Local Briefs
November Community Calendar
Tuesday, November 03 2015
Written by The Circle,
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Thru Nov. 20
On Fertile Ground Exhibit
This exhibition is the second of three annual showings of Native artists, providing an overview of 45 artists from Minnesota, Wisconsin, North Dakota, and South Dakota. Artists include: Roger Broer, Gordon Coons, Lauren Good Day-Giago, Heid Erdrich, Duane Goodwin, Laura Heit-Youngbird, Cole Jacobson, Pat Kruse, Marlena Myles, Chris Pappan, Bad Art Press, Keith Secola, Maggie Thompson, and Jonathan Thunder. All My Relations Arts, 1414 E Franklin Ave. For info, see:

Nov. 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 more info, see:
• Oct. 19 - Nov. 8: Normandale Community College, Bloomington.
• 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. 2, 9, 23, 30
Ojibwe & Dakota Language Class

Join Anishinaabe linguist & scholar James “Kaagegaabaw” Vukelich and Dakota educator Neil “Chantemaza” McKay to explore the teachings and language of the Ojibwe & Dakota people. Light refreshments & tea provided. 6:30 to 8:30 pm. Anishinabe Academy, Media Center, 3100 East 28th St., Minneapolis.

Nov. 3
Native F.A.N.

Open Basketball Open Basketball starts Nov. 3rd at the MAIC. Tuesdays & Thursdays from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm. Must be 18+ - unless it’s a school release day. All players must register in the Native FAN Program. Registration materials will be available at each session. Minneapolis American Indian Center, 1530 E Franklin Ave, Minneapolis. 612-871-4555.

Nov. 3
Musical Impressions: The Art of George Morrison

Brian Morrison Honors his late father George Morrison's work with newly composed live Jazz music and an art slideshow. Morrison’s images are accompanied by original jazz guitar compositions, consisting of 128 images from the 1940s through 2000. The Tweed Museum of Art, Humanities Building, University of Minnesota Duluth. 6:00 - 7:30 pm. Free and open to the public. Visit to learn more.

Nov. 3
Reception to Kick Off Why Treaties Matter Outreach

Minnesota American Indian Bar Association will be co-hosting an event with the United States District Court, District of Minnesota and Federal Bar Association-MN focusing on Indian treaty rights. As part of the event, the Why Treaties Matter Exhibit will be on display at the U.S. Courthouse in Minneapolis for two weeks in November.  A reception will be held on November 3 in the atrium of the U.S. Courthouse in Minneapolis for the outreach event. The Honorable Diane Humetewa (Hopi), the first Native American women appointed to an Article III Judgeship and the first enrolled tribal member to serve as a United States District Court Judge will be providing the keynote address at the kickoff reception. 4:30-7:00 pm. U.S. Courthouse, Minneapolis, 300 South Fourth St., Minneapolis, MN.

Nov. 4 - 6
MIWRC Intro to Motivational Interviewing

This 3-day training, titled Motivational Interviewing (MI), is an Evidence-Based Practice that holds a key to unlocking our clients’ own unique intrinsic motivations to make significant changes in their lives. Much of our focus will be on meaningful connections and uses of MI in a way that appreciates and supports the Native cultural value system. We will examine the basic concepts and uses of MI, practice using MI tools, and learn the steps in mastery of this valuable tool for our counseling toolboxes. Presenters: Betty Poitra and Jane Nakken, Ed. D. Nov. 4 and 5: 8:30 am to 4:30 pm, Nov. 6: 8:30 am to 2:00 pm. $175.00 for the 3-day training. Registration information, contact Jo Lightfeather at 612-728-2031 or: This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it MIWRC, 2300 15th Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN.

Nov.  4 - 6
MN Indian Education Association Conference

The 2015 Minnesota Indian Education Association Conference will be held at the Shooting Star Event Center in Mahnomen, MN. Visit the Workshop Presenters page of our website for more info. This year, the MIEA Conference will include a full day of youth activities on November 5. Youth activities will take place at the Circle of Life Academy and will include games, traditional activities, lunch, feast, powwow and more. Shuttle transportation will be provided from Shooting Star to the Circle of Life Academy. Youth Day will be FREE to participate (does not include the MIEA Conference Fee). For more info, see:

Nov. 5
Tiwahe Foundation Circle of Giving: Anton Treuer

Keynote address by scholar and author Anton Treuer, and a moving story from Tiwahe Grantee, Grace Smith. Dr. Anton Treuer is currently a professor at Bemidji State University and author of 14 books. His new book, Warrior Nation: A History of Red Lake Ojibwe was released September 1, 2015. He has a B.A. from Princeton University and a M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota. He is Editor of the Oshkaabewis Native Journal, the only academic journal of the Ojibwe language. His equity, education, and cultural work has put him on a path of service around the region, the nation, and the world. Live Auction, Book purchase and signing with Anton Treuer during reception. McNamara Alumni Center, University of Minnesota 200 Oak St. Minneapolis. 6:00 - Hors d'Oeuvres, cash bar. 6:45 - Program. Programs runs­ 6:00 - 8:00 p.m. Tickets: $100.00. Purchase tickets online by October 28 at

Nov. 5
"Running into the Storm: Renewal of the Spirit"

Augsburg College hosts Antony Stately, PhD for the Center for Wellness and Counseling Convocation. Antony Stately, PhD (Ojibwe/Oneida) received his Ph.D. in psychology from Alliant International University/California School of Professional Psychology in 1997, with an emphasis in Clinical, Multicultural am - 12:00 pm. Hoversten Chapel, Foss Center, Augsburg College, 2211 Riverside Ave, Minneapolis. Free and open to the public. 

Nov. 7
Gathering for Our Children & Returning Adoptees Powwow

MC – Jerry Dearly. Arena Directors- Windy Downwind and Kirk Crowshoe. Host Drum – Oyate Techa. 11:00-1:00 pm: Adoptees/formerly fostered individuals and birth relatives are invited to gather in the auditorium for a meet and visit with other adoptees.1:00 pm: Grand Entry, Wablenica Ceremony. The Wablenica Song (Orphan Song). A ceremony will be offered to heal the grief caused by separation from family and heritage. 5:30 pm: Feast 6-7:00 pm: Celebration of Life Dance for our youth. 7:00 pm: Grand Entry, Honor Song. Honor Song for foster and adoptive parents. Vendors contact Tina Knafla at 612-348-9662. Contacts: Sandra White Hawk, First Nations Repatriation Institute, 651-442-4872 or sandywhitehawk@ Jacque Wilson, Bois Forte Urban Office, 612-747-5247, This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it Minneapolis American Indian Center, 1530 East Franklin Ave., Minneapolis, MN. 

Nov. 7
Story Book Time and God's Eye Activity

Enjoy stories and light snacks from noon to 1 pm, then from 1 to 3 pm weave a God's Eye to take home. The decorative designs are used on ceremonial shields of American Indian tribes of the southwestern United States. Allow an hour to make the craft. Recommended for ages 8 and up. Cost: $4 per kit, does not include museum admission. Mille Lacs Indian Museum and Trading Post, 43411 Oodena Dr. Onamia, MN. For more info: 320-532-3632 or This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

Nov. 7, 8
Native American Olympian Henry Boucha

Henry Boucha, Ojibwa is a US Olympic Silver Medalist, former Minnesota North Star, Detroit Red Wing and US Hockey Hall of Fame Inductee. He will appear at the following venues in November. During the following games, Henry will set up his display of US Olympic and NHL Memorabilia for viewing. Nov. 7 from 4 pm-8 pm: Isanti County Area David C. Johnson Civic Arena, 600 1st Ave. NW, Isanti, MN. Nov. 8 from 5:30 to 7:30 pm at the Vadnais Sports Center, 1490 County Road E, Vadnais Heights, MN. For more info, call 907-360-­4371, 612-910­‐7475, or email: This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

Nov. 7 - 26
American Indian Heritage Month Programming on Lakeland Public TV

(Compiled By Michael Meuers) Lakeland Public Television, KAWE/ KAWB Channels 9/22 will be airing programs about America's Indigenous Peoples. For more info on FNX, see: KAWE is a television station in Bemidji, Minnesota, broadcasting locally on channel 9 as a PBS member station. KAWE is carried on channel 22 on DirecTV and Dish Network's Twin Cities feeds. Air dates and show descriptions:
• Nov. 7 - Medicine Game, 9 pm. This film, six years in the making, shares the remarkable journey of two brothers from the Onondoga Nation driven by a single goal - to beat the odds and play the sport of lacrosse for national powerhouse Syracuse University.
• Nov. 9 - Road to Andersonville, 9 pm. The first film to document the story of Michigan’s Native Americans in the Civil War who served in Company K of the 1st Michigan Sharpshooters. During the Civil War, a regiment of sharpshooters was being recruited to fight for the Union, but there was a problem - few men could pass the marksmanship test. Since Michigan's Native Americans were famous as skilled hunters, it was decided to recruit one company from among the tribes in Michigan.
• Nov. 12 - Finding Refuge, 7:30 pm. The efforts of one dying woman to preserve her Native culture don’t end when she passes, but prompts a renewal in finding pride in that culture. She confronts the violent event over two centuries ago that began the destruction of her people and the shame that colonialism created.
• Nov. 16 - Rising Voices/ Hothaninpi, 9pm. Rising Voices is a portrait of a culture today, focusing on the myriad conflicts around the disappearing language on the Lakota reservations. The Lakota nation consists of 170,000, but just 6,000 people still speak Lakota, and the average age of its speakers will soon be 70 years. Today, Lakota tribal members struggle to save their language by introducing a new way of teaching, brought to the Lakota reservations from places like the Czech Republic and France. These methods are producing results; for the first time, schools are capable of creating fluent second-language Lakota speakers.
• Nov. 19 - Crying Earth Rise Up, 8 pm: A Lakota mother studying geology seeks the source of the water contamination that caused her daughter's critical health problems. Meanwhile, a Lakota grandmother fights the regional expansion of uranium mining. Crying Earth Rise Up exposes the human cost of uranium mining and its impact on drinking water.
• Nov. 26 - Tracing Roots: A Weavers Journey, 7:30 pm. A portrait of an artist and a mystery. The film follows master weaver and Haida elder Delores Churchill on a journey to understand the origins of a spruce root hat found with Kwaday Dan Ts'inchi, the Long Ago Person Found, a 300-year-old traveler discovered in Northern Canada in a retreating glacier. Delores's quest crosses cultures and borders, involving artists, scholars and scientists, raising questions about the meaning of knowledge and ownership.

Nov. 9, 23
The First Gift

Join us in creating baby moccasins for American Indian families at Children's Hospital's and Clinics of Minnesota in Minneapolis. Learn how to make a pair of baby moccasins, or help teach others. Open to any skill level. Two Rivers Gallery, 1530 East Franklin Avenue, Minneapolis, MN. For more info call 612-879-1780 or see:

Nov. 10
Tiwahe Foundation Open House

There will be an Open House at the Center for Progressive Philanthropy. Please Join Tiwahe Foundation, Headwaters Foundation, Native Americans in Philanthropy and PFund for some good conversation, networking, snacks/beverages and explore our remodeled office suite. From 5:00-7:00 pm. Tiwahe Foundation, 2801 21st Ave South, Suite 132F, Minneapolis.

Nov. 10
Author Sarah Deer

Minnesota author Sarah Deer will discuss and sign copies of her new book, “The Beginning and End of Rape: Confronting Sexual Violence in Native America” Sarah Deer, a 2014 MacArthur Fellow, has worked to end violence against women for more than twenty years. She is a professor of law at William Mitchell College of Law in St. Paul, Minnesota. She is coauthor of three textbooks on tribal law and coeditor of Sharing Our Stories of Survival: Native Women Surviving Violence. Free and open to the public. A cash bar and light appetizers to follow. Books will be available for purchase. 7:00 pm at William Mitchell College of Law (Kelley Board Room, 875 Summit Avenue, St. Paul). RSVP to 651-290-6431.  

Nov. 10, 12, 16, 23
Minnesota State Capitol Hearings

The Minnesota State Capitol is undergoing a major renovation and has created an Art Subcommittee to make recommendations about the art. The Art Subcommittee will hold public hearings in Bemidji, Duluth, Rochester, Mankato, and the Twin Cities to hear citizen’s views on changing the offensive art against Natives that currently hangs in the state capitol. Below are the dates and cities. For times, see: under the Public Input Meetings tab.
• Nov. 10: Rochester, Rochester Area Foundation Community Room.
• Nov. 12: North Minneapolis, Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board Admin Building.
• Nov. 16: Willmar, Ridgewater College
• Nov. 23: Mankato, Ostrander Auditorium, Minnesota State University.

Nov. 12
"The American Indian Movement: Past, Present, and Future."

Please join us at North Hennepin Community College from 12:00 - 1:00 pm, as we welcome Clyde Bellecourt to discuss "The American Indian Movement: Past, Present, and Future." This event is free and open to the public. Bellecourt is a White Earth Ojibwe civil rights organizer and co-founder of the American Indian Movement. Free and open to the public. Grand Hall, Center for Business and Technology, North Hennepin Community College. North Hennepin Community College is located on the corner of West Broadway and 85th Avenue North in Brooklyn Park, MN. For more info, contact Paulette Bonneur at 763-424-0804 or email: This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

Nov. 13
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. 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. At the American Indian Center, 1530 E. Franklin Ave. Mpls.

Nov. 14
Veterans Wacipi Keep Tobacco Sacred Powwow

MC: Butch Felix. AD: Glenn GoodThunder. Host Drum: Red Tree Singers. Grand Entry: 1:00 and 7 pm. Free admission. Day Pay for dancers. Pay for first 5 registered drum groups. Commercial-tobacco-free-event. Sponsored by Lower Sioux Tobacco Prevention Program and Lower Sioux Tribal Historic Preservation Office. Vendors contact Grace Goldtooth-Campos at 507-697-6185. Jackpot Junction Casino, Dakota Exposition Center, Morton, MN.

Nov 14 - 15
Beading 101 Workshop

Learn basic beading styles and techniques by creating a project to take home in this two-day workshop. Necklaces, bracelets, pen coverings and lighter cases are examples of items that can be created. A light lunch and refreshments will be provided both days. The workshop runs noon to 4 pm on Saturday, and 10 am to 2 pm on Sunday. Cost: $60/$55 MNHS members, plus $15 supply fee. Reservations required, call 320-532-3632. Mille Lacs Indian Museum and Trading Post, 43411 Oodena Dr. Onamia, MN.

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 MN. For more info, call 612-377-4669 or see:

Nov. 15
Bdote Field Trip

Spend the day visiting local sites of significance to Dakota people and learning about them from a Dakota perspective. Gain a deeper understanding of the significance of places like Pilot Knob, Wakan Tipi, and Mounds Park to this land’s first people. From 8:30 a.m. - 4 p.m. Minnesota Humanities Center, 987 Ivy Ave E, St. Paul. Cost: $90 per person, includes transportation to sites, lunch, and materials. For more info and to register see:

Nov. 16
Open Ensemble: Murielle Borst-Tarrant
As a part of our Lake Street Arts! initiative, Pangea’s ensemble welcomes artists, activists, and community members into our learning circle during Open Ensemble. This month’s OE is led by Murielle Borst-Tarrant. Investigate the unique process that the women of Spiderwoman Theater use to create their plays. “Storyweaving” describes the layering of stories, images, sound, movement and music, creating a three dimensional tapestry which is embodied in space and becomes the theatre production. Free Admission. 4:00pm - 6:00pm. Pangea World Theater, 711 W Lake St, Ste 102, Mpls, MN.

The Native American Cancer Support Group

If you or someone you know is a cancer patient or survivor, we encourage you to join us for a meal and good company. This month we meet Wed.  from 6 to 8 pm, at East Phillips Cultural & Community Center, 2307 17th Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN. For more info, call Joy Rivera at 612-314-4843 or email:  This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

Nov. 18 - 20
Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Training

Native American Curriculum or Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Programs in Minnesota: Substance abuse-related curriculum will provide an educational experience for prevention specialists and substance abuse staff. The curriculum is also relevant for health, mental health and social work staff members, and other service providers working with Native Americans. Curriculum topics include: Cultural and spiritual values (Pre-European contact), Government policies, treaties and federal laws, Prejudicial and discrimination issues, Cultural orientations, Traditional family relationships, Introduction to spiritual ceremonies, History of alcohol and drug abuse, Multiple addictions and diseases, and more. Cost: $120.00 (includes materials and copy of curriculum). Cambria Hotel & Suites, 9655 Grove Circle North, Maple Grove, MN. Register online at:

Nov. 19
Native American College Fair

The Native American College Fair organized by Augsburg Fairview Academy­, the Minneapolis Public Schools Indian Education Program, and the St. Paul Indian Education Program will be held at Minneapolis American Indian Center on from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. The Native American College Fair is free and open to the public. Although the name is Native American College Fair we encourage all students and families to attend, so that they may learn more about their post-secondary education options. Attendees will speak with representatives from a wide variety of post-secondary institutions, job training and community programs. They will learn about college life, courses, and admission & financial aid requirements. Light meal and door prizes. Food Trucks have fare for sale, and there will be a performance by Tall Paul. For info contact Liz Saunby at: This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

Nov. 19 
NAP Your Living Legacy 

Please join with LeMoine LaPointe in a powerful community-based gathering to cultivate a shared vision on building a healthy and sustainable Native community. Through on-going conversations, participants will harvest community gifts to design a map for a transformational foundation of trust and confidence that incorporates Native traditions and positive innovation that will be supported and uplifted by community action. 9:00 am - 4:00 pm at Black Bear Casino Resort Hotel, Room Lake Hall/Sophie Lake, Carlton, MN. For more info, 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 more 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:

Nov. 20
UofMN Honoring American Indian Women Luncheon

The American Indian Student Cultural Center at the University of Minnesota will be hosting the Honoring American Indian Women Luncheon. Each year, they honor outstanding Native women who have demonstrated strong leadership in their work or daily life, and have been positively engaged in their Native community. Doors open at 11:00 am. Event Starts at 11:30 am. Held in the Mississippi Room, Coffman Memorial Union, U of MN campus, 300 Washington Ave SE, Minneapolis. For more info contact: This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it or call 612-624-0243.

Nov. 20
For Tribal Government - IRC 7871 and PL 638

Join Native Americans in Philanthropy and host Mike Myers. Native Americans in Philanthropy continues it’s collaborative work through powering reciprocity and investment to strengthen Native communities. Since the passage of the Indian Tribal Governmental Tax Status Act there has been an emphasis on the ability for Nations/Tribes to issue tax exempt bonds to underwrite development in Indian Country. But IRC 7871 opens a very wide door for expanded fundraising opportunities without the need for a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation. 10:00 am – 3:00 pm. Black Bear Casino Resort, 1785 MN-210, Carlton, MN. For more info, see:

Nov. 20, 21, 22
Don't Feed the Indians: A Divine Comedy Pageant!

Pangea World Theater and Intermedia Arts present a raucous play and political satire loosely based on Dante's Inferno. This performance brings Brooklyn-based Murielle Borst-Tarrant (of Spiderwomen Theater) to Minneapolis for this satirical and powerful look at the ongoing history of racism and the misappropriation of Native images in popular culture. The primary basis for Don't Feed the Indians: A Divine Comedy Pageant! is the Discovery Doctrine; the concept of international law giving land rights to discoverers and not the Native inhabitants of the land. Borst-Tarrant brilliantly houses the language of the Discovery Doctrine within the framework of Dante's Inferno, where the Indians are the guides Virgil and Beatrice, and the audience become Dante, observing the basic human rights violations of Native Americans in the arts throughout history. Tickets: $15 advance, student, senior. $18 at the door. $10/ticket for groups of 8+ call 612-871-4444. Sliding scale Friday on Nov. 20. Intermedia Arts, 2822 Lyndale Ave South, Minneapolis.Show times:
• Nov. 20 at 7:30 pm
• Nov. 21 at 7:30 pm
• Nov. 22 at 4:30 pm

Nov Nickisms
Tuesday, November 03 2015
Written by Nick Metcalf,
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I moved to Minneapolis in the Summer of 1994 after I finished my undergraduate degree at the University of South Dakota. I fell in love with ‘The Cities’ the summer I worked at ValleyFair. This was the place where social and political movements began.  This place was progressive. I moved here to be a part of it. 

I got a job in the Native community and worked at a social service agency with Native people. I was excited. I was ready to make a difference. After a few months, reality set in. My college education didn’t prepare me for our community, the depth of pain. The urgency of what stared back at me was overwhelming. 

The tools I was taught were Western tools that didn’t fit Native cosmology or thinking. I had to learn coping mechanisms, thriving tools, and the tenacity for survival we’ve learned over generations.  All of these survival tools helped us endure centuries of ethnic cleansing, genocide, and conformity. 
Throughout my tenure at this organization I learned that professional boundaries were a western concept, cause community norms created an alternate perspective. Families worked with families. Organizational dynamics became family dynamics. Boundaries, expectations, and rules were dictated by family systems.

When it was time to leave the organization for another opportunity I learned the consequences of seeking other opportunities. I’d like to say that I was given a big party with presents, cards, well wishes, and hugs. Unfortunately, my experience was of alienation and bad mouthing. It was confounding. People I came to know as family, my friends, and mentors were saying horrible things about me. When I confronted this behavior, I was met with silence. 

It wasn’t until later that I learned that some people are incapable of saying Good bye. This process delves into their abandonment issues. They cope by creating situations that disassociate you and make you into a bad character. They are able to move on. As a young person, I found this process disheartening and confusing.

I learned over the years of consulting was that organizations are living beings that are embodied by the people that inhabit them. The psychological health and well being of the organization is that of the leadership. If the leadership of an organization fails to take care of their own personal needs then they are manifested in the business practice of the organization. Often times, when I was called to consult with an organization I found myself negotiating interpersonal dynamics that failed and communication that derailed.   

Lateral violence is real.  Laterial violence is displaced physical, emotional, or spiritual violence directed at peers rather than one’s true adversaries. Simply speaking, ‘it’s the crab in the bucket mentality’.  When our lives are filled with struggle and we see another Native person thriving then we deliberately, oftentimes unconsciously, seek to terrorize them by gossiping, being mean spirted to them, alienating them, etc. In organizations, lateral violence happens and is real. Tolerance for it is led by the leadership. If an organization is unhealthy then follow the trail and it will lead you to the leadership of the organization. 

It’s taken me many years to heal from the initial trauma I endured working at my first Native organization. I don’t harbor any ill will to that organization. I’m an adamant supporter of it. 
I learned the following are examples of what made a successful business:

  1. Value people
  2. Value varied opinions
  3. Create and support an organization that enables a constructive dialogue
  4. Take care of your personal life – Physical, Spiritual, Emotional health
  5. Leave work at work
  6. Build new reflective leadership
  7. Hold leaders accountable for their unhealthy behavior
  8. Professional boundaries are important to health
  9. Organizations must change to continue to be relevant
  10. Native culture is essential in the day to day operations of an organization. 

Over the years, as a business consultant, I learned to understand Native businesses for the social, cultural, and political systems they exist in. They are not immune to the realities of historical trauma, unclear expectations, adaptive boundaries, and ethical conduct.  Stewardship of these organization is the responsibility of the leadership of that organization.   

Native businesses exist in multiple cultures. Inherent in this coming together of these cultures is a tension. It takes a reflective leadership to understand the nuances of what is occurring. I’ve come to believe as we continue to live and thrive in multiple cultures so will our institutions we establish to help us. 


Warrior Nation: A History of the Red Lake Ojibwe
Tuesday, November 03 2015
Written by Crystal Dey, Bemidji Press,
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Warrior Nation: A History of the Red Lake Ojibwe
By Anton Treuer
Publisher: Minnesota Historical Society Press (September 1, 2015)
Paperback: 288 pages

Since European settlers arrived on the eastern shores of what became the United States, land borders have been drawn, people moved and communities erased. Centuries have passed and the Red Lake Nation, located in Northwestern Minnesota, has stood solid, unyielding and with little of its story known by the outside world. Anton Treuer's book "Warrior Nation: A History of the Red Lake Ojibwe," sheds light on what has been left in the dark.

“Researchwise it’s very different from a lot of books,” Treuer said. “It covers the entire history of the band from the Battle River fight in 1760 to present.”

Red Lake, one of two closed reservations in the U.S., is touted as having the first modern indigenous democratic governance system in the nation, while maintaining a hereditary chief system. Treuer was called upon by former Red Lake Tribal Chairman Floyd “Buck” Jourdain Jr. to begin researching Red Lake's history and write a book chronicling the band’s progression over the years. Current chairman Darrell G. Seki Sr. continued to support the project after his election in 2014, Treuer said.

“They have had a long, long battle to keep their land and water and sovereignty in tact,” Treuer said.
Treuer was selected in part due to his experience with oral histories. Treuer, an Ojibwe historian and linguist, conducted oral history interviews with elders across the Red Lake reservation. Treuer is a member of the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe. Being of a different band can be seen as positive in that Treuer writes without bias, but he said, some people may say “Warrior Nation” should have been written by a Red Lake band member.

“There are very few people who work with oral histories. And of those, few who work with Ojibwe,” Treuer said. “And they wanted their people and their voices to tell the story.”

Treuer also had access to Red Lake archives and personal papers of Peter Graves, a leader preceding Roger Jourdain. Jourdain was elected in 1959 as the first tribal chairman. Both men have chapters dedicated to them in the book. Treuer said the reason the book reads well is because of the “stunning and dramatic leaders” showcased in each of the seven chapters.

“Each chapter is a new story, a new person and a new political change,” Treuer said.

Chapters are titled with a summary of what a monumental person did for the Red Lake Nation. “The Uniter,” a chapter on Nodin Wind – a spiritual leader from Ponemah who lived to be 106 years old – is an observation of missionaries attempts to convert Red Lakers and also a revelation about isolationism.

Red Lake has been mentioned in books before, but Treuer’s “Warrior Nation: A History of the Red Lake Ojibwe” is the first major history book about the Red Lake Indian Reservation. Treuer said the book has multiple purposes. It can be used in curriculum, for research, to educate people of Red Lake and others on the band’s history, and as a historical guide.

“I’m sure it will be used in a lot of different ways,” Treuer said.

Treuer teaches Ojibwe language at Bemidji State University where he served as president of the American Indian Resource Center for three years. Treuer resigned the position in June to return to faculty, he is currently on sabbatical.

“Warrior Nation: A History of the Red Lake Ojibwe,” a Minnesota Historical Society publication released this month, is Treuer’s fourteenth book. He is currently writing a National Geographic work about U.S. Indian wars.

Treuer will be presenting “Warrior Nation: A History of the Red Lake Ojibwe” from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Oct. 27 in the Bremer Student Union on the Red Lake Nation College Campus in Red Lake. In addition to Treuer, Red Lake spiritual leader Anna Gibbs, who chapter seven “The Dreamer” is named for, is scheduled to speak. Books will be available for sale and signing at the Red Lake event. Books can be purchased for $19.95 on, through the Minnesota Historical Society Press, at the BSU Bookstore, Bemidji Woolen Mills and at other stores where fine books are sold. The book is also available in e-book format.

Crystal Dey is a Crime, Courts, Tribal Relations and Social Issues Reporter for the Bemidji Pioneer. Reprinted with permission of The Bemidji Pioneer. .

Nov Its Aint Easy
Tuesday, November 03 2015
Written by The Circle,
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Native Business. Tch! Most Indians think everybody’s business IS their business. I think it has a lot to do with us having our land stolen from us from under our moccasins like WHOOP!!! Then having a white person snarkily asking us what are we still doing here? So when people act all sketchy our natural reaction is to think ‘they’ are still scheming to take what tiny lands and rights we have left to us, because they are. The thousands of business deals called treaties didn’t go very well for us Indians just in case you hadn’t heard.
Yeah, about those treaties now that you mention it…I, for one, am really angry we did not include damage deposit, first and last month’s rent, and a no invasive species clause. All that would translate into trillions of dollars and what would hurt the European descendants the most because money is what they worship.

For European immigrant descendants money is the force that drives all intent. Everything including lives lost has a monetary value; however, businesses that lose revenue because of natural or man-made disasters are seen as the real sufferers. When the news comes on in America the TV hosts’ eyes widen with horror at the cost of any loss to a major company, for instance Wal-Mart, Con-Agra, the Banking Corporations – you name it. This while the Republicans refuse to raise the minimum wage from $7.25 nationally-I make barely above that and am in fact living in poverty. Our veterans go hungry and homeless and the elderly and children are suffering in 4th World conditions.

I ask “where are your priorities America?” The answer is clear. There are no concerns for humanity, only money and how much one can acquire in the shortest amount of time, no matter what or whom one has to kill in the process. One of the saddest things I’ve read is a silly young woman who wants to turn herself into a ‘brand’. Really? Americans need to get over their obsession with celebritys– it’s pathetic.

*Tapping fingers* Now…what will I do with all my share of the trillions that are owed for back rent and extreme violation of the lease contract? Hmmm. I would begin by hiring people to clean up the disgusting mess they inflicted on our environment which was unspoiled before they got here. Find a way to dismantle nuclear reactors and install solar everything. Next, organize and invest in small local organic farms that have minimal domestic animal space. Hey, I like goat cheese, okay?

Then using my trillion, I will build schools that don’t teach the lies as truth about the founding of Turtle Island; that have healthy programs and foods. I would build homes for those in need and weed out the greedy callous legislators and…aw heck I’ll get rid of them completely. Talk about useless as bloated wood ticks.

So, sounds like a good business plan? I think so but until they pay up there are other things we can do to help Natives in the Biz. I would look on the internet for the real Native-owned businesses, but you can do that on your own. I implore that if you are looking for authentic items, whatever it may be – foods, art, clothing – those are available and you can be proud that they are made by Real Indians!!! Yes!!!

I learned how to bead some years ago, before that I was astonished at the price of a pair of earrings. When I made my own beadwork, literally putting on one tiny bead at a time, I understood the time and skill that was invested into each piece. When I was a museum curator I saw pieces of breath-taking beadwork in Bandolier Bags, Regalia, and I still am beyond impressed by current works; out West even the horses wear regalia!

Still I must remind you that there is way more than beads and buckskin to our culture. I am personally acquainted with many Native Artists; painters, musicians, writers, actors, photographers, graphic artists, comedians and farmers, hunters and gatherers; those who carry on our seasonal way of life. I worship those people for their creativity, their dedication and spirituality that resonate in everything they do.

I feel that these People are the Ones who carry on our purpose, the one that our Ancestors gave to this world a deep knowledge of Astronomy, Geology, Mathematics, one-third of the foods we eat today, Medicines and Arts.

So when you go to purchase items from Native-owned businesses, know that you are contributing to the future wellness of people who have already given so much.

“Multiplying” Ojibwe language at Bemidji stores, offices, schools
Friday, October 02 2015
Written by Lee Egerstrom,
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dual-language-directory-sign.jpgWhen tourists and other visitors stop by the Harmony Co-op food store in Bemidji, they find doodooshaaboo (milk) in the dairy case, bakwezhigan (bread) in the bakery department, and a variety of locally grown vegetables and fruit offerings in the editegin (produce) department.

They are likely to pick up some zhiiwaagamizigan (maple syrup) and manoomin (wild rice) on the way out of the store before heading to tourist cabins or dropping in on friends and relatives in the woods and lake country of northern Minnesota.

It’s been 10 years since a few Bemidji businesses began an effort to make their city more welcoming to surrounding indigenous communities by putting dual language signs in English and Ojibwe on public restrooms, greetings (boozhoo) on entrances, and miigwech (thank you) at cash registers and doorways. As of Sept. 15, when the Beltrami County Commissioners and Court-house joined in, there are now 180 Bemidji stores, offices, schools, medical facilities and service providers with bilingual signage.

By some estimates, more than 250 facilities throughout the Bemidji and headwaters of the Mississippi River area have posted bilingual signs. Nearby school districts have posted dual language signs in their schools, and state departments have joined in with highway signs and around Lake Itasca State Park.     

What started as a “good neighbor” gesture for Bemidji people to embrace citizens of the nearby Red Lake, White Earth and Leech Lake nations is clearly having an economic impact, said Michael Meuers, a Bemidji public relations specialist who was a founder of the Bemidji Ojibwe Language Project. “People shop where they feel welcome,’ he said. “It has to be good for tourism.”

Colleen Bakken, general manager of Harmony Co-op, said the dual signage attracts tourists and appeals to customer-members of the natural foods cooperative from Bemidji as well. The store carries products from Native Harvest, a tribal foods venture that supports nonprofit projects at the White Earth Nation, and Red Lake Nation Foods as well as from area farmers. “We want people to know where their food comes from and what we’ve learned from our indigenous people,” she said.

The tourism advantage was apparent to Noemi Aylesworth when she operated the Cabin Coffee House until 2013. She was among the first Bemidji business owners to adopt bilingual signage. Tourists kept taking her menus, she said, “so I just started printing up copies and put them by the cash register. They (tourists) would take them, and they would come back. We would see them again.”   

No one has yet done an economic study on what bilingual signage may be doing for the Bemidji area economy or for tourism in northern Minnesota in general. But there are complex – and pretty pricey - tools for making such measurements.

When an economic activity or even a simple event of some kind causes an expansion of the economy within a community, region, state or industry sector, economists call the greater benefit of the dollars “the multiplier effect.”
In 2012, for instance, the National Endowment for the Arts studied the multiplier effects of demand for arts and culture in the U.S. economy and found that every $1 increase in demand generated $1.69 in total output. Every job created by demand for the arts created 1.62 additional periphery jobs.

Su Ye, an economist with the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, did a similar study in 2010 for the Minnesota Legislature that found Minnesota farmers produced $16 billion in economic output in 2008, and food processors and marketers produced $26 billion from those farm products for a total direct output impact of $42 billion. But with indirect output adding $24 billion more, and another $8 billion gained from “induced” economic activity, the entire Minnesota food and agriculture sector produced $75 billion for the state’s economy in the 2008 year studied.

Those examples are cited here because Harmony Co-op, Cabin Coffee House, other Bemidji food service providers, the White Earth and Red Lake food production and processing companies, and area service and hospitality purveyors are all part of either the arts and culture and related tourism industry, or the food and ag sector.      

It would be an enormous undertaking for Bemidji State University or other economists to do the research and devise input-output models necessary to measure multiplier effect gains from bilingual signs for the Bemidji area economy. 
But they are real enough. Meuers, who is with the Bemidji community group Shared Vision that promotes cultural understanding among Native Americans, non-Natives and diverse area ethnic groups, said he’s received inquiries about the Ojibwe Language Project from other cities and organizations around the nation.

Bemidji State University, and especially its Ojibwe language professor Anton Treuer, have helped Shared Vision and the language project with translations. Indigenous language programs at reservation communities and at academic institutions are doing similar work in other languages. What’s going on with the Bemidji community, however, still looks unique.

There’s a word for it that is neither Dakotah nor Ojibwe, said Tammy Decoteau from the Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate of the Lake Traverse Reservation in South Dakota. “Fabulous. It’s fabulous,” she said.

Decoteau is director of the Dakotah Language Institute, Agency Village, S.D. She said the Santee Sioux Nation does a good job with dual signage at its Ohiya Casino and Resort at Niobrara, Neb. The Ho-Chunk Nation does the same at hospitality industry sites in Wisconsin. Undoubtedly, other nations and language groups have done similar signage on their properties.

For the traveler or tourist in Indian Country, dual signage can be charming. At the same time, it encourages respect and is welcoming, said Decouteau.

A couple of years back, she recalls, a group of people from the Dakotas attended an indigenous language conference at the University of Minnesota-Duluth. Pulling into a McDonald’s restaurant in Duluth, a person at the counter greeted them with a “boozhoo.” When they paid for their food and left, they were sent on their way with a “miigwech.”
“It wasn’t our language,” Decoteau said. “But it sure made us feel welcome. We kept going back there at least once each day for the next three days.”    

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