Mendota community URGENTLY seeks assistance

Update from Linda Brown (05/27/99)

Dear Friends, Recently the 8th court of appeals decided that the statute of limitations had run out on the Park and River Alliance lawsuit and they would not reopen the case. we heard about this on Tuesday May 25th. This was one of several lawsuits that have been filed against this road. MNDOT never did do a Enviromental Impact Study on the land south of 54th ST., but because this was dismissed on a technicality, doesn't make MNDOT's position on this issue correct, it only gets them legally off the hook, not morally. Hennepin County Judge Lajune Lang heard arguments and took testimony from both our supporters and also MNDOT and the Park Board on Tues morning. Our supporters felt that she would look at this in a fair way and not just rubber stamp the decision to swap the land between the parkboard and MNDOT. MNDOT needs this land in order to build the road through Minnehaha Park. Which is a totally illegal act! There is a meeting tonight involving the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District's granting permeits to MNDOT to build this road, how are they able to make a decision at this time when the land does not belong to MNDOT yet! meeting takes place at Minnetonka City Hall, West of I-494 on couty road 5 [Minnetonka Blvd] at 6:30 PM, Citizen's comments will be heard. I'm sorry this notification is so late, but sometimes I don't get the notices right away. We are a coalition of ordinary people that have jobs, homes, families and we are working against people who have alot of money and power and we can only do the best we can. It seems unfair that our tax dollars can be spent in any way possible by a state agency against us and yet there is no state money available for citizens to oppose these kinds of project, we are only able to do these things in our spare time, with small citizen contributions of time and money. But we will continue the fight against all odds, this is the only way we have to accomplish the things we care about. The spiritual walk that took place last night, was very healing and helped renew our energy. About 100 people showed up and it was nice to be together without all the pressure and constant tension that we all seem to feel. Time is growing short. We would like to do one of these walks once a week and I will let you know what night and time it will be held and where we will meet. It was very affirming to watch all the people that live in the area, come and join us, or honk or wave in support of our cause. One woman stood in on her steps and cried as we walked by. There are many people out there that have opposed this raod for so many years, many of them support us but have a overhelming feeling of defeat because they have fought for so long. If these walks can touch them then all is not lost. Our Government Officials need to hear from us constantly, I enclose some names for you to call or write.

Governer Jesse Ventura   Phone: (651) 297-9500
State Capitol Building
75 Constitution Ave.
St. Paul, MN  55155

Commissioner Elwyn Tinklenberg  Phone: (651) 296-3000  Fax: (651) 296-3587
MNDOT 395 John Ireland Blvd
St. Paul, MN  55155

Mayor Sharon Sayles Belton  Phone: (612) 673-2100
350 S. 5th St.
Minneapolis, MN 55415

U.S. Senator Paul Wellstone Phone: (202) 224-5641, fax (202) 224-8438
136 Hart Senate Office Bldg.
Washington D.C.  20510

Mr. Alan Steger Division Administrator FHWA Phone: (651) 291-6100
Sheryl Martin
Galtier Plaza, Suite 500
175 E. 5th St.
St Paul, MN  55101

Bruce Eberly Historic Preservatin Officer FHWA Phone: (202) 366-2060
C/O HEP -40, room 3240
Washington D.C. 20590

Ann Boland, National Register of Historic Preservation
Dept of the Interior                           Phone (202) 343-9500
Box 37127
Washington D.C.  20013-7127

Bruce Babbit Secretary of the Interior
Dept. of the Interior
1849 C Street NW
Washington D.C. 20240 202208-7351

President William Clinton    Phone: (202) 4565-1414
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave.
Washington, DC 20500

Vice President Al Gore       Phone: (202) 4565-1414
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave.
Washington DC,  20500

Janet Reno U.S. Attorney General  Phone: (202) 737-5214
Justice Dept.
600 E. St. NW
Washington,DC 20090
We need to let these people know that we are aware that there are laws against taking of parkland for roads, and that MNDOT's statement that there are no sacred sites in the way of the road is incorrect. Our Elders testified through affidavits and oral testimony presented to MNDOT officials and also Mr. Hotopp the archeologist that did the determination on the trees, that all this land is sacred including the trees, and no one including MNDOT has the right to determine what is sacred to Native Americans except Native Americans. It has only been a little over 20 years since legislation was passed in this country to protect Native Americans right to practice their religion. [ In 1883 laws were passed in this country against the practice of our religion and were not recinded until 1978]. I am truly amazed and appauled by the lack of respond or support on this issue by other religions. Isn't this one of our most closely guarded rights in this country? How many generations will it take before religious organizations stand up and fight for the same protections of Native American religious freedoms as they would their own? Please do all that you can to educate people on this important issue. We continue to hear from people from all over the country and world. We have books full of emails of prayers and support. If only we could reach the people in power we could change the world. Peace and Prayers to all of you. Love Linda

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U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs
Names, Addresses, email to Senate Committee Members.

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 it money or supplies. PLEASE HELP PROTECT OUR SACRED SITES!

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