During the summer of 1967, Plymouth Avenue in North Minneapolis went up in flames. This was during a period known as the Long, Hot Summer when frustrations about racial discrimination and a lack of opportunity for black Americans erupted on city streets across the U.S.
In Minneapolis, those tensions came to a head on Plymouth Avenue. This was the commercial heart of a racially and ethnically mixed Near North neighborhood that was home to the city’s largest concentration of African-American residents as well as many Jewish-owned businesses. For some black Minnesotans, Plymouth Avenue was a brick and mortar reminder of racial inequality that could no longer be silently tolerated.
There are people who remember July 19-21, 1967 as the Plymouth Avenue riots, while others describe these events as a revolution, uprising or rebellion.
Minnesota Native News: Forum discusses Treaty Rights, and Native Artists and Organizations come out for Open Streets
Marie: This is Minnesota Native News, I’m Marie Rock.
Headlines: Coming up…:
Treaty Rights, Climate Justice, and Decolonization were discussed in packed house in Duluth…
and Franklin Avenue bustles with energy for Open Streets Minneapolis
Here is reporter Leah Lemm with these stories…
STORY #1 - Treaty Rights, Climate Justice, and Decolonization Forum
REPORTER: The Dr. Robert Powless Cultural Center, an auditorium at the American Indian Community Housing Organization in Duluth, was filled with two hundred community members on a warm mid-August evening. [GENERAL SOUNDS OF THE GATHERING]
The audience was there for the Treaty Rights, Climate Justice, and Decolonization Forum.
The evening’s speakers included Ricky Defoe, Lyz Jaakola, Niib Aubid, and Dr Joseph Bauerkemper.
A main thread in the conversation was that most of the time treaty rights are very misunderstood… and that treaties do not give rights to Native people, but instead they give rights to the settling population.
JAAKOLA: There's been a collective amnesia about those treaties.
REPORTER: Lyz Jaakola is an educator and has noticed considerable misunderstandings about treaties and treaty rights throughout the public, social and media education systems .
JAAKOLA: Everybody needs to just really take a look at those treaties and say, “Oh, I guess these are treaty rights for non-Natives.” To acknowledge that indigenous peoples have all of the rights that they had before the treaties.
REPORTER: Dr Joseph Bauerkemper is a professor at the University of Minnesota - Duluth in the Department of American Indian Studies.
BAUERKEMPER: As a settler person to this place, I have treaty rights. Everything that I do on a daily basis, I work my way down the hill this afternoon to come here. I'm exercising my treaty rights to be in this place. If it weren't for the 1854 treaty, I have no business being in this place.
REPORTER: The panelists each highlighted the importance of treaties in relation to the climate and environment - topics such as clean water, lumber. and wild rice.
BAUERKEMPER: If we are regulating development, regulating mining, regulating whatever it is, and that activity compromises a treaty reserved resource… We are in violation of the treaty. If we're behaving in ways, in ways that contribute to climate change (and you may have heard we are, right?) we are behaving in ways that violate the treaty because those behaviors are impacting those resources.
REPORTER: There will be more public events and workshops in the coming months about treaty rights and the relationship with environmental and climate justice.
Event organizers included the American Indian Community Housing Organization, Take Action MN, Minnesota InterFaith Power and Light, and the University of Minnesota-Duluth.
OPEN STREETS MINNEAPOLIS - FRANKLIN AVE
SOUNDS OF OPEN STREETS
REPORTER: On a recent Sunday afternoon… I walked up and down Franklin Avenue for the free public event called Open Streets. I heard bands performing and the music of a parade, I smelled the delights of Powwow Grounds’ outdoor kitchen, and saw people from the Minneapolis American Indian Center, Nawayee Center School, Dream of Wild Health, and the Hennepin County Library… just to name a few.
WAUKAU: Open Streets is through the city of Minneapolis and really what it is is an organized a block party so the businesses have an opportunity to really showcase what they're all about.
REPORTER: I spoke with Allison Waukau who is the Community Liaison for the Hennepin County Library, and works specifically with the Native community.
WAUKAU: Franklin Avenue has the American Indian corridor, which is a lot of Native owned businesses and organizations and clinics.
REPORTER: The Ave was transformed into a car-free, community building space between Portland Avenue S to 27th Avenue S… which is about 1.7 miles.
The American Indian Cultural Corridor covers about half of that span.
The library hosted several Native artists, made books available outside, and held art-making activities. They even had a giant chess set for people to play.
WAUKAU: I think what the library now is really trying to do, especially with my position, is to let the Native community know that Franklin is here to support them in any way possible, but also to let the neighborhood know that there is a native community here. I think a lot of times we are invisible and just go unnoticed, and so today I really want to feature Native artists and to show the neighborhood that we are here and the library supports them.
REPORTER: For Minnesota Native News, I’m Leah Lemm.
Project launched to help tourism industry respond to climate change on North Shore
Mae Davenport, associate professor in the department of forest resources at the U of MN, has just received a grant to help North Shore community leasers and our area’s tourism-based industry better understand the vulnerabilities, risks, and opportunities a changing climate could bring to our region. She’ll be working specifically with organizations and people in Grand Marais, Lutsen, and Finland. WTIP’s Buck Benson spoke with her to learn more about the project and why it’s important.