Community Voices: Protesters demand Minneapolis firm drop Dakota Access Pipeline as client [video]

On the morning of September 7th, protesters of the Dakota Access Pipeline gathered near the law offices of Fredrikson & Byron, located in US Bank Plaza in downtown Minneapolis, to demand Dakota Access, LLC be dropped as a client. This action was led by Ashley Fairbanks and Arianna Nason and supports the ongoing efforts by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe to stop construction of the $3.8 billion Dakota Access Pipeline at the Camp of Sacred Stones, North Dakota, where protests began last April. The Dakota Access Pipeline plans to transport crude oil 1,170 miles from North Dakota to Patoka, Illinois. The proposed route runs through sacred Indigenous burial sites and across the Missouri River. Water Protectors – a term coined by Native demonstrators in North Dakota – are concerned that the pipeline will rupture and contaminate water sources for millions of people. Continue Reading

Black Lives Matter protestors at the Minnesota State Fair 2015

The Minnesota State Fair and criminal justice system are more related than you think

As fairgoers begin the day with excitement and energy around the Great Minnesota Get-Together, it is critical that we acknowledge how the State Fair has always been a place of oppression for people of color. The Minnesota Territory ran its first territorial fair in 1854. The 1857 census shows fewer than 100 black residents in Minneapolis and St. Paul combined. The fair became the state fair in 1859, one year after Minnesota’s statehood. It has taken place in 151 of the 156 subsequent years, only being canceled for reasons such as war and polio outbreaks. Continue Reading

On fatness and bullying

Fat people do not need anyone’s body policing, and telling a fat person to lose weight or live healthfully is not helpful. The unsolicited “advice” is passive aggressive and hurtful. The actions and mistreatment is bullying. Continue Reading

What one Native woman thinks everyone should know about Native people

The hardest part of trying to do intersectional work for me, as an Anishinaabe woman, is that most people–even most people of color and other oppressed peoples–know so little about Native people. I had a lot of difficulty recently when someone (a respected changemaker) tried to tell me her opinion on why Native people don’t have it that bad, when no part of her opinion was based in truth. It is hard to not feel resentment when people bring huge, common misconceptions to the table: of rich Indians, of free college and casino money. Continue Reading

The invisible side of homelessness

Nine thousand three hundred and twelve: the number of adults, youth and children in Minnesota who were living without a home on Oct. 22, 2015, as part of a one-night statewide Wilder Research study to better understand homelessness. In 2012, it was estimated there are over 40,000 people in Minnesota who experience homelessness over the course of a full year. I’ve been volunteering at St. Stephen’s Emergency Men’s Shelter in Minneapolis every Friday for a few months. Continue Reading