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Local Briefs
What's New In The Community: November 2014
Saturday, November 01 2014
 
Written by The Circle Staff,
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Migizi Communications receives $1.2 million grant

MINNEAPOLIS Migizi Communications, Inc. has received a $1.2 million federal grant to launch Native Youth Financially Independent. This five-year demonstration project is funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Community Services and the Administration for Native Americans.

The Native Youth Financially Independent project is designed to present permanent and sustainable solutions to the intergenerational poverty and lack of economic opportunity that have plagued the Minneapolis Indian community since its formation in the 1950s. Migizi Communications will recruit 150 low-income Native youth from across Minneapolis, ages 14-21, providing them with opportunities and support needed to prepare them to become financially-independent adults.
These students will undergo work readiness training, be placed in paid internship opportunities in high-growth, high-demand careers; save earnings for college in an Individual Development Account which will be matched four-to-one through program funds; and receive financial literacy training, mentorship and 21st century skills development opportunities.

The project’s main partners include AchieveMpls, which will provide workforce training and internship placement for participants through the STEP-UP Achieve youth employment program over the five year course of the project. One of the country's premiere youth employment programs, STEP-UP Achieve – part of the City of Minneapolis STEP-UP program – places 800 Minneapolis youth each year in paid internships with Twin Cities companies, non-profits and public agencies.
NYFI's second partner is Woodlands National Bank, owned by the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe, which will administer youth IDA savings accounts. The students will have their savings matched four-to-one to be used for higher education expenses. Woodlands is the primary banking institution serving the urban American Indian community in Minneapolis.
NYFI responds directly to the needs identified and vision created out of a two-year strategic planning process (2008-2010) initiated by the Native American Community Development Institute and involves hundreds of Minneapolis American Indian community members of all ages.

The document created from this process and published in 2011, “American Indian Community Blueprint: Building a 21st Century American Indian Community,” articulates a 20-year vision for a “vibrant, healthy, and balanced community where American Indian people have living-wage jobs that build wealth and assets and eliminate barriers to success, creating economic self-sufficiency.”
Migizi Communications has been in existence for over 37 years and advances a message of success, well-being and justice for the American Indian community.

 


Regional and Local Briefs: November 2014
Saturday, November 01 2014
 
Written by The Circle Staff,
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NUCLEAR WASTE CHALLENGED BY TRIBE

RED WING, Minn. – The Prairie Island Indian Community is joining three states in a lawsuit over the storage of nuclear waste.

The tribe says it will join with New York, Connecticut and Vermont in a lawsuit against the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

The Prairie Island Nuclear Generating Plant near Red Wing is just 600 yards from the tribal community. The NRC in August opened the door for on-site nuclear waste storage for 100 years or more.

The tribe says the NRC has failed to do a complete analysis of the risks associated with the onsite storage of nuclear waste.

Prairie Island plant executive Kevin Davison agrees with the NRC assessment that the nuclear waste is safely stored near Red Wing. But, Davison says the federal government still has an obligation to create another storage option.

 

ONLINE NATIVE MEDIA GOES TO PRESS

FT. YATES, N.D. – Last Real Indians, an online Native media and advocacy Web site, unveiled its first print edition in October.

A nearly three year-old endeavor, founded by Chase Iron Eyes (Standing Rock Sioux) in January of 2012, LRI features almost daily content provided by writers from across Indian country. “Our network continues to expand as we inform our own, inform the world, strengthen our ties, shatter stereotypes, protect our image, essence and portrayal against appropriation, objectification & [sic] mascotry and share our stories,” Iron Eyes wrote in the first edition.

According to the mission statement on its Web site, “LRI is a media movement grounded in our pre-contact ways of life. We are independent media with direction. We are an adaptation of our story-tellers. We are content creators of many origins with a vision of returning Indigenous peoples of all

'races' to a state of respect for generations unborn.”

Its first edition features topics on environmentalism, Lakota tribal politics, lacrosse, Lakota language, law and health. The paper is headquartered on the Standing Rock Sioux reservation in South and North Dakota.

 

 

National Briefs: November 2014
Saturday, November 01 2014
 
Written by The Circle Staff,
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TULALIP CITIZENS GRIEVE AFTER SCHOOL SHOOTING

TULALIP, Wash. – Leaders and citizens of the Tulalip Tribes of Washington expressed shock following a fatal shooting at a local public school that left three young people dead and three others injured.

News reports identified the shooter as a 14 year-old tribal citizen who took his life after opening fire at the Marysville-Pilchuck High School on Oct. 24. Two teenage students were killed while three others – including two other tribal citizen – remained in the hospital in critical condition.

Tribal citizens came together on Oct. 26 for a vigil for the victims and their families. Tribal Chairman Herman Williams said the local community will remain united as the healing process begins.

“As we grieve in the wake of this tragedy, the Tulalip Tribes and the City of Marysville stand together, united in sorrow but determined to bring healing to our communities," Williams said in a press release. "The strong working relationship we have built over many years has proven critical as we continue to respond to this unimaginable event. Our priority is now on our children and young people.”

Condolences also poured in from Indian Country. Brian Cloodosby, the chairman of the Swinomish Tribe reached out to his fellow tribe in Washington. "As a father and grandfather, my thoughts and prayers are with my Tulalip relatives … All of Indian Country is holding the Tulalip people in our thoughts and prayers."

NCAI's executive leaders also offered a statement in the wake of the tragedy. “We are deeply saddened by the tragedy that occurred at Marysville-Pilchuck High School on Friday. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the victims, the students of Marysville School District, and the Tulalip tribes.”

“It is at times like these that Native communities from all across Indian County come together in support of each other. As Native peoples, we recognize that every youth is sacred. Each of the young people involved in this tragedy represent a loss to the Tulalip tribes and Indian Country – they were sons, daughters, friends, and future leaders of their communities.”

 

HISPANIC CIVIL RIGHTS GROUP JOINS IN MASCOT FIGHT

WASHINGTON – The National Council of La Raza – the largest national Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization in the United States – called on the NFL and Washington football team owner Dan Snyder to change the team’s name.

The council’s board of directors unanimously voted in support of the move Oct. 26. “Our brothers and sisters in the Native American community have been clear and consistent in their call to change both terms and images that they consider demeaning. As an organization committed to fairness and equality for all, NCLR fully supports these efforts,” La Raza President and chief executive Janet Murguía said in a statement. “The Latino community well understands that words matter and that they can denigrate, disparage and dehumanize. We should treat all people with the respect and dignity they deserve.”

Snyder has promised to keep the name, which he says honors Native people. The team cited polls showing that a majority of Americans – and even a majority of Native Americans in one 10 year-old survey – do not find the team name offensive.

La Raza had previously joined with the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights – a coalition of organizations including the NAACP and the American Civil Liberties Union – in its effort to change the moniker.

Last year, the conference approved a resolution that called on the team to change its name and “refrain from the use of any other images, mascots, or behaviors that are or could be deemed harmful or demeaning to Native American cultures or peoples.”

“When groups like La Raza, NAACP, ADL and NCAI are saying in a singular voice that it is time to change this offensive name, it should serve as a wake-up call to the NFL and Dan Snyder that they are on the wrong side of history,” spokesman for the Oneida Indian Nation, Joel Barkin said.

 

NAVAJO NATION PRESIDENT JOINS WASHINGTON TEAM OWNER AT GAME

GLENDALE, Ariz. – Ben Shelly, the president of the Navajo Nation, and his wife Martha sat with the Washington football team's owner Dan Snyder in a suite during an Oct. 12 game.

Shelly, who was not re-elected to office in the tribe's primary in August, said during the summer that he believes the Washington team name is offensive. In April, the Navajo Nation attempted to distance itself from a charity golf tournament designed to raise scholarships for college students that was sponsored by KTNN-AM (its Navajo-language radio station) and the Washington team's Original Americans Foundation.

“The Washington [team is] proud to have President Ben Shelly and the Navajos along with Zuni and other Western tribes that joined us at the game today,” spokesman Tony Wyllie, the team's vice president of communications said. “This is representative of the support we have among Native Americans nationwide.”

Before the game, approximately 75 people protested the team outside the University of Phoenix Stadium. Signs at the protest, which began three hours prior to kickoff, featured slogans like, “Game over for racism” and “Snyder can't buy my support."

 


First S.D. Two Spirit Society honors and educates on the reservation
Saturday, October 11 2014
 
Written by Alfred Walking Bull,
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first south dakota two spirit society honors and educates on the reservation.jpg

SISSETON, S.D. – Members of the newly-formed Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate Two Spirit Society gathered on Sept. 26 to educate members of the tribe on LGBTQ Native issues while honoring one of their own who was killed earlier in the month.

The group – the first Two Spirit society in any of the nine reservations in South Dakota – began its mission in June of this year. A testament to the growing power of social media on the reservation, the event “Gay is OK” was the impetus for forming the society. “We all went out to the corner, stood outside and held signs. And while we were standing there, we talked about forming a society, so we set a meeting date and from then on, it's been going ever since,” Vernon Renville, society co-founder said.

The momentum culminated in the education day at Sisseton Wahpeton College, “Walking in Two Worlds: Understanding Two Spirit and LGBTQ Individuals.” The daylong conference featured personal coming out stories by Sisseton Wahpeton tribal citizens, a screening of the film “Two Spirits” about the late Fred Martinez – who identified as Two Spirit and was killed in 2001 on the Navajo Nation – as well as a presentation on LGBTQ identity from Lenny Hayes, a tribal citizen and member of the Minnesota Two Spirit Society.

While the society is geared toward creating a place for Two Spirit people, it is an inclusive group that began because of the social stigma attached to being LGBTQ on the reservation. “I previously worked at the youth center and kids would come to me, or their parents would come to me, asking how to talk to their kids. Or they think they're having these feeling and we discussed things like that and decided it would be something good for the community,” Dawn Ryan, SWO society member said.

 


It Ain't Easy Being Indian
Saturday, October 11 2014
 
Written by Ricey Wild,
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ricey wild.jpgI’m so excited about Halloween! It’s the only time I can wear my kitty-cat ears in public, but I’m thinking this year I want to get painted up as a sugar skull. Yes, I have very important things on my agenda. More than that I’m over the moon that my life doesn’t suck right now. Sad as it is, if you have never suffered you don’t know what life’s blessings really are. Enjoy the good times my dear ones, enjoy!

Last month I shared a poopy story and I have another one but I’m not the poopetrator this time. I walked out to my mailbox and toward the end of my driveway was a huge pile of a dark substance that looked like poop with popcorn kernels in it. Upon closer inspection on the way back (no stack of checks to cash, hai!) I saw the seeds must be berries. I told my co-worker Chuck about it and he said, “Bear poop!” which is exactly the conclusion I came to. So, if you get a question on your test “Do bears poop in the woods?” The answer is not always. That bear didn’t make it behind a tree either.

Whenever Indians get together of course we ask who the other is related to and a lot of times it’s oneself; another long-lost cousin. Another favorite topic is ‘poor stories’ and my brother Mike W. has a doozy! He said his house was broken into but the thieves didn’t take anything! Of course I laughed at how pitiful that was and said they could have left you a five dollar bill at least for a new lock. Then Mike said, “Now here’s the kicker! All three of my guitars were pawned so they were safe.” I know, right?

 

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