Local Briefs
Trump and the White Man
Tuesday, December 06 2016
Written by Ricey Wild,
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To understand what happened with this farce of an election that voted in the most monstrous of human beings as the leader of the free world, I have to share some of my musings of history. Yes, I am sickened, nauseous and still incredulous that ANYONE with morals or conscience voted for Trump. My mind has been going in circles like a mad muskrat since November 9,  to try to understand WHY.

Way back in time there were savage, ferocious bloody tribesman in Western Europe that fought amongst each other for scarce natural resources for untold centuries. They were all of similar DNA, being pale skinned, but they massacred each other anyway. It was the lands they wanted – to expand their empires and established what they say are “Royal” bloodlines.

Eventually they built ships big enough to carry thousands of men and went on what they named discovery voyages. In fact, those trips were all about enriching themselves. They came from tiny island nations, fractured fiefdoms and had laid waste to their own lands, and became greedy for others’ lands and territories.
The pale skinned ones thought they had more right to lands as the ‘natives’ who had not “developed” the land, which to them meant extracting every mineral, precious stone, and usurp water rights for monetary profit.
You still with me? Great. I have only so much space for my column but I tell ya, if I was writing Ojibwe it would be done.

During their explorations they came across mighty civilizations that went back many more thousands of years than their own did. The pale ones went to Africa and saw only material wealth, not the wealth of culture, history and science. They saw black people who they thought of as inferior and deserving of having their lands and resources stolen. In Asia they saw evidence of civilizations having come and gone, and a thriving one that had nothing to do with the western mindset.

In both instances, the pale ones connived to divide and conquer, and that has been their modus operandi ever since. Some greedy old Pope wanted in on the land grabs and wanted riches for the Catholic Church, so he issued a Papal Bull in 1493 writing the Doctrine of Discovery, wherein all Indigenous lands and the people on it were Spain’s to conquer. Gads! The arrogance of all that makes me wanna throw up.

So Europeans began sailing to what they named the new world. Here, there were gorgeous, unspoiled lands, resources and a route to religious freedom. There were also millions of Indigenous people, from the North tip to the South, who had been living here since the Creator put us here. I will forgo the rest of this part because well, here we are in 2016, over 500 years since first contact with the colonists.

I recount my abbreviated version of history because I wanted to know how a Donald Trump could possibly be considered a viable candidate for POTUS, given his obvious disqualifications for the job, never mind having the nuclear codes that can destroy us all. No, things are not perfect now nor have they ever been since the colonists showed up on our shores, undocumented. Trump is only a third generation immigrant. Clearly, Europe did not send us their best. He is also the product of their greedy culture.

Here we were, closer to John Lennon’s “Imagine”, and then this human atrocity gets elected. Wow.
Being an Indigenous woman and living in poverty I suffer, I cry for my son who is a large brown man, my granddaughter who is a lovely little girl, and for all of us who are not white men. No, I don’t want to be pale skinned, even with all the privileges it affords. I do want to be able to walk down the street or to the store without being attacked by racist colonist-descendants who actually believe this country, this land, these waters and resources are theirs by right of whiteness.

I read that this election, with all its ugliness, is the White Man’s Last Stand. I like that. The oppressed masses – that includes pale skinned people, have been awakened – will never go back to the miseries inflicted upon us in the past. NEVER! The Water Protectors at Standing Rock have proven that and the millions of Indigenous People and our allies around the world will not stand down.
Wherever you are you can send them your prayers, and thanks for their courage in fighting the good fight.

Don’t forget the Office of Indian Men’s Health
Tuesday, December 06 2016
Written by Eric Bothwell, DDS, MPH, PhD and Tamara James, PhD ,
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As the Obama administration winds down its eight years of oversight and support of the health care needs of American Indian and Alaska Natives (AI/AN) from federally recognized tribes, a brief reflection on what has been accomplished and what might still be accomplished is worthwhile.

AI/AN witnessed noteworthy milestones throughout the Obama Administration including the Annual White House Tribal Nations Conference and the President’s Executive Order requiring all federal agencies dealing with tribes to develop a tribal consultation policy.  From a funding perspective, the Indian Health Service (IHS) has fared comparatively well during a period when enhancements for such programs were hard fought in Congress. And federally recognized AI/ANs were also included in the Administration’s legislative accomplishment, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) of 2010, through the permanent reauthorization of the Indian Health Care Improvement Act (IHCIA).

Unfortunately, many critically needed sections of the IHCIA have yet to be realized. One particularly opportune component is Section 1621V Part A that authorizes the development of an Office of Indian Men’s Health. The logic of this proposal is compelling considering that AI/AN males on some reservations have the lowest life expectancy of any group in America. In addition,  AI/AN males experience death rates two to five times greater than AI/AN females for suicide, HIV/AIDS, homicide, unintentional injuries, diabetes, firearm injury, and alcohol-related deaths, and are 10 to 50 percent higher than AI/AN females for cancer, heart disease, and liver disease.
The inequities suffered by the AI/AN males can be seen in CDC’s National Health Statistic Report (No. 20, March 2010) where AI/AN males displayed greater disparities in health status and general well-being than any racial group. AI/AN men reported the highest distress rates of “feeling hopeless and worthless” of any of the groups. The devastating impact of this despair culminates in the high rates of suicide among these men.

 But before the lives of AI/AN males are taken by these causes, they suffer from multiple debilitating physical and mental conditions. It is clear that dead, sick, and incarcerated AI/AN males are compromised in fulfilling their roles as fathers, husbands, providers, leaders, and contributors to their communities.

We can no longer neglect our male health crisis. In response, many private foundations, states, and cities have developed innovative initiatives and partnerships that specifically prioritize male health.  However, even with mounting concern across the country, no federal health-related agency has established an office committed to addressing male health disparities.

The Obama Administration can change the course of male health in America without new appropriations by directing federal agencies to implement offices of male health within existing structures. This should start with establishing the Office of Indian Men’s Health within IHS as authorized by the IHCIA. In 2010, an internal IHS workgroup developed an approach to implement an Office of Indian Men’s Health with as little as a 1.5 FTE commitment and charged with utilizing an entrepreneurial/self-sustaining approach to developing partnerships and coalitions with other agencies and organizations committed to male health equity and leveraging resources. With an anticipated $6.5 billion budget in FY 2017, the IHS could begin the process of turning the curve on male health disparities.

The premature loss of someone’s husband, father, brother, friend, or son results in unmeasurable emotional toil and financial hardship. In addition, the disproportion of U.S. males who have died or whose mental and physical health status compromises their ability to contribute to society represents a real threat to the U.S. successfully competing in the global economy.

The process should begin with the implementation of the Office of Indian Men’s Health authorized by the Indian Health Care Improvement Act.

Mildred Carol Ann Longbody-Swartz
Tuesday, December 06 2016
Written by The Circle,
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Mildred Carol Ann Longbody-Swartz
December 12, 1939 – November 4, 2016

mildred_obit.jpgMildred Carol Ann Longbody-Swartz was born Dec. 12, 1939, in Cloquet, the eighth of 10 children of Joseph and Mary (Flatte) Longbody from Grand Portage, Minnesota. Along with all her siblings, Millie was taken from her parents at a young age as a result of the federal forced assimilation program.

Millie was open-hearted and generous towards all. Despite many hardships in life, she remained a deeply cheerful person with a positive outlook. Her strength came from her spiritual life, in which she combined Catholicism and traditional Anishinaabe beliefs.

As children, Millie's older eight siblings had been taken to Pipestone Boarding School in southwestern Minnesota. But she and a sister, being too young, were placed in a Catholic orphanage in Duluth. A few years later, Joe and Mary Reynolds of Deer River took the girls into their home. Millie always had high praise for the Reynolds, an Anishinaabe couple who were kind and helped her reconnect with her roots. She continued her education at Haskell Indian Nations University where she took up Commercial Cooking.

Millie wasn't afraid of hard work and had a get it done attitude. She worked at Honeywell in Minneapolis, MN and later at the Minnesota Indian Women's Rescource Center where she prepared meals for the children at their daycare center. Later in life she moved back to Grand Portage and worked at Grand Portage Lodge and Casino until she retired.  

Millie loved Powwows and loved to dance and celebrate her heritage and culture. She loved the simple things in life like walking her beloved pet, "Dobie", picking berries on a summer day and playing bingo at the casino. Millie's most obvious characteristics were her easy laughter and enormous smile. Before a series of strokes seriously handicapped her, she became affectionately known as "Miss America," because she waved and smiled at people as she passed them.  

Preceding Millie in death were her parents; her husband, Glenn Swartz; four sisters, Josephine and Charlotte, Lillian "Theresa" Eveland, and Mary Lou Ackley; a brother, Joseph Longbody; and a granddaughter, Amber Lanham.

Survivors include one daughter, Brenda (Paul) Enyart of Shakopee, Minn.; three sons, Eugene Swartz and  Duane Swartz of Grand Portage, and Tyrone Nehring of Florida; two sisters, Doris Blank of Grand Portage and Elsie Long of Auburn, Wash.; two brothers, Clarence Longbody of Red Lake and Ed Longbody of Grand Portage; six grandchildren, Jesse and Mya Swartz, Shane Losh, and Brock and Brandon Lanham, Jessica Wisnewski, all of the Twin Citiess; and great grandchildren, nieces and nephews.  

Services were held at Holy Rosary in Grand Portage. Burial is at Sunset Cemetery. Arrangements are by Nelson Funeral Home of Cloquet.

Tuesday, December 06 2016
Written by Catherine,
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Thru Dec. 17
Frank Big Bear: Nativia Exhibit

In his 12th solo show at the Bockley Gallery, Big Bear continues to explore the complex issues in force at the intersection of Native American and American popular cultures. Running throughout this offering of new paintings, drawings and a single collage is the broader leitmotif of the human figure and, more specifically, the portrait. Also on view are a selection of Big Bear’s recent Prismacolor on paper drawings in his signature style. These mosaic-like compositions in vivid saturated hues, feature a single protagonist before a fragmented, fantastical landscapes of geological formations, abstract objects and images, indigenous signs and symbols and wayward animals. Drawn on both black and white paper, the works project different emotional and psychological states, but are classic Big Bear in their deft synthesis of mixed cultural realities. Gallery Hours: Wednesday through Saturday, Noon to 5 pm. Bockley Gallery, 2123 W 21st St., Minneapolis. For info call 612 377 4669 or email:  This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

Thru Jan. 20
On Fertile Ground

Celebrate the wealth and diversity of contemporary Native artists from the upper Midwet region. On Fertile Ground is the third and final segemnnt of this regional exhibition and providers comprehensive overview of 45 artists from Minnesota, Wisconsin, North Dakota, and South Dakota. Features work from: Cannupa Hansak Luger, Dyani White Hawk, Gwen Western, Andrea Carlson, Jeffrey Chapman, James Autio, Chholing Taha, Dwayne Wilcox, Keith Brave Heart, and more. All My Relations Arts, 1414 East Franklin Ave., Minneapolis. For info, call 612-235-4969 or see:
• Dec. 7: Seed Bomb Community Arts Workshop:  from 5 - 8 pm. With hands-on and all-ages activities led by Cannupa Hanska Luger and other artists.
• Jan. 20: Artists Talking Circle: from 6 - 8 pm. Hosted by Dyani White Hawk and a variety of exhibited artists featuring the debut of the On Fertile Ground 2014 - 2016 catalogue.

Dec. 7
Community Arts Workshop for Standing Rock

Cannupa Hanska Luger, multidisciplinary artist, will lead the community in an arts workshop in solidarity with Standing Rock and the Water Protectors. Come for the food, company and to learn about Luger's Mirror Shields for Standing Rock project. By the end of the night you'll complete your very own Mirror Shield to be sent to Standing Rock! 5 - 8 pm. Free and open to the public. All My Relations Gallery, 1414 Franklin Ave. E., Mpls.

Dec. 7, 21
Smoking Cessation

The Indian Health Board of Minneapolis has walk-in appointments on Wednesday’s from 9 am to 1 pm for smoking cessation. Meet one on one with smoking cessation counselors to develop a quit plan that works for you. Call 612-721-9800 to schedule appointments. For more information, call Indi Lawrence at 612-721-9803. IHB, 1315 E 24th St, Minneapolis.

Dec. 9
The Circle’s Annaul Breakfast Fundraiser

The Circle board invites you to join us for our annual Native Authors Breakfast Fundraiser to support The Circle, the voice of Native journalism in the Twin Cities, serving the Native community and regional readers for 36 years. Join Us for Breakfast to Honor Jim Northrup. Jim Northrup (April 28, 1943 – August 1, 2016) was an Anishinabe newspaper columnist, poet, performer, and political commentator from the Fond du Lac Indian Reservation in Minnesota. His Anishinabe name was "Chibenashi" ("Big little-bird").  Northrup's regular column, the Fond du Lac Follies, was syndicated through several Native American papers and won many awards. He was a published book author with titles including: Walking the Rez Road, The Red Road Follies, Anishinabe Syndicated, Rez Salute: The Real Healer Dealer, and Dirty Copper. 8:00 - 9:00 am. Doors open at  7:30 am for coffee. $35 suggested donation. All Nations Indian Church,1515 E. 23rd St., Minneapolis. RSVP by calling 612-722-3686 or email: This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

Dec. 9
AIOIC Career Fair

American Indian OIC, a community resource and employment agency, will host the AIOIC Career Fair: Networking, Interviewing, & Hidden Opportunities event to help community members, students, and graduates gain access to state and local employers with open positions. Job-seekers will have the opportunity to network with potential employers and partake in some on-site interviews. This career fair is open to anyone in the Twin Cities 7-County Metropolitan Area, and is designed to help fill workforce gaps in high demand fields. How to prepare for the event: 1) Pre-register for the fair, 2) Research registered employers, 3) Bring multiple copies of your resume, 4) Consider bringing a portfolio which should include copies of your resume, a list of references, and samples of your best work, and 5) Wear appropriate business attire; dress to be interviewed. 11:00 am – 3:00 pm.  For more info, call 612-341-3358 and speak with the Community Engagement Coordinator. American Indian OIC, 1845 East Franklin Ave., Minneapolis.

Dec. 10
2016 Winter Book

Heid Erdrich’s (Turtle Mountain Ojibwe) new collection has been named 2016 Winter Book by the Minnesota Center for Book Arts. “every-blest-thing-seeing-eye” features poetry and prose, and explores the complex conversations between artists and viewers. “every-blest-thing-seeing-eye” features poetry and prose by Erdrich, a poet, writer, and faculty mentor for Augsburg College Low-residency MFA. The Winter Book was produced in two editions, with illustrations by Jim Denomie, Aza Erdrich, Eric Gansworth, Dyani Whitehawk, Louise Erdrich, Adrea Carlson, and Jonathan Thunder. Artists, staff and board at MCBA will celebrate the handmade book starting at 7 pm. Readings by Heid E. Erdrich will be followed by a book signing and public reception with light refreshments. MN.  Free and open to the public. MCBA’s Studios and Gallery, 1011 Washington Ave. S. #100, Minneapolis. For info, see: or call 612-215-2520.

Dec 10
American Indian Family Day

Enjoy a family day featuring speakers and artists from American Indian communities. Learn about the Dakota and Ojibwe languages and about Indigenous place names throughout the state. Discover traditional music, dancing, games, birch bark art demonstrations, museum collections, art projects, winter storytelling and more. Visitors are asked to bring a nonperishable food item to donate to Horizons Unlimited Food Shelf, which serves the American Indian population in the west metro. Noon - 4:00 pm. Free. Gridiron Glory admission sold separately. Minnesota History Center, 345 W. Kellogg Blvd., St. Paul, MN. For info, call 651-259-3015 or email: This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

Dec. 10-11
Mitten Ojibwa style making

Learn techniques of leatherworking to make a pair of Ojibwe-style mittens to take home. A light lunch and refreshments will be provided both days. A minimum of five participants is required. Children under age 18 must be accompanied by an adult. The workshop runs: Saturday from 10 am to 4 pm; and Sunday from 10 am to 4 pm. Registration is required three days prior to workshop. Discount hotel rooms are available at Grand Casino Mille Lacs on Saturday night for all workshop participants. Cost: $65/$60 MNHS members, plus $25 supply fee. Mille Lacs Indian Museum and Trading Post, 43411 Oodena Dr., Onamia, MN. For info, call 320-532-3632 or email:  This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

Dec. 14
Foster Care and Adoption Information Meeting

Learn more about the ways you can help children though foster care or adoption. Free. 5:30 - 7:30 pm. Hennepin County Library - Golden Valley, 830 Winnetka Avenue North, Golden Valley, MN. For info, see: or call 612-348-5437.

Jan. 16 (deadline)
Call for artists of color

Northern is accepting proposals for all-night projects in any medium for Northern Spark 2017 Climate Chaos|Climate Rising. For artists of color and indigenous artists who have a cultural connection to the following communities: Cedar-Riverside Neighborhood (West Bank Station), Little Africa District (Snelling Station), and Little Mekong District (Western Station). The festival will be held in neighborhoods along the Light Rail Green Line spanning Downtown Minneapolis and Lowertown Saint Paul. This call is for individual artists of color and indigenous artists. Artists living anywhere are eligible to participate. Artists may submit proposals with budgets at the $1,000, 3,000 or 6,000 level. Deadline is Jan. 16th, 2017 at 9 pm CST. For more information, see:

When Politics Become Personal
Tuesday, December 06 2016
Written by Nick Metcalf,
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As many of you, I’ve been sorting through the reality of a Trump Presidency. I’m mostly still in shock. This month I’d like to talk about when politics become personal. Politics are always personal. And, throughout this election, it was all personal, very personal.      

The day after the election I was stunned.  I avoided social media and the mainstream media for a few days.  I couldn’t listen to the mean-spirited, newly elected President celebrate his victory. Part of me thought that if I didn’t see anything then it wouldn’t really exist. Part of me craved denial.  

I don’t recall, in my lifetime, ever hearing such hateful speech during an election. I can’t recall a candidate in a campaign make fun of disabled people, scream about jailing their opponent, make outlandish statements, and spew unfounded statements as fact. It frightened me to my core to watch audiences support this.     

Once I began to re-engage with people. Most of the comments I heard were of people who were surprised and confused that a racist, sexist, homophobic, bigot got elected. I heard anger. I heard disbelief. I heard people afraid – deeply afraid of what may be coming. Our President-elect has clearly stated his beliefs throughout the election.    
Ultimately, I had to figure out a way for me to sort through what was going on with me and around me. It was a therapist friend of mine who commented how everyone was experiencing various “Stages of Grief”.  I pulled out my college textbooks to recall this. I’m grateful for my friends because they helped ground my understanding.      

The Five Stages of Grief is a psychological model created by a Swiss Psychiatrist, Elisabeth Kubler-Ross.  Kubler-Ross introduced this model in 1969 in her book “On Death And Dying”. She developed these stages from her work with terminally ill patients. Kübler-Ross later expanded her model to include any form of personal loss, such as the death of a loved one, the loss of a job or income, major rejection, the end of a relationship or divorce, drug addiction, incarceration, the onset of a disease or chronic illness, an infertility diagnosis, and even minor losses.  

The Five Stages of Grief – Kubler-Ross Model are:  

  1. Denial – The first reaction is denial. In this stage, individuals believe the diagnosis is somehow mistaken, and cling to a false, preferable reality.
  2. Anger – When the individual recognizes that denial cannot continue, they become frustrated. Certain psychological responses of a person undergoing this phase would be: “Why me? It’s not fair!”; “How can this happen to me?”; “Who is to blame?”; “Why would this happen?”
  3. Bargaining – The third stage involves the hope that the individual can avoid a cause of grief. Usually, the negotiation for an extended life is made in exchange for a reformed lifestyle. People facing less serious trauma can bargain or seek compromise.
  4. Depression – “I’m so sad, why bother with anything?”; “I’m going to die soon, so what’s the point?”; “I miss my loved one, why go on?” During the fourth stage, the individual despairs at the recognition of their mortality. In this state, the individual may become silent, refuse visitors and spend much of the time mournful and sullen.
  5. Acceptance – “It’s going to be okay.”; “I can’t fight it, I may as well prepare for it.” In this last stage, individuals embrace mortality, an inevitable unwanted future, the death of a loved one, or another tragic event. People dying may precede the survivors in this state, which typically comes with a calm, retrospective view for the individual, and a stable condition of emotions.

Knowing these stages and growing up with a family that is active in tribal politics has helped me move through my process. My parents, my cousins, and a sibling have served or are serving as Council Representatives on our tribal council.  

I’ve witnessed the triumph of winning and the bitter loss of defeat. I’ve seen the countless hours of work.  I’ve known the countless number of people who stopped by the house whenever they needed something. I listened to the constant barrage of “I need this”or “my family is having a hard time”.  I’ve heard open criticism of the people I love.  

As much as I want to cower in the corner, it is now that my voice and your voice is needed. What has been said during this election was frightening, it is scary. I’m not going to diminish this.  

You are needed, you are necessary.  Stay active. Stay engaged in all civic matters.      

What I know is this, we can not perpetuate a ‘US versus THEM’ thinking. Hate never wins. If you witness discrimination, intervene. If you experience discrimination, speak out. Be bold. The time is now to dig deep and demonstrate courage.

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