Circle News - Community News
Friday, November 11 2011
Written by Jacob Croonenberghs,
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cover_story_tobacco_youth1.jpgAmerican Indian youth are challenging their community to take a stand against commercial tobacco. The students, ages thirteen to seventeen, are working hard to educate Native businesses and agencies in the Twin Cities about eliminating commercial tobacco from their workplaces.
The students are part of the Mashkiki Ogichidaag program, which is supported by the Division of Indian Work. The program seeks to educate students about the adverse effects of commercial tobacco abuse, as well as teach Native youth about tobacco's traditional uses in Native American culture.
"The program is named Mashkiki Ogichidaag, which translates into 'Medicine Warriors'," said Leya Hale, the program coordinator of Mashkiki Ogichidaag. Hale stepped into the role of coordinator in March 2011. "This program has been around for about three years. The Division of Indian Work hires grant writers to apply for the funding that makes programs such as these possible," said Hale.
The Division of Indian Work, founded in 1952, is the oldest organization directly serving American Indians in the Twin Cities area. Located at 1001 East Lake Street, the Medicine Warriors hold their meetings in a room upstairs next to the kitchen. There is macaroni and cheese with a make-it-yourself-chili dog table for the youth. Hale says she always tries to provide for students who are taking time out of their day to listen to her words. Sitting in their chairs, arranged in a circle, the students talk about the traditional uses of tobacco.
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Friday, November 11 2011
Written by The Circle Staff,
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LaDuke will speak in Minneapolis on "the Green Path"
Internationally known Native American activist and author Winona LaDuke will speak at Plymouth Congregational Church on Nov. 7 at 7 p.m. Her topic, "The Green Path: Land-base Economies and Future Generations," will address economic choices in food and energy systems. LaDuke (White Earth Ojibwe) is the founder of the White Earth Land Recovery Project. She is also Executive Director of Honor the Earth, where she works on a national level to raise public support and funding for frontline native environmental groups.
She is the author of six books, including "Recovering the Sacred," "All our Relations," and a novel, "Last Standing Woman."  She is a former board member of Greenpeace USA and is presently an advisory board member for the Trust for Public Lands Native Lands Program and a board member of the Christensen Fund.  Plymouth is located at 1900 Nicollet Ave. (at Franklin) in Minneapolis. A reception and book signing will follow. For more information, see or
Lac Courte Oreilles Band opens urban office in Minneapolis
Friday, October 07 2011
Written by The Circle Staff,
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The Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Lake Superior Ojibwa Indians approved the opening of an urban office in Minneapolis. With over 640 members residing in the Metro and surrounding counties the tribe determined the need to not only extend services to its membership but also access and network business, philanthropic and economic development opportunities.
Tribal Chairman Gordon Thayer said, " Across the nation the economy faces a major challenge and this compels our tribe to become more creative and proactive in building a stronger healthy community to our members on and off the Reservation, the urban office will also become a great resource to our newly created Lac Courte Oreilles Business Corporation."
15th Annual Elders Community Picnic honors Norbie Blake
Friday, October 07 2011
Written by The Circle Staff,
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By Mikanuk "Larry Adams" - On September 22 the 15th Annual Elders Community Picnic was held at the Minnehaha Park in South Minneapolis.  Over 300 elders attended the event that included raffles and prizes. An official proclamation honoring Norby Blake was also made. Blake was the former director of the Inter-Tribal Elders Services (ITES). She recieved the award from Minneapolis Mayor R. T. Rybak.    
The Elders Community Picnic included several health-related booths, as well as some crafts stands. The event kicked off with an Elders "Wisdom Steps" Walk around Minnehaha Park, with many elders stretching their limbs during the walk. The "Johnny Smith and Friends" band performed some of their Country and Western repertoire for the elders as well.
Mashkiki Ogichidaag "Medicine Warriors" Challenge Community
Saturday, September 10 2011
Written by The Circle Staff,
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The youth of Mashkiki Ogichidaag "Medicine Warriors" are challenging all American Indian agencies in the Twin Cities to adopt commercial tobacco-free policies at their worksites. The program says it will help support the agencys' transition in several ways: youth can provide an educational presentation to encourage the policy change. They can provide assistance drafting new policy language to fit individual agency's cultures. And they can supply signage once the new policy is in place. They plan to have an event in September for American Indian agencies to tell them about the challenge.
Mashkiki Ogichidaag teaches American Indian youth about the adverse health affects of commercial tobacco abuse and promotes traditional uses of Native tobacco for prayers, gift-giving, blessings and medicinal purposes. For more information contact Program Coordinator Leya Hale at 612-722-8722, ext. 317, or email: This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

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