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#1063 – Dick Bernard: The International Day of Peace 2015

Friday, September 18th, 2015
The United Nations Building, snapshot, June 30, 1971, Dick Bernard

The United Nations Building, snapshot, June 30, 1971, Dick Bernard

The United Nations has had an International Day of Peace since 1982; and in 2001, set the day for future annual observances as the autumnal equinox, September 21, of each year. The theme is “an annual day of non-violence and cease fire”

(The observance of Peace Day at the United Nations in 2001 happened to be September 11, 2001. According to my friend, Madeline Simon, “on Sept 11, 2001, the celebration started–but was not completed, due to the attack. [The event] appeared to somewhere on the roof area [at the UN], and then an evacuation of the building followed.”)

The first Peace Day I actually attended was at Minneapolis’ Loring Park on September 21, 2003, organized by a coalition of downtown churches led by First Unitarian Society and member activist Madeline Simon. It was an inspiring program.

International Peace Day at Loring Park, Minneapolis, September 21, 2003

International Peace Day at Loring Park, Minneapolis, September 21, 2003

As time has gone on, thanks to efforts of groups such as Peace One Day, the Day of Peace has thrived. The young man whose passion led to the UN proclamation setting Sep 21 as the day to spotlight peace, Englishman Jeremy Gilley, has seen the day grow from a few curious supporters in London, to as many as a billion people who know of peace day, and take the message to heart. The film which introduced Peace Day to me in 2003 is still available, here, Peace One Day Pt. 1. Gilley’s accomplishment has been an amazing one, a testament to one man’s grit and persistence, and it has grown, and grown, and makes a difference in the world.

Check out celebrations of the International Day of Peace in your area. If none exist, become part of the solution for next year.

In the Twin Cities I know of at least three events this coming weekend (there may be more):

1) In St. Paul, at the Landmark Center on Saturday, Sep. 19 at 2 p.m. an important exhibition and film will commemorate Pictures from A Hiroshima Schoolyard. More information on this program and related events here.

2) In Minneapolis, at the Loft Literary Center on 1011 Washington Ave. S, the Loft will be dedicated as a Peace Site at 2 p.m. on Sunday Sep. 20

3) In Minneapolis, 3:30 – 5:30 at Midtown Global Market 920 E. Lake St Minneapolis more info at this Facebook link. About the worldwide event: Families in U.S., Japan, China, Australia, Saudi Arabia, and more will sing for peace on September 21st: To celebrate the United Nations’ International Day of Peace, thousands of Music Together families with young children around the globe will participate in a livestream of [their] song for peace, “May All Children.” For 22 hours, families from around the globe will gather and sing “May All Children” in the 4 PM hour in their local time zones, creating an ongoing live presentation of the song from many different cultures. Children, parents, and teachers from more than 30 locations are participating in the event, including New Zealand, Australia, Japan, Taiwan, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Croatia, Bermuda, and across the United States. The livestream will run for 22 hours on September 21, 2015, 12:00 AM to 10:00 PM Eastern Time. Live link here.

There is a culture of Peace that is alive and well in our communities, showing itself in many and sundry positive ways.

Become part of the movement to make every day, everywhere, a place of peace.

#1062 – Dick Bernard: The “Debates”

Thursday, September 17th, 2015

Last night I turned off the “telley” at 6:30. I missed the “debates” from the Reagan Library in Simi Valley California.

Not that there is much to miss. The combatants (that’s what they are) are practicing refining their hopefully winning message to a certain subset of the American electorate who will, in a few months, be voting in Republican Primary Elections in some early states, like New Hampshire and Iowa.

Everything is very predictable. Occasionally some surprise happens, as when now-former candidate and Texas Governor Rick Parry, in the 2012 round, declared firmly that he would eliminate three U.S. Cabinet departments…but who, when asked, couldn’t remember the third…. Those things are noticeable. Depth of knowledge apparently is not needed.

We are stuck with the “debates”.

The choice is whether to watch them or not. It is like getting hooked on a “reality” show like “Big Brother” (doubtless borrowing from George Orwell’s “Big Brother” in the book 1984. Big Brother never makes an actual appearance in 1984, but he is omnipresent….)

The debates cause me to think back to 1982 when my Dad and I and four traveling companions met a solo traveler at Laval University in Quebec City. Her name was Mary, and she was from England. We invited her to join us for a day or two of sightseeing.

Mary, I came to learn years later, was the daughter of a prominent Judge in London’s Old Bailey Court, His Honour Alan King-Hamilton, and years later, in October 2001, I was able to meet him in person, still intellectually formidable at age 96.

In 1926-27 he had been President of the Cambridge Union Society.

Cambridge Union Society with  committee and two  guest speakers 8 June, 1927. Debaters in America, Fall 1927:  Alan King-Hamilton and H. L. Elvin, front 4&5th from left; H. M Foot, back, 4th from left.   From King-Hamilton's book, "And Nothing But the Truth".

Cambridge Union Society with committee and two guest speakers 8 June, 1927. Debaters in America, Fall 1927: Alan King-Hamilton and H. L. Elvin, front 4&5th from left; H. M Foot, back, 4th from left. From King-Hamilton’s book, “And Nothing But the Truth”.

Mary took my wife and I around to places to see in London, one of which was for lunch at Middle Temple, a haven for barristers, and in the library I pulled a book from the shelves by her Dad, And Nothing But the Truth. Lo and behold, the first page I opened referred to a 1927 Debate Tour of the United States taken by the Judge and two of his colleagues, H.L Elvin and H. M. Foot, as part of the exchange program of the Institute of International Education (IIE), now commonly referred to as the Fulbright Program.

Over time, I came to learn much about the Debates in 1927. A list of the debates is here (two pages): King-Hamilton et al 1927001. Alan K-H turned 22 near the end of the U.S.-Canada tour.

In 1927, debates were, like the Presidential debates now, spectator sports. In effect, in this case, the U.S. college versus Cambridge!

The teams had to be prepared to argue either the affirmative or the negative of several different issues.

In one memorable debate, at UCBerkeley, there was such a large crowd that they agreed to do two debates simultaneously in two separate halls. This made for some amusement. Judge King-Hamilton recalled in his diary “when I arrived in the second hall, I [found] that their first speaker and Elvin (who spoke first for us) [had] already finished, and Elvin [had] been filling in time by entertaining the audience with his views on America. I [had] to dash back again to the first hall and reply to three speeches, two of which I [hadn’t] heard.” But, all was well: “it [was] a very successful and amusing evening, and we were all in good form.”

After a month and a half in North America, King-Hamilton mused on the United States: “through the Middle West, from North Dakota to Texas, we have encountered religious curiosity which develops into something like intolerance upon the information being given to them. In the East they want to know who your father is, in the Middle West who your God is, and in the far West how much money you’ve got!” In his 1982 book, “And Nothing But The Truth”, Judge King-Hamilton recalls this same question, and asks “I wonder if it is still the same now, more than fifty years later.” (p. 14)

I wonder how the good Judge, deceased at 105 in 2009, would comment on the American “debates” if he were now to witness them.

Personally, I find them as substantive as “let’s make a deal” or similar game shows.

Caveat Emptor….

#1061 – Dick Bernard: September 11

Friday, September 11th, 2015

NOTE: I’ve added a postnote to this post.

Nuclear weapons, from display at Hiroshima Nagasaki Exhibit at Landmark Center, St. Paul Aug 23, 2015

Nuclear weapons, from display at Hiroshima Nagasaki Exhibit at Landmark Center, St. Paul Aug 23, 2015

Seventy years ago today, September 11, 1945, my mother’s brother – my Uncle and Navy Lieutenant George Busch – was on board the Destroyer, the USS Woodworth, which had anchored the day before in Tokyo Bay. (WWII was over, the surrender signed nearby on September 2, 1945.)

I know this from the ship daily log books which I had requested back in the 1990s. Uncle George was on the Woodworth, from January, 1943, through the end of the war, till docking in Portland Oregon October 20, 1945, thence reentering into American civilian peace-time society.

Presumably on September 11, 1945, those on the Woodworth had an opportunity to take a look at what was left of Tokyo.

from Bombers over Japan WWII, Time-Life Books 1982, page 198

from Bombers over Japan WWII, Time-Life Books 1982, page 198

Perhaps some of them – perhaps my Uncle George? – did as my Dad’s cousin and best man, Marvin, an Army veteran, who was field promoted to Colonel by the end of the war, and was for a short time head of a Prefecture on Japan. He told me once that his first act on reaching Japanese soil was to “piss on it”. So it is with showing dominance over enemies after conquest, and disrespecting the vanquished, even though his Prefecture was far from the seat of things militarily – it was just a rural area in northern Japan.

The war in the Pacific had been a vicious one for all, and in addition, Marvin’s cousin, my Dad’s brother Frank, had gone down with the Arizona at Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941.

Marvin and Frank, circa 1935, probably Oakwood ND

Marvin and Frank, circa 1935, probably Oakwood ND

There have been lots of September 11ths before and since 1945.

September 11, 2015, in addition to the obligatory nod to THE 9-11, will probably feature, on TV tonight, the endless commercials attacking one of our MN Congressmen who apparently is not condemning the Nuclear Agreement with Iran and is viewed as politically vulnerable. One ad ends with a horrific fireball, a “mushroom cloud”, as if it is some unique invention to be pioneered by the Iranians if we don’t see to it that they’re kept under our heel. Such propaganda is expensive and persuasive. We have become slaves to sophisticated media messages which are difficult to escape.

But there are alternative realities as well. Tomorrow somewhere in the Twin Cities a large number of new citizens will proudly take the oath, and graduate to full citizenship in the United States. It is doubtless a ritual shared in all countries, all that differs is the precise way it is done.

And these new citizens will be proud of their new citizenship, as they’re proud of their own homeland, and are likely more aware than the vast majority of us about what it means to be an “American”. They’ve had to study our system, and they are knowledgeable. Sorry, more of us aren’t as aware….

We all will do as we will do today, and tomorrow and next week and on and on and on.

Three simple suggestions:

1. To become acquainted with the organization Green Card Voices, which is doing very significant work to bring to life those who have spent years as Green Card holders in the U.S. enroute to citizenship.

2. If you’re in the Twin Cities, take time to go to the Landmark Center in St. Paul, and see the exhibit provided by the City of Nagasaki about the bomb and its affect August 9, 1945. It is a relatively small exhibit, but if you pay attention to it, you’ll easily be there more than an hour. It’s on till November 28. The schedule is here:
(click to enlarge)
Hiroshima Nagasaki001

3. To pick up and reread, or read for the first time, George Orwell’s “1984”, published in 1949, which I probably didn’t see till college days. It is rather disquieting to translate his novel to present day American terms: actors like “telescreen”, “Proles”, and all of that. (I looked up September 11, 1984, and there really wasn’t all that much happening that particular day. But Orwell was in many ways a visionary, and most of us are todays Proles, who allow life happen to us without much regard to the consequences.)

Each one of us has a certain command of our own “ship”, and we can impact positively or negatively on how it sails, and how it impacts ourselves, and others.

Have a great day.

Same source as above, Aug. 23, 2015

Same source as above, Aug. 23, 2015

POSTNOTE: After publishing the above I watched the 9-11-2015 evening news which, as expected, emphasized again, on this 14th anniversary of 9-11, the continuing national mourning of what seems to be our now perpetual “Pearl Harbor”.

No “mushroom cloud” ads appeared, as erroneously predicted by myself, perhaps because a concerted effort to stop the deal failed in the U.S. Congress on Sep. 11 – a date probably specifically strategically selected for the vote.

No doubt, we experienced a tragedy 9-11-01, but the biggest tragedy of all is our continual obsession of the need to be in control; and the seeming narrative that the only way to prevent war is to be stronger and more threatening than the other party in preparing for the next war…more or less the narrative of George Orwell’s 1984. We seem to need to have an enemy to validate our existence. We are made to live in constant fear of some other.

9-11-01 took the lives of 3 Minnesotans, it was reported tonight. In the 2000 census there were 4.9 million Minnesotans. (There were 281 million Americans in 2000.) After 9-11 has come continuous war, Iraq, Afghanistan, ISIS/Syria, with all the attendant loss of life and disruption of normal lives, including the present day refugee crisis. ISIS/ISIL is a direct outgrowth of our actions in Iraq, including regime change.

We don’t seem to learn, we need to change the conversation, beginning within ourselves.

I wonder if we have the capacity to do this….

#1060 – Dick Bernard: The First Day of School

Tuesday, September 8th, 2015
Roosevelt office area from the front lobby August 23, 2015

Roosevelt office area from the front lobby August 23, 2015

This year is rather unusual in Minnesota. A very late Labor Day means that there have been some deviations from the normal mandatory day after Labor Day start to the 2015-16 school year.

Nonetheless, the evening just past was doubtless a nervous one for K-12 students and their teachers and other school staff as the new school year begins. Everything happens at once. Returning to school is much like going to a family reunion; you know what to expect, but you’re not sure how you’ll perform, regardless of your particular role. I’d guess there was more than normal incidence of fitful sleep last night.

For reasons laid out in a previous post, this year, for me, is much more significant than usual. My early career, I was a junior high school geography teacher, and in 1965, in my third year, 50 years ago this week, probably on September 8, 1965, I met my first classes of eighth graders at Roosevelt Junior High School in the Minneapolis suburb of Blaine MN.

It was my first year in Minnesota*.

I remember very little of the month of August, 1965. I still work at filling in blanks of that month, through mining the memories of others. August, 1965, was a traumatic time for me.

I do remember, as one of many new teachers in the Anoka-Hennepin School District, taking a bus trip to see the Districts schools at the beginning of workshop week. In those years, this already massive district was growing by over 2000 students a year, and each year brought newly built schools, and lots of new teachers.

Roosevelt Junior High School had just opened. Everything was new.

The school, then, was out in the country, literally, bordered by farmland, and reached by a two lane road. The nearest housing development was about a mile south. That was a long time ago. Here’s a photo I took of the school about 1968 (my brother was piloting the plane, and, remember, I was a geography teacher!)

(click to enlarge all photos)

Roosevelt Junior High School from the northwest, Fall, 1968

Roosevelt Junior High School from the northwest, Fall, 1968

A couple of weeks ago I stopped by present day Roosevelt and took a few photos, all of which were reminders about 1965.

Photos August 23, 2015, Dick Bernard

Photos August 23, 2015, Dick Bernard

August 23, 2015 (the hallway looks almost exactly the same as 50 years ago.)

August 23, 2015 (the hallway looks almost exactly the same as 50 years ago.)

The classroom I started the school year in 1965, pictured August 23, 2015

The classroom I started the school year in 1965, pictured August 23, 2015

In the lobby, was a display case with some history of the school building itself:

History of the Roosevelt Jr. High School - display, August 23, 2015

History of the Roosevelt Jr. High School – display, August 23, 2015


Back in 1965, Roosevelt was grades 7-9; at some more recent point it became a Middle School, and at various point a new wing and a swimming pool were added, and the 10 acres were developed from the bare ground there when we opened the building.

In the course of 50 years, tens of thousand of students, and well over one thousand staff members have shared space at Roosevelt. Personally, I was there for seven years.

I was amazed at the wonderful condition of the school, so many years after it opened for business.

Today Roosevelt Middle School opens again for another year, and the faculty and staff greet a new crop of kids. Those quiet halls I walked a couple of weeks ago will teem with life again.

Each student will will receive a student planner with the “rules for the road” for the “town” that is Roosevelt Middle School. At the end of the planner are several pages we all might review. Here they are: Student Planner 2015-16001

My best wishes to the Roosevelt crowd, and to all school personnel everywhere.

Have a great year.

* POSTNOTE: My first August in Minnesota was in Anoka, then a country town, the county seat of Anoka County, perhaps 20 miles from downtown Minneapolis. The road to Minneapolis was two lane, down what was called the West River Road, alongside the Mississippi River.

I had been to Anoka once in my life, probably 1956, with my parents and siblings, when we stopped at Rum River Park. I know this only because I have a photo (which apparently I took). We would have been enroute to Chicago on U.S. 10 visit my Uncle and Aunt who had recently had their first child.

At Anoka MN, summer 1956, from left: Henry, Frank, John, Esther, Mary Ann and Florence Bernard.

At Anoka MN, summer 1956, from left: Henry, Frank, John, Esther, Mary Ann and Florence Bernard.

In 1965-66, my son and I lived at 1615 South Ferry Street, a block from the Mississippi River Bridge, “catty corner” from the Embers Restaurant across the street. Where the house stood is long gone. The Smarts, Mom, Dad and two kids, lived there, as did my son and I and perhaps one or two others who roomed upstairs. I don’t recall the others.

Being in a new town is a lot like being a young child again: one’s range is very limited.

For me, Anoka meant that house, an old corner cafe at the southeast corner of Ferry and Main Street, the old St. Stephen’s Catholic Church and Fr. Murphy. Much of that first month I drove into St. Louis Park to continue working in the original Lincoln Del. I worked there until early January when the toll of two jobs brought pneumonia to my door, and I had to quit. That broadened my horizon a tiny bit: the Mork Clinic and Goodrich Drug Store entered my sphere. But otherwise, mostly, Anoka was home, to work, either at the Del, or at Roosevelt Junior High School down then rural and two lane Co Rd 42, 125th Ave NW, 7 miles east of Anoka.

Anoka remains recognizable to me 50 years later, but like all places, particularly suburban, it is greatly changed by the passage of years.

#1058 – Dick Bernard: The Humanitarian Crises that we watch on Television. That little Kurdish boy who drowned….

Saturday, September 5th, 2015

It was heart-wrenching to see this picture in an e-mail this morning:

(click to enlarge)
demo on sunday

Here is the text of the e-mail: “Join us on Sunday, September 4 [6?], at Minnehaha Park [Minneapolis MN] to DEMAND an end to inhumane treatment of refugees, an end to tight border regulations and border walls, an end to police abuse of refugees and immigrants everywhere.

While a little Syrian boy didn’t survive his journey to safety around the world, the image of his body washed up on Turkey’s shore did. Images are not enough. As hundreds of thousands of people undertake the dangerous journey to Europe’s asylum, we must take to the streets to demand the world support them and keep them safe.



See our facebook page for more info.”

I’ve watched on every newscast the last couple of days first, the Turkish policeman carrying the lifeless body of this three year old Kurd who, with his mother and brother, drowned attempting to reach freedom. Yesterday and in today’s news we see the anguished young father returning to war-torn Syria to bury his wife and children, saying he does not plan to leave home again: he had left to help save his childrens future; now he has nothing but memories.

The news is full of stories about the tens of thousands seeking refuge from war-torn Syria in other places. We seem to say, “not our problem”….

What troubles me, as an ordinary American, is how insulated I am from these harsh realities. It is so easy to deny our place within the family of man, Watching the news images doesn’t affect me – we see so much of this so often on the tube, but most of us rarely experience anything like it, personally or through people we actually know.

We are isolated from an awful reality of so many. And life goes on: go to the State Fair, the last summer weekend at the lake, etc., etc.

For some reason, the TV image of the Turkish policeman carrying the lifeless Kurdish child reminded me of a long ago photograph from the Fargo Tornado Jun 1957003. The previous day a deadly tornado came through Fargo and West Fargo, killing at least seven people, including this little girl:

Fargo Tornado Jun 1957002

Of course, ten years ago came Katrina, devastating, particularly, New Orleans.

Ten years later, all is not back to normal, though everyone tries to put a positive face on our response to that tragedy, short and long-term.

It’s old news. So easy to forget.

Many years ago, perhaps sometime in the 1990s, an African-American minister put things in their proper context for me. I need to revisit his lesson….

By random chance, I happened to be listening to Krista Tippett’s Speaking of Faith (now called On Being) on Minnesota Public Radio, and her guest was a former evangelical Bishop down south somewhere.

He had built a very large congregation, based largely on expert preaching about the reality of Hell. He filled the hall, so to speak.

One day, at home, he happened to be watching the television news and saw the procession of refugees from the Genocide of Rwanda (1994). In the picture were children.

At that moment, he said, his definition of Hell changed, and the next Sunday, so did his message: Hell was not down there, for bad people; rather it was right here on earth for those poor refugees, particularly those innocent children.

For him, it had dire consequences. His congregants didn’t come to Church to hear messages like “hell on earth” as applied to real persons like themselves – that was too close to home for them, apparently.

His congregation quickly declined, and he literally had to start over.

I don’t remember his name, and thus I can’t find archival record.

For a moment, though, he changed my attitude, and it is good that I can remember it at least the anecdote now, and get more personally engaged.

We are, all of us, part of a much larger world, than just our home, town, state, or nation.

We best not forget that.

NOTE: Follow up post published on Sep 7, here.

from Alberder: This was a powerful post. Thank you.

from John: The hell on Earth part is true. The refugee/migration crisis of today will only get worse. But just imagine how much money is being made by the military industrial complex.

from Annelee who grew up in Nazi Germany, whose father refused to join the Nazi Party, then was drafted into the German Army as a road engineer:

Time moves on, the little Kurdish boy’s drowning, the Turkish policeman holding his lifeless body, the inconsolable father will shake most people up for a while — little will be done and people will move on with their lives glad they are not in the refugees situation.

I am guilty too of moving on with life —but memories of my past will not leave me.

I remember 1945 when 3 million Sudetenland Germans [what is now western Czech Republic] were forced to leave their homeland; when residents of what became East Germany left their homes and lived in refugee camps for a decade or more.

As you know I have a little doll house chair that keeps my memories alive. Today, my aunt Lisbeth is so much on my mind [one of those expelled from Sudetenland]. I still can see her when she handed me the little chair— she took it from her home— even though she had lost everything— she thought of me.

“Papa? may I ask why God leaves us so alone? I am NOT losing my faith, just questioning?????”

I watched 2020 last night when the Holy Father [Pope Francis]—spoke via phone to homeless and refugees.

A young man told his life story: His Mexican father brought his family to Texas where they worked to have a better life. The young man attended school in Texas— when he applied to attend the university, it was found that he and his family were illegal immigrants from Mexico. He and his family were deported to Mexico where they live in a homeless shelter.

Germany has so much to be ashamed of — from 1933-1945 — but I am proud that Germany will take 800,000 refugees to ease the suffering of people who were caught in a web not of their making.

My niece Manuela was here [from Germany]: I always tried to console Mama when she wished we would learn what happened to Papa [Annelee’s father, who refused to join the Nazi party and was drafted into the Germany Army to work on road construction – he was an engineer]. I always said that maybe it was better not to know.

Manuela: “I always wanted to know what happened to my grandpa [Annelee’s Dad] during or near the end of the war. I had it researched, which is costly, but possible now. here is what I have learned so far:

[Annelee’s Dad] was taken prisoner by the Russians during March 1945—-

He ended up in Siberia where he with other German prisoners of war built roads.

After 1945 Poland demanded German Prisoners from Russia —Papa was selected with a great number of other prisoners to be sent to Poland —- Poland sent these prisoners to Auschwitz.
While there they were killed to avenge all the Jews that Germany had killed at Auschwitz.”

NOTE FROM DICK: This is a particularly profound commentary on the reality of war. Annelee has been to Auschwitz four times, and never knew what Manuela, her niece, has revealed. The Jewish population of Poland was virtually obliterated by the Nazis; but a similar number (though fewer as a percentage of the population) of Poles were killed as well. Annelee’s “Papa” did the right thing, refusing to go along with the Nazi line, but was punished by the victors anyway. Those of us who feel we are insulated simply by virtue of thinking righteous thoughts have best think about this again. We are part of whatever system we happen to be in.

from Larry, in Fargo ND: Excellent piece on the refugees, Dick. Your comparison of the photo of the three-year old from Turkey with that photo from long ago is, sadly, appropriate and thought-provoking. As Shakespeare wrote, “what is past is prologue.” Truer words, unfortunately, were never written.

from Jeff: Good piece.

The photo was one of those that ends up changing minds. (starting to see some help for these unfortunates in EU)

As to yr preacher who had a change of view on “Hell”, I do remember that, think there was a magazine piece on him a few years back.

We apostates prefer to point to the continuing occurences of bad things happening to innocent people of course as proof of the absence of a “just” god.

Since the death of this innocent child alone, much less the people found suffocated in locked trucks, or hacked to death in Rwanda, Nigeria, (add your location), defies certainly the logic Of St Augustine and Aquinas, but certainly extinguishes the dim light of faith for many of us as well.

#1057 – Dick Bernard: More thoughts from Anne Dunn. “The next seven generations”

Thursday, September 3rd, 2015

My friend, Anne Dunn*, is always worth paying attention to. She has great wisdom, from life.

Today came two items, one from Anne, the other about something which Anne said. The sources were different, and, well, you can read them in the same sequence that I did.

I believe Gull Lake is the prominent resort lake just north of Brainerd MN, though I might be wrong. I believe the Treaty of 1855 referred to in the commentary is this one**, though at this writing I am not sure.

First, from Anne’s Facebook post this afternoon: “Water Walkers are those who are still strong enough to make long walks and those who are dedicated to making the future a better place for the next seven generations. They make many steps across the land and every step is a prayer. Together they are engaged in a sacred dance.It requires a commitment of time and energy. In many cases these young women leave their children behind because they believe this is what must be done to accomplish their vision of a better tomorrow.They also are prepared to endure the hardship of deprivation and extreme weather conditions. Sometimes they might face derisive comments from those who do not understand that they walk for the lives of all nations.They carry the water as women have been doing for centuries. They remember that their children are born of water. They recognize that water is vital to the lives of those nations that depend on it for survival.Water walkers raise awareness. They are hard to ignore as they go along the highways and byways and skyways in their skirts and shawls.What do such women do at the end of their walk? They return to their homes and teach those who will listen. They educate the young and those not so young but newly aware of their special place in creation.We cannot live without water and the water walker is a messenger of that fact. She is also one who helps seek real solutions to the real problems of the growing pollution around us. Water walkers take the steps for those who stay at home because of ignorance, financial restraints, physical limitations or apathy.”

Later I was reading today’s Minneapolis Star Tribune, and in a column “Indian fishing and wild-rice harvesting, in context” recalls a conversation Anne Dunn had with him about water (the reference is about one-third of the way down).

There is no need to add anything to either Anne’s commentary, or Michael McNally’s column. There is much “food for thought” in both.

Thanks Anne, and Michael.

* Anne Dunn appears often on these pages. Simply enter her name in the search box for other columns at other times.

** – here is a story of the final Minnesota treaty, at Huot Crossing, October 1863. Huot Crossing Trtyt 1863001

#1056 – Dick Bernard: A 2015 Demonstration for Black Lives Matter at the Minnesota State Fair in St. Paul; and a flashback to Peace Island in 2008

Sunday, August 30th, 2015

NOTE: I include my own followup comments after Judy’s comment at the end of this post.

Had I not had a schedule conflict on Saturday, August 29, I would have wandered over to the Minnesota State Fair to see the Black Lives Matter demonstration at the Fair.

As it was, all my information came from the local TV news, and this mornings newspaper. From a news standpoint, it was apparently a pretty boring (as in lack of mayhem and blood) event. While it had the most prominent placement on the Minneapolis Star Tribune front page, the sub-headline said “Police made no arrests during mostly peaceful Black Lives Matter rally”. Those who wanted “action”, on all sides, were probably disappointed.

Peaceful things don’t have much to offer a “news” cycle; there is one shot at a headline.

Actually, the Demo caused me to think back to another St. Paul event on Sep 2-4, 2008. It was an event called the Peace Island Conference, and I was one of the organizers. Three or so miles away from our venue was the 2008 Republican National Convention, which lives in history for the John McCain/Sarah Palin Presidential Ticket.

My personal favorite photos are these, taken mostly by myself on Sep 1-4, 2008, at assorted peaceful gatherings at varying venues in St. Paul.

(click to enlarge)

A peace kid and a gunboat at the Mississippi River, St. Paul, September 4, 2008

A peace kid and a gunboat at the Mississippi River, St. Paul, September 4, 2008

Closer view of the gunboat on the Mississippi Sep. 4, 2008

Closer view of the gunboat on the Mississippi Sep. 4, 2008

Police waiting to repel the assault of protestors, Sep 1, 2008

Police waiting to repel the assault of protestors, Sep 1, 2008

Those who were there in 2008 will remember all of these.

The assorted police forces from all over (it seemed) were mobilized to prepare for war against a rabble of crazed peaceniks who would certainly descend on St. Paul to disrupt the Republican National Convention in downtown. Bizarre weapons, like the gunboat on the Mississippi, appeared to protect citizens from the rabble. Police dressed like transformer characters were an ominous presence everywhere. The media focus was on occasional incidents.

I was in the rabble demonstrating on Sep 1. Doubtless there were people wanting to be arrested, and vandals, but they were few and far between. The vast majority of us were just demonstrating for peace, that’s all.

Down the street about three miles, the next day, we convened Peace Island: a “Solutions Driven Conference”. There were several hundred registered for the event; 23 speakers with impressive credentials from all over.

From a nutrition point of view, there was a lot of nutritive value at the many sessions at Peace Island. From a news viewpoint: apparently no value at all.

Peace Island Conference, September 3, 2008

Peace Island Conference, September 3, 2008

In a hard American news sense, Peace Island conference was boring. To my recollection, Peace Island did not attract a single reporter nor a single news story, much less something on page one. It was, in that sense, an utter failure.

Much better had there been a violent call to revolution of some kind.

But, still, Peace Island was a huge success of its own.

Saturday, August 29, at the State Fair Grounds seems to have been a somewhat boring event from a news standpoint. “…no arrests….”.

Cool heads prevailed all around.

The Black Lives Matter group certainly got the attention they were hoping to get, but neither side threw a punch to make “news”.

That is very good.

I’ve often wondered if Peace Island accomplished anything.

I do think it lives on, in a positive sense, a message to present and future activists.

Black Lives Matter is in itself a movement to keep in the public eye a necessary conversation.

I don’t know any of the youthful movements leaders, but I congratulate them for their efforts.

Celebrating Peace at Peace Island Sep. 4, 2008

Celebrating Peace at Peace Island Sep. 4, 2008

Larry Long (center) and Tao Rodriguez-Seeger (left)perform at Peace Island Sep 4, 2015

Larry Long (center) and Tao Rodriguez-Seeger (left)perform at Peace Island Sep 4, 2015

Sign beside a St. Paul Street, late August, 2008

Sign beside a St. Paul Street, late August, 2008

Comment from Judy, Minneapolis, Aug. 31:
Yes, it was peaceful, but huge numbers of racist comments on their facebook page. our church has been studying racism this summer with two interim pastors while our pastor was on sabbatical in south Africa studying racism. This fall we are reading Between the World and me and a couple of years ago we read the Grace of Silence by Michele Norris. Our church sits at the corner of 4 south Minneapolis neighborhoods.

Black Lives Matter (BLM) has come out with their platform in the last week or so and we copied it for people for an adult forum yesterday. We are thinking about putting up a banner and had a couple of pastors come and talk about their experience in doing so. We are, of course, dealing with the conflict of All lives matter versus black lives matter….I finally got it this summer partially based on these statistics:

“A black person is killed extra-judicially every 28 hrs, and Black men between ages 19 and 25 are the group most at risk to be gunned down by police. Based on data from the Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice, young Blacks are 4.5 times more likely to be killed by police than any other age or racial group.

African-Americans have comprised 26 percent of police shootings though we only makeup 13 percent of the U.S. population, based on data spanning from 1999 to 2011.

Shootings fell to 35 per year in the 2000s though the risk is still higher for Black Americans than it is for whites, Latinos and Asians. My people are killed at 2.8 times the rate of white non-Latinos and 4.3 times the rate of Asians.” Source of preceding paragraphs here.


1. End broken-windows policing

Broken windows policing refers to the theory that if you don’t go after minor crimes (i.e. broken windows), then it sends the community a message that they can get away with more serious crimes. Campaign Zero says this form of policing disproportionately affects minorities.

2. Community oversight

Campaign Zero suggests establishing a civilian-run commission that can make recommendations for discipline following a civilian complaint of police misconduct. They say this is better than relying on fellow officers to punish their own colleague.

3. Limit use of force

Campaign Zero wants officers only to be allowed to use deadly force when there is an imminent threat to the officer’s life or the life of another person. Currently, officers can use deadly force when they perceive a deadly threat. The group also calls for stricter standards for reporting the use of deadly force.

4. Independently investigate and prosecute

To avoid conflicts of interest, Campaign Zero calls for state governments to establish independent prosecutors who will investigate instances of police violence and killings. The group also wants to reduce the standard of proof for federal civil rights investigations of police officers.

5. Community representation

The campaign calls for police departments to be more representative of the communities they police by having proportional amounts of women and people of color on staff.

6. Body cameras & filming the police

Campaign Zero wants all police officers to be equipped with body cameras and for police to be banned from taking recording devices from civilians without their consent.

7. Training

Campaign Zero suggests that police officers be required to undergo training four times a year on a variety of issues including racial bias or prejudice, community interaction, crisis intervention, and de-escalation of situations.

8. End for-profit policing

Campaign Zero recommends police departments do away with quotas for tickets and arrests as well as limit fines and fees for low-income people and have stricter standards for civil forfeiture (seizing of civilian property).

9. Demilitarization

Campaign Zero suggests ending the federal government’s 1033 program that provides military weapons to local police departments. The group also says there should be greater restrictions on police departments attempting to purchase and use military grade equipment.

10. Fair police contracts

Campaign Zero believes police union contracts have given police unions too much influence and give officers too much protection in the instances of misconduct. Campaign Zero wants to eliminate barriers put in place by the union contracts and make officers’disciplinary history accessible to the public. In addition, they suggest that officers’ shouldn’t be paid if they are being investigated for seriously injuring or killing a civilian.

On their website, the group also offers policy agendas for how to implement their reforms on the local, state, and federal level. The group also published a fact sheet detailing where each presidential candidate stands on these proposals.

Information above taken from here.

POSTNOTE from Dick Bernard: Black Lives Matter and the Minnesota State Fair, like the Peace activities at the 2008 Peace Island and Republican National Convention, both in St. Paul, are extremely complex “organisms”, involving reason, emotion, many, many individual “actors”, and on and on. When I observed what appeared to have happened at the Black Lives Matter demo at the State Fair, I basically was reflecting on the relationship between the State (Those who direct the Police) and the People (the demonstrators).

In 2008, it appeared, all of Minnesota was in “lock down”, and I was among the demonstrators affected. In every way the message was, “behave, or you’re in deep trouble”; that everyone was a potential danger. It was an over the top totally paranoid response to people who wanted to demonstrate. The tone of what happened between People and State at the Minnesota State Fair area on Saturday seemed very different. Sure, there were examples on both sides, but the tone was very different.

Back on August 22, a week before the State Fair demonstration, there was a burst of conversation on one of the lists to which I subscribe. One member was irritated by what he saw as the disruption of the Fair by the demonstrators. His statement was a fair one, but I responded as follows: “Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, and on this one I’ll disagree with you.

My career was as a teacher union representative (Education Minnesota), and when we were asserting our rights to bargain and such, it was necessary to get people’s attention, and we sometimes did it in ways that got elements in the community irritated. But it was necessary to get people’s attention, first. Then the conversation, or argument, or whatever, could begin.
Some years before that career, in the mid-60s, I remember driving in southern Minnesota during the time the National Farmers Organization was asserting its rights to organize, putting up blockades once in awhile to hopefully assert themselves. It seems to me that the issue, then, for them was milk supply and demand. Of course, farmers are independent cusses, and there were some problems. But I have a vivid memory of at least one intersection where several farmers in a truck were making sure it was inconvenient for their fellow farmers to get by.

Further back still (I found just recently), my North Dakota farmer grandfather (Ferd W. Busch) was a founder and apparent organizer for a local chapter of the newly formed ND Farmers Union. In 1928 he wrote a letter to the editor of the local paper: Busch FW Farmers Union001. The non-partisan league was history by then (he’d been part of that, too), and Farmers Union, now Cenex, I believe, was a new and more durable rendition.

Scratch organizing is never easy, and oftentimes those who do the organizing are not well versed in all the niceties and make mistakes. Maybe what will happen at the State Fair will materialize, maybe not, it certainly will get people talking. As it has got us talking, here!”

Coming as I do from a long history of labor union work, organizing is never perfect. Stuff happens, or doesn’t happen. It is always the dramatic (bad) stuff that always gets the publicity in the media. The boring (good) stuff happens, but only over the long term.

What I will be looking for is the long term stamina and negotiating savvy of the Black Lives Matter leadership. Too many groups succeed and then fail because of lack of follow through. The event is the only result. This was the unfortunate after effect at Peace Island, A Solutions Driven Conference. It was a great conference, and people went home….

Perhaps, a final note: Another reader, Ray, called to suggest a book that I think I might actually order. It is Trance formation of America by Cathy O’Brien and Mark Phillips. If nothing else, read some of the reviews.

#1053 – Dick Bernard: Aunt Edithe’s Recipes

Tuesday, August 18th, 2015

The harvest season has had a strong beginning out in North Dakota, and will continue on into the fall. Depending on the crop, now is a time of vibrant yellows (wheat and similar grains), or rich greens (corn, soybeans, et al). (Indications are that this will be a pretty good crop year – though such is never certain for farmers until the crops are actually in…and then comes bad or good news about prices, etc….)

As for me, I continue the never-ending discovery process of going through the history left behind at the ND farm when Uncle Vince died on February 2 (his sister, Edithe, who was a lifelong resident of the same farm, died a year earlier).

Once in awhile there are remarkable discoveries, among which was this photo from harvest time 1907, which I didn’t know existed.

(click to enlarge all photos)

Ferd and Rosa Busch farm (upper left) in summer 1907, viewed from the north.  From left, Wilhelm Busch; his sons Ferdinand and Frank.  At the time, Ferdinand was 26 years of age.

Ferd and Rosa Busch farm (upper left) in summer 1907, viewed from the north. From left, Wilhelm Busch; his sons Ferdinand and Frank. At the time, Ferdinand was 26 years of age.

You can see the 1907 harvest proceeding. The shocks of grains dominate, and to the left in the background are a couple of horse drawn wagons to move those shocks to some kind of early threshing machine, not visible in the picture*.

But this is not about those men pictured out in the field. It is about the lady in the house, Rosa, and later her daughter Edithe, and other daughters, and other women, who had the immense task of feeding the workers in the fields, milking the cows, collecting eggs, and on and on and on. The phrase, “a woman’s work is never done” could have originated in these farmyards. As could the phrase, “hungry as a horse” have originated out in those fields.

Last week I was going through yet another stack of old papers, deciding which needed to be kept, and which could be thrown. In the box of the day was a bag full of Aunt Edithe’s old recipes which we’d rescued from the long vacant farm house last summer. As with the other stuff, I went through the recipe cards, one by one, and at the end, took a picture of part of the collection (below).

Some of Edithe's recipes, August, 2015

Some of Edithe’s recipes, August, 2015

My particular specialty has always been eating the results of the recipe cards, but these cards held a fascination of their own. Just looking through these old cards, which women, primarily, have exchanged forever, brought forth memories. Someone saying, “that was delicious. Can I have the recipe?” Someone else flattered and happy to oblige.

Perhaps the best tribute to Edithe came to me from cousin Glenn Busch of Freeport IL on Dec. 24, 2014: “Sandy and I will always remember the wonderful meal [Edithe] prepared for us and our family when we visited ]the] farm back in the early 1980’s. She went far beyond anything we expected. After about 30 years , I still remember that it was some of the best beef roast I’ve ever had. The hospitality that she and Vince showed us was really outstanding….”

Among the recipes were the staples: for pickles of all sorts, doughnuts, assorted desserts, etc. Lefse made a couple of appearances in the German household recipe box. Anyone who has a single recipe card likely knows the variety found in the stack. Among them were some that I found fascinating, which are included below with little comment – none is needed.

They were all reminders to me that in this world where men still, by and large, are “on the marquee” as the important people, it is the women who bear the children and a great deal of the burden of making any family or community work. Ferd was part of a team with Rosa; brother and sister, Vince and Edithe, were a team, too.

So those recipe cards of Edithe’s which we found above the stove in the farm house are far more than simply patterns for delicious foods; rather of a necessary partnership.

A simple “thank you” is not enough, but a little thanks is much better than none at all.

Thanks for the memories.

Aunt Edith August 4, 1989, in the old farm house.  She died February 12, 2014.

Aunt Edith August 4, 1989, in the old farm house. She died February 12, 2014.

Here are a smattering of the recipes….

Uncertain what "Victory", but an educated guess would be the ending of WWII.

Uncertain what “Victory”, but an educated guess would be the ending of WWII.

Recipe for Snowshoe Rabbits which were, perhaps back in the 1940s, very common in the ND country.

Recipe for Snowshoe Rabbits which were, perhaps back in the 1940s, very common in the ND country.

One of two or three recipes for homemade soap, a common product for rural folks in the early days.

One of two or three recipes for homemade soap, a common product for rural folks in the early days.

An apparent political statement recipe likely found in a farm magazine dating from the fall of 1974.

An apparent political statement recipe likely found in a farm magazine dating from the fall of 1974.

Apparently a tasty recipe for Ginger Snaps.

Apparently a tasty recipe for Ginger Snaps.

And, finally, a recipe for Lady Bird Johnson White House Pecan Pie, dating from March 2, 1964: Recipe #6006 (The date was found on the reverse side of the clipping, and the reason why the cooks face doesn’t appear is that another article on the reverse had also been clipped!)

Bon Appetit!!!

A gathering of women, labelled Berlin (ND) picnic September 7, 1952.  Grandma Busch is at left behind the youngster in front row; Aun Edithe is in the back row, at right.

A gathering of women, labelled Berlin (ND) picnic September 7, 1952. Grandma Busch is at left behind the youngster in front row; Aun Edithe is in the back row, at right.

* – larger scale agriculture involving harvesting of small grains (wheat, oats, flax, etc.) required some kinds of mechanized farm implement to do the job. Such increasingly sophisticated equipment led to the rapid growth of such companies as J. I. Case, John Deere, McCormick-Deering and many others. From cultivating to harvest, it was very hard, dusty, sweaty, often dangerous work, very labor intensive.

This time of year, today, is when the threshing festivals crop up, to demonstrate in a very small way how it was.

The Busch farm in its early years was two quarter sections, 320 acres. In North Dakota, this would be a very small farm today; in 1907 it would have been about average for the typical farm of the day.

#1052 – Dick Bernard: A Thank You to President Jimmy Carter

Sunday, August 16th, 2015

Pre-note: I was privileged to hear Jimmy Carter speak in Minneapolis March 6, 2015, in Minneapolis, at the Nobel Peace Prize Forum. The near one hour talk and q&a several hundred of us heard can be viewed here.

Jimmy Carter, March 6, 2015, Nobel Peace Prize Forum in Minneapolis MN

Jimmy Carter, March 6, 2015, Nobel Peace Prize Forum in Minneapolis MN

A few days ago, Jimmy Carter, 39th U.S. President 1977-81, and 2002 Nobel Peace Prize, announced that he has cancer. At age 90, and with a strong family history of cancer, President Carter’s long term prognosis is likely not optimistic.

Jimmy Carter has been much maligned by his enemies over the years. Their criticisms speak more about them, than about President Carter.

I happen to have always been a strong supporter of President Carter, and as his Presidential years turned into now-34 post-Presidential years, President Carter has proven to be one of our nations and worlds most outstanding and respected leaders – unless one’s criteria for success is taking the nation into war, something Jimmy Carter never did, truly a badge of honor.

Jimmy and Rosalind Carter have walked the talk of service.

He has been a prolific author. I have, and have read, most of his many books.

The Carter Center has in its 33 year history been a positive presence in many countries, particularly in the areas of human rights and health.

Jimmy Carter lent early and persuasive support to the Habitat for Humanity program.

He gave a most positive definition to the word “Christian”, for many years leading a public Bible discussion group at his Church in Plains, Georgia.

He is one of a select group, and the only American, of The Elders, an organization founded by Nelson Mandela to share wisdom with the rest of us.

When his term on earth ends, the ledger sheet will show that he more than paid his dues.

Thank you, President Carter.

#1051 – Anne Dunn: Meeting Billy Mills

Thursday, August 13th, 2015

The item which follows from Anne Dunn*, was forwarded to me by my sister, Flo, June 8, 2015. We had been trying to decide on an appropriate Native American recipient of a financial gift in honor of our Aunt Edithe. Edithe had been especially attentive to Native American fundraising appeals.

Anne’s commentary was originally on her Facebook page, and is forwarded with her permission. It helped Flo and I decide that Billy Mills organization “Running Strong“, was a good recipient for a family gift in memory of Aunt Edithe.

Possibly Aunt Edithe's introduction to Running Strong, a Date Book.  This one had no website.  The 2004 edition includes a website.

Possibly Aunt Edithe’s introduction to Running Strong, a Date Book. This one had no website. The 2004 edition includes a website.


Anne Dunn

Billy Mills, Running Strong

Billy Mills is the second Native American to win an Olympic gold medal. Jim Thorpe had won two gold medals in the 1912 Stockholm Olympics. Mills ran the 10,000 -meter competition at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics to become the only American to ever win the gold in this event. His victory has been considered one of the greatest Olympic upsets.

A former United States Marine, he is a member of the Oglala Lakota Tribe. He was born (June 30, 1938) in Pine Ridge, South Dakota He was orphaned at age 12 and raised on the reservation by his grandmother. He took up running while attending the Haskell Institute (Haskell Indian Nations University) in Lawrence Kansas.

After he graduated he joined the USMC. He was a First Lieutenant in the Marine reserves when he competed in the 1964 Olympics.

He later set US records for 10,000 m (28:17.6) and the three-mile run, and had a 5,000 m best of 13:41.4. In 1965 he and Gerry Lindgren both broke the world record for the six-mile run. They finished in a tie at AAU National Championships, running 27:11.6.

On February 15, 2013, Mills met with President Obama at the White House to receive the Presidential Citizens Award for his work with Running Strong for American Indian Youth. His broad based nonprofit humanitarian organization has international ties. The medal is the nation’s second highest civilian award

In 1983 a movie was made of his life. “Running Brave” features Robby Benson in the starring role.

I met Billy Mills many years ago. We were standing over a garbage can at a school picnic on the Red Lake reservation. I was working for the Bemidji school district and had been asked to chaperone a group of Native American students that had been invited to the event.

He was disposing of his paper plate, plastic utensils and milk carton when I asked him for his (already been used) spoon. He was a bit unnerved by the unusual request but he put the spoon into my waiting hand. Then I asked for his milk carton, too. Now he was curious.

“Why do you want these things?”

“I will donate the carton to the school athletic department,” I told him. “I’ll ask that it be displayed in the trophy case. The spoon I will keep for a memento of the day I met Billy Mills.”

I suppose he was mildly flattered for he smiled and asked my name. Then he shook my hand and walked away.

The milk carton was accepted and placed in the trophy case where it stood for several years. Then, one day it disappeared! I suppose it looked like old garbage and someone had tossed it into the trash.

At first, I showed the spoon to everyone. But almost no one believed my story. The problem was that it looked like a hundred billion other plastic spoons. So one day I put it in my jewelry box and didn’t take it out for several years.

Then Florence Hedeen called to tell me that Billy Mills was going to speak at the school in Park Rapids. I decided to attend and to take the spoon with me. My friend LeRoy Chief, also from Pine Ridge, said he would ask Mills to autograph the unremarkable spoon.

The next problem was… would Billy Mills remember? Would he think I was just some old groupie trying to get his attention?

I arrived at the high school to find several friends waiting. They had saved a front row seat for me. Afterwards I approached the world-renowned speaker and asked if he would sign my spoon? He smiled and greeted me like an old friend! I took the spoon from my pocket. He whipped out his sharpie and wrote: “Billy Mills Olympic 10 K Gold.”

The event made front page news! There we were above the fold! A blurry black and white image of me with Billy Mills and the remarkable plastic spoon!
Years later he would visit the Bugonaygeshig School and run with students and staff. My daughter Annie was working there at that time. They were both former marines and ran together. After a few minutes she asked if he remembered her mother and the plastic spoon. He stopped in his tracks and gasped, “That woman is your mother?”

Mills, also known as Makata Taka Hela, lives in Fair Oaks, California, but still travels for his non-profit agency as an inspirational speaker.

I met him again when I attended a wellness conference for seniors at the Black Bear Casino Hotel (June 2010). Marlene Stately and I were sharing room 339. When I saw Billy Mills eating alone in the dining room, I dragged Marlene to his booth and introduced us.

He was so gracious! He pretended to remember me but was actually quite baffled until I mentioned my Marine daughter and the plastic spoon. Then he offered us a hearty smile and invited us to sit with him.

We sat with him for about 30 minutes and we spoke of many things. It was exciting to hear this famous man speaking with passion about helping his fellow Native Americans.

He likes to quote his father: “Follow your dreams. Every dream has a passion. Every passion has its destiny.”

His father also told him, “Know yourself and find your desire.” With desire comes self-motivation. Then comes work. With work comes success.

He ran a 5k fun run on New Year’s Eve about three years ago. Not only his daughters but his wife beat him! He saw them waiting for him to come in. I’m sure he thought about his glory days.

When had he become an old man with bad knees?

Let me leave you with more encouraging words from my hero, Billy Mills:

“God has given me the ability. The rest is up to me. Believe. Believe. Believe.”

“My life is a gift from my Creator. What I do with my life is my gift back to Creator.”

“What I took from the Olympic Games was not winning an Olympic gold medal but an understanding of global unity through dignity of character and pride of global diversity. And global unity through global diversity is also the future of mankind.”

“The ultimate is not to win, but to reach within the depths of your capabilities and to compete against yourself to the greatest extent possible. When you do that, you have dignity. You have the pride. You can walk about with character and pride no matter in what place you happen to finish.”

* – Anne M. Dunn is a long-time and wonderful friend, an Anishinabe-Ojibwe grandmother storyteller and published author. She makes her home in rural Deer River, MN, on the Leech Lake Reservation. She can be reached at twigfigsATyahooDOTcom. She has several previous posts at Outside the Walls. You can read them all here.

A personal story about Red Lake, experienced in August, 1988, can also be found here.