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Local Briefs
Flanagan announces run for Minnesota House
Friday, May 22 2015
 
Written by The Circle Staff,
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flanagan named co-chair of cradle-to-k cabinet.jpgST. LOUIS PARK, Minn. – White Earth citizen and DFL activist Peggy Flanagan announced her candidacy for the Minnesota House of Representatives for District 46A on May 22.

In a press release, Flanagan gave her reasons for running for office. “This community has given me so much. My mom and I moved to St. Louis Park when I was a baby. As a single mother, she chose this community because of the opportunities that it provided for good public education, stable neighborhoods, and economic security, and she was right. My family and I settled in my hometown for the same reasons, and now I want to give back.”

Flanagan, 35, currently serves as executive director of Children’s Defense Fund-Minnesota. She also worked for eight years at Wellstone Action, including as director of external affairs. In 2012, she worked as the Director of Community Outreach for Minnesotans United for all Families; and she was co-chair of the Raise The Wage campaign in 2014.

A citizen of the White Earth Nation of Ojibwe, Flanagan lives in the Bronx Park neighborhood of St. Louis Park with her husband Tim Hellendrung and 2 year-old daughter Siobhan. She is a graduate of St. Louis Park public schools and the University of Minnesota.

Rep. Ryan Winkler (DFL) announced his retirement from the Minnesota House of Representatives on May 21, after serving more than eight years. A special election will likely be held later this year for the remainder of his term. District 46A includes parts of St. Louis Park, Golden Valley and Plymouth.

PHOTO: Flanagan with Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges in 2014. (Courtesy photo)

Sights & Sounds: Two Rivers Gallery Re-Opening
Tuesday, May 19 2015
 
Written by Alfred Walking Bull,
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MINNEAPOLIS – The Two Rivers Gallery in the Minneapolis American Indian Center re-opened on May 15 to the welcome of many in the community.

Highlights of the evening included poetry by R. Vincent Muniz, Jr., Ardie Medina with music by drum group Red Bone as well as a silent auction off some of the gallery's previous shows.

 


NCAI RESPONDS TO HUCKABEE'S ANNOUNCEMENT GAFFE
Thursday, May 07 2015
 
Written by The Circle Staff,
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brian_cladoosby-ncai-bw-web.jpgWASHINGTON, D.C. – Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee's comparisons of Islamic terrorism to the cowboys and Indians stereotype drew fire from the National Congress of American Indians on May 7.

In his presidential run announcement on May 5, Huckabee said, “When I hear our current president say he wants Christians to get off their high horse so we can make nice with radical jihadists, I wonder if he can watch a western from the ‘50s and be able to figure out who the good guys and the bad guys really are.”

NCAI President Brian Cladoosby released the following response in reaction to Governor Mike Huckabee’s quote: “This week I learned about Governor Huckabee’s speech announcing his candidacy for U.S. President and was dismayed to hear him compare Native Americans to jihadists.”

“There are many things we have left behind from the 1950’s, including overt racism and sexism. We hope that the old trope of the Indians as the bad guys in Western movies is also left behind. It is hurtful when public officials use stereotypes of Indians as the 'bad guys.' Even if it is a metaphorical expression, racial stereotypes should be avoided. It is particularly hurtful to suggest that Americans should reflexively identify images of Native people defending our homelands as the 'bad guys.'”


NATIVE AMERICANS IN PHILANTHROPY HONORS SMSC AT CELEBRATION
Tuesday, May 05 2015
 
Written by The Circle Staff,
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MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. – Native Americans in Philanthropy presented its annual Tribal Philanthropy of the Year Award to the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community during its 25th anniversary celebration on May 4 at Mystic Lake Casino Hotel.

“Since its gaming enterprise first saw success in the 1990s, the SMSC has been a major driver of tribal philanthropy across the country,” NAP's development and communications director Y. Elaine Rasmussen said. “The SMSC is the largest philanthropic giver in Indian Country, and this year demonstrated their leadership by establishing a national campaign to improve Native American nutrition. This campaign, and the tribe’s long giving tradition, is the embodiment of what NAP seeks to recognize every year.”


France delegation promotes Native products
Monday, May 04 2015
 
Written by Jon Lurie,
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france delegation promotes native products-web.jpgThe idea of becoming a Native American trade ambassador came to Diane Gorney during one of her recent excursions to France. “Walking down the streets in Paris people kept coming up and offering to buy the jewelry right off of me,” says the Minneapolis resident and White Earth descendant.

Gorney refused to sell the stunning beaded earrings, necklaces and bracelets she had purchased from Ojibwe artists back home. From those interactions, however, she came to understand the appetite French people have for all things Native American. In their hunger Gorney saw an opportunity to help her Ojibwe people. She investigated the availability of American Indian items such as traditional art and jewelry, and hand-harvested Minnesota wild rice.

The “Native American art” Gorney found in Parisian shops was of poor quality and manufactured in China. Gorney’s search for wild rice led her across the French capital. French cookbooks and menus frequently reference an ingredient called “riz sauvage (translation: wild rice),” so Gorney was mystified when she couldn’t find it in stores. Finally, at an obscure kosher market, Gorney ran across riz sauvage, but found the product nothing like the natural cereal grain which flourishes upon Minnesota’s northern waters.

The graphic on the packaging of France’s leading brand of riz sauvage, Tilda Giant Wild Rice, lends the impression the black rice is harvested by Native Americans. Its box cover contains an image of two American Indians poling a birch bark canoe through a wild rice bed. But a closer look reveals the truth: the product marketed in France as Native American wild rice is actually Indonesian, paddy-cultivated, black basmati rice, packaged and distributed by a Britain-based food brand selling in over 50 countries.

Gorney, a former art teacher, soon returned to Paris with a suitcase full of White Earth wild rice. She handed out one-pound bags to chefs and others whom she hoped would spread the word about the nutritious, delicious and sacred grain. “I wanted them to share, but people loved it so much they kept it for themselves. So my efforts were dead on arrival.”


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