Indian Country Today

'Pipe Dream': Enbridge escalates local tensions

PALISADE, Minnesota – Even in the bitter cold, the pretty little park along the Mississippi River is inviting, a typical gathering spot for community events with its broad trees and public pavilion.

But Berglund Park stood empty recently as families and community members huddled around warming fires in an open field nearby, listening to music and eating Indian tacos as they learned about the Enbridge Line 3 pipeline cutting through their community.

A group of pipeline opponents known as water protectors from the nearby Honor the Earth camp organized the small winter carnival to provide information about the impact of dependence on fossil fuels and a future built on renewable energy.

Their routine request to use the pavilion on Feb. 4, however, was rejected by public officials who said they had “concerns” – sparking a backlash that quickly turned the small-town festival into a public fight over freedom of speech and assembly.

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Inquiry urged into Wounded Knee Medals of Honor

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — The South Dakota Senate on Monday unanimously supported a resolution urging the U.S. Congress to launch an investigation into Medals of Honor given to soldiers who participated in the Wounded Knee Massacre.

Congress has the authority to rescind the medals. A bipartisan group of state lawmakers, advocating both for Native American tribes and military veterans, said their action would give momentum to a years-long effort to rescind Medals of Honor from 20 soldiers of the 7th Cavalry Regiment who participated in the December 29, 1890, massacre on South Dakota’s Pine Ridge Indian Reservation near Wounded Knee Creek. An estimated 250 Native Americans were killed, many of whom were women and children.

“It’s not going to change the stain of what happened there today,” said Democratic Sen. Troy Heinert, a member of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe. “This will give us a chance to start a new history — that will recognize what we did that day was wrong.”

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Oldest rock art is 17,300-year-old kangaroo

A painting created more than 17,000 years ago by Aboriginal artists is being identified with a little help from some ancient wasp nests.

The BBC reports the rock art is more than six feet long and features a kangaroo. It’s on the sloped ceiling of a rock shelter in Western Australia's Kimberley region.

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Other news headlines:

It is time for Jeep to stop using the Cherokee Nation’s name on its Cherokee and Grand Cherokee SUVs, the chief of the Oklahoma-based tribe said.

When Wyoming U.S. Sen. John Barrasso snapped at Deb Haaland during her confirmation hearing, many in Indian Country were incensed..

The Democrats' goal is to have COVID-19 relief approved by mid-March, when extra unemployment assistance and other pandemic aid expires

Ethel Branch saw a need to help Hopi and Navajo elders get much needed supplies to the remote reservations. She created the Navajo-Hopi Families COVID-19 Relief Fund. Microsoft founder Bill Gates called Branch one of the seven unsung heroes for leadership during the COVID crisis.

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