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4-17-00

Dear Cree sympathizers:

I urge you to consider writing and sending in a letter to the editor of the Minneapolis paper in response to Tom Meersman's article about the Environmental Justice Conference. We need to show everyone in Minnesota that this is important to us. Please write something. It does not have to be fancy, or as nasty as the one I've just written--see below. But we need to get a lot of letters in so the newspaper will print at least ONE. Additionally, the editors will then know that readers take enough interest in the issue so that they might assign a reporter to cover the government's upcoming decisions about Manitoba Hydro--and even be on the lookout for OUR perspectives on those matters.

Consider writing something simple now. Here are the addresses:

opinion@startribune.com

or,

Letter to the Editor
Newsroom
Minneapolis Star Tribune
425 Portland Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55488

Your letter can be as simple as expressing sympathy for the plight of the Indians. Whatever you think is true, commit it to paper and send it out.

For justice,


Diane J. Peterson
Member, Peace and Social Action Committee
Twin Cities Friends Meeting
St. Paul, Minnesota
(651) 653-4385
birch7@goldengate.net
===================================================
April 17, 2000


I agree with NSP's Jim Alders, who was quoted by your reporter on the dispute over the failure of Manitoba Hydro to fulfill its 1977 contract with the Indians in Manitoba's Cross Lake community. [Link between energy issues, human rights explored: Canadian Indian chief decries effects of hydroelectric power, by Tom Meersman , 17 April 2000, pB2.] "Alders said: 'We think that's an issue that needs to be resolved by those closest to it: the Canadian government, Manitoba Hydro and the first nations [Indian tribes].'" What I can't understand is why NSP would want to do business with a company that does not keep its legal contracts. Until that company gets around to keeping that contract--or, treaty, if you will, NSP should steer clear it. Otherwise, NSP will be guilty of environmental racism by collaborating with Manitoba Hydro. In addition, NSP's eagerness to contract for more power from that Canadian utility calls into question their street smarts: with a 23-year track record of weaseling out of the contract with the Indians, how can they trust Manitoba Hydro won't pull a fast one on them? NSP, drop Manitoba Hydro-electricity like a hot potato! Stolen goods might be cheap, but you've got to be crazy, or immoral, to knowingly buy them.
Diane J. Peterson
4051 Gisella Boulevard
White Bear Lake, Minnesota 55110
(651) 653-4385
birch7@goldengate.net