not commit. In fact, no crimes had occurred at all, yet juries found us guilty in three separate, unrelated trials. The pain in our hearts was more than anyone should have to bear as judges sentenced us each to lengthy prison terms that we would serve, separated from our partners, children, parents and loved ones.

 Opinion    May 27, 2016

'Dreamland: The True Tale of America's Opiate Epidemic' is Incredibly Relevant to Native Communities

Pain pills and heroin addiction are sweeping through many Native communities. According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health the percentage of Native Americans reporting current use of prescription drugs for nonmedical purposes is higher than that for any other racial group. Where did it come from? How did this happen? White people do those drugs, right? Glad you asked. Read more at

 Opinion    May 27, 2016

Stop buying alcohol and White Clay beer sales will also stop

After all the debate either for or against the possible legalization of alcohol on the homeland, it’s over. Perhaps this “mood altering chemical” will be legalized in the future, but for now it’s over. For the moment we are status quo, nothing changed. Alcohol will be purchased in places like White Clay, “bootlegged” on the “rez,” and consumed in excess. Yes, many will continue to drink this illegal substance to excess until their bodies cannot take it anymore and they will die prematurely. A normal death is not considered a...

 Opinion    May 26, 2016

Sen. John McCoy: I Oppose Disenrollment

I oppose disenrollment. I oppose disenrollment because our heritage is our heritage. Our lineage is our lineage. Our heritage and lineage define us as Indians—not residence, blood quantum, or other failed federal Indian assimilation practice. I oppose disenrollment because it undermines an Indian’s—and in fact all of our—heritage and lineage. We as tribal governments should establish our citizenship by relying on Indian heritage and lineage. There are reliable modern tools to establish that criteria, like DNA testing. I appreciate that...

 Opinion    May 26, 2016

Lakota people come together in times of need

For the last two weeks our entire community has been engulfed in worry as we were forced to contemplate what may or may not have happened to the three men who went missing since Saturday, May 7, 2016. As most of us have learned, their bodies were found inside of a vehicle that preliminary reports are saying drove off a 50-ft cliff that sits next to the White River located southwest of Oglala and northwest of Pine Ridge. There are still many questions to be asked and Lakota Country Times made the decision on the night of the incident to wait...

 By Congressman Collin Peterson    Opinion    May 25, 2016

Peterson Op-Ed: Observing Memorial Day

This year we will mark the 147th observance of Memorial Day. While many spend the long weekend enjoying the first days of summer with friends and family, we should not lose sight of the meaning behind this federal holiday. I hope you will take a moment to reflect on this Memorial Day. Government leaders first established “Declaration Day” following the Civil War as an opportunity for the nation to honor the graves of fallen Union and Confederate soldiers. The holiday has since extended to pay respect to all Americans who died serving in...

 Opinion    May 23, 2016

Trump's casual racism toward Native Americans

(CNN) - By now, I expect Donald Trump, who wants to be our president, to voice whatever acerbic thought he has. He has used adjectives such as "bimbo" and "fat pig" to describe women. So who could be surprised that he began attacking Elizabeth Warren, the Democratic senator from Massachusetts, by calling her "the Indian" and "Pocahontas."

 Opinion    May 23, 2016

It's time to acknowledge the genocide of California's Indians

Between 1846 and 1870, California’s Indian population plunged from perhaps 150,000 to 30,000. Diseases, dislocation and starvation caused many of these deaths, but the near-annihilation of the California Indians was not the unavoidable result of two civilizations coming into contact for the first time. It was genocide, sanctioned and facilitated by California officials. Neither the U.S. government nor the state of California has acknowledged that the California Indian catastrophe fits the two-part legal definition of genocide set forth by...

 Opinion    May 23, 2016

Making Little Dollars Count; Native Dem Congressional Candidates

TRAHANT REPORTS—This week a small contribution to a political campaign is worth a lot more. Arizona’s Victoria Steele has two donors who are matching small contributions made until midnight tonight. “One donor will match all $25.00 donations and the other will match all copy0.00 donations,” a Steele campaign news release said. “Of course, you can always donate more if you like!” Read more at

 Opinion    May 20, 2016

Lessons from 1968: Bernie Sanders needs to put snide aside

A cheering audience is a political aphrodisiac. Candidates for president, moved by crowds’ affection, become convinced that they are right, their opponents wrong. The pout of political pride makes backing off difficult later on. Every campaign, no matter how humble and reasonable the candidate at the beginning, encourages a growing conviction of unique importance. This year, Donald Trump is the leading example, but self-importance is not a partisan condition. Sen. Bernie Sanders is justifiably gratified by his leap from obscurity to a...

 Opinion    May 17, 2016

The Skills Schools Aren't Teaching But Must

The U.S. presidential campaign has focused a great deal on the need to expand economic opportunity, but candidates in both parties have not said enough about how they would achieve it. While helping more students go to college has been a topic of discussion and is a vitally important goal, what about those who do not go — or who drop out of high school? They are largely being ignored, as they have been for decades, by an education system that is stuck in the past. That must change. We will not solve the critical challenges of poverty,...

 Opinion    May 17, 2016

LaRose,' by Louise Erdrich

There was a 10-year stretch — roughly 1975 to 1985 — when the landscape of American literature was illumined and enriched and transformed forever. The words “identity politics,” accompanied by the de rigueur curled lip, had not yet been introduced into the cultural conversation by those who saw themselves as the preservers of civilization, and “feminist” was not the F-word. It was a time when one would have been pleased to be described as “politically correct” because, after all, wasn’t it a good thing to be political, and...


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