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Local Briefs
Passing On: Wilmer Mesteth
Friday, February 06 2015
 
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Wilmer Mesteth wilmer mesteth-web.jpg

1957-Jan. 16, 2015

Oglala Lakota spiritual leader Wilmer Mesteth died unexpectedly at midnight on Jan. 16.

He will be remembered as a man who was as generous with his time and spiritual teachings. Mesteth served his people in every possible way. Those who are mourning his passing are remembering his guidance, direction and leadership.

According to his daughter Rachel, Mesteth underwent surgery for a double hernia on Jan. 8 and was recovering at the Prairie Winds Hotel in Pine Ridge, S.D.. In the afternoon, he was visiting with his adopted brothers when he called his wife with concerns that he was having a heart attack.

Mesteth lived in the Cheyenne Creek community and was married to Lisa Mesteth. He taught at Oglala Lakota College for over 20 years, where he was a cultural instructor. He taught traditional songs, dance, traditional herbs and foods, language and history. OLC student Lilly Jones said about Mesteth, “He treated everyone the same. Whether it was a Hollywood film crew or a student, he was always so respectful and humble.”

Mesteth also participated in the Big Foot Rides and the Crazy Horse Rides, and supported the Northern Cheyenne Fort Robinson Run.

Survivors include his wife Lisa Standing Elk-Mesteth and children Juan Mesteth, Lonnie Mesteth, Ronnie Mesteth, Hoksila Mesteth, Dakota Mesteth and Rachel Mesteth, all of Pine Ridge, S.D.; brothers Gilbert Mesteth and Phil Iron Cloud of Pine Ridge and Phillip Mesteth of Ethete, Wyo.; sisters Mary Ann Mesteth-Witt, Lynette Mesteth-Murray of Parmelee, S.D., Ruth Mesteth-Gray Horse and Letitia American Horse of Ethete, Wyo., Dennis Mesteth-Spoon Hunter of Fayetteville, N.C. Wilmer had 19 grandchildren. Numerous hunka children, brothers and sisters.

Wilmer was preceded in death by his parents Gabriel Mesteth, Sr., Rosalyn Red Shirt-Mesteth and his siblings Daniel Mesteth, Gabriel Mesteth, Jr., Orlin Mesteth and Theresa Mesteth.

Two night wake services were held on Jan. 21 at the Lakota Dome, Prairie Wind Casino, Pine Ridge, S.D., and Jan. 22 at the Mesteth family residence, Cheyenne Creek, S.D.. The funeral was held at Jan. 23 at the Mesteth family residence. Arrangements were handled by the Sioux Funeral Home of Pine Ridge.



What's New In The Community: February 2015
Friday, February 06 2015
 
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FIFTH ANNUAL OJIBWE IMMERSION ACADEMY ANNOUNCED

MINNEAPOLIS – Ojibwemotaadidaa Omaa Gidakiiminaang and Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College are pleased to announce the fifth annual Ojibwe Immersion Academy to be held June 14-July 3, 2015 at the Fond du Lac Tribal & Community College in Cloquet, Minn.

The Ojibwe Immersion Academy is a rare opportunity for intermediate and advanced language learners to study one-on-one and in small groups with Ojibwe elders and faculty speakers for a three-week complete immersion experience.

For more information or another application packet, email This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it with subject "Application Request.” All applications are due before 4 p.m. March 24.

 

NATIVE ORGANIZATION RECEIVES $250,000 FROM SMSC TO MEET CHALLENGES

RAPID CITY, S.D. – Rural America Initiatives is $500,000 closer to attaining a new Head Start building, thanks to a $250,000 matching grant from the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community.

In December 2013 the SMSC committed a quarter of a million dollar grant dependent on RAI raising matching funds and in December 2014, after a $100,000 donation from an anonymous donor, RAI met that goal.

“We will always be grateful to the Shakopee Tribe. They recognized early on the benefit this facility would be to our people and they stepped up to help. It was their gift that raised awareness in our community, generated additional support, and allowed us to launch our campaign,” said Bruce Long Fox, Executive Director of Rural America Initiatives.

In addition to an anonymous donor, the following companies are among the individuals and businesses that helped RAI meet its matching goal: Black Hills Corp/Black Hills Power; Jim Scull of J. Scull Construction; First Interstate Bank; US Bank; SD Community Foundation; Beverly M./Lloyd W. Paulson Charitable Gift Fund; and Casey Peterson and Associates
Using these funds as momentum, RAI, a long-standing nonprofit organization serving Native American families in Rapid City, plans to raise an additional $6 million to build a new Head Start/Community Center building. Its current buildings, originally meant to be temporary, have exceeded their intended lifespan by a dozen years and are fully depreciated. The new building is expected to serve 150 children and their families each year, helping children below poverty level gain the skills they need to be ready to learn on par with their peers when they enter kindergarten.

Rural America Initiatives seeks to create community change by role modeling positive, healthy, alcohol and drug free lifestyles incorporating Lakota/Dakota values. Family and children taught by the organization will have a lasting impact on future generations. RAI seeks to strengthen individuals, families and the Native community in Rapid City.

RAI is the largest, non-profit, continuously operating Native American organization in Rapid City. Founded in 1986 to partner with Native American families to strengthen the development of healthy, sober, self-sufficient lifestyles, it has been the service provider for the most at-risk Rapid City families for close to 30 years.


Regional and Local Briefs: February 2015
Friday, February 06 2015
 
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DEADLINE PASSES FOR CITY TO APPEAL HOTEL DECISION

DULUTH, Minn. – A 30 day deadline passed for Duluth to file an appeal regarding the federal decision to allow the Carter Hotel to be put into trust by the Fond du Lac Band.

The tribe bought the Carter Hotel in 2010, and later began the application to move the land into trust. The city alleged the band broke its contract when it requested to put the land into trust without first talking to the city.

However, a federal judge ruled on Dec. 22 that the band was legally allowed to that.

Duluth attorneys had said they might appeal that decision, but the deadline to do that was Jan. 21.

 

FOND DU LAC TRIBAL COUNCIL VOTES TO CONTINUE SMOKING AT CASINOS

CLOQUET, Minn. – The Fond du Lac tribal council voted on Jan. 22 to ban smoking within their offices. More details will be added to the band’s smoke-free policy, including no smoking inside tribally-owned government offices and businesses starting Feb. 15.

However, this smoking ban does not include the Black Bear or Fond–du–Luth casinos. The Fond du Lac tribe is located in Cloquet, but it owns and operate the Fond–du–Luth Casino and the Carter Hotel building, in Duluth.

There has been a push for casinos across the country to ban smoking, even in Wisconsin. According to a survey conducted by the Great Lakes Inter-Tribal Council of Wisconsin, a smoke-free policy at casinos would not reduce tribal casino patronage, but actually increase it. The survey found that over 75 percent of casino patrons are non–smokers.

As the Fond du Lac Band expresses its interest in the health of the community, that may signal a shift by looking at all non-smoking options, including casinos possibly in the future.

 

TAX LIENS FILED AGAINST LOWER BRULE CHAIRMAN

LOWER BRULE, S.D. – The chairman of the Lower Brule Sioux Tribe may owe the Internal Revenue Service hundreds of thousands of dollars in unpaid taxes, according to public filings.

The IRS has filed tax liens on Chairman Michael Jandreau and his property that total more than $664,000 since 1994. That amount could include unpaid taxes as well as interest and penalties.

Jandreau, who has presided over the tribe for more than 30 years, is at the center of a report issued last week by Human Rights Watch. The report, which followed a two-year investigation by the international nonprofit, concluded that $25 million in federal funds is missing. That money was supposed to have paid for social services and other essential programs on the reservation.

The report blames the tribe's leadership, including Jandreau and some former and current tribal council members, for overseeing a government that hides basic information from the public. That information includes financial reports, salaries of public officials, resolutions of the tribal council, minutes of council meetings, audits and more. In a statement, the chairman denied the report's conclusions as "baseless."

The tax liens raise questions about the sources of Jandreau's income and its origins. Marshall Matz, a lawyer representing the tribe, addressed the issue in a statement. "There was a dispute over 'sovereignty' and its impact on tax deductions," Matz said. "The dispute has been resolved and the lien is being satisfied."

The liens were filed with the register of deeds in Lyman County. The first lien was filed for taxes in 1994 and the final one for taxes in 2010. Between 1994 and 2010, the IRS filed liens against Jandreau and his now deceased wife, totaling $664,373.

The taxes in question relate to Jandreau's Form 1040, which is the federal individual income tax return. Although other taxes could be involved, the common taxes arising out of a Form 1040 would be individual income tax and self-employment tax, experts say.

The earliest liens, from 1994 to 1997, might have been released because the last day to refile already has passed. The other liens have refiling dates between this year and 2022. It isn't clear how Jandreau amassed the tax liabilities. Human Rights Watch estimated that tribal council salaries were about $81,000 per year, but as chairman, Jandreau probably makes more.


National Briefs: February 2015
Friday, February 06 2015
 
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ASSAILANTS FACING CHARGES AFTER HOCKEY GAME INCIDENT

RAPID CITY, S.D. – Rapid City Police Chief Karl Jegeris said officials know the identity of at least one person who allegedly threw beer on and yelled racial slurs at a group of Native American students at a Rapid City Rush hockey game on Jan. 24.

Jegeris made the announcement at a press conference that followed a 2 1/2-hour closed-door meeting that included parents of the children, American Horse School officials, Oglala Sioux Tribal representatives, Mayor Sam Kooiker, police and the Pennington County State's Attorney's office.

"We're going to be looking at assault. We're going to look at the hate crimes statutes. We will look at the child abuse statutes. And, we will look at any other relevant statutes," Jergeris said of charges that may be filed against the person or people who participated in the harassment of the students.

American Horse School is in Allen on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. The 57 students and seven adults were on a field trip that rewarded students for school achievement. Their trip was cut short in the third period of the game because of the outbursts from a skybox above the section in which the students were sitting.

The American Horse school group took up some 65 seats, which included parents, chaperones and students, during the game. Because of the racially-charge assault, the chaperones removed the youth from the game before its conclusion and took to social media via Facebook where the incident was carried by online advocacy media organization Last Real Indians.

 

SENATE DEMOCRATS DELAY VOTE ON KEYSTONE XL

WASHINGTON, D.C. – A bill to approve the controversial Keystone XL Pipeline remains under consideration in the Senate after Democrats were able to delay its passage on Jan. 26.

Republicans have made S.1, the Keystone XL Pipeline Act, their top priority in the 114th Congress. But their attempts to cut off debate and move towards a final vote were rejected by a 53 to 39 vote.

The bill, however, is expected to pass the Republican-controlled chamber eventually. President Barack Obama has vowed to veto the measure if it comes to his desk.


February 2015 Calendar
Friday, February 06 2015
 
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Through Feb. 20

Rosalie Favell: Relations”

Favell has exhibited extensively throughout Canada, the U.S.,
and other international venues. Her works can be found in numerous institutions including the National Gallery of Canada, Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography, Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian and Rockwell Museum of Western Art.

“Rosalie Favell: Relations” will feature selections from three bodies of work rooted in notions of family, born and made.
We are especially excited to announce this as All My Relation’s first solo exhibition featuring a relative from above the Canadian/US border!

All My Relations Gallery, 1414 E. Franklin Ave., Minneapolis, MN; Gallery hours: 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Tuesday–Friday; 11 a.m.-3 p.m., Saturday; closed Sunday. For more information, visit www.allmyrelationsarts.com, call 612-235-4970 or email This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it


Feb. 6

Resource Fair

Join us monthly to meet with local organizations, schools, clinics and other community resource providers for current information, offers and events.

11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Minneapolis American Indian Center, 1530 E. Franklin Ave., Minneapolis, MN. If your organization is interested in having a display table, call Amber Parkhurst at 612-879-1700 or email This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it


Feb. 6

Stress Management Group

Are you worried, stressed, or tense a lot?
Then maybe this new group is for you. It’s normal to feel tense, stressed, and worried when the moment puts you under pressure. Just so you know, 2 out of every 5 of us worries at least once every day. But, it’s not okay when those feelings of worry, stress, and being tense keep us from doing what we want in life. This group can help you learn how to reduce how much tension and stress you feel and help you better control your worrying thoughts. Give it a try!
Group open to anyone, 11 a.m. to noon, Native American Community Clinic, 1213 E. Franklin Ave., Minneapolis, MN. For more information or to register at 612-872-8086 option 1.


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