Mendota community URGENTLY seeks assistance

RED ALERT issued by Jim Anderson (07/20/99)

Red Alert * Red Alert * Red Alert * Red Alert * Red Alert * Red Alert * Red Alert * Red Alert

Today, July 20th, 1999 at 10:10a.m., ranking officers from the Minnesota State Troopers and Minneapolis Police Department came the the Minnehaha Spiritual Encampment. Camp Member, Thunder, approached the ranking State Trooper and asked him why they had come here today. He was told that they were at camp to "take a look around." Thunder asked if they were here to take any action today against the camp. The officer informed him that they were not here to take any action today, against the camp, but to take a look around to see when they do take action what type of action they need to take. The officer asked him if the camp has a sweat lodge, and Thunder pointed to the lodge. The officer asked him if this was the same lodge that we had at the last camp. Thunder said that yes it was, and that he should know that because he was the officer that dismantled the sweat lodge during the last raid on December 20th of 1998. He said that if they need to dismantle the lodge again, they would make sure that it was returned.

The Police and State Troopers also had with them a MnDoT official and a representative of Thommes and Thomas, a land clearing firm based out of Stillwater, Minnesota. The land destroyer from Thommes and Thomas had a clip-board and was taking notes on the trees in the area, including the FOUR SACRED TREES, that have been at the center of the struggle to protect this land for the last year. This is the calm before the storm, and now is the time that we must act before they bring their machines to desecrate this sacred gound.

We need you, and we need you now. If you have ever felt moved by this struggle, and would be willing to come down and camp with us, now is the time. THE RIGHT OF WAY CLEARING FOR THE REROUTE OF HIGHWAY 55 IS SCHEDULED TO BEGIN BY AUGUST 2ND OF THIS YEAR. BECAUSE OF THIS ENCOUNTER WITH THE POLICE AND STATE TROOPERS, WE BELIEVE THAT THEY WILL RAID THE CAMP BEFORE THAT DATE. We need wave upon wave of people to form a human ring around the four sacred trees and stand with us in prayer and resistance around the sacred fire that has burned since August 10th of 1998. This is a place of prayer and its sacredness has been testified to by spiritual elders from six different First Nations. We need people willing to risk arrest to stand up for the sacredness of this land, to protect the trees, Camp Coldwater Spring, and for the human rights of Native Americans to freedom of religion. This place is a church to all Native Americans, what would you do if this was your church facing the bulldozers?

Our spirit is not crushed. MnDoT will never pave over our prayers, and if we stand united and strong we still can save this land for the future generations.

We ask all people of conscience to call the Mayor's office, the Governor's Office and even the President of the United States and demand that this re-route of Highway 55 be Stopped immediately, and that this land between Minnehaha Falls and Camp Coldwater Spring be protected for all time.

We also ask that you call and fax these two companies that have been awarded the contract for the destruction of the trees and land:

C.S McCrossan Inc.
7865 Jefferson Highway
Maple Grove, MN

phone (612) 425-4167
fax (612) 425-0520
fax (612) 425-1255

Thommes and Thomas
15457 Jeffrey N.
Hugo, MN 55038

phone (651) 430-2535

Please ask them to think long and hard about the injustices of this road. That it violates human rights, makes little sense and will destroy beloved Minnehaha Park. Then tell them that they may be opening themselves up to lawsuits. Then let them know that they have been warned, in a non-violent and spiritual way. We must let them know that this is not just a "job", and that we are not against the workers. Remind them that we are non-violent. Let them know that MnDoT does have alternatives available that will still provide work. Unions and workers should not be envolved in projects that have strong community opposition, and that violate fundamental human and constitutional rights.


On August 10th, 1999 join us for our one year anniversary of standing up to the bulldozers and of protecting the sacred sites that lie in the path of the reroute of Highway 55.

were: at the spiritual encampment. Take Highway 55 (Hiawatha Ave.) south to 54th Street and go left at the light. Go past one driveway and take the second driveway on the right that goes down to a stop light and the Bureau of Mines buildings. The Camp is on the left, and you will see the parked cars.

when: Starting at 4:00pm and going till sundown.
what: feast/potluck, Thunder Nation Drum Group, stories shared from the last year, a video and photo presentation, and music.

August 8th, 1999, Join us for our Second Annual Pow Wow Down at the Mendota Spiritual Encampment ( Same Address as Above) 3:00 p.m. onwards.

for more information Contact: Jim Anderson: Cultural Chairman of the Mendota Mdewakanton Dakota Community (612) 910-0730
live simply

NOTE: I have continued to leave the following in these updates because we still need some calls and letters written. Since you are reading this, please help out with at least an email.....
U.S. Senators and Representatives via clickable map

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

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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