Sunday, May 24, 2015

Post 68

Northwoods Unitarian   Universalist Fellowship, Brainerd/Pine River MN   May 24. 2015


After about two weeks offline, finally back! It was a bad time to be without communications. The bill in the Legislature to establish American Indian and Peoples Day failed to be voted out of committee in the House, so it did not pass into law during this session. Back to square one? I am not sure if dead is dead, or if it can be resurrected. So onward. Our Goodbye Columbus activity continues. We have held planning meetings to decide how to proceed. One thing is to continue to try for a webinar, with the help of MUUSJA, to discuss strategies, probably in September, meantime developing questions for participants. Discussion continues.

Our flower service on May 10th included a welcome for four new members, two of whom were in attendance. This is always a high point in the spring, honoring Dr. Norbert Capek, founder of the Flower Service in Czechoslovakia, and martyr to the Nazi regime during WWII. His legacy of hope and endurance lives on.

The final business meeting and elections were held on May 17th. Officers are:

President: Pat Scott
Vice President: Barb Kaufman
Sec/Treas: Alison Edgerton
Membership Chair: Dave Jurgenson
Social Action Chair: Mary DeYoung
Web and Newsletter: Melissa Birch
Publicity and News Releases: Warren Case

A tentative summer schedule was set up, including June 20 participation in Project Rainbow PRIDE picnic, Lum Park, Brainerd from 2-5pm. A day at the Mille Lacs Powwow in August is planned. Other information will be forthcoming in the newsletter and here, as it becomes confirmed.

We do plan to work with Honor the Earth on the continuing pipeline protests during the summer, and look for more information on this as it is developed.

Respectfully submitted, Mary DeYoung, Social Action Chair   218-587-2543

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Post 67

Northwoods Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, Brainerd/Pine River MN  May 3, 2015

Greetings! We are delighted to announce that our Goodbye Columbus Minnesota webpage is up for your information. Right now it can be found through our website, as an attached page. Soon it will also be available by direct googling. The link now is:!goodbye-Columbus-home/c1ogh. Long, I know. We hope you like the layout, and that it will be user-friendly to contact with your thoughts, news items, ideas, support. Apparently, it takes some time to get up and running on google, perhaps a few days, or longer.

We are also monitoring by the day, the progress or lack thereof, of the bill in the MN House, HF1858, putting into law the change from Columbus Day to American Indian and Indigenous Peoples Day. It has already passed the Senate in March. As part of our effort to continue follow up, we are planning a video conference to include people around the state to help set up strategies to help accomplish the change. There are a couple of scenarios; one, it could pass. Then how to carry forward with some substantial and achievable goals to improve race relations. It could be unacted upon, and die. Then would it carry over into the second session in October, or be totally dead and have to be reintroduced? In which case our efforts would be even more important.

Thank you all for hanging in there with us through this process, as far as we have gotten. As always, input is welcome!

Respectfully submitted, Mary DeYoung, news director NUUF  218-587-2543

Monday, April 13, 2015


Northwoods Unitarian Universalist Fellowship,   April 13, 2015  Brainerd/Pine River MN

Greetings! At our Earth Day service yesterday, Pat Scott shared information from Honor the Earth and their plans for continuing the pipeline protests this summer against Enbridge's development in the MN watershed. One thing people could do is email or write to the Environmental Quality Board to express opinions on the violations of Native Treaty Rights, destruction of wild rice beds, and lack of consultation with the Tribal Governments on their proposals. The email address is:; the snail mail address is: Environmental Quality Board, 520 Lafayette Road N., St. Paul, 55155. Maybe you could do both!  We will be sharing information as it becomes available, and will be helping Honor the Earth in whatever way seem feasible.

Our new website on Goodbye Columbus Minnesota is coming right along. Text is nearly ready, just some more technical work needs to be completed. As you may be aware, the House still has the current bill in committee, after passage by the Senate, to consider naming the second Monday in October as American Indian and Indigenous Peoples Day. If one looks at the number of bills up for consideration, this is one of many; hopefully we can bring together enough strength to encourage passage this term. If it is not acted on, it will need to be reintroduced at the second session of the biennium, is my understanding, and if not acted on then, would need to be started at the beginning of the legislative process.

Upcoming is planning for a Webinar to discuss the Columbus Day issue, sometime over the summer, and we hope to engage other denominations with similar goals in participation.

Stay tuned!

Respectfully submitted, Mary DeYoung News Director NUUF   218-587-2543


Friday, March 27, 2015

Post 65

Northwoods Unitarian Universalist Fellowship  March 27, 2015  Brainerd/Pine River

Greetings! a quick note today. After some more research, we find that the Senate passed the bill to establish "American Indian and Indigenous Peoples Day" as an addition to the current laws on holidays. It would not replace Columbus Day, but would be celebrated on the second Monday of October. If you go to the MN Senate and look up Bill 1703, there is an audio clip of the hearing on March 20. Testifying were: Dr. Ellen Kennedy, executive director of WorldWithoutGenocide and on the staff at William Mitchell College of Law; Anna Marie Hill, director of MN Indian Affairs Council; Mr. Means, a citizen of Lakota/Dakota descent;
Jay Bad Heart Bull, director of the Native American Community Development Institute. The hearing is 1:57:34; go ahead to 1:45:50 for the start of the testimony on the holiday.

Now on to the House, which is predominantly Republican, and may not be as easy sailing.

Our website is being worked on continuously, and should be available mid-April. Will keep you posted on progress.

Respectfully submitted, Mary DeYoung, news director NUUF 218-587-2543

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Post 64

Northwoods Unitarian Universalist Fellowship  March 25, 2015

Breaking news! today we received a response to an email to Representative John Persell (D-Bemidji) to inquire about progress on Goodbye Columbus, which he had offered to bring to the attention of the Tribal Governments. What has happened is that on March 16, a bill was introduced in the House to recognize American Indian and Indigenous Peoples Day on the second Monday of October. If you go to bills in the House, you will find the wording and the names of the sponsoring Representatives. They are not familiar to me, but of course are well known in their districts. This is real progress. We are planning to open our online campaign mid-April, with a website devoted to the change, nonpartisan, non-denominational. That is still going forward, and now we will be tracking this bill as it goes through the procedures in the House, then Senate. This is a happy day!

Last Sunday we had a wonderful presentation at NUUF by Gary Dietrich, live coach from Bemidji. He shared some of the practices and traditions of native people that he works with, not surprisingly strongly affiniated with our UU principles. His is director of More on this in the April NUUF newsletter....

Next up will be a celebration of Earth Day, April 12, and the Flower Service April 26.

Respectfully submitted, Mary DeYoung news director, 218-587-2543

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Post 63

Northwoods Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, Brainerd/Pine River 3/11/15

 A quick note today....Melissa and I have been working on a webpage for google facebook and twitter, re: Goodbye Columbus Minnesota, over the past few weeks, and hope to be up and running in April. This is an outreach effort to gain support for a change in October from CD to Indigenous Peoples Day, in accordance with UUAs repudiation of the Doctrine of Discovery  and our own stated goals of combating racism here in MN. The webpage will be non-denominational and non-partisan, open to all who share the idea of showing respect for native culture, values, and contributions to society. We will let everyone know when up, and will welcome suggestions and ideas, leads, contacts, and any other ways to help.

Respectfully submitted, Mary DeYoung, News Director NUUF

Friday, February 20, 2015

Post 62

Northwoods Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, Brainerd/Pine River MN 2/20/15

Greetings UU friends: this is a short update on items going on. We have not yet received notes from the last Truth and Reconciliation meeting at BSU, but will post as soon as received. That was held Jan. 28. We were advised that the director of the American Indian Center, Dr. Anton Treuer is resigning, to return to teaching, but he will still be invovled in T&R.

We were advised that the Grand Rapids city council adopted a resolution on renaming Columbus Day to Indigenous People's Day, December 15th, 2014.
Good work, and congratulations! one more notch in the belt for MN.

Speaking of which, there are several things to mention in this respect. Our request to MUUSJA (Minnesota UU Social Justice Alliance) in Minneapolis for assistance with Goodbye Columbus resulted in several offers to use their platforms to disseminate information to UUs across the state, including a webinar and access to newsletters, etc. If the webinar is set up, it would be for mid to late summer, and invitations will be sent to Dr. Treuer, Jay Bad Heart Bull, and other native persons to participate on a panel at that event. Becky LaPlant, Grand Rapids Human Rights Commission, has already agreed to be a panelist, one of the authors of the above resolution.

To sort out strategy and actions, and do some more planning, Melissa and I met today to start setting up a FaceBook page just for Goodbye Columbus information, to be open to general supporters in the community, not just UUs. We are going to call it "Goodbye Columbus MN" (no surprise there!), write a mission statement, and add events and information as it comes up. For instance, we sent exploratory letters to the DFL delegation at the Legislature, asking if they or colleagues would introduce a bill to make the holiday change. Too early for responses at this writing. The page will contain updates as they occur.

Respectfully submitted, Mary DeYoung, News Director NUUF 218-587-2543