Sámi/Dakota/Native American cultural exchange evening
Alameda Rocha is now in hospice care in St. Paul and her time is short.
Hi everyone, Sharon & family are looking for a house to rent, from $1,200 – $1,500, 3 bedrooms. In Mendota Heights, Eagan, Richfield, Bloomington for Aug 1st. Help!! Sharon 612-913-1903
Voting Membership Meeting at the DuPuis House at 7:00pm on June 17, 2013.
14th Wacipi Sept 13-15 Donations needed for giveaway!
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Pidamaya to the person who returned the White Buffalo Calf Woman picture to Mendota.
Language class every Wednesday night from 6:30 to 8:30 (see details)
NEWS & POLITICS
The Mendota Dakota tribal group has been struggling to keep the community center it has in Mendota, but the group was recently given a 60-day notice to vacate the property. The old house is planned to be demolished to be turned into a parking lot for the restaurant next door. While the group still has until the end of March to vacate, the cultural chairman Jim Anderson is moving his family into the house Saturday as a way of protesting that the Mendota Dakota have to leave the land. In this photo:] Anderson, front, prepares to head out to pick up a new load while his son Jim Anderson Jr. waits for his father.
By Troy Krause, Editor
Posted Jan 27, 2011
A lawsuit filed on behalf of thousands of lineal descendants of an 1886 U.S. census is nearing its end.
While rumors have called the suit dead, the reality is the case is alive and well. Redwood Falls native Erick Kaardal represents approximately 7,000 of the 22,000 claimants in the case of Wolfchild vs. the United States.
The basic claim of the suit is the United States in the 1880s placed land in a trust for those Mdewakanton Dakota who were loyal to the nation and were allowed to remain in Minnesota at the end of the Dakota Conflict.
That land was placed in a permanent trust at that time for those on the census list as well as for their descendants.
Over time, those lands, which include reservations at Lower Sioux, Prairie Island and Shakopee, have been taken out of the control of the lineal descendants by others who were allowed to return as part of the federal Indian Reorganization Act.
The suit claims the descendants have a right to that land based on the promise of the United States.
At a hearing held this past week in Washington, D.C. those involved in the case talked about the amount of money that could be involved in this claim, as casinos now exist on all three reservations, as well as who would and would not be considered a legitimate claimant.
One of those who can trace his ancestry to a name on the census in Al Eller, who said his grandfather was Henry St. Clair.
Eller, who said since the suit was first filed, several claims have been made that are untrue, including a rumor a couple of years ago of what was called a white-out of casino employees.
The rumor was in regards to what is known as TERO, which gives preference to American Indians when job openings occur, so long as the individuals have the qualifications.
“These are just scare tactics,” said Eller, adding from his perspective when it comes to employees the best person for the job should have it.
A ruling has been handed down recently that allows for the allocation of a trust fund of $1 million given to those loyal Mdewakan-ton who ceded land to the U.S. in exchange for financial compensation. After the initial payments were ended due to the conflict, a new treaty was signed in 1868 that resumed the payments for that land turned over to the government.
A U.S. federal court judge sided with the tribe, and the hearing held this past week was directed by presiding Judge Charles Lettow to create a payment plan.
A series of scheduled dates held from February through May are intended to help create that plan before final judgment is handed down by the court.
“The Wolfchild case goes on,” said Kaardal, adding, however, the final resolution date of the case still remains unknown.
Copyright 2011 Redwood Falls Gazette. Some rights reserved
Mendota Dakota may lose center
By NICOLE NORFLEET, Star Tribune
September 4, 2010
The water at the two-story home of the Mendota Mdewakanton Dakota Community hasn’t been working for weeks. The garage door looks like a wrecking ball could have hit it. The wood foundation of the sweat lodge, which is supposed to serve as a spiritual haven, is left exposed without a tarp.
Tribal council members think they have enough money to pay the rent for the Mendota house that they’ve been using as a community center through October. But if they aren’t awarded a grant in the next couple of months, they don’t know what they’ll do after that.
"Our water’s been out for almost a month, and it’s ridiculous," said Jim Anderson, cultural chairman for the community. "These are the kind of struggles that we have all the time just to keep a place open that has our information, that has the history."
The community center serves in many capacities to the 300-member Mendota Dakota community. It’s where members hold tribal council meetings, teach Dakota language classes and plan preservation efforts.
But even after the landlord reduced the monthly rent from $1,200 to $800 in July, money and time are running out. Funds from a three-year, $60,000 grant from the Otto Bremer Foundation are dwindling. Tribal council members are applying for another grant from the foundation this month.
"If things don’t change, we’ll probably be moving somewhere else at the end of October," said tribal council member Sharon Lennartson.
The location of the community center, which is up for sale by the owner, is important to the group, said some of its tribal council members. The place nearby where the Minnesota and Mississippi rivers meet is where the Mendota Dakota traditionally believe life began, Anderson said.
"It’s the place of our origin, the place of our genesis, the place where the Creator put us," he said.
While a location in Chaska has been brought up as an alternative, community members want to stay in Mendota. "This is where we’re from, and to lose that is a huge loss," said tribal vice chairman Jim Albrecht.
A feast in slim times
Even as they are trying to figure out the fate of their center, the Mendota are preparing for their annual powwow.
Unlike the recent powwow of their peers farther south, the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community, the Mendota group won’t be able to shoot off fireworks or offer thousands of dollars in prize money for the dancers. In Mendota, they couldn’t afford new T-shirts or buttons, so they are going to sell the ones from last year, Lennartson said.
Some people generalize when they think of Native Americans, she said. "They think, ‘Those rich Indians,’ but we’re far from it," she said. "We’re on the other side of the tracks."
The Shakopee own the Mystic Lake Casino Hotel and Little Six Casino, along with other enterprises. Plus, they are acknowledged by the federal government as a recognized tribe, giving them access to funding and services from the Bureau of Indian Affairs.
The Mendota Dakota applied for federal recognition in the late 1990s, but federal reviewers pointed to deficiencies and omissions in the group’s petition.
Reapplying would take resources and manpower, both of which the group is short of, Lennartson said.
She is paid $25 a week to serve as receptionist, webmaster and bookkeeper for the community, she said. For the past few weeks, she has been working more from home because the water isn’t working at the center.
Despite the uncertainty about the center and the community’s future, the Mendota Dakota are forging ahead.
"Somehow, we always seem able to put the powwow on and feed the people and everything else, so it works out," Anderson said. "The Creator has been watching out for us in good ways, but it gets hard trying to struggle just to pay the bills and to keep one place here."
Nicole Norfleet • 612-673-4495
The local Twin Cities office of the National Park Service, known as MNRRA, the National Mississippi River and Recreation Area
The local Twin Cities office of the National Park Service, known as MNRRA, the National Mississippi River and Recreation Area, has provided clarification on who it was within the agency who made the decision almost four years ago to reject the findings of a government consultant–which stated in an Ethnographic Study, that Coldwater Spring at the Bureau of Mines Twin Cities Campus property near Fort Snelling in Hennepin County, Minnesota, is a place of traditional cultural importance for Dakota people.