Spotlight on Mni Sota Makoce

We’ll hear from Peggy Flanagan about what it’s like to govern during a pandemic in a city at the heart of civil unrest. Plus David Treuer joins us to talk about his recent land back article.
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Peggy Flanagan is Minnesota’s 50th Lieutenant Governor. A member of the White Earth Band of Ojibwe, making progress for children, working families, communities of color and Indigenous communities are central to her, and all Minnesotans who have historically been underserved and underrepresented.

It’s an intriguing idea, what if the federal government returned the national parks to tribes? That’s the subject of a recent article by David Treuer. The Leech Lake Ojibwe citizen joins us to talk about what this would look like.

A slice of our Indigenous world

  • President Joe Biden addresses the American public on his first 100 days in office.
  • A story of two Indigenous service men who helped in the liberation of Dachau. 
  • The Seminole Tribe of Florida is getting into Texas real estate. 
  • The Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe in New York is issuing a cease and desist order on marijuana dispensaries. 
  • From coast to coast, it’s one of the latest trends sweeping the nation.

Find more details on these stories at the top of today's newscast

Some quotes from today's show.

Peggy Flanagan:

"We were able to pass with bipartisan support support for our Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women's task force. And I think that was a long time coming. And I think what really made the difference there was that we had Native women serving in the House at the time. I was in the Lieutenant governor's office. And since that time we have elected a Native woman to serve in the state Senate."

"And so I think it matters that we're at the table when these decisions are being made. That task force bill passed. The task force has done an incredible amount of work with elected officials and advocates. Folks from law enforcement all across the state who came together with a report with some pretty solid recommendations."

"And this legislative session we are asking the legislature to invest about $500,000 so we can open an office to protect Native women. A Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women's office. And we think it's really key and critical so that we have a place that's dedicated to doing this work. And my hope is that the Senate and the Senate Republicans in particular remember the commitment that they made to this task force previously. And now back it up with the resources to truly address this issue."

David Treuer: 

"The United States would need to renew and amplify its commitment to its founding principles of justice. One being the most important. And the fact is the national parks were started with the creation of Yellowstone, which was I think enabled and created in 1874 in the midst of the plains wars. The battle of Little Big Horn was two years away."

"And subsequently most of the national parks were created around the same time and with the same congressional actors who pushed through the Dawes Act, the General Allotment Act, which after the passage of the Dawes Act in the 1880s, we lost over 90 million acres was bled away from tribes and Native nations."  

"And at the same time, the government created the national park system. And by the time they were done, they put over 87 million acres into the national park system. And so we are owed reparations collectively and I think the parks would be a good start and moreover like it would be good for the parks. I don't know how long it has been since you visited a national park, but they're kind of struggling with climate change, with overcrowding, with too many visitors with kind of a lack of leadership."

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Mark Trahant, Shoshone-Bannock, is editor of Indian Country Today. On Twitter: @TrahantReports Trahant is based in Phoenix. 

Patty Talahongva, Hopi, is executive producer of Indian Country Today. Follow her on Twitter: @WiteSpider

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