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Local Briefs
White Earth Band votes to end blood quantum for tribal membership
Friday, December 06 2013
 
Written by Dan Gunderson, Minnesota Public Radio,
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MOORHEAD, Minn. – White Earth Band of Ojibwe tribal members have approved a new constitution that dramatically changes tribal government and expands membership in Minnesota's largest Chippewa tribe.

The new constitution eliminates the blood quantum which requires a person to prove they have 25 percent Indian blood and changes to a system based on family lineage. But choosing a new constitution is only the first step in what will likely be a long and challenging process.

White Earth Nation Chairwoman Erma Vizenor has advocated for constitutional reform for 16 years, and said Tuesday that when 79 percent of voters approve a new constitution, as they just did with 3,492 votes cast, it's a transformational moment.

"It feels great. It is gratifying to know that the people of White Earth have spoken and spoken strongly," Vizenor said.

Northwest Indian OIC Unveils New Cultural Training
Friday, December 06 2013
 
Written by The Circle Staff,
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BEMIDJI, Minn. – Northwest Indian OIC is announces Anishinaabe World View, a newly-accredited training in Cultural Competency. The training is a result of many gatherings of elders, teachers, critical thinkers and traditional Anishinaabe and the voices of our members, who share their experiences and their recommendations to make our communities, Native and non-Native, healthier, safer and culturally-enriched places.

This course will give a general understanding of the Anishinaabe. It will give learners a historical framework from which to understand and articulate the Native experience today. The outcome will be a sense of identity in the Native learner and increased understanding for the non-Native learner.

Participants can receive Continuing Education Units (CEU) or three college credits from Northwest Technical College and Bemidji State University, as well as a certificate of completion. Registration fees for this training, as with all our trainings, are used to support the ongoing services of Northwest Indian OIC, a Native American-controlled community based nonprofit organization. www.nwioic.org .


Why the mascot issue is important for social justice and Native youth
Friday, December 06 2013
 
Written by Jamie Keith,
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why the mascot issue is important for social justice and native youth.jpgHundreds of protesters gathered outside the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in downtown Minneapolis on Nov. 7 to speak out against the Washington mascot. According to Little Earth Education Director Sasha Houston Brown, the rally was the site of some clashes between football fans and Indigenous protesters.

“There were some very intoxicated white football fans getting in people's faces, mocking the drums, making fake war whoops, doing fake dances,” she said. “We can't say there's not an issue when that's going on.”

There are strong feelings on both sides of this debate. In social media posts that argue to keep the mascot, a common theme admonishes protesters to “get over it.” In Google + user Ron Brown's words, “this PC group of rejects have almost destroyed our society."

Artifact Traffic Combines Old and New Native Art
Thursday, December 05 2013
 
Written by Jamie Keith, TC Daily Planet,
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artifact traffic combines old and new native art2-color.jpgHeid Erdrich, co-director and curator of the multi-genre art exhibit and performance Artifact Traffic, has always been drawn to seemingly disparate forms and images.

“When I work as a curator, I feel drawn to those things that traffic contemporary images with traditional images,” she said. “I love pushing forms against one another – you're making all those things create a vibration between them.”

Artifact Traffic was born of the desire to create this vibration between different forms of art and brought together Indigenous artists with whom Erdrich had collaborated over her long career as a poet, playwright, and curator.

“It's really helpful for us to be in community, even if we don't do the same kind of art,” Erdrich said.

What's New In the Community: December 2013
Thursday, December 05 2013
 
Written by The Circle Staff,
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Anpetu Was'te Cultural Arts Market Set to open next summer

By Rebekah Peterson

TC Daily Planet

Next summer, a new marketplace will open on Franklin Avenue and will bring art, food, and music to a very unlikely location – the median between Cedar Avenue and South 17th Avenue.

The project is the result of a $435,000 ArtPlace grant and the work of the Native American Community Development Institute. NACDI Vice President Andy Hestness explained at a recent project unveiling that the Anpetu Was'te Cultural Arts Market is designed to bring the Ventura Village and Seward neighborhoods together and create a pedestrian-friendly roadway, something that the presence of a light rail station has not been able to do on its own. “People originally thought that plopping the light rail here would create a new paradigm. We've been waiting for years for this to happen, and it never did. We finally decided that we were going to do it ourselves, since no one was going to do it for us.”


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