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Local Briefs
Community Calendar April 2013
Wednesday, April 24 2013
 
Written by Jenny,
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April thru June SMSC Mobile Unit Spring Schedule The Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community (SMSC) helps local organizations and Minnesota tribal communities through its mobile medical clinic, the SMSC Mobile Unit which provides health screenings, mammograms, vision and dental services, and other prevention and education services. Anyone wishing to schedule a mammogram or dental appointment may contact the deployment site or tribal health clinic directly. To request on-site services from the SMSC Mobile Unit, contact Mobile Unit Coordinator Christine Michael at 952-233-2964 or visit: www.mdfire.org and click”Mobile Unit” to find a request form. The spring schedule is below: • April 2: Upper Sioux Indian Community (mammography) • April 4: Russian Church, Shakopee • April 9: Red Lake Nation (dental) • April 18: Rademacher’s Grocery Store, Jordan • April 19: United Family Medical Clinic, St. Paul (mammography • April 23: Native American Community Clinic, Minneapolis (mammography) • April 24: Indian Health Board, Minneapolis (mammography) • May 1: Neighborhood Healthsource Clinic, 2610 Central Ave NE, Minneapolis (mammography) • May 2: Public Library, Savage • May 7-9: Grand Portage Band of Lake Superior Chippewa (dental and diabetes) • May 16: Russian Church, Shakopee • May 21-22: Grand Portage Band of Lake Superior Chippewa (mammography) • June 1: American Diabetes Association, Tour de Cure, Minneapolis (medical command support, tentative) • June 2: Minneapolis Marathon, Minneapolis (medical command support, tentative).
EWCS Honors Pat Bellanger With Song
Tuesday, March 12 2013
 
Written by By Jamie Keith,
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cover_story_honoring_song_pat_bellanger.jpg The Elders' Wisdom Children's Song (EWCS) program honored Anishinabe Ojibwe elder Pat Bellanger on February 12th at a celebration at Sanford Middle School in Minneapolis. EWCS blends elders' oral narratives with youth engagement, music, and performances to affirm diverse backgrounds and experiences in communities throughout North America.
Bellanger, a founding member of the American Indian Movement and a delegate to the International Treaty Council for the United Nations, is the most recent member of the Twin Cities' Native community to be honored through EWCS. Bellanger's personal narrative focused on her role as a traditional Medewiwin woman. Because of this, EWCS founder Larry Long and the students chose to emphasize her Medewiwin responsibilities and her Anishinabe name Awaanakwe, which means Water Woman. The chorus reads: Awaanakwe, Awaanakwe/ Water Woman is my name/ Awaanakwe, Awaanakwe/ Anishinabe Ojibwa/ To care for Mother Earth/ From the moment of our birth/ Awaanakwe, Awaanakwe, Awaanakwe.
Long worked with Mavis Mantila's 7th grade classrooms to bring Elders' Wisdom, Children's Song to Sanford Middle School. Mantila is one of the few certified First Nation Ojibwe teacher's in Minneapolis Public Schools and a friend of Pat Bellanger.  
"It fits right in with the Medewiwin belief that women are the keepers of the water, so we ended up writing a song that affirmed the spiritual and cultural core of who she really is," said Long.
Long, a Smithsonian Folkways recording artist, activist, and Executive Director of the nonprofit Community Celebration of Place, started EWCS over 20 years ago. The vision for the program was inspired by Long's relationship with Dakota elder Amos Owen. Owen and Long first met in the 1980s, when Long and other activists organized the Mississippi River Revival.
"His philosophy, his particular calling, was that he would make his sweat lodge open to all people. He welcomed me in as one of his relations," said Long of Owen. "All of this came out of a shared vision with Amos Owen."
Since then, Long has worked through EWCS to recognize elders from the Dakota, Lakota, Ojibwe, Choctaw, Cherokee, Ho-Chunk, Dine, and Paiute tribes, the Brothertown Indian community in Wisconsin, and First Nations people in Canada. To date, the program has honored over 1,000 elders by turning their oral narratives into songs and performing these songs at large community celebrations.
Long feels that EWCS creates an opportunity for youth and elders to engage in inter-generational learning and relationship building.
Acclaimed author Louise Erdrich among Earth Train passengers to D.C.
Tuesday, March 12 2013
 
Written by By Jamie Keith,
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earth_train_sendoff-1.jpgAcclaimed Anishinabe author Louise Erdrich was one of about 70 Minnesotans who boarded the Earth Train bound for the Forward on Climate Rally in Washington, D.C. The Earth Train pulled out of the Saint Paul Amtrak
station at 7:50am on February 15 amidst a flash-mob style send-off, including a rendition of Cat Stevens's Peace Train and personal pledges by members embarking on the trip.
In addition to the passengers on the train, two busloads of Minnesotans journeyed to the National Mall for the rally on February 17. According to James Lenfestey, an Earth Train passenger, the Minnesotan contingent at the Forward on Climate Rally numbered about 200 people,
making them the second largest group
present. The New York Times reported that the event was the largest climate change rally held at the Capitol in the nation's
history, with total attendance estimates ranging from 35,000 to 50,000.


Land grab cheats North Dakota tribes out of $1 billion, suits allege
Tuesday, March 12 2013
 
Written by by Abrahm Lustgarten, ProPublica,
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land_grab_cheats_north_dakota_tribes_.jpgNative Americans on an oil-rich North Dakota reservation have been cheated out of more than $1 billion by schemes to buy drilling rights for lowball prices, a flurry of recent lawsuits assert. And, the suits claim, the federal government facilitated the alleged swindle by failing in its legal obligation to ensure the tribes got a fair deal.
This is a story as old as America itself, given a new twist by fracking and the boom that technology has sparked in North Dakota oil country. Since the late 1800s, the U.S. government has appropriated much of the original tribal lands associated with the Fort Berthold reservation in North Dakota for railroads and white homesteaders. A devastating blow was delivered when the Army Corps of Engineers dammed the Missouri River in 1953, flooding more than 150,000 acres at the heart of the remaining reservation. Members of the Three Affiliated Tribes 2014 the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara 2014 were forced out of the fertile valley and up into the arid and barren surrounding hills, where they live now.  
But that last-resort land turns out to hold a wealth of oil, because it sits on the Bakken Shale, widely believed to be one of the world's largest deposits of crude. Until recently, that oil was difficult to extract, but hydraulic fracturing, combined with the ability to drill a well sideways underground, can tap it. The result, according to several senior tribal members and lawsuits filed last November and early this year in federal and state courts, has been a land grab involving everyone from tribal leaders accused of enriching themselves at the expense of their people, to oil speculators, to a New York hedge fund, to the federal government's Bureau of Indian Affairs.
The rush to get access to oil on tribal lands is part of the oil industry's larger push to secure drilling rights across the United States.
WHATS NEW IN THE COMMUNITY:
Tuesday, March 12 2013
 
Written by The Circle Staff,
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whats_new_woman_finds_mom_supermodel.jpgNative Woman Finds Her Birth Mother, Who Turned Out To Be Native Super-Model
Susan Fedorko found her birth mother when she was 40 years old. Her biological mother was from the Grand Portage Indian Ojibwe Reservation in Minnesota and her father was from the White Earth Ojibwe Nation also in Minnesota.  
Fedorko discovered that just a few years after her birth, her birth mother - Cathee Dahmen - had become an immensely popular supermodel, probably the first Native American woman to attain that status.
She also learns she is also related to the famous Ojbwe artist George Morrison, whom took her mother under his wing after Dahmen's mother adopted her out without her knowing about it.
Her book Cricket: Secret Child of a Sixties Supermodel, published by Outskirts Press in November 2012, chronicles her journey from Native American adoptee-turned "white" mother and wife, to a person reunited with her extended family.
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