Drilling at Two Shields Butte on the Fort Berthold (N.D.) Reservation. (Department of Interior photo)
Fort Berthold questions refinery plan
An oil refinery proposed for the Fort Berthold Reservation in North Dakota would be the first of its kind built in the country in more than four decades. The refinery, to be built on Three Affiliated Tribes trust land, would use pre-refined oil from Canadian tar sands, making it non-air polluting, according to this Bismarck (N.D.) Tribune story. Tribal elder Tony Mandan favors the refinery – but with some qualifications. He wants the reservation’s own oil, not Canadian oil, refined there, and he wants environmental guarantees. “Jobs are not most important. Health is most important,” he says.
Foxwoods: “The wonder and the fall”
That’s the headline on this Boston Globe examination of the recent financial problems at the Mashantucket Western Pequot Tribal Nation’s Foxwoods casino. Foxwoods led the way to casino wealth for some tribes; now, it stands as testimony to these ominous financial times. “The casino helped bring this tribe together,” says Debbie Frankovitch, 55, a Pequot who has lived on the reservation all her life. “Now, the casino is a big embarrassment. It’s just a lot of greed.”
Fossils, birds, critters and … Indians?
Oh, we think not! And neither do Native American professors, students and others who spoke to the University of Michigan’s Exhibit Museum of Natural History about its dioramas, according to this Indian Country Today story. “We are living, breathing, contemporary human beings,” Margaret Noori, a professor of Ojibwe language and literature, reminded museum officials – who agreed. The dioramas depicting Indian people in ancient and colonial times, will be removed.
Museum refurbishes Ojibwe portraits
Here’s the counterpart to the University of Michigan museum story – this one’s from Minnesota. The Duluth News-Tribune reports here (registration required) that several Ojibwe-themed turn-of-the-century Eastman Johnson works maintained by the St. Louis County Historical Society have been refurbished, to the tune of $40,000. Exhibit curator Linda Grover says the turn-of-the-century portraits are treasured by area Native people. “They were drawn in a time right after the reservations had been established. It was a time of change and adjustment. Times were difficult in many ways.
Ground broken on new First Nations reserve in Canada
Also from Indian Country Today, here, the Tla-o-qui-aht First Nations people broke ground on a new reserve on the shores of the Pacific Ocean. Tla-o-qui-aht council member Elmer Frank calls it a “ground-breaking groundbreaking” as he explains that “it’s the first time the government of Canada has allowed lands to come out of a park, it’s the largest single funding Indian Affairs has ever done in the Pacific Region, and it returns a part of our homeland almost 100 years after it was taken from us.”