Local Briefs
New Wisconsin bill threatens centuries old burial mounds
Thursday, January 07 2016
Written by The Circle,
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wismoundsindangersm.jpgA bill from Wisconsin Sen. Chris Kapenga, R-Delafield, and Representative Robert Brooks, R-Saukville, would remove protections for American Indian burial sites and force the Wisconsin Historical Society to allow the excavation of a centuries old effigy mound in order to prove there are human remains within the mounds on their land.

The bill stems from a company’s wishes to extract $10 million to $15 million in limestone aggregate from the site. Wingra Stone and RediMix, a concrete and stone producer, has mined extensively on the 57-acre plot surrounding the effigy mounds for years. The site is located inside the company’s Kampmeier Quarry, north of the town of McFarland.

Opponents of the legislation say the mounds are a significant cultural, religious, and spiritual site, and that the bill runs counter to the purpose of Wisconsin Burial Site Protection Act.

At a packed town hall meeting held at the Waukesha Public Library on December 14, Kapenga heard from numerous community members their opposition to the proposed bill. Ho-Chunk District 2 Legislator David Greendeer, said the issue is nothing new to the Ho-Chunk people. “Every place that we walk within the state of Wisconsin; every building that’s been built; every metro-city is built over all of our people. Everywhere around the entire United States, is over all of our Native people,” said Greendeer.

Greendeer was careful to emphasize that the Ho-Chunk presence was not to “oppose” Kapenga personally but rather to work cooperatively towards a favorable resolution for all.

Officers from the Waukesha Police Department were present at the public meeting. It is not clear if law enforcement is present at each of Kapenga’s monthly public meetings.

As mining has exhausted other parts of the 57-acre quarry, Wingra has challenged the existence of human remains at the site in an effort to prove it should be removed from the state’s registry of protected burial sites. That was in 2010 and in 2012, the State Historical Society ruled there was insufficient evidence to determine the mounds do not contain human remains. Since that decision, the issue has been tied up in litigation.

“The fact of the matter is there is no proof that there’s any burial materials there,” said Wingra President Bob Shea. “We certainly wouldn’t disturb a known burial site. But there needs to be some definitive means to be mostly certain – if not completely certain – that there are remains at the site.”
The mounds at Kampmeier Quarry are part of the once-larger Ward Mound Group, which has mostly been destroyed.

Wingra began operating the quarry in 1962, but the Ward mounds remained unprotected until a 1986 law gave the Historical Society the power to identify and catalog potential burial sites and their surrounding lands for preservation. Destruction of the remaining mounds was stopped when the Ward mounds were officially cataloged as a burial site in 1990.

“For us, our oral traditions and history tell us those are human remains,” said Ho-Chunk spokesman Collin Price. “These mounds, to our people, represent so many things. They are a huge part of our culture and what would essentially happen is they’d be destroyed. To excavate their remains is grotesque to even consider,” added Price.

Reprinted with permission from the Red Cliff Band of  Lake Superior Chippewa Indians’ Miisaniinawind “This is Who We Are ”.

Whats New In The Community For January
Thursday, January 07 2016
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Honor the Earth awards $90,000 for sacred sites and culture
Honor the Earth has awarded $90,000 in new grants to Indigenous organizations in North America and the Pacific. “This year’s grants are particularly focused on protection of sacred sites, and the continuation of strong cultural traditions in our Native communities”, said Board Co-Chair Shannon Martin (Potawatami/Anishinaabe). The grants range from the work to protect sacred ceremonial grounds and traditions to the repatriation of Ojibwe birchbark scrolls to the White Earth band of Anishinaabeg.

Grantees include, Apache Stronghold (AZ), Earth Guardians (CO), Halau Hula Kealaonamaupua (HI), Native American Educational Technologies (WI),  Nibi Walks (MN), Horse Spirit Society (SD), Water Unity Alliance (Mohawk Territory), Isle de Jean Charles Band of Biloxi-Chitimacha-Choctaw (LA), the White Earth Tribe (MN) and many others.

“We are very pleased to be able to join with communities protecting their sacred sites, encouraging and nurturing their youth, and restoring cultural traditions,” Board Co- Chair Paul DeMain said.
Many of the organizations funded by Honor the Earth have successfully stopped projects, including this year’s victories over the Keystone XL pipeline (no presidential permit) and the GTAC mine proposed for Northern Wisconsin. “We hope there is justice for many of these communities,” Amy Ray of the Indigo Girls (Honor Board member) said.

Honor the Earth, based on the White Earth reservation, is a national Native organization which was founded in l993, working on environmental and cultural support for grassroots Indigenous communities.

22 selected to take part in Native Nation Rebuilders program
A woman from Leech Lake and a woman from White Earth were two of 22 people in Minnesota, and North and South Dakota, selected to take part in The Bush Foundation’s Native Nation Rebuilders program.

The program is designed for people who “share a passion for learning about governance and other nation-building practices,” a press release said.

Representing the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe is Melissa Bowstring and representing the White Earth Nation is Margaret Rousu.

The Bush Foundation created the Native Nation Rebuilders Program in 2010 after elected tribal leaders from the 23 Native nations that share geography with Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota called for committed community leaders to help with nation-building work. Since it launched, the program has selected 128 rebuilders from 20 Native nations in the region.

FDLTCC wins marketing and communications awards
Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College (FDLTCC) was honored with Gold and Silver awards for excellence in public relations, marketing, and communication in the 2015 National Council for Marketing and Public Relations District 5 Medallion Awards competition.

The Gold Medallion of Excellence first place award recognized the college’s new web site that was launched in 2015. The Silver Medallion of Excellence second place award recognized the 30-second television ad titled “The Journey” that has aired on local broadcast and cable television networks during 2015.

“The primary purpose of our marketing and communication projects always has been to convey messages about who we are, what we do, and the range of opportunities and benefits we offer to our students and the communities we serve,” said Tom Urbanski, Director of Public Information at FDLTCC.

The Gold Medallion of Excellence award-winning college web site is located at The new site features a responsive design, new site architecture, one-click navigation, new photography, integrated social media and video, news blog, and a behind-the-scenes content management system.
The Silver Medallion of Excellence award-winning television ad can been seen on the college’s YouTube channel that is integrated into the web site.

The National Council for Marketing and Public Relations (NCMPR) is an affiliate of the American Association of Community Colleges and represents marketing and public relations professionals at community and technical colleges across the United States and Canada. The regional Medallion Awards recognize outstanding achievement in marketing communication at community and technical colleges in NCMPR District 5, which includes Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, the Canadian province of Manitoba, Puerto Rico, and Virgin Islands. It is the only competition of its kind that honors excellence exclusively among marketing and public relations professionals at two-year colleges. There were over 300 entries submitted across 36 categories in the 2015 NCMPR District 5 Medallion Awards competition.

Creativity and technology make markets for Red Circle clients
Thursday, January 07 2016
Written by Lee Egerstrom,
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redcircle1sm.jpgAward-winning Red Circle Agency in Minneapolis sticks close to core strengths by working with tribally owned casinos and hospitality industry ventures, but it attracts national attention for both its creative marketing skills and for its business growth.

Within the past year, Inc. magazine named the advertising and marketing company among the top 25 percent of the nation’s fastest growing privately owned companies on its annual Inc. 5000 list. Locally, Twin Cities Business magazine honored Red Circle among finalists in its Small Business Success Stories for the 2014 year.

Within the creative world, Red Circle received 11 Telly Awards that honor local, regional and cable TV commercials and programs, video and film productions, and online commercials, video and films. In addition, it was honored by the Academy of Interactive and Visual Arts (AIVA) with a W3 Award for creative excellence in websites, web video and online marketing programs.       

Founder and president Chad Germann, (Mille Lacs Band Ojibwe) worked in marketing for the Band’s Grand Casino Hinckley and Grand Casino Mille Lacs for four years after attending college at St. Cloud State University and graduate school at the University of North Florida.

“I loved it,” he said. “Every day was fun.” And at the same time, the work and fun showed him an opportunity to start a business and that would also serve other Native American groups, he added.
Germann became an entrepreneur 15 years ago in the highly competitive advertising and marketing industry where he competes with Madison Avenue firms, regional and local “Madmen” and women.

By various accounts and directories, there are more than 1,200 such firms with headquarters or operations in Minnesota, of which nearly 1,000 are in the Twin Cities metropolitan area. These numbers do not count in-house departments at large Minnesota-based corporations.  
Like many others in this huge supportive business field where advertising and marketing are extensions of Minnesota’s food and agribusiness industries, finance or its medical technology sectors, Red Circle’s growth is closely linked to its ties with its origins: the Native American tribes and bands.

Red Circle has about 80 long time clients that are mostly casino and hospitality industry operators in Indian Country, Germann said. Over the past three years, employment at the agency has increased from 25 people to more than 40 while revenues jumped 406 percent to $7.1 million, according to the Inc. magazine report.

That means Red Circle is still a small business player in the big field of advertising and marketing, although it is the largest Native-owned, full-service advertising agency. But growth is coming fast. Germann said he anticipates Red Circle will crack the Inc. 500 list within the coming year.

Peggy Flanagan elected to MNHouse of Reps
Thursday, January 07 2016
Written by Jon Lurie,
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peggy_flanagan_headshot_sm.jpgWhen Peggy Flanagan (White Earth Ojibwe) attended her first committee hearing at the State Capitol she remembers the feeling of dread that swept over her. She had arrived in the chamber to testify on behalf of the Children’s Defense Fund-Minnesota, of which she was the executive director. Her goal: to convince legislators to raise the minimum wage so that working families across Minnesota could put food on the table.

On the wall behind the panel of representatives hung a painting showing the aftermath of an 1862 battle, in which the bodies of felled Dakota warriors lay strewn about a field. It was a chilling reminder of the consequences of starvation, and a message, Flanagan says, that Native American people are not welcome in the halls of government.

As the newest member of the Minnesota House of Representatives, Flanagan, 35, aims to change that. The longtime community organizer, who grew-up with her single mother in St. Louis Park (where she lives today with her husband and two-year-old daughter), says the time is now for the voices of Native people to be heard in St. Paul. The multi-talented politician, whose resume far outpaces her age, has used her voice for nearly two decades to push for change, sometimes in surprising ways.

JL: You recently sang the Star Spangled Banner at a Vikings-Packers game at TCF Stadium.
PF: I did. It was pretty awesome. Pretty scary. And the halftime show was really great; it was a bunch of powwow dancers and drummers. It was really fun to see so many Native people on the field. Frankly, the NFL needs to do all it can to try to honor Native folks.

JL: Do you think Native participation in pregame and halftime shows has an impact on the NFL’s willingness to change derogatory team names?
PF: The NFL, and Washington team owner Dan Snyder in particular, are motivated by money. Snyder’s dug-in in much the same way that we’ve seen people like Donald Trump do lately. But I think eventually it’s going to change as people see just how inhumane it is. By having Native folks be mascots we’re being portrayed as less than human and when you portray people as less than human beings it’s easy then, when it comes to making policy, to not treat folks in a way that provides what they need to thrive.

December Community Calendar
Thursday, December 03 2015
Written by The Circle,
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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 info, see: .
• 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. 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. For info, call 612-377-4669 or 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 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: .

Dec. 1, Jan 8, 22
Phillips Indian Educators

Upcoming meeting for the Phillips Indian Educators will be held beginning at 9:00 am. All meetings are held at Migizi Communications, 1516 E Lake St #300, Minneapolis. Meetings for 2016 include: 1/8, 1/22, 2/12, 2/26, 3/11, 3/25, 4/8, 4/22, 5/6, 5/20, 6/10, 6/24, 7/8, 7/22. For more info, contact Joe Rice at Nawayee Center School at: This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

Starts Dec. 2
Soogizin Dodem (Strengthening Families)

This group will couple traditional teachings and the creation of art with current mental health knowledge about trauma and trauma response. Our goal is to educate families about how trauma affects us and the many ways to heal. 10 sessions starting Dec. 2nd. Wednesdays from 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm. Food and childcare provided. Open to all—both new and repeating participants. Provides a family assessment of strengths and needs. Teaches therapeutic methods of self-care & healing. Helps family members engage in positive activities together. For more info, call Jessica Gourneau at 651-793-3803, x3009 or email: This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it Or call Sierra Asamoa-Tutu, x3021 or email: This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it American Indian Family Center, 579 Wells St., Saint Paul.

Dec. 4
MIWRC Vendor Day

Artists, vendors, jewelry and great holiday wares will be for sale. Plus there will be Native Indian Taco concessions available. Get your gift buying done and grab some tasty fluffy golden delicious lunch. 10 am - 2 pm. MN Indian Womens Resource Center, 2300 15th Ave. S, Minneapolis. For more info, contact Karen Joy DeJesus at 612-728-2022 or This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

Dec. 4 - 19
Native Art & Craft Sale

First Friday of the month Native Art and Craft Sale. Stop and shop for unique handmade items made by local Native American Artists. Shop local and support the local community. 1308 Franklin Ave, Minneapolis. For more info, call Jacque Wilson at 612-871-6618 or see: 10:00 am to 3:00 pm, on the following dates:
• Dec 4th - 5th
• Dec 11th - 12th
• Dec 18th - 19th

Dec 5
Kids Crafts: Story Book Time and Dream Catchers

Enjoy stories and light snacks from noon to 1 pm, then from 1 to 3 pm weave a dream catcher to take home. The dream catcher is a woven web believed to protect the dream world of the person who sleeps beneath it. Cost is $5 per kit, does not include museum admission. Allow an hour to make the craft. Recommended for ages 8 and up. Noon - 3:00 pm at the Mille Lacs Indian Museum and Trading Post, 43411 Oodena Dr., Onamia, MN. For more info, call 320-532-3632 or email: This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

Dec. 5
Birch Bark Ornament Workshop

Create miniature ornaments from birch bark that can be used to decorate for the holidays or to give as gifts. A light lunch and refreshments will be provided. A minimum of five participants is required. Children under 18 must be accompanied by an adult. Registration is required three days prior to workshop. Cost: $25/$20 MNHS members, plus $15 supply fee. Noon - 4:00 pm. Mille Lacs Indian Museum and Trading Post, 43411 Oodena Dr., Onamia, MN. For more info, call 320-532-3632 or email: This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

Dec. 5, 12, 19
Two-Spirit Support Group

Two-Spirit and Native LGBT Support Group at Minnesota Indian Women's Resource Center, 2300 15th Ave South, Minneapolis. Saturdays from 1:00-4:00 pm. For more information call Chris at 612-728-2011 or email: This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

Dec. 8
American Indian College Fund Event

The American Indian College Fund is hosting an event in Minneapolis to discuss how American Indian scholars can overcome the odds to get a college degree, and to share a strategy about how to increase their numbers. Guest speaker is Cholena Smith, an American Indian College Fund scholar, member of the Shinnecock Indian Nation of Long Island, and magna cum laude graduate of Stony Brook University with a degree in anthropology and sociology. Complimentary cocktails and appetizers will be served. The event will take place from 6-8 p.m. at the Hilton Minneapolis, 1001 Marquette Avenue, Minneapolis. For more info, contact Hannah Urano at This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it or 303-429-4191.

Dec. 9
Indian Child Welfare Education Day

The Opioid Crisis in Indian Country: the Many-Headed Beast. Presenter: Phil Norrgard, Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, Director of Human Services. This presentation will explore the manner in which the pharmaceutical industry and the medical industry created what has been called “the worst man-made disaster in modern medical history” and how the Substance Abuse Disorder treatment industry has exploited the opioid crisis. Special emphasis will be given to the impact the crisis is having on American Indians living in Minnesota and what some tribes are doing to address it. 9:00 am. - 12:00 pm. CEU’s will be provided. There is no cost to attend this event. For further info, contact Sandy White Hawk at: sandywhitehawk@ or 651-442-4872. Hennepin County Downtown Library, Pohlad Hall (2nd floor), 300 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis.

Dec. 11
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 from 6:30 pm. to 8:30 pm.The American Indian Center, 1530 E. Franklin Ave. Mpls. MN.

Dec. 11
The Circle Fundraiser with Winona LaDuke

The Circle board of directors (Robert Albee, Brenda Child, Celeste DeMars, Monica Flores, James Lenfestey, Lisa Yankton) and managing editor Catherine Whipple invite you to breakfast with Winona LaDuke to support The Circle. This year’s theme is “Honor 35 Years of The Circle, Honor Native Journalism, Honor the Earth” with internationally known author Winona LaDuke. LaDuke is a White Earth Ojibwe environmentalist, activist and author, known for her work on tribal land claims and preservation, as well as sustainable development. She is the executive director of White Earth Land Recovery Project, and Honor the Earth which she founded with Indigo Girls Amy Ray and Emily Saliers in 1993. LaDuke also helped found the Indigenous Women’s Network in 1985. LaDuke is the author of six books. 8:00 am. to 9:00 am. Doors open at 7:30 am. for coffee. $35 suggested donation. All Nations Indian Church, 1515 E. 23rd St., Minneapolis. RSVP at 612-722-3686, thecirclenews@, or see our facebook event at: events/593143600826930 .

Dec 12-13
Native Arts & Crafts Christmas Sale

Christmas shopping? Buy handmade gifts from local Native artists. Saturday, Dec. 12 from 10 am – 4 pm. Sunday, Dec. 13 from 1 pm – 4 pm. All Nations Indian Church, 1515 E 23rd St., Minneapolis. For more info, call 612-721-4393.

Dec. 16
Author George Halvorson

Author George Halvorson will speak about child brain development. Halvorson is the chair and CEO of the Institute for InterGroup Understanding. The Institute works on issues of racism, prejudice, discrimination and InterGroup stress and conflict. Halvorson has published nine books on health care reform with the most recent being “Ending Racial, Ethnic and Cultural Disparities in American Health Care.” 3:00 -5:00 at All My Relations Gallery, 1414 E Franklin Ave, Minneapolis.

Dec. 18
Holidays on Franklin

Enjoy a tour of Christmas joy through Franklin Ave area. 3:00 pm-6:00 pm. The tour will begin at Indigenous People’s Task Force at 1135 E. 23rd St., Minneapolis. There will be a guide to go from there. For more info, email Vincent at NACC at: This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

Dec. 18
Master of Tribal Resource Management meeting

UMD’s Tribal Sovereignty Institute will be discussing the draft plan for the proposed degree in Tribal Resourcee Management and invites the community to attend. 9 am. to 12 noon. University of Minnesota Duluth, Garden Room, 1120 Kirby Drive, Duluth, MN. Refreshments provided. RSVP to: This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

Dec. 18, 20
Manidoo Giizisoons Feast

Join us for a Manidoo Giizisoons Feast (Feast of the Little Spirit Moon) with The Sioux Chef. Each evening will include a Native craft fair, silent auction, and 4-course feast celebrating the abundance of our Anishinaabe Akiing - all traditional "pre-contact" foods prepared using the methods of our ancestors. All proceeds support our work to protect our water, manoomin (wild rice), Mother Earth, and way of life. For more info, see: or
• Dec. 18: Spring House Ministry Center, Minneapolis.  
• Dec. 20: Clyde Ironworks, Duluth.

Jan. 27 (deadline)
Harvard’s Honoring Nation­

The Honoring Nations 2016 awards cycle is now open for nominations and applications. Honoring Nations will award up to six exemplary tribal programs. High Honors programs will receive $5,000 and Honors programs receive $2,000. Honoring Nations invites applications from American Indian governments across a broad range of subject areas, including, but not limited to: Economic, Social & Cultural Programs; Natural Resource Management; Governmental Policy Development & Reform; Intergovernmental Relations; Education, Justice and Health. To nominate a program or apply for an award, visit the Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development website at or call 617-495-1480. The application deadline is January 27, 2016.


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