A Becker County, MN jury sided with a former employee of the environmental group Honor the Earth in her sexual harassment claim.
Kirsti Marohn with Minnesota Public Radio has more.
Margaret Campbell filed a civil lawsuit in 2019 against Honor the Earth, an organization formed by environmental activist Winona LaDuke.
Campbell complained a co-worker sexually harassed her in 2014 and 2015, and acted inappropriately with Native American boys.
She says Honor the Earth’s leaders failed to take her concerns seriously.
Campbell initially filed a complaint with the Minnesota Department of Human Rights.
It found no probable cause Honor the Earth was guilty of sexual discrimination or took punitive action against Campbell.
She appealed, and last week, the jury awarded her $750,000 in damages for sexual harassment and retaliation.
In a statement, LaDuke said Honor the Earth remains committed to resisting all forms of sexual harassment, violence, and assault.
Youth leaders recently highlighted priorities for the circumpolar north during a panel at the recent Arctic Encounter Symposium in Anchorage, as Alaska Public Media’s Kavitha George reports.
The panelists included Indigenous fellows and policy advisors from Alaska, Canada, and Greenland.
In addition to climate adaptation and cultural preservation, panelists stressed the need to look at the root causes of outmigration from their traditional homelands.
Cordelia Kellie is Special Assistant for Rural Affairs to U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK).
She says during a recent trip to Kotzebue she heard about the need for port development to have easier access to goods in the Northwest Arctic region and other needs.
“How are we also investing in housing so that way people can be in communities, because I think that is one issue of housing that affects all of our Arctic communities, I see a lot of nodding heads. So infrastructure, cost of living and housing, would be in priorities for making sure people can stay on our traditional homelands.”
On another panel, older Alaska Native leaders discussed the necessity of an energy transition away from fossil fuels.
Chief Gary Harrison of Chickaloon Village says he fears climate change could destroy the way of life he wants to pass on.
“We know that peoples in the Arctic are like the canary in the coal mine. It’s going to be affecting us first. Our bottom line is going to be what are we going to have for the future generations? If we leave a mess, how are they going to live? it’s something that I think about constantly.”
Planning for a sustainable future that balances resource development and climate change were top discussions at the three-day gathering.
A Canadian rhythm and blues singer has been honored by Native leaders for her rendition of Canada’s national anthem.
Dan Karpenchuk has more.
It took place at the NBA All-Star Game in Salt Lake City, Utah, in February.
Instead of singing “O Canada. Our home and native land,” Jully Black sing this:
“O Canada, our home on Native land…”
At a special chiefs assembly in Ottawa of the Assembly of First Nations, on Monday, Black was honored for the small change to the anthem.
She was presented with an eagle feather and wrapped with a blanket during a ceremony by AFN National Chief Roseanne Archibald.
Saying she was grateful, Black held back tears and said she didn’t realize here action would receive such a response, even while singing the song at the game, she said it was emotional for her.
“If I have an opportunity to be an amplified voice, then I’m going to. That’s why I made the decision. As a singer if you cry, you lose your voice, you won’t sound very good. I’m first generation Canadain singing that song since kindergarten, learning it, someone telling me to sing it, not knowing what it actually meant. And so as a songwriter I didnt’ to disrespect the song writer because I am one too. But I also realize that we are on the land, like on it. We don’t own it, it’s not ours. So rather than look at I changed the anthem, I wish I could sit with the songwriter and say hey you might have got the facts wrong.”
Black says she also consulted with some of her Indigenous friends before making the final decision.
After the ceremony Black again sang the altered version of “O Canada.”
That prompted cheers from the crowd.
Get National Native News delivered to your inbox daily. Sign up for our newsletter today