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Local Briefs
It ain’t easy being indian
Tuesday, June 04 2013
 
Written by by Ricey Wild,
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 At long last spring is showing up around here. Us Nort’ Landers just experienced one of the longest, most miserable, record-shattering winter snowfalls ever. The snow is only now beginning to melt and there are birds chirping, but no dandelions as yet. The weather was so wretched it caused widespread crankiness with an 80% chance of depression causing moody, irritable-people-syndrome. Ennit?

Community Calendar May 2013
Tuesday, June 04 2013
 
Written by The Circle Staff,
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May 1
Indian Month Kick Off
Come celebrate community and the start of MN American Indian Month at the 2013 MN American Indian Month Kickoff Parade and Celebration. Beginning at 9:30 am at Cedar Field‚ Little Earth of United Tribes, Minneapolis, MN. Please join us for the Parade of Nations and show your pride wearing regalia, ribbon shirts and shawls. Community-based organizations and groups are encouraged to carry banners, puppets, etc. and walk in the parade from Little Earth of United Tribes to the Minneapolis American Indian Center. All organizations, groups, eagle staff carrier and honor guards interested in participating or creating a float for the parade, contact Daniel Yang 612-235-4969 or: This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it for further details and registration (no fee).



Ernest Wabasha -September 2, 1929 - March 28, 2013
Tuesday, June 04 2013
 
Written by The Circle Staff,
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passing_on_wabasha.jpgErnest “Ernie” Wabasha (age 83) of the Lower Sioux Community, journeyed to the Spirit World surrounded by family and loved ones on Thursday, March 28, 2013 at the Redwood Area Hospital. Mass of Christian Burial was held at St. John’s Catholic Church in Morton. Visitation was held April 2 and 3rd at the Lower Sioux Community Center. Interment is in St. Cornelia’s Episcopal Cemetery. Place online condolences at: www.stephensfuneralservice.com.  

Cancer Survivor Sues HealthPartners for Discrimination
Wednesday, April 24 2013
 
Written by by Jamie Keith,
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cancer_survivor_sues.jpg Roger Jeffers (Sisseton Sioux), a 50-year-old bladder cancer survivor, says that he was the victim of racial discrimination while seeking treatment for post-chemotherapy-related health complications at HealthPartners St. Paul Clinic this fall.
“Nobody was taking that I was there and I had bladder cancer. They treated me as if I came in off the street and I was some guy looking for pills,” said Jeffers of HealthPartners staff.
The issue began when Jeffers got neuropathy, a nerve-damage disorder which causes pain and numbness in hands and feet. He requested refills of his Percocet prescription to manage the neuropathy pain from his primary care physician, Dr. Shehbana Mahmood.
“She did give me some pain medication, but nothing ever happened with my feet, nothing changed, so I went back to see her. That’s when she started thinking that I was there for one reason [drugs] and that’s all,” said Jeffers.
At that point, Jeffers says that Dr. Mahmood verbally instructed him to take twice the amount of Percocet he was currently taking to manage his pain. However, this was not communicated to other HealthPartners staff or documented, so Jeffers was unable to refill his prescription, and encountered increased suspicion from pharmacists and nurses at the clinic. Jeffers alleges that Dr. Mahmood’s personal nurse told him that they could tell he was an addict and instructed him to find health care somewhere else, despite the fact that Jeffers has no history of alcohol or drug abuse.


Bluedog makes it to final rounds of the Battle of the Blues Bands
Wednesday, April 24 2013
 
Written by by Jamie Keith,
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bluedog.jpgThis month, Bluedog will be one of four bands competing in the final round of Battle of the Blues Bands on April 7th (4:30-7:30 pm) at Famous Dave’s BBQ and Blues Uptown in Minneapolis. Bluedog was one of sixteen bands originally competing to open for national act Tommy Castro and the Painkillers at their June 8 concert at Famous Dave’s in Minneapolis.
The Minneapolis-based band has also been nominated for Group of the Year and Best Rock Recording of the Year for their most recent album, Just Living The Blues, in this year’s Native American Music Awards (NAMAs). This marks the seventh NAMA nomination the group has received since 2005 when they recorded their debut album, From All Directions. Bluedog was voted Group of the Year in the 2010 NAMAs.
Eric (Ponca), Chair and Associate Professor of American Indian Studies at Augsburg College, and Joni Buffalohead (Dakota), Director of Operations at the Minnesota Indian Women’s Resource Center, co-founded Bluedog in 2001. They wanted an artistic outlet so Joni could sing and Eric could write his own music on the guitar.
“I was playing in another band and wanted to go in a different direction other than just playing other people’s music,” said Eric. “And I wanted to work with Joni singing, so those were some of the motivating factors.”
Along with Eric on lead guitar and Joni performing lead vocals, the band is comprised of the couple’s daughter, Alexandra Buffalohead (Dakota), on backing vocals, keyboard, and organ; Tom Suess, a childhood friend of Eric’s, on bass and backing vocals; Bob Simons (Dakota/Assiniboine) on drums; and Chuck Davis (Lakota), who sits in occasionally as part of the group on percussion. All but two members of the group are relatives, giving the band a close-knit stage presence.
“We’re a family band, and there’s not that many Indian bands playing blues rock music originals,” said Joni. “I like to educate people – they might not know anything about Indian people behind the music, so it’s a way to record history.”
Many of Bluedog’s songs are inspired by the historical and present-day struggles of Native American people.
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