Local Briefs
October 2014 Calendar
Monday, October 06 2014
Written by The Circle Staff,
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Through Nov. 15

“On Fertile Ground: Native Artists in the Upper Midwest”

Join us to celebrate the wealth and diversity of Native artists from this region. This exhibition will take place once annually over a period of three years. Each show will highlight 15 different artists, ultimately providing a comprehensive overview of 45 artists from Minnesota, Wisconsin, North Dakota and South Dakota.

2014 artists include: Judith Allen, Wendy Boivin, Alexandra Buffalohead, Julie Buffalohead, Nelson Chasing Hawk, Jim Denomie, John Hitchcock, Wanesia Misquadace, Karen Savage, Nelda Schrupp, James Star Comes Out, Jodi Webster, Dennis White, Jennifer White, and Monte Yellow Bird.

Exhibition Events: Gallery Talk with James Star Comes Out, Oct. 17, 6-7:30 p.m.

All My Relations Gallery, 1414 E. Franklin Ave., Minneapolis, MN. Hours: Tuesday-Friday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Saturday-Sunday, 11 a.m.-3 p.m.; Closed Mondays. For more information, call 612-235-4970 or visit

Oct. 7

Circle of Generations Community Staff Building Project

Allen. 2 to 3 p.m.; Minneapolis American Indian Center, 1530 E. Franklin Avenue, Minneapolis, MN. For more information, call Mi-zi-way Mi-gi-zi DesJarlait, Cultural Resource Coordinator at 612-879-1785 or email This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

Oct. 8

Circle of Generations Teaching Circle

Dakota Language with Neil McKay, 4-5 p.m.; Teaching Circle, 5-7:30 p.m.; Tipi Painting with Endaso Giizhik (Robert Desjarlait); Mazinigwaasowin (Beading) with Angela Kappenman; Nagamowin miinawaa Niimiwin/Wacipi Dowan (Singing and Dancing) with Ringing Shield, Zach RedBear and Alana Dickenson; Community Staff Building Project, Allen.

Minneapolis American Indian Center, 1530 E. Franklin Avenue, Minneapolis, MN. For more information, call Mi-zi-way Mi-gi-zi DesJarlait, Cultural Resource Coordinator at 612-879-1785 or email This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

Oct. 8

Linda LeGarde Grover & Erika Wurth: Reading & Conversation

Join authors Linda LeGarde Grover and Erika Wurth for an evening of reading and conversation. Linda LeGarde Grover (“The Dance Boots”) will be reading from “The Road Back to Sweetgrass” – a powerful debut novel of love, hardship, and family bonds on an American Indian reservation. Erika Wurth will be reading from her first novel, “Crazy Horse's Girlfriend.” Filled with complex characters overcoming and being overcome by circumstances of their surroundings, “Crazy Horse's Girlfriend” thoroughly shakes up cultural preconceptions of what it means to be Native American today. Book signing at Birchbark Books to follow.

Event is free, 7 p.m., Bockley Gallery (next to Birchbark Books), 2123 W 21st Street, Minneapolis MN. For more information, call 612-374-4023.

Oct. 9

Circle of Generations Ojibwemowin

Ojibwe Language with Joe Spears, 5-6 p.m. Minneapolis American Indian Center, 1530 E. Franklin Avenue, Minneapolis, MN. For more information, call Mi-zi-way Mi-gi-zi DesJarlait, Cultural Resource Coordinator at 612-879-1785 or email This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it


Weekend Calendar: Sept. 12-14
Friday, September 12 2014
Written by The Circle Staff,
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Sept. 12-14

Bob Brown Memorial/Mendota's 15th Annual Traditional Wacipi

Emcee: Mitch Walking Elk; Arena Director: Windy Down Wind; Host Drum: Scotty Brown Eyes; Co-Host Drum: Luttle Thunder Birds; Men's Head Dancer: Nick Anderson; Women's Head DancerL Mary So Happy.

Friday: Lighting the Sacred Fire, followed by potluck dinner, 5:05 p.m. Saturday: Dancer registration, 11 a.m.; Grand Entry/Honored Guests, 1 p.m.; dancer registration, 5 p.m.; Grand Entry/Honored Guests; Registered dancers payout, 8:45 p.m. Sunday: Dancer registration, 11 a.m.; Grand Entry/Honored Guests, 1 p.m.; Closing Ceremony and Feast, 5:30 p.m.; Registered dancer payout, 5 p.m.

This is a traditional wacipi, not a competition. Sponsored by the Mendota Mdewakanton Dakota Community. Giveaway and donations needed and appreciated. $5 entry button donation, no one turned away. No drugs, alcohol, firearms or pets allowed.

St. Peter's Church Grounds, 1405 Sibley Memorial Highway, Mendota, MN. For more information, call 651-452-4141, email This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it or visit


Sept. 13
11th Annual Wild Rice Festival

Wild Rice Pancake Breakfast, 8 to 11 a.m.; Food Concessions by Pow Wow Grounds, noon-4 p.m.; Free entertainment and activities, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Harriet Alexander Nature Center, 2520 N. Dale St., Roseville, MN 55113.
For more information, call 651-765-4262 or visit


Sept. 13

NorthPoint Health & Wellness Center 3rd Annual Fit-4-Fun Family Fitness Event
This on site event will include a family oriented one- or three-mile walk or run. Other events include a neighborhood bike ride, aerobics, music, dancing, prizes, healthy food options, health and wellness information, and most importantly fun.

10 a.m., NorthPoint Health & Wellness Center, 1313 Penn Ave. N., Minneapolis, MN. For more information, call Tanya Williams at 612-543-2560.

Sept. 13

Gathering in Winona Traditional Powwow

One day with day money for all dancers. Dance specials in adult men and women’s traditional, adult men and women’s fancy, adult men’s grass and adult women’s jingle. Guimaraes-DeCora Family Ho-Chunk Women’s Applique Special, 18 and older. First prize: $300; second prize: $200; third prize: $100; fourth prize: $50. Invited drums only. Camping available, vendors on site.

Grand Entry, 1 and 7 p.m. Unity Park, Winona, MN (off Hwy 43). For more information, call Valerie DeCora Guimaraes at 507-289-7401 or email This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it
Bdote Learning Center opens in South Minneapolis
Monday, September 08 2014
Written by Laura Waterman Wittstock,
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bdote learning center opens in south minneapolis 1.jpg On Aug. 25, a sunny morning in Minneapolis, Bdote Learning Center opened. The historic beginning marked the end of six years of planning and developing as – children entered the school to study what all children learn in Kindergarten to third grade – except that they will be learning in the Ojibwe and Dakota languages. These languages, now only spoken by a few, are reflected throughout Minnesota in place names and the very names of the city and state where the school is located.

Mike Huerth is Bdote’s first principal. “One thing that attracted me to this school is my love of the Ojibwe language. I have wanted to learn the language since my high school days but somehow, throughout my career in education, I never seemed to have had the time to learn my mother tongue,” he said.

The children swarmed around the principal and he returned their affection with a pat or some softly spoken instructions. He remembered the experiences of children who went to boarding school. Unlike then – when English was forced on children – Ojibwe and Dakota are spoken in a friendly environment.

The first day of school was expected to be somewhat difficult for most of the children. There are a very few who come from day care and pre-school experiences where they did learn Ojibwe and Dakota. For these children, it is easy to converse with the teachers and as time goes by they will also help the other children learn through the natural propensity for children to share language, no matter which one it is.

On Aug. 24, Huerth and the teachers and some of the board members gathered for two important ceremonies: a pipe ceremony conducted by Bdote’s Curriculum Coordinator Deidre WhiteMan and an Ojibwe water ceremony, led by second and third grade teacher Lisa Bellanger. Those ceremonies marked the end of a six-year journey from when the idea of a language immersion school was proposed to moving into St. Albert’s at 3216 E. 29th Street in South Minneapolis. The many words of encouragement and hard determination pushed the school forward through what seemed to the Bdote board of directors, nearly impossible odds.

Huerth looks forward to a successful year. The school has a capacity of 104 for the 2014-15 school year and over 90 students are enrolled. Full enrollment is likely once families make their choices in the next few days.


Native Man The Musical redefines Native masculinity
Monday, September 08 2014
Written by Alfred Walking Bull,
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native man the musical.jpgThe paradigm of Native American manhood shifted with New Native Theatre's production of “Native Man the Musical, Phase I,” performed at the Minnesota Fringe Festival with its last performance on Aug. 9.

The stories were authentic accounts from Native men from around the Twin Cities and the region. New Native Theatre's artistic director Rhiana Yazzie (Dine) sought to set the expectation from stereotypes to previously unimagined identities by non-Native audiences.

“Some of it isn't pretty. And it's certainly not what the mainstream has dreamed up. Defying the stereotype of the Indian brave, the warrior, the oppressed, these stories are open and vulnerable moments necessary to be share in order that we might understand ourselves better, and possibly, the non-Native world can re-adjust its boundaries, fantasies, fears and misconceptions about Native male-hood.”

The performance features the life experiences of each cast member and interviews from men in the Twin Cities Native community. Among those in the live performance were Jeff Jordan (Boise Forte Ojibwe), Wade Keezer (White Earth Ojibwe), Jase Roe (Northern Cheyenne), Sisoka Duta (Sisseton-Wahpeton Dakota), Raphael Szykowski (Kuna) and rapper Tall Paul (Leech Lake Ojibwe). The production also featured filmed interviews with Dennis Banks (Leech Lake Ojibwe), Black Fox (Oglala Lakota), Chema Pineda-Fernandez (Nahuatl Mayan), Cole Premo (Mille Lacs Ojibwe) and Jim Thunder Hawk (Oglala Lakota).

One of the more compelling moments of the performance came when Keezer opened up on screen about his hatred for the warrior mentality that's expected of young Native men. He spoke in his video segment about the culture that he was raised in that praised stoicism and emotional repression among men and that he combats that by telling his children that he loves them, allowing them to feel their emotions, instead of shaming them.

In his performance piece, Keezer talked about his relationship with his own father who sobered up and later became a born-again Christian. “Some people started calling me 'the preacher's son.' I really hated that, I really didn't care for any kind of Christianity, for a lot of different reasons, but mostly what it's done to Indians. I'm sick of all the Christians, the Muslims, the pipe carriers; it doesn't mean nothing to me. All these ultimatums and stereotypes that they use, it doesn't work on me.” When asked what he believed in, he closed with a air-guitar performance of Twisted Sister's “We're Not Gonna Take It.”


Honor the Earth paddles in protest against Sandpiper pipeline
Monday, September 08 2014
Written by Margaret Campbell, Honor the Earth,
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honor the earth paddles in protest against sandpiper pipeline.jpgBEMIDJI, Minn. – An environmental group took to the water on July 31 to protest a proposed oil pipeline in northern Minnesota. About 20 members of Honor the Earth, an environmental advocacy group, hosted a "Paddle Against the Sandpiper" canoe and press event on and near Lake Bemidji.

After protesting the pipeline with signs along Bemidji Avenue, the group launched a canoe painted with protest slogans onto Lake Bemidji.

The 616-mile-long pipeline the protesters are opposed to is Enbridge Energy's Sandpiper line, which would carry about 225,000 gallons of crude oil per day from the Bakken oilfield in western North Dakota to refineries in Superior, Wis. From there, the oil would be transported via other pipelines to refineries in the Southern and Eastern United States and eastern Canada.

Enbridge Energy claims the pipeline would reduce U.S. reliance on foreign oil imports while creating local job opportunities.

Honor the Earth officials, however, said they are opposed to the pipeline route because it would run along several bodies of water and multiple wild rice fields. They argue that a major environmental catastrophe could ensue if there's an oil spill.

Greg Chester, an Honor the Earth member, said people need to be aware of the dangers a pipeline can pose to the environment. "They're threatening our water," he said. "If we lose our water, then there's no place here for our children, our grandchildren, or future generations."

Chester said he would like to see money that's put toward oil pipelines be reinvested in renewable energy resources. "We have the money and if we fritter away the money on projects such as this, instead of renewable projects, we're missing an opportunity.”

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