17 January 2019

More than a Wall

Warning: May be longer than 500 words.  I attended the Community Update on the government shutdown yesterday.  The whole meeting is on the YouTube channel for the Tribal Government.  Questions were asked, answers were given.  This isn’t a rehash of what was said.  You can watch the meetings as there were two meetings: one in each sector.  I haven’t watched the second one.  A community meeting for the Delegates was scheduled for last evening which I had to be at in preparation for the MCT Constitutional Convention meeting tomorrow. 
What I want to discuss is a more general set of things that we can do in the wake of the longest federal government shut down.  For now, I’d like to point out that this crisis is one of the reasons for the cultural value of sharing.  We are a generous, caring people.  Let us remember that in the days going forward.

For now, the layoffs have been put on hold and a meeting was scheduled for February 4 to figure out the effects of the temporary measures put into place.  I commend the people who took a voluntary layoff at this time.  Many others voluntarily cut their hours.  Fortune Bay has put hiring priorities into place for employees who prefer to work.  Emergency Services, Health Division will still be operational.  Social Security and Medicare are mandated programs so those won’t be affected for those of us in that system.  The State of Minnesota’s Human Services as well as the counties’ divisions are working on plans to keep those services going if the Federal government shutdown lasts.  For now, those are still operational as Minnesota has reserves after being in the red for a bit and these are being used.
One point that was brought out is that President Trump is holding out for that Wall to be built.  My brother served at the Berlin Wall before it fell.  He, and us, are still dealing with those effects today.  Especially with the orders “Can’t defend til they get over the line of the No Man’s Land zone.”  My brother said he prayed that those people could cross the line, to get one toe, one finger over that line, so he could shoot to save even one.  Especially the children.  Can we deal with this as a nation?  Military families who served there know what it was like.  And this was during peace time.
Treaty rights were also mentioned.  Some of the bigger reservations are already working together.  Measures are being put together there.  Check with your home Rez.  One thing I want to make clear: Even though the federal government has a treaty mandated responsibility to provide education, health and welfare for us, we, as Indian Tribes, are under the auspices of the Department of the Interior.  Which is the subject of much of the media’s attention, in so far as the National Parks are concerned.
One thing that keeps getting pushed to the background is the fact that many of the public as well as reservation lands protected by the Dept. of the Interior have minerals and other “goodies” which are the object of exploitation.  What happened during the Standing Rock incident in 2016-17, Water Protection was at the heart of the matter.  Would we be able to do such a thing again with those reservations that may become completely uninhabitable?  We are already dealing with the harshness of living conditions in lands that mainstream Americans didn’t want.
It was disheartening to see the degree of negative thinking yesterday.  Not so much what was said.  It was who was saying it.  Yes, it is hard to deal with uncertainty.  I’m also not being a Pollyanna either.
For those who still have Netflix, take a gander through the Tidying Up with Marie Kondo series.  Perhaps now would be the time to go through the process.  It will help making decisions in more than just a clean house if you use that process.  Do we really need all the stuff we use?
What did we do back in the day before computers?  Why, we visited each other, played games with each other.  We read books, which by the by, I have two or more boxes of books cleared out using the KonMari method.  If interested, please come look through them.  Mainly fantasy or magazines of which quilting or sewing predominate.
I remember when Dan Morrison would send one or the other of his kids to my Mom’s house to pick up the reading she had after he retired.  Any and all books, especially the supermarket tabloids, would go to his house.  I took a bunch of stuff down to the ENP after the first couple rounds of KonMari. Sadly, it is being renovated and I have no other place to take these things.  I took clothes, household stuff.  A lot of the broken, unfixable things were tossed.  Perhaps someone could have fixed them.  Not me and I was tired of looking at or tripping over them, specially when my little toe was involved. 
There were lots of potluck get-togethers in which we shared and everyone got enough to eat.  Not just at pow-wows.  We plan on having several Constitutional Convention meetings which could be potluck.  Perhaps, the meal should be for after the meeting though?  Sort of a cool-down period before people go home.  So, those are a few things that are possible.
I volunteered one day a week transport with a 3 day notice because I had to make sure I have 1. The funds, and 2. The car.  It has to be on my son’s day off for longer shopping trips since we now have to go to Vtown for groceries or for appointments, preferably morning appointments.  These are the types of trips I did for my parents or the elders so I do know what’s involved in this.  I am in the process of writing stories for self-publishing and that, for me, must take priority.  And I’m also a Delegate for the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe Constitutional Convention which takes time.  I do have a Facebook page and group set up for when I was a political candidate-Holmes for Bois Forte.  I named it that in the event, correctly as it turns out, that I could use it in some way to benefit Bois Forte.  Ahh, it’s a good thing I did that.  We can use it.  I’ll look into whether or not I can change the status from being a political candidate.  So, here’s hoping I’ve put some ideas out there to help with the worry over the Government Shutdown.
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