Update from Linda Brown (05/06/99)
Dear Friends, Yesterday the Amendment was brought to the floor of the Senate, it was to be attached to Senate bill 1672, there was some argument as whether this amendment was germane to the bill and it was ruled that it was. Senator Laidig and Senator Anderson spoke very eloquently about this issue. Unfortunately the amendment was voted down. We have always known that our support in the Senate was limited, and the fight now must be switched to the House of Representatives. The bill which we will try to attach this amendment to is 1551 in the House, and this bill may be presented any time from today until the beginning part of next week. We need to switch our focus to all the Representatives in the house. We need phone calls, emails ASAP asking for their support Of this amendment which is designed to protect Coldwater Spring. We feels that we have more support in the House so hearing from as many people as possible, especially from the people of Minnesota is very important. We want STATE LAWS TO PROTECT THIS SPRING!, not just assurances!
The report that was done by the MNDOT consultant Lewis Berger & Associates, has been submitted to the Minnesota Historical Society, they how have 30 days starting from last Friday April 30th,to assess and respond to the report. We also have an opportunity to submit our materials and research and we are trying to gather this together in a report from our point of view. You must remember that MNDOT's report only focused on the four Marker Trees and not on the Sacredness of the whole area. This was the main focus of our research, written testimony, and oral testimony. We as a people cannot separate the whole and pick one small area and say this is not sacred and the rest of it is. All of the land involved in this area is held by the City of Minneapolis, the State of Minnesota and the Federal Government, there are no private lands involved in this fight. This is a unique opportunity for these Governments to respond to Native American concerns and act with honor and integrity towards this issue. Letters of support on our position are requested and can be sent to;
Mr. Dennis Gimmestad or Ms. Nina Achabal
State Historic Preservation Office
Minnesota Historical Society
345 Kellogg Blvd. West
Staint Paul, MN 55102-1906.
The Coldwater Spring area maybe the last of it's kind in the Twin Cities, Many Native Americans have left their reservations, like many rural Americans, because of the lack of opportunity for jobs, housing, and education and have relocated to the cities. To protect this area as it is would enable all Native Americans, but most importantly our children, who need to learn to take pride in who they are and where they came from if they are to be saved from living their lives in poverty, or gangs who commit crimes, to come together easily for ceremonies, celebrations, and worship at the Sacred Spring and Trees. These are our cathedrals, and to relearn the ways which were forcibly taken from us. Finally to heal. We would like this area preserved as a place of remembrance, and for the cultural renaissance of our people.
In talking with our lawyers, the only way to continue this fight in the court systems, would involved deposing,under oath,the people involved in these assessments,We all think there are many ways to create doubts about their findings and to show this is a totally biased report. Unfortunately this could cost between 3000 and 5000 dollars. This would cover the cost of a court reporter, time and travel expenses, etc. We have a short period of time to try to raise this money. We are humbly asking for any help available in raising some of this money.
We will continue this fight, we have not given up! Please remember us in your prayers and we thank you for your continued support. Pidamiya, Love Linda
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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!