Local Briefs
Political Matters: The Iran Connection
Monday, July 07 2014
Written by Mordecai Specktor,
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mordecai_specktor_some.jpgIn my column last month, I wrote about a multinational corporation, Glencore Xstrata, which has compiled a remarkable history of environmental pollution, labor and human rights abuses and corruption of elected officials. As it happens, Glencore is the major investor in Canadian-based PolyMet Mining Corp., which is seeking government approval for its NorthMet copper-nickel-precious metals mine near Babbit, in northeastern Minnesota.

As I have noted in columns over the past several years, the proposed mine and mill are within the 1854 Treaty Ceded Territory. The Ojibwe bands in the region – Fond du Lac, Bois Forte and Grand Portage – are participating in the environmental review process. The bands are concerned that toxic mine wastes could migrate into lakes, rivers and groundwater and destroy wild rice beds, etc.

This is not wild speculation: hard rock mining across the West has been a catalog of environmental disasters. The National Wildlife Federation says: “The mining industry is the single largest source of toxic waste and one of the most environmentally destructive industries in the country. Today’s massive mining operations involve blasting, excavating, and crushing many thousands of acres of land and treating the ore with huge quantities of toxic chemicals such as cyanide and sulfuric acid. The mines that produce our gold, silver, copper, and uranium are notorious for polluting adjacent streams, lakes, and groundwater with toxic by-products.”

It Ain't Easy Being Indian
Monday, July 07 2014
Written by Ricey Wild,
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ricey wild.jpgSooooo … I was talking to one of my brother’s Mike W. (I have two!) about getting our kids enrolled. Our father is not on our birth certificates and it’s a big deal as I’m sure some of yooz know how difficult it is to prove; and how 'blood quantum’ was created to essentially wipe American Indians out as sovereign nations. In the conversation I told him that when I was a little kid I never wanted to be married and be a cat lady. A moment passed and Mike Wynde sez, “so…you’re Living the Dream.” I know!!!!! I laughed so hard and when I was able to collect myself I said maybe I should have picked something else? Hai! Oh well I’m here now.

“Living the dream” tchuh! I love it!!!

My dear cousin Amanda L. came by my office today, she lives in the Big City so I don’t get to see a lot of her so it’s really special when I do. This past June was Rezberry Daze where enrolled members come up for fun and feasting and hopefully win a drawing for money. I didn’t make it this year but I did see some family so I am happy. Well Amanda and I got to talking; we have both been through some really difficult times in the recent past and commiserated and hugged it out.

Fond du Lac Follies
Monday, July 07 2014
Written by Jim Northrup,
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_northrup_cover_mug_small.jpgOur friend Cheryl Gresczyk died. She was the wife of Rick Gresczyk. Our family watched as she fought her illnesses with dignity and courage. Cheryl, you will be missed by everyone in this household. We were saddened by your leaving but were glad that your pain is now over.


July 2014 Calendar
Monday, July 07 2014
Written by The Circle Staff,
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June 5-Aug. 23

Creative Dissent: Popular Arts of the Arab World Uprisings

Touring exhibition is designed to immerse visitors in the creative vitality of the continually evolving uprising movement commonly referred to as the "Arab Spring." Visitors experience how freedom of speech merged with artistic expression, capturing the anger, elation, frustration and hope of these revolutions in the form of graffiti, video, cartoons, music, photography, posters and puppetry.

Round Table Discussion, July 16, 7 to 9 p.m., Mizna hosts a discussion with featured guests touching on the movements in Syria and Egypt and the intersections of politics and art. Poster-Making, June 28 and Aug. 23, noon to 2 p.m., stop by the gallery and make a poster using stencils from Mizna's Arab Spring participatory art project, created by street artists from Egypt and the U.S. Events are free of charge.

Gallery hours: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday-Friday; noon-5 p.m., Saturdays, Intermedia Arts, 2822 Lyndale Ave S, Minneapolis, MN. For more information, call 612-871-4444 or visit

July 7

Circle of Generations Teaching Circle

Open Drum Call, light breakfast will be served, 10 a.m.; Dakota Language with Neil McKay, 4-5 p.m.; Zhaabosabiiwebinigewin (Basketball) with Stuart CrazyBull; Mazinigwaasowin (Beading) with Angela Kappenman; Teaching Circle, 5-7:30 p.m.; Jiimaaniwin (Canoeing) with Jon Lurie & Joe Perez (at Calhoun van leaves at 5:30 p.m.). Minneapolis American Indian Center, 1530 E. Franklin Avenue, Minneapolis, MN. For more information, call Mi-zi-way Mi-gi-zi DesJarlait, Cultural Resource Coordinator at 612-879-1785 or email This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

July 8-10

Fifth Annual Dakota Language Camp

The Dakota Language Department of the University of Minnesota and Bloomington Parks and Recreation welcomes Dakota and non-Dakota children and their families to the 5th annual Dakota Language Camp. Learning is through hands-on experiences of traditional Dakota games, crafts, songs, foods, and nature walks in the park’s restored prairie, situated on the Minnesota River. The camp is free for Dakota families; 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily. Pond Dakota Park, Bloomington, MN. For more information and to register, call Jay Ludwig at 952-484-0477 or visit

July 10

Circle of Generations Ojibwe Language Class

Ojibwemowin with Joe Spears, 5-6 p.m., Minneapolis American Indian Center, 1530 E. Franklin Avenue, Minneapolis, MN. For more information, call Mi-zi-way Mi-gi-zi DesJarlait, Cultural Resource Coordinator at 612-879-1785 or email This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

July 11-13

Fond du Lac Reservation Veterans Traditional Powwow

Emcee: Pete Gahbow/Les Gibbs; Host Drum: Midnight Express; Friday Grand Entry, 7 p.m., Saturday Grand Entry, 1 and 7 p.m., Sunday Grand Entry, 1 p.m.; Saturday Feast, 5 p.m., Sunday Lunch, 3 p.m. Spot dances and dance specials will be held daily, honorariums paid to the first 30 registered drums, all dancers, flag and staff carriers and royalty. All veterans will receive gifts. Mash-Ka-wisen Tx Center Powwow Grounds, Sawyer, MN.

For more information, contact Chuck Smith at 218-878-2670 or email This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

July 11-13

Prairie Island Dakota Days Wacipi Celebration

Grand Entries: Friday, 7 p.m., Saturday, 1 and 7 p.m., Sunday, 1 p.m, Flag raising daily. Tiny Tots will receive day money. Categories: Adult Men’s Fancy 18 years-old and older, Men’s Northern Fancy, Men’s Southern Fancy; Juniors 6-12 years-old, Junior Boy’s Traditional Northern & Southern Combined, Junior Boy’s Grass Dance, Junior Boy’s Fancy; Junior Girl’s Traditional Northern & Southern Combined, Junior Girl’s Jingle Dress, Junior Girl’s Fancy Shawl; Adults, 35 years-old and older, Men’s Grass Dance, Women’s Jingle Dress, Men’s Chicken Dance, Women’s Fancy Shawl; Senior Adults, 35-54 years-old, Men’s Northern Traditional, Men’s Southern Straight. Women’s Northern Traditional Cloth. Women’s Northern Traditional Buckskin, Women’s Southern Buckskin. Women’s Southern Cloth; Teens, 13-17 years-old. 1158 Island Lake Blvd., Welch, MN. For more information, call 800-554-5473.

What's New In the Community: July 2014
Monday, July 07 2014
Written by The Circle Staff,
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The Tiwahe Foundation is honored to announce that at its June 10 board meeting, 15 grants were awarded to Native American individuals in the Twin Cities seven county metro area through its American Indian Family Empowerment Program Fund. This program awards $70,000-$80,000 annually to American Indian individuals and families seeking financial resources to achieve their goals, shape their future and make positive contributions to their community through three priority areas: Economic Self-sufficiency; Education and Cultural Connections.

Grants range from $500 to $2,500, enough to make a significant impact on grantees and the community and contributing to the self-determination of individuals. Individuals received awards in the following focus areas:

Goal 1: Preserving and Renewing Native Cultural Connections (Learning Native languages, developing kinship ties, traditional and cultural practices). The grantees include: Nancy Cain-Kouri, Melissa Davis and Cleone Thompson.

Goal 2: Educational Achievement (Expenses related to college degrees, certificates, vocational training, GED, and college entrance exams). Grantees for this goal were: Travis Earth-Werner, Savanna Elmquist, John Fairbanks, Miigis Gonzalez, Kevin Head, Mia Mikel, Cynthia Pawlitschek, James Smith, Shantelle Stately, Kelly Suzick and Aaron Thomson.

Linda Lucero was the grantee for Goal 3, which includes economic self-sufficiency through employment, business, entrepreneurial opportunities and expenses related to home-ownership.

AIFEP strives to reverse the social, educational, and economic challenges facing American Indians by investing in human capital, skills, resources and cultural strengths that people possess that allow them to live healthy and productive lives, build strong relationships, and make meaningful contributions to their communities. To learn more, visit

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