Update from Linda Brown (04/01/99)
From Linda M. Brown:
Dear Friends, I'm sorry I haven't sent an update for awhile, it's a very long and sad story but I will try to fill you in as much as possible. Tuesday morning we heard that Senator Carol Flynn the Chair of the Senate Transportation Committee would not hear our resolution and that she considers it inflammatory and contains inaccurate information, and so instead of discussing this with us and our Senate sponsors she called a press conference and announced that she would not hear the bill. We all rushed down there at that time and started to lobby with our senate allies as to what could be done to change her mind or approach this from a different direction. At no time had we given up and were assured that this could still happen. We stood outside the Senate chamber with all our testimony and evidence in case we could do something that day. Shortly after the senate adjourned Senator Carol Flynn walked out of the chamber and was hit in the face with a pie. Unfortunately within all large coalitions there is always someone who will act alone and perform these kinds of extreme acts. All of us who had been working on this legislation for almost two months were incoherent with shock, concern for the Senator and one of our own Elders who got knocked down some stairs, and grief as we saw everything we had worked so hard at destroyed before our eyes. In spite of this tragedy we will continue with our plans to pursue a vote or hearing of some kind in the legislature. I can't tell you how strong the people who have spent so much time on working on this legislation are and they have become the heroes of mine, and my people, they are the true Warriors, [Mary, Diane, Anne, Jill, Bruce, John and others], Many of them were there that day and they would not give up, and stayed at the capitol all that day and the next, and would not let anyone shame them over this incident because we were all innocent, and we did not know this attack was planned. We held a press conference on Wednesday afternoon denouncing this action by one individual and will do everything we can to redeem ourselves. This just moved us back and will make our work harder. We continue to work on many different fronts and solutions and will continue to fight the building of this road through our sacred lands. I want to thank all of you for your support and patience, and can only ask again for your support in writing letters and emails, and phone calls to all the Senators of Minnesota, and encourage them to let this unfortunate incident pass, and to hear our voices about the true issues involved in this resolution and to not let the sensationalism of this turn them away from us. Although Senator Flynn doesn't agree with us she does have a right to her own opinion, and none of us would ever agree to physically harming her. We are committed to working within the system on this as long as it takes. We have sent Senator Flynn letters and Flowers assuring her that the coalition does not approve of this act, and hope that all of you will pray for her to help her change her mind about her present decision. The legislature is in recess until Tuesday afternoon for the coming holiday, we have a few days to recover and rest and hope that all of you will be with us again next week and will help in anyway that you can. I will once again try to maintain daily updates starting again soon. We still have to work on the Minneapolis Park Board which has not transferred the land yet to MNDOT to build the road through the Minnehaha Park and I will post more info about upcoming meetings for this month and will ask for your help at that time. Again, Pidamiya for all the support, and prayers, all of you have made it possible for our people to keep up the strength and hope alive in our hearts, that we may win this fight yet. Love Linda P.S. Please thank Representative Karen Clark, Senators Ellen Anderson, and Gary Laidig for standing beside us and helping all of us with their support right after this happened. It was so important because the rest of us were in such shock and were almost speechless, they helped us talk to reporters and made statements of support themselves. They too have proved themselves to be true Warriors in our cause.
The Mendota are a non-profit organization and reciepts will be supplied for those who request them. Send donations to: Checks or money orders may be made payable to MMDC. Mendota Medewakanton Dakota Community PO Box 50835 Mendota, MN 55150
Contact numbers are Linda M. Brown - (612) 944-7290 FAX (612) 944-0105 or Bob Brown, Chairman - (612) 576-9686 FAX (612) 576-0632 We ask that everyone send what they can...be it money or supplies. PLEASE HELP PROTECT OUR SACRED SITES!