Local Briefs
December Community Calendar
Thursday, December 03 2015
Written by The Circle,
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Thru July 2016
Why Treaties Matter traveling exhibit

This exhibit explores relationships between Dakota and Ojibwe Indian Nations and the U.S. government in Minnesota. Learn how treaties affected the lands and lifeways of the indigenous peoples of this place, and why these binding agreements still matter today. For info, see: .
• Nov. 16 - Dec. 6: Minnesota State University, Mankato.
2016 Dates:
• Jan. 11-24: Winona State University, Winona.
• Feb. 1 - 21: Minnesota State College-Southeast Technical, Winona.
• Feb. 29 - March 23: Alexandria Technical and Community College, Alexandria.
• March 30 - April 17: Minneapolis Community and Technical College, Minneapolis.
• April 25 - May 15: Metro State University, St. Paul.
• June 27 - July 17: Minnesota State Community and Technical College, Detroit Lakes.

Nov. 14 - Dec. 19
Art Exhibit: Ancestral by Meryl McMaster

Opening Reception: Saturday, Nov. 14 from 5 to 8 pm, with an Artist Talk at 4 pm. Exhibition will run Nov. 4 through Dec. 19. Ancestral will feature a selection of digital chromogenic prints from two of the artist’s photo-based projects, the Ancestral and In-Between Worlds series. The exhibition Ancestral is the premiere showing of McMaster’s work in the Twin Cities and the artist, who lives and works in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, will give an artist talk in the gallery preceding the exhibition opening. McMaster is a Plains Cree member of the Siksika Nation, and is also of British and Dutch ancestry. Bockley Gallery, 2123 w 21st Street, Minneapolis. For info, call 612-377-4669 or see: .

Nov.19 - Jan. 16  
Dimensions of Indigenous: Storytelling

Dimensions of Indigenous: Storytelling is a multi-disciplinary all nations art exhibition featuring both contemporary and traditional work of Indigenous artists of the Americas whose work evokes decolonization, resistance, and cultural identity. Curated by Gordon Coons (Ojibwa)  and Rebekah Crisanta de Ybarra, (Xinka-Lenca). Artists include: Colleen Casey (Dakota), Dakota Hoska, (Lakota) Maggie Thompson (Ojibwe), Cole Jacobson (Cree), Gordon Coons (Ojibwa), Julie Boada (Anishinabe), Gustavo Boada (Moche), Xilam Balam, (Mexica), Zamara Cuyun (K'iche/ Kaqchikel), Gabriela Erandi Spears (Matlatzinca/P'urhepecha), Rebekah Crisanta (Xinka-Lenca), Gustavo Lira (Mixteco/Zapotec). Closing reception: Jan. 16 from 2-5 pm. Join artists and curators for a closing reception to celebrate the work and artists. Music performance by Gustavo Lira & Xilam Balam. Exhibit runs Nov.19 to Jan. 16, 2016. Gallery hours: Monday-Friday from 10 am to -6 pm, and Saturdays from 12 to 5 pm. Admission: sliding scale; $3-10 per person suggested. Intermedia Arts, 2822 Lyndale Ave. S., Minneapolis. For info, call 612-871-4444, email:  This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it , or see: .

Dec. 1, Jan 8, 22
Phillips Indian Educators

Upcoming meeting for the Phillips Indian Educators will be held beginning at 9:00 am. All meetings are held at Migizi Communications, 1516 E Lake St #300, Minneapolis. Meetings for 2016 include: 1/8, 1/22, 2/12, 2/26, 3/11, 3/25, 4/8, 4/22, 5/6, 5/20, 6/10, 6/24, 7/8, 7/22. For more info, contact Joe Rice at Nawayee Center School at: This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

Starts Dec. 2
Soogizin Dodem (Strengthening Families)

This group will couple traditional teachings and the creation of art with current mental health knowledge about trauma and trauma response. Our goal is to educate families about how trauma affects us and the many ways to heal. 10 sessions starting Dec. 2nd. Wednesdays from 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm. Food and childcare provided. Open to all—both new and repeating participants. Provides a family assessment of strengths and needs. Teaches therapeutic methods of self-care & healing. Helps family members engage in positive activities together. For more info, call Jessica Gourneau at 651-793-3803, x3009 or email: This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it Or call Sierra Asamoa-Tutu, x3021 or email: This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it American Indian Family Center, 579 Wells St., Saint Paul.

Dec. 4
MIWRC Vendor Day

Artists, vendors, jewelry and great holiday wares will be for sale. Plus there will be Native Indian Taco concessions available. Get your gift buying done and grab some tasty fluffy golden delicious lunch. 10 am - 2 pm. MN Indian Womens Resource Center, 2300 15th Ave. S, Minneapolis. For more info, contact Karen Joy DeJesus at 612-728-2022 or This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

Dec. 4 - 19
Native Art & Craft Sale

First Friday of the month Native Art and Craft Sale. Stop and shop for unique handmade items made by local Native American Artists. Shop local and support the local community. 1308 Franklin Ave, Minneapolis. For more info, call Jacque Wilson at 612-871-6618 or see: 10:00 am to 3:00 pm, on the following dates:
• Dec 4th - 5th
• Dec 11th - 12th
• Dec 18th - 19th

Dec 5
Kids Crafts: Story Book Time and Dream Catchers

Enjoy stories and light snacks from noon to 1 pm, then from 1 to 3 pm weave a dream catcher to take home. The dream catcher is a woven web believed to protect the dream world of the person who sleeps beneath it. Cost is $5 per kit, does not include museum admission. Allow an hour to make the craft. Recommended for ages 8 and up. Noon - 3:00 pm at the Mille Lacs Indian Museum and Trading Post, 43411 Oodena Dr., Onamia, MN. For more 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. 5
Birch Bark Ornament Workshop

Create miniature ornaments from birch bark that can be used to decorate for the holidays or to give as gifts. A light lunch and refreshments will be provided. A minimum of five participants is required. Children under 18 must be accompanied by an adult. Registration is required three days prior to workshop. Cost: $25/$20 MNHS members, plus $15 supply fee. Noon - 4:00 pm. Mille Lacs Indian Museum and Trading Post, 43411 Oodena Dr., Onamia, MN. For more 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. 5, 12, 19
Two-Spirit Support Group

Two-Spirit and Native LGBT Support Group at Minnesota Indian Women's Resource Center, 2300 15th Ave South, Minneapolis. Saturdays from 1:00-4:00 pm. For more information call Chris at 612-728-2011 or email: This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

Dec. 8
American Indian College Fund Event

The American Indian College Fund is hosting an event in Minneapolis to discuss how American Indian scholars can overcome the odds to get a college degree, and to share a strategy about how to increase their numbers. Guest speaker is Cholena Smith, an American Indian College Fund scholar, member of the Shinnecock Indian Nation of Long Island, and magna cum laude graduate of Stony Brook University with a degree in anthropology and sociology. Complimentary cocktails and appetizers will be served. The event will take place from 6-8 p.m. at the Hilton Minneapolis, 1001 Marquette Avenue, Minneapolis. For more info, contact Hannah Urano at This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it or 303-429-4191.

Dec. 9
Indian Child Welfare Education Day

The Opioid Crisis in Indian Country: the Many-Headed Beast. Presenter: Phil Norrgard, Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, Director of Human Services. This presentation will explore the manner in which the pharmaceutical industry and the medical industry created what has been called “the worst man-made disaster in modern medical history” and how the Substance Abuse Disorder treatment industry has exploited the opioid crisis. Special emphasis will be given to the impact the crisis is having on American Indians living in Minnesota and what some tribes are doing to address it. 9:00 am. - 12:00 pm. CEU’s will be provided. There is no cost to attend this event. For further info, contact Sandy White Hawk at: sandywhitehawk@ or 651-442-4872. Hennepin County Downtown Library, Pohlad Hall (2nd floor), 300 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis.

Dec. 11
Sobriety Friday

Monthly Celebration Dinner. Come and join us for an evening featuring; special speakers,testimonials of sobriety, great food, gospel music and door prizes. Sponsored by Overcomers Ministries. This is a monthly event on the 2nd Friday of each month from 6:30 pm. to 8:30 pm.The American Indian Center, 1530 E. Franklin Ave. Mpls. MN.

Dec. 11
The Circle Fundraiser with Winona LaDuke

The Circle board of directors (Robert Albee, Brenda Child, Celeste DeMars, Monica Flores, James Lenfestey, Lisa Yankton) and managing editor Catherine Whipple invite you to breakfast with Winona LaDuke to support The Circle. This year’s theme is “Honor 35 Years of The Circle, Honor Native Journalism, Honor the Earth” with internationally known author Winona LaDuke. LaDuke is a White Earth Ojibwe environmentalist, activist and author, known for her work on tribal land claims and preservation, as well as sustainable development. She is the executive director of White Earth Land Recovery Project, and Honor the Earth which she founded with Indigo Girls Amy Ray and Emily Saliers in 1993. LaDuke also helped found the Indigenous Women’s Network in 1985. LaDuke is the author of six books. 8:00 am. to 9:00 am. Doors open at 7:30 am. for coffee. $35 suggested donation. All Nations Indian Church, 1515 E. 23rd St., Minneapolis. RSVP at 612-722-3686, thecirclenews@, or see our facebook event at: events/593143600826930 .

Dec 12-13
Native Arts & Crafts Christmas Sale

Christmas shopping? Buy handmade gifts from local Native artists. Saturday, Dec. 12 from 10 am – 4 pm. Sunday, Dec. 13 from 1 pm – 4 pm. All Nations Indian Church, 1515 E 23rd St., Minneapolis. For more info, call 612-721-4393.

Dec. 16
Author George Halvorson

Author George Halvorson will speak about child brain development. Halvorson is the chair and CEO of the Institute for InterGroup Understanding. The Institute works on issues of racism, prejudice, discrimination and InterGroup stress and conflict. Halvorson has published nine books on health care reform with the most recent being “Ending Racial, Ethnic and Cultural Disparities in American Health Care.” 3:00 -5:00 at All My Relations Gallery, 1414 E Franklin Ave, Minneapolis.

Dec. 18
Holidays on Franklin

Enjoy a tour of Christmas joy through Franklin Ave area. 3:00 pm-6:00 pm. The tour will begin at Indigenous People’s Task Force at 1135 E. 23rd St., Minneapolis. There will be a guide to go from there. For more info, email Vincent at NACC at: This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

Dec. 18
Master of Tribal Resource Management meeting

UMD’s Tribal Sovereignty Institute will be discussing the draft plan for the proposed degree in Tribal Resourcee Management and invites the community to attend. 9 am. to 12 noon. University of Minnesota Duluth, Garden Room, 1120 Kirby Drive, Duluth, MN. Refreshments provided. RSVP to: This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

Dec. 18, 20
Manidoo Giizisoons Feast

Join us for a Manidoo Giizisoons Feast (Feast of the Little Spirit Moon) with The Sioux Chef. Each evening will include a Native craft fair, silent auction, and 4-course feast celebrating the abundance of our Anishinaabe Akiing - all traditional "pre-contact" foods prepared using the methods of our ancestors. All proceeds support our work to protect our water, manoomin (wild rice), Mother Earth, and way of life. For more info, see: or
• Dec. 18: Spring House Ministry Center, Minneapolis.  
• Dec. 20: Clyde Ironworks, Duluth.

Jan. 27 (deadline)
Harvard’s Honoring Nation­

The Honoring Nations 2016 awards cycle is now open for nominations and applications. Honoring Nations will award up to six exemplary tribal programs. High Honors programs will receive $5,000 and Honors programs receive $2,000. Honoring Nations invites applications from American Indian governments across a broad range of subject areas, including, but not limited to: Economic, Social & Cultural Programs; Natural Resource Management; Governmental Policy Development & Reform; Intergovernmental Relations; Education, Justice and Health. To nominate a program or apply for an award, visit the Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development website at or call 617-495-1480. The application deadline is January 27, 2016.


Art Show Asemaa focuses on tobacco as a vessel that connects us
Thursday, December 03 2015
Written by Kristine Shotley,
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Painting by Jonathan ThunderArtists Carl Gawboy, Joyce LaPorte, Wendy Savage, Karen Savage-Blue, Vern Northrup, Jonathan Thunder, Charles Nahgahnub, Robin Bellanger and Larissa Greensky are part of the exhibit called “Asemaa”. In the Ojibwe language asemaa means tobacco, and many pieces that were showcased in the exhibit had that theme.

Wendy Savage, the curator of the show, painted a sacred tobacco pouch that was dedicated to family members that had passed on due to cancer, and it also represented her own recovery from the disease. Savage’s work also showcased her classic Ojibwe indigenous plant and berry designs of acrylic on wood.

Photographer Vern Northrup’s display had pictures of red willow, bear berry, dogwood (Red Ochre) and asemaa that he said his grandfather used to mix up to smoke in his pipe. Northrup’s grandfather would have him pick the plants from the woods and would tell him that tobacco alone was too strong, and so he would add the other plants to create what we call ‘kinnickinick’.

Carl Gawboy, who is famous for his watercolor paintings of traditional Ojibwe life, did a 3-D piece of acrylic on plywood (cut by Jay Newcombe) that shows two people canoeing with the sunset behind them, which is now in the possession of an individual collector. Gawboy also painted a picture of two men in a canoe, one of whom is offering asemaa into the lake.

The Asemaa poster for the exhibit was done by Karen Savage-Blue. Savage Blue had a gorgeous piece of the “Witch Tree” on Lake Superior in Grand Portage Minnesota.

Multi-medium artist Charles Nahgahnub displayed some stunning photographs of agates he had cut open, He used the sun and light-bending technology apps on his phone to create the photographs.

An artist new to me was Robin Bellanger, who used his personal life experiences and dreams to produce art that is rich with symbolism of growth and change.

Collectively, all the art had a common theme that asemaa is the vessel that connects us and to use tobacco as it was meant to be, returning it to its sacred purpose. All attendees were gifted our own asemaa plant to grow.

Sponsors are Clearway QUITPLAN, Fond du Lac Reservation, Min No Aya Win Health Services and American Indian Community Housing Services.

The exhibit runs until December 27 at Trepanier Hall, 202 West Second Street in Duluth, MN. Visitors must ask for admission at the front desk.

Native American Artists
Thursday, December 03 2015
Written by Ricey Wild,
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Last month I bragged about knowing a lot of Native artists and how we could support their businesses. It seems to me that everything loops back to the circle and is intertwined. There is our current reality where we need currency to live in this culture and there is this spiritual creativity in Native people that sustain us also.

The selling of our Native arts and crafts is not selling out; that’s the crapy plastic and very racist items that were mass produced overseas. I’ve said it before and will most likely say it again – we Indians can’t ever have anything left to us. They took millions of our lives for our lands, the animals that sustained us, our children that were sent to boarding schools, and our cultural identities and still to this day make mockeries of it.

Art is an everyday thing for Native people. Our clothing reflects our tribal cultures, as do the things we used for day to day living. For instance, my people the Ojibwe used birch bark for pretty much everything from storage baskets, to pots to cook in, to backpacks,  to our housing and the famous birch bark canoes. We consider the paper birch sacred and wrote our ancestral lineage and spiritual texts on them.

I’ve been very fortunate in that I got to see many Indian art show’s that feature contemporary artists as well as historical pieces like Dakota paintings on bison hides that depict events and stories and war shirts. I was fascinated to learn that the dragonflies on some of the shirts were there because of how the insects move and dart about giving the wearer the ability to dodge bullets. Dodge bullets, Yo!!!
In black and white photographs Ojibwe chiefs are wearing very fancy, intricately beaded regalia done in floral designs. As a person who was brainwashed since infancy, I used to think floral designs were only for women. But when I saw the steely eyes of resolve of the men who wore that clothing, no other thought but strength, purpose and pride came to my mind. When I see moose hide boots, leather mittens and other personal attire pieces I gasp at their beauty and construction and want, want, WANT!!! But see now, I would actually wear them as is their purpose.

If you were to visit my home there isn’t anything that immediately beats you over the head that an Indian lives here besides some sheets in my windows. In the permanent state of chaos that is my domicile I do have a few pieces of functional art, like my birch bark baskets that hold plants, a few dream catchers, some cedar, sage and sweetgrass to cleanse the surroundings.

I have very recently purchased a print I’m fascinated with by Steven Standingcloud. I have been gifted a painting by my beloved friend Lorri, and a print by graphic artist Opitchee Bellanger when we connected on our views about Alien intervention. I also won a signed poster from a recent art show opening, I attended and all are going to be matted and framed. I’m so very happy right now and I may have caught the collector’s bug for acquisition of interesting and beautiful pieces of Native art. All within my limited means, of course. Or I will beg.

Then there’s this. I have been thinking a lot about how Native arts and culture has been spread world-wide as the Ojibwe Dream Catcher has. I say they are a phenomenon in that they are now sold everywhere in the world, made by who knows but their cultural meaning has not been lost in translation. Indian mothers would hang small ones on their baby’s cradleboards and we put them above our beds so the good dreams can slip through and bad ones get stuck. That’s the way I heard it so if you differ, go ahead. The larger dreamcatchers are for decoration I’m supposing. Kokopelli, which is Southwestern in origin, has his flute and danced his way into pop culture much like the dreamcatcher has.

One does not have to look far to see how influential Native arts are. Native artists work hard at their crafts and arts. I’ve seen pottery, paintings, graphic arts, photography, jewelry and many other artistic mediums that are so stunning in their intricacy and beauty they literally take my breath away. I believe it is up to us to honor the gifts our ancestors gave us and keep up the traditions that sustain us. To them I say Miigwech.

Then there’s the fake war bonnets. The Poca-hottie costumes at Halloween. The disgusting professional sports mascots, those have to go like yesterday. As long as they persist Native people are not seen as real and deserving of respect.

Nurse publishes first nursing textbook on American Indian health
Thursday, December 03 2015
Written by By Marcene Robinson,
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American Indian Health and Nursing
By Margaret P. Moss PhD, JD, RN, FAAN
402 pages
Springer Publishing Company
December 15, 2015

american_indian_health_and_nursing.jpgAmerican Indians have the highest suicide rate for teens, the highest prevalence of diabetes and one of the lowest life expectancies in the United States.
Yet despite these alarming statistics, gathered from data from the Indian Health Service, never before has a nursing textbook focused exclusively on the health care needs of the country’s 5 million American Indians.

This realization inspired Margaret Moss, PhD, JD, assistant dean of diversity and inclusion in the University at Buffalo School of Nursing in Buffalo, NY, to publish “American Indian Health and Nursing,” the nation’s first nursing textbook tailored to perhaps the least understood minority population in the U.S.

Along with 12 contributing authors – nine of whom are American Indian nurses – Moss (Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nation) guides readers through nine distinct Native cultures. In the book, she describes how disparities in health care policy, along with the environmental, historical and geographical fabric of American Indian society, are responsible for the group’s lack of well-being.

“This book was written to answer the disturbing lack of information and understanding of the most underrepresented group in America – as patients, health professionals and in academia,” says Moss, also an associate professor of nursing.

“American Indians have monumental health and health care challenges that differ even throughout Indian country. Yet, they share the same fundamental belief that nursing holds – that of the holistic person in health.”

The textbook, published by Springer Publishing Company, is available for pre-order until Dec. 15 through Amazon, Barnes & Noble and the Springer Publishing website.
To provide a holistic view of health, the textbook examines health from four domains: spiritually, mentally, psychically and emotionally.

Because American Indian culture varies by region, Moss delves into the issues affecting each group to create awareness among nurses and other health care professionals of the barriers affecting American Indian health and problems surrounding nursing education.

Geography, for example, prohibits many American Indians who live in rural areas or on reservations from receiving adequate health care, she says. Since these areas are isolated, finding transportation to a grocery store or hospital can be difficult.

Couple that lack of trust in the government and federal policy due to historical trauma, a low high school graduation rate and even lower college graduation rate, and health care issues begin to manifest, says Moss.

The average life expectancy for males born today on the Pine Ridge reservation in South Dakota is less than 50 years old, the lowest in the Western Hemisphere, she adds.

And on some reservations, Native women are murdered at 10 times the national rate, according to the U.S. Department of Justice, largely because of location and laws preventing tribal police from prosecuting non-Natives.

The lack of American Indian nurses creates yet another barrier. Less than 1 percent of nurses are Natives, says Moss, explaining the cultural tie could lead to greater trust and understanding between the patient and care provider.

Since 78 percent of American Indians don’t live on reservations and more than half live in urban areas, according to U.S. Census data, there is a greater likelihood that this population will receive care from non-Native nurses, she adds.

These barriers, Moss says, lead to physical and mental health issues, including depression.

“American Indians are across the board the poorest people in America; it just never reaches the media,” she says.

“Poverty, isolation and overwhelming historical trauma all weigh on you and feed into how you react. We took a wider view of health to understand why this population has such poor health outcomes.”

Moss has published more than 15 studies on health disparities, and health policy and aging in American Indians. In her role with the UB School of Nursing, she works to improve access for underrepresented minorities; establish a pipeline of diverse faculty, staff and students; and identify gaps in school diversity-related policies and procedures.

Prior to UB, she was an associate professor and the first director of the Doctor of Nursing Practice program at Yale University School of Nursing.

In 2014, Moss was named a Fulbright visiting research chair in Aboriginal/indigenous life and culture in the North American context at McGill University. 
Her degrees include a doctorate in nursing from the University of Texas, Houston; a JD from Hamline University; a master’s degree in nursing from the University of Phoenix; and a bachelor’s degree in biology from Washington State University.

Fred Armel
Thursday, December 03 2015
Written by Catherine,
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Fred Armellobit_fred_armel_web.jpg
June 13, 1948 - November 4, 2015

Fred Armell, of the Ho-Chunk Nation, was born in Winnebago, Nebraska and spent most of his life in Minnesota. Fred was a well-known artist; his paintings and drawings were always of a spiritual nature. He was a long-distance runner and took part in countless spiritual runs and walks, including the 1992 Peace and Dignity Journey.

Fred was a sun-dancer at Pipestone for many years. In the Twin Cities he volunteered serving free meals at the American Indian Center and helped with a gardening program in the Little Earth Community.
Fred bonded with people from all walks of life. He is survived by his son, Joaquin Armell, his sisters, Kay Jensen and Patty Armell and many other relatives.

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