Letter to the Minneapolis City Council from the Metropolitan Urban Indian Directors

To the Members of the Minneapolis City Council –

This letter has been written on behalf of the Metropolitan Urban Indian Directors Group with full unanimity to achieve the following purposes:

1) To formally announce our collective opposition to the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) in order to protect our natural fresh water supply, Mother Earth, and our teyospaye who live on the Standing Rock Indian Reservation. This pipeline represents a very real threat to the integrity of our fresh water supply in the region, as well as to the surrounding natural ecosystem.

2) To collectively urge the Minneapolis City Council to follow suit and stand proudly in solidarity with the Urban American Indian community leaders here in the Twin Cities, the people of Standing Rock, and with all of the Indigenous and non-Indigenous warriors currently maintaining a peaceful vigil in protection of our natural water supply. Such solidarity can be powerfully exhibited through your approval of the Indigenous Resistance to the Dakota Access Pipeline Resolution introduced by Council Member Cano on August 19th, 2016 – and that currently has 11 Council Members listed as co-authors.

There is nothing more sacred than the gifts given to us by the grace of the creator in the form of the natural bounty that sustains our ability to live. Of all these gifts bestowed upon us, there is nothing more important than clean water.

On behalf of all creation, with a full understanding that your actions today will be held to account by our children and our children’s children, the membership of MUID calls on the full support of this body to stand together with our American Indian community who is in resistance to the Dakota Access Pipeline.

Mni Waconi. Water is life.

Wopila Tanka and Chii Migwetch!

Joe Hobot, Ed.D
Chair, Metropolitan Urban Indian Directors Group
President & CEO, American Indian OIC
Hunk Papa, Lakota, Standing Rock Reservation

We Stand with Standing Rock

American Indian OIC stands in solidarity with the Lakota Nation of Standing Rock as they refuse the incursion of the Dakota Access Pipeline from being constructed near vital waterways – including the Missouri River – directly adjacent to their tribal lands and natural water supplies. This pipeline represents a direct and lethal threat to both the water and our tiyospaye who live on the Standing Rock Indian Reservation. For the sake of the water, Mother Earth, and our children, the construction of this hazardous and unsecure pipeline cannot be allowed to happen.

This is a dangerous exploitation of our Mother Earth and American Indian OIC fully supports the warriors fighting the battle on the protest’s front lines. We implore our community members and our non-Native allies and accomplices to sign the Stop the Dakota Access Pipeline petition and to make a contribution to the warriors’ litigation fund.

Water is life. Mni Waconi.

For a brief history of the DAPL, follow this link.

A rare day: when diabetes is cause to celebrate!

It’s a rare day when diabetes is cause to celebrate but that’s exactly what happened on August 2nd, when the Southside Walkers drew together nearly 100 people from within the community to “party” in celebration of individual and community efforts to fight diabetes. The celebration took place on the grounds of proud sponsors, American Indian OIC and featured American Indian themed arts & crafts, music and entertainment including local hip hop artists Tall Paul & Chase Manhatten, the Hoka Hey Singers and Aztec Dancers. When asked why the AIOIC got involved as a sponsor for the event, president Joe Hobot commented,”Increasing awareness of all the resources available to help prevent diabetes is important to the American Indian OIC because of the high rate of occurrence of diabetes in Native American communities–naturally we are vested in helping to change that.”  According to the Indian Health Service, American Indians and Alaska Natives have the highest rates of Type 2 diabetes in the nation (Indianhealthservice.gov).

The first ever Beat Diabetes Party was planned by Amber White Bear along with Don Clark and other members of the Southside Walkers Team. Because of its success, event coordinator Amber White Bear predicts the Beat Diabetes Party will become an annual happening to build community as well as to raise funds to fight diabetes.  Just who are the Southside Walkers!? They are individuals from the metro area American Indian community who formed a team to participate in the 2014 American Diabetes Foundation annual fundraiser, STEP OUT: WALK TO STOP DIABETES.  All of the proceeds from both events go towards the American Diabetes Foundation, which provides both diabetes education and research for a cure. Helping American Indians learn about lifestyle choices that reduce the risk of diabetes is important for future prevention, and prevention is the mission of The Southside Walkers Team.  According to Ms. Whitebear, they also have a short term mission:  “Join our Team! Our goal is for the Southside Walkers to have critical mass on September 27th for the STEP OUT: WALK TO STOP DIABETES!” To join the Southside Walkers on Sept 27th, or to find out how to participate in future events contact Amber White Bear or Don Clark who can be reached by calling American Indian OIC at (612) 341-3358.