News Release

Indigenous Environmental Network

WHAT: We’re Still Here: Native Communities from Leech Lake, Red Lake, and White Earth will gather and celebrate their continued existence.

WHEN: April 6, 2021 from 2:00-6:00p.m.

WHERE: Lake Bemidji Waterfront

WHY: We’ll open our space with prayer, drum, and inspirational teachings by ThomasX. Our intention is to peacefully hold space to build awareness and collective power, we’ll stand in solidarity. We want to imagine and build a sustainable community and future exclusive to all people and living things.

For far too long native nations/people have been left out of the dialogue and decision-making in local governing bodies as we’ve seen with the Beltrami County Board and the Bemidji City Council. Some of the examples but not limited to include;

  1. Beltrami County sheriff’s department spent $189,000 to support Line 3. White Earth, Red Lake, and Mille Lacs have yet to have their day in court, these tribes oppose Line 3 - Leech Lake also opposes Line 3. Beltrami County economic success is reliant on neighboring tribal nations. The purchase of riot gear and Northern Task Force training is not how to be a good neighbor to the surrounding tribal nations whom oppose Line 3.
  2. The Bemidji City Council voted down to fly tribal flags at the Bemidji City Council.
  3. Our Concerns continue to go unheard with both governing bodies and the majority vote always works against us.
  4. We’re all Treaty people, we all have an obligation to live as good neighbors and good stewards of Mother Earth. Treaties were signed to protect native culture and all that is sacred- the water, land, air, and fire. We never surrendered our property/water rights in our ceded and unceded territories.

Tomorrow brings collective power in a peaceful stand, collectively we’ll remind them We’re Still Here and our existence matters and our voices should be included in the dialogue. 

About Indigenous Environmental Network

Established in 1990, the Indigenous Environmental Network is an international environmental justice nonprofit that works with tribal grassroots organizations to build the capacity of Indigenous communities. I EN’s activities include empowering Indigenous communities and tribal governments to develop mechanisms to protect our sacred sites, land, water, air, natural resources, the health of both our people and all living things, and to build economically sustainable communities.

Learn more here: ienearth.org

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