Monday, August 25, 2014

Post 53

Northwoods Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, Brainerd/Pine River MN 8/25/14

A quick note today. We sent out letters to all the UU congregations in Minnesota, asking for input on developing a day to honor the native Americans in our state, as an alternative to Columbus Day, on the first Monday in October. It will take legislative action to change the statute governing holidays, so work is cut out already. In addition, our President drafted a proposed proclamation for the Governor, declaring that date a day to honor native populations. We do not expect that action will take place by the legislature for this year, but can start planning strategies to act together on this issue. Governor Dayton could proclaim the day for 2014, as this submission is in time for him to do that. He is in election campaign mode at the moment; we will see what happens. If not this year, we can resubmit until it happens! more on this as things develop.

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

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Post 52

Northwoods Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, Brainerd/Pine River MN 8/21/14

Greetings! Last night, Honor the Earth held their Pine River event at the Commons, Pine River-Backus school. After a very successful meeting in Brainerd on Tuesday at the Arboretum, the Horse Ride traveled here to meet with supporters of the Pipeline Protests, share a potluck supper, and talk about the current state of affairs at the PUC, still in process of approving or modifying routes for the pipelines to cross Minnesota. It is clear Enbridge is going full steam ahead "as if" it is all done in their favor. However, according to Winona LaDuke, in her presentation, protests have made significant impacts, in that the whole process has been delayed, giving an opportunity to develop opposition and encourage a moratorium movement. If you go to Honor Earth's webpage, there is a petition you can sign to support this effort.....NUUF's part in all this was to find a location for the speakers and for the horses to pasture overnight. Barb Kaufman was the point person, and worked many hours to bring it about. We also set up the supper table, provided drinks and utensils, etc. Little enough, considering the issues at stake. We were entertained by Annie Humphrey, native singer, and young men performing some native songs. I did not catch their names, but obviously very talented. Many of the riders joined us later in the evening...and we were happy to see formerly active UUs, Union Church people, Grand Rapids UUs, and lots of others in the audience. Preaching to the choir, actually, but that is good and sustaining and heartening.

The September newsletter will be out shortly, looking ahead to a great fall.

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

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Post 51

Northwoods Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, Brainerd/Pine River  8/06/14

Greetings! today NUUF members met with Happy Dancing Turtle to plan for the fall Feast, Film & Forum series of events on food preservation. The dates are: Sept. 11, Sept. 25, Oct. 9, and Oct. 23. Starting with an optional potluck at 5:30, the programs will begin at 6pm. The topics are: Seed Saving; Alternative Preservation; Herbs for Health; and AgroForestry. There will be films and panels to provide information and discussion. We are hoping to see all the gardeners from the spring and others interested in safe food growing and preservation. To start off, our Barb Kaufman will share from the recent workshops at Seed Savers, and their enthusiastic work in this field. All the meetings will be held at the HUG campus just off 371 west of Pine River.

In other news, plans are proceeding for the Honor the Earth Horse Ride to be coming through Pine River on Aug. 20. The meeting will be held at the PR-B school Commons from 6-8, potluck, with speeches and music. Thanks, Barb, on all your work on this!  The September newsletter should be out the last week of the month.

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

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Post 50

Northwoods Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, Brainerd/Pine River  7/23/14

Greetings friends and UUs: Even though traditionally UUs are off on vacations over the summer months, a lot is happening. July 7th was the kickoff for the Horse Ride at the corner store near Backus, where Honor the Earth began pipeline protests. This gained a lot of public media attention. Winona LaDuke spoke and began the ride over to Park Rapids. Now another is planned, scheduled to go through Brainerd and other points, including Pine River on August 20th. NUUF is involved with Union Church in helping facilitate this event, and anyone who wishes to help can look at honorearth.org, the site where the best and most current information is to be had. Or call me, and I can direct you.

We began another initiative, this time to rename Columbus Day to a  day to honor the native community. Discussions include writing a draft proclamation to send to Governor Dayton, which would be in time for this year, hopefully. First, the task is to see if the native community would welcome this, and if so, what name should it have. The thought is, not to have this just another panacea for white consciences "do-gooder" paternalistic impulses, but something to forward education in the white community in cultural understanding, reduction of discrimination. Following the lead of South Dakota, the City of Minneapolis, and other places who have already addressed this, it seems high time our State took this action of respect and recognition, long overdue. We have partnered with Union Church, and hope to enlist other churches. The next effort would be to get the Legislature to pass a law adding the holiday to the statute which governs such recognition. It does not have to replace Columbus Day which is a federal holiday, but could be an additional option; that is to be determined.

Comments and ideas are welcome! watch the website, mnnuuf.org, for more information.

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

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Post 49

Northwoods Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, Brainerd/Pine River, MN 7/9/14

Greetings! the Horse Ride event organized by Honor the Earth, and Union Church in Hackensack that took place on Monday July 7, was well attended, and a lot of media representatives were present as well, for the kick off on Sandpiper pipeline protests, with later rides planned for August. This latter one will go through or nearby in Pine River, so at NUUF, we are thinking of ways to cooperate and facilitate, and generally be helpful. Many of us were on deck on Monday, and lots of pictures resulted, in local and farther afield newspapers; there was coverage also by radio and TV, and a later interview that aired on the Ed Show on MSNBC. This is all exciting, and hopefullly will bring attention to the pending assault on our local environment in the watershed. Of course the star is Winona LaDuke, a dynamic speaker and committed activist on this issue. Stay tuned as plans develop!

There is a Yikes! Bikes! event taking place on July 12, a bike ride in support of Habitat for Humanity, organized by Ted Chisholm. There will be rest stops in Walker, LaPorte, Cass Lake. For more information contact Ted at chisholmtf@gmail.com.

Hope you are having a wonderful summer!

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

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Post 48

Northwoods Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, Brainerd/Pine River MN 6-28-14

Greetings! Brainerd Area Coalition for Peace is holding a vigil on Sunday, June 29, in protest of further military action in Iraq. Between 1 and 2:30 at the intersection of 371 and 210 (near Kohl's), signs will be available.

The Union Church in Hackensack is working with Honor the Earth on pipeline protests, and is planning a horse ride including Winona LaDuke on July 8th, from Godfrey's on 371 to Park Rapids, starting at noon. Since plans are still in the making, more information will be forthcoming. Frank Bibeau is the point person from HTE.

Hope the summer is going well for everyone!

Respectfully submitted, Mary DeYoung, news director

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Post 47

Northwoods Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, Brainerd/Pine River 6/19/14

Greetings! Yesterday, I attended the social justice committee meeting at the Union Church in Hackensack, which held a session with Frank Bibeau specifically on the Sandpiper pipeline, and efforts to stop the expansion by Enbridge in northern Minnesota. Chaired by Sara Cox, she had distributed the following information about Frank:
" Frank Bibeau is a Native American and an attorney who is a member of the White Earth tribe, I believe, but is active in the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe. He lives in Deer River. He has been Tribal Attorney for LLBO Several times. Along with Winona LaDuke and her Honor the Earth coalition, he is working to get the State and federal governments to require a change of route for the Sandpiper pipeline in order to protect wild rice waters and the lakes area generally.
   "Given that the mission of the task force is to try to be better neighbors, I think it is well within our mission to support this effort of our Native American
neighbors to protect their treaty-approved hunting and fishing rights and the future of all of our children in this region of Minnesota...."

I brought along a folder of information we had gathered before and during the three sessions held last fall on this matter, partnering with Happy Dancing Turtle. The meeting was well attended. Frank talked about the final decision by the PUC to be made May 2015. I notice they are still accepting comments from the public at the Commission. As I understand, the position of the tribes is that any pipeline encroaching on Native lands would not be permitted, with treaty rights to back this up; they would recommend alternative routes by the 29/94 highway routes be considered. There are no good immediate answers to this dilemma. His idea is that gaining the support of the legislature to declare a moritorium on pipeline expansion, for the short term, would be a good way to start. He is concentrating his work on the Sandpiper at this time.

The group decided to set up a steering committee to begin work on strategies for moving forward. Leading this will be Lindsey Ketchell, Lake Area Association head in Hackensack. Also a link to Frank on these matters may be found at honorearth.org.

Very likely, NUUF will be in support of these activities in some manner.

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