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What's New in The Community


May What's New in the Community
Thursday, May 05 2016
 
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Emily Johnson wins Guggenheim Fellowship

emily_johnson_native_american_artist.jpgTwin Cities resident Emily Johnson (Yup’ik) has won the prestigious Guggenheim fellowship, the New York-based foundation has announced. Out of approximately 4,000 applicants, Johnson is one of the 200 creative artists, natural scientists and humanities scholars to win a Fellowship.

Guggenheim winners get varying amount of funding, which helps to support their work over a period of six months to a year.

Johnson, who has performed at Walker Art Center and Northrop, among other venues, is one of several Twin Cities-connected winners. Guggenheim Fellowships are only open to advanced professionals in mid-career.

The Foundation receives between 3,500 and 4,000 applications every year.

 

Priscilla Day wins 2016 President’s Award/Outstanding Service

presilla_day_wins_award_native_american.jpgPriscilla Day (Leech Lake Ojibwe), professor and head of the Department of Social Work at the University of Minnesota Duluth, is a recipient of the 2016 President’s Award for Outstanding Service.

The award is presented each spring and recognizes exceptional service to the University of Minnesota, its schools, colleges, departments, and service units by an active or retired faculty or staff member.

UM President Eric W. Kaler praised Day for her accomplishments, “Your excellence is a model for your colleagues and co-workers to emulate. True to the mission of this great land-grant institution, you have done more than your share to make the University of Minnesota one of the preeminent institutions in the nation.”

In addition to teaching and serving as department head, Day serves as director for the Center for Regional and Tribal Child Welfare. She wrote “Bridging our understanding: American Indian family preservation,” for the Minnesota Department of Human Service and provides training on the subject. Her areas of research are American Indian family preservation and culturally competent practice.

Two events that honor recipients of the Outstanding Service award will be held in Minneapolis. The first is at a University of Minnesota Board of Regents meeting on May 13, and the second is at a reception on June 16. The University of Minnesota President’s Award for Outstanding Service was established in 1997 to recognize faculty and staff (current or retired) who have provided exceptional service to the University, its schools, colleges, departments and service units. Such service must have gone well beyond the regular duties of a faculty or staff member, and demonstrate unusual commitment to the University community.

Migizi Communications receives $702,000 grant

Migizi Communications has received at three-year grant totaling $702,000 ($234,000 annually) to support the Green Jobs Pathway that will involve 60 disconnected Indian youth per year to receive education, training, supports, and experiences needed to prepare them to become financially independent, self-determining adults.

The project will utilize the Back On Track model developed by Jobs for the Future to create a career pathway for American Indian youth to discover their cultural role as caretakers of the Earth, develop strong workplace skills, learn through their experience, and complete postsecondary coursework and credentials of value to secure living wage jobs as they build a career in the Green Economy. Minneapolis, Minnesota.

The projects include:

• A 10-week Green Stewardship Institute focused on educating and engaging youth in hands-on learning and community service that promotes clean energy, energy conservation technologies, and environmental sustainability.
• Paid internships in high-demand green jobs in the private and public sectors
• Individual Development Accounts for youth savings for college
• Enrollment in dual coursework for college credits
• Enrollment and completion of postsecondary certificate, degree, or union apprenticeship in the green energy field.

The funding was made possible through a 3-year $3 million Social Innovation Fund (SIF) grant to Youthprise for Opportunity Reboot. SIF is an initiative of the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) that is focused on improving the lives of people in low-income communities throughout the United States. Six organizations from across Minnesota were selected to receive 3-year grants ranging from $193,000 to $234,000 annually.

Mille Lacs Corporate Ventures buys Big Sandy Lake Lodge

Mille Lacs Corporate Ventures (MLCV) has purchased Big Sandy Lodge & Resort, in McGregor, Minn. The sale includes the resort’s 18 lodge rooms, seven cabins, fourteen townhomes and a seasonal retreat log home, as well as The Pines Restaurant, The Bear’s Den Sports Bar & Grille, indoor pool, hot tub and sauna.

According to Joe Nayquonabe, Jr., CEO of Mille Lacs Corporate Ventures, the McGregor area has been a market that has been on MLCV’s radar since beginning its diversification efforts in 2013. “Our roadmap calls for a mix of hospitality growth in targeted markets as well as acquisitions that allow us to expand the local business economy within all three districts of the Mille Lacs Band reservation,” Nayquonabe said. “Big Sandy Lodge has a reputation as one of Minnesota’s premier resort destinations. We look forward to expanding upon the resort’s rich traditions by leveraging our experience in hospitality.”

Melanie Benjamin, Chief Executive of the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe said that Big Sandy Lake is so important to the regional economy, but it is more than that for the Band. “We have a long history with Big Sandy Lake, and it is actually a very sacred place for Anishinabe people, so this acquisition was a perfect match for more than just business reasons. We are delighted to join the families of resort owners on Big Sandy Lake and honored to host the Minnesota Governor’s Fishing Opener this year with Gov. Mark Dayton.”

MLCV made the decision to acquire Big Sandy Lake Lodge & Resort based on its strong performance and its unique position as a premiere up-north destination resort on the Big Sandy watershed. No immediate changes are planned, but MLCV will monitor business operations and look for opportunities to improve efficiency and profitability over time.


March What's New in the Community
Tuesday, March 08 2016
 
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ihb-buys-restuarant.jpgIHB Buys Prime Franklin Avenue Real Estate
Dr. Patrick Rock (Leech Lake), CEO of the Indian Health Board of Minneapolis (IHB), announced that the Minneapolis-based health clinic recently acquired the former Blue Nile restaurant property on East Franklin Avenue in Minneapolis.
“The Indian Health Board sees this as a sound investment to continue improving our work in Native Healthcare and further indigenizing our services to meet community needs,” said Dr. Rock. Rock says the IHB will continue working in partnership with the local Native community and neighborhood partners in developing the property for a future expansion of holistic-oriented, Native-based services.
Dr. Laiel Baker-DeKrey (Nueta/Hidatsa), IHB Psychologist and Training Director, said. “With the help of our elders, we provide services that incorporate traditional Native practices promoting health and wellness that are also balanced with Western practices. The combination creates a strengths-based and affirming space for healing, and there’s definitely demand for more.”
IHB has no set timeframe for property and expansion planning, but the development will be careful and intentional, so that Native community needs are at the forefront.  IHB provides culturally-appropriate, full-service outpatient medical, dental, and counseling services. For more information, contact Dr. Patrick Rock at 612-721-9843.

joe_hobart.jpgJoe Hobot Honored as ’40 Under 40′
American Indian OIC president and CEO, Joe Hobot (Lakota) was named a Minneapolis St. Paul Business Journal “40 Under 40” honoree. Each year the publication honors 40 leaders under the age of 40 who have “already accomplished much in their professional lives while also taking a leading role in the Twin Cities community.” Hobot was selected among 550 other nominations for his charismatic leadership and his contributions at AIOIC and beyond. Hobotwill receive his award on March 10.

New Board Members Appointed to Tiwahe Foundation
The Tiwahe Foundation, located in Minneapolis, has recently appointment four new board members.
Monica Flores (Three Affiliated Tribes) currently the Executive Director of Bii Gii Wiin Community Development Loan Fund, Flores has many years of experience working in Native American communities and Tribal governments. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration and is pursuing a Masters of Business Administration and Certified Public Accountant certification.
Paul Meyer (White Earth Band of Ojibwe) is the President and CEO of Meyer Contracting. A graduate of the University of Minnesota with a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering, he has vast experiences in starting and growing businesses.
Amanda Norman (White Earth Band of Ojibwe) is the Executive Director of the soon-to-be Thor Foundation, the corporate foundation arm of Thor Construction, Inc. She has a degree in Psychology from the University of Minnesota-Morris and is currently pursuing a Masters in Education at Augsburg College.
Joseph Regguinti (Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe) served on the Leech Lake Local Indian Council from 2012-2015, as a liaison between urban Leech Lake citizens and the Tribal council. He currently works as the Father Project Coordinator at the Greater Minneapolis Council of Churches. He holds a degree in English and American Indian studies from Augsburg College.

February Whats New In The Community
Friday, February 05 2016
 
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whatsnewartdonationweb.jpgArtist Kruse donates birchbark artwork to Children’s Hospitals
Pat Kruse and his son, Gage, members of the Red Cliff Band of Ojibwe, along with the Minnesota Historical Society, donated a birch bark mural called “Nature’s Beauty” to the Children's Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota. The artwork was placed in the Family Resource Center at Children’s Minnesota’s St. Paul campus in December.


Bobby Wilson Takes Up Residence at Red Lake Middle School
(By Michael Meuers) – In January, Red Lake Middle School welcomed Resident Artist, Bobby Wilson, from the comedy troupe, 1491s. Wilson worked with students and staff from January 4 to 15.  A large mural was painted in the middle school’s main hallway and was inspired from floral beadwork designs on Native American shoulder bags from the 1800’s. Art teacher, Janel Lackner, said that about 80 students took part in helping to complete the mural.  
Wilson and  Industrial Technology teacher, Tony Bellino, also helped students, in the after-school program Targeted Services, complete a painting on a refurbished bus stop which also displays beautiful floral designs.

Wilson also worked with students in Tara Olson’s Language Arts classes focusing on Spoken Word, which encourages students to write and perform.  
The activities were made possible by the Minnesota State Legislature through its arts and cultural heritage fund, as well as the Minnesota State Arts Board.

MN Organizations Receive Funding from the Minnesota Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
In 2016, Minnesota Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (MOFAS) is awarding grants to 17 organizations across Minnesota to host community events on Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) prevention. All aim to reach and educate under-served and at-risk communities including young, rural, low-income, under or uninsured, homeless and chemically dependent women and reach into the Hispanic, African American, Native American, Somali, and Hmong communities.

The following organizations were awarded funding: Bemidji State University (Bemidji), Confederation of Somali Community in Minnesota (Minneapolis), Division of Indian Works – GMCC (Minneapolis), High School for Recording Arts (St. Paul), Intermediate School District 287 (Plymouth), Minnewaska Area Schools (Glenwood), Model Cities of St. Paul (St. Paul), New Ulm Early Childhood & Family Ed. (New Ulm), Ridgewater College (Hutchinson), Southside Community Health Services – Q Health Connections (Minneapolis), St. Cloud State University (St. Cloud), Stevens County Early Childhood Initiative (Morris), The Center Clinic (Dodge Center), Tri-County Community Action (Little Falls), Upper Midwest American Indian Center (Minneapolis), Upper Sioux Community (Granite Falls), and West Side Community Health Services (St. Paul).

Organizations will host events throughout Minnesota until June 30, 2016. For more info, contact MOFAS at 651-917-2370 or toll-free at 1-866-906-6327.

FDLTCC awarded $350,000 Minnesota Job Skills Grant
The Minnesota Job Skills Partnership has awarded a $350,000 grant to Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College to develop an in-house training system for employees of Sappi Fine Paper in Cloquet. The three-year project will support entry-level, retraining, and advanced training for 560 employees at the paper mill, the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development announced during a partnership signing agreement ceremony held at Sappi’s Cloquet Mill on January 28.

The proposed Knowledge Management and Training System will be used to identify, document, and transfer employees’ knowledge so that critical information can be passed on from retiring generations of workers to new ones.

Once fully developed, Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College will have full rights to duplicate and customize the framework to fit the needs of other manufacturers and businesses in the community.
For more information, contact Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College Customized Training Director Jeannie Kermeen at 218-879-0741.

SMSC elects new Business Council
 Members of the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community (SMSC) elected incumbent Charlie Vig as Chairman, incumbent Keith B. Anderson as Vice-Chairman, and Freedom Brewer as Secretary/Treasurer of the Business Council on Tuesday. The SMSC’s three-person Business Council is responsible for the operations of the tribal government.
 Vig became Chairman in August 2012 after the passing of then-Chairman Stanley Crooks. He also served for 14 years on the SMSC Gaming Enterprise Board of Directors, which oversees Mystic Lake Casino Hotel and Little Six Casino.

Anderson has served as Vice-Chairman since August 2012; he previously served as Secretary/Treasurer for eight years. 

Incoming Secretary/Treasurer Freedom Brewer will serve her first term on the Business Council. She presently serves as Chairwoman of the SMSC Gaming Enterprise Board of Directors, which she has been a member of since 2002.

Current Secretary/Treasurer Lori Watso, who has served since 2012 and held her first term from 2000-2004, did not seek re-election.

December What's New in The Community
Thursday, December 03 2015
 
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Vikings Recognize National Native American Heritage Month
vikings_native_american_heritage_flags_web.jpg(Story courtesy of the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe. Photo courtesy the Vikings.) The Minnesota Vikings celebrated National Native American Heritage Month Nov. 22 at TCF Bank Stadium with a flag ceremony and a halftime show. Twenty-three flags from tribes located in Minnesota and Wisconsin were carried in the opening procession.

Following the presentation of the Tribal flags, the Lakota Women Warriors presented the American and military flags, while newly elected DFL

Representative  Peggy Flanagan (White Earth Ojibwe) sang the National Anthem. A pair of fighter jets flew over just as she reached the end of the Anthem. Jerry Dearly emceed the the halftime show, which featured Redbone Singers and Dancers.

The Vikings have posted videos on their website at: www.vikings.com/
media-vault/videos/Native-American-Heritage-Month---Halftime-Dance/9ddf40cd-a461-45c8-88db-8c4c4923a0bc
.

MNHS Native American Artist-in-Residence Recipients awarded
The Minnesota Historical Society (MNHS) has selected two recipients for the 2015/16 Native American Artist-in-Residence program. This is the second year of the program which is designed to help revive traditional forms of American Indian art. Each artist will serve a six-month paid residency to study the collections at MNHS and other institutions to aid in a better understanding of their respective art forms. They will also share their knowledge by developing community-based programming in their home communities.

The Awardees are:
Denise Lajimodiere (Turtle Mountain Ojibwe) specializes in the art of mazinibakajige or birch bark biting. This art form is made by biting down on small pieces of folded birch bark to form intricate designs. Lajimodiere plans on studying birch bark biting in the collection and discovering how they were used as patterns for beadwork and quillwork.  
Holly Young (Standing Rock Sioux Tribe) focuses on Isanti/Dakota floral beadwork. The contemporary use of florals among Dakota beadwork is not as common as geometric designs so Young hopes she can bring more exposure to this artwork.

SMSC gifts $1 million to UofMN for Indian nutritional health
 The Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community (SMSC) has donated $1 million to the University of Minnesota to fund three major projects relating to nutritional health in Indian Country. The gift is being made under the tribe’s Seeds of Native Health campaign to improve Native American nutrition nationwide, in which the university is a strategic partner.
The three groundbreaking projects will make major contributions in the fields of nutritional science, public health, and food production:
· A series of annual national conferences focused exclusively on Native American nutrition and food access, to be jointly convened by the university and the SMSC. The inaugural conference will be held in spring 2016 in the Twin Cities.
· A publicly accessible, comprehensive, multi-disciplinary bibliography relating to Native American nutrition and a publicly accessible, searchable database of leading experts in relevant fields. The SMSC’s gift will fund the development and public launch of the two database while the university will seek additional funding for the later, ongoing maintenance of the databases.
· A study analyzing the obstacles between Western academic research and Native American traditional knowledge and experience relating to food and nutrition. The study will address the benefits of more respectful cultural exchanges between Native American practitioners and agricultural, biomedical, and dietary researchers. The study will explore culturally specific approaches to education, curricula and research in these fields

Local students awarded scholarships
The Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community (SMSC) recently announced the newest class of SMSC Endowed Scholarship recipients at the University of Minnesota. These first-year scholarship recipients include 20 Native American students from 17 different tribes. Local students are listed by name and tribe: Lucas Bratvold, Red Lake Nation; Jolene Chestnut, White Earth Nation; Laurie Harper, Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe; Wendy Jourdain, Red Lake Nation; Veronica Kingbird, Red Lake Nation; Crystal Littlewolf, White Earth Nation and Nathaniel Taylor, Red Lake Nation.

Leech Lake Tribe receives TED funding  
Eight federally recognized tribes will collectively receive nearly $2.5 million in grant awards from the U.S. Departments of Education and Interior to bolster their educational programs and advance self-determination goals through the development of culturally relevant programs.

William Mendoza, director of the White House Initiative on American Indian and Alaska Native Education, and Dr. Charles “Monty” Roessel, director of the Bureau of Indian Education announced the awards during the 7th annual White House Tribal Nations Conference. The grants are funded through the Department of Education’s State-Tribal Education Partnership (STEP) program, and the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Indian Education’s Tribal Education Department (TED) program.

The Leech Lake Band, Minnesota Chippewa Tribe, Minn will receive $200,000 from the TED funding. Other tribes awarded TED funding include: Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians, Mich. ($300,000), Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians, Miss. ($150,000), and the The Muscogee (Creek) Nation, Okla. ($50,000).

The following tribes will receive STEP funding.  The Chickasaw Nation, Okla. ($500,000), Nez Perce Tribe, Idaho ($330,000), Coeur D’Alene Tribe, Idaho ($330,000), The Muscogee (Creek) Nation, Okla. ($318,463), and the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes, Mont. ($287,769).

Whats New In The Community For October
Friday, October 02 2015
 
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Native Americans in Philanthropy Announces New CEO
nap_new_ceo.jpgSarah Eagle Heart joined Native Americans in Philanthropy as its new Chief Executive Officer on September 2, 2015. “I am humbled and honored to be selected as the new CEO of Native Americans in Philanthropy,” said Eagle Heart.
Founded in 1990, Native Americans in Philanthropy (NAP) strives to power reciprocity and investment in Native communities. Eagle Heart’s experience working at small nonprofit organizations and corporate tribal organizations, as well as large international non-governmental organizations has built upon her knowledge to understand the essential need for communication, education, mutual respect, collaboration, and advocacy.
Eagle Heart is an accomplished non-profit executive, having worked as Team Leader for Diversity and Ethnic Ministries and Program Officer for Indigenous Ministry at The Episcopal Church, New York, NY. Under her leadership, The Episcopal Church became the first major denomination to repudiate the Doctrine of Discovery focusing programmatic education and advocacy on accurate history education, cultural teachings, healing and asset based community development. She has excelled at activating key leaders from grassroots to corporate level through capacity building – skills she plans on bringing to her new role at NAP.
Eagle Heart holds an Masters in Business Administration from the University of Phoenix, San Diego, CA; a Bachelors of Arts in Mass Communications, and a Bachelors of Arts in American Indian Studies from Black Hills State University, Spearfish, SD. She is a 2014 recipient of the National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development’s “40 under 40 Award”. She is enrolled at Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota.

New Native Theatre Celebrates Non-Profit Status
New Native Theatre’s founder and artistic director, playwright, Rhiana Yazzie, announced that the company is now a non-profit organization. New Native Theatre’s presence in the sea of over 100 theatre companies in the Twin Cities is an opportunity for more Native artists to see their ideas come to life on stage.
New Native Theatre is celebrating its new status with a review of the six years they’ve been producing plays and events. It will feature excerpts from The Dreaming Bundle (2010), 2012: The Musical! (2012), Native-Somali Friendship Play (2013), and Native Man the Musical (2015) among other events that have happened in New Native Theatre’s last six  years. The 2010 and 2011 winners of Franklin Avenue Indian Idol will return along with the New Native Theatre Actor Ensemble and surprise guest appearances.
The celebration will take place at October 30, starting at 7:30pm at the Bedlam Lowertown, 213 4th Street East, Saint Paul, MN. Ticket price $20. No one turned away. For more info, see: at www.newnativetheatre.org.

First Nations Development Institute Awards $165,000 in Grants
First Nations Development Institute (First Nations) has awarded four grants to Native nonprofit organizations and two grants to tribes through its Native Arts Capacity Building Initiative (NACBI). The initiative is part of a three-year project targeting Native nonprofits and tribal government programs serving the field of Native arts and artists in the four-state region of Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. The 2015 NACBI grantees are:
• American Indian Community Housing Organization (AICHO), Duluth, Minnesota, $30,000 – The Gimaajii Mino Bimaadizimin Artist/Community Collaboration will be a year-long art-making and artist-development project for Native American artists primarily from the Fond du Lac, Bois Forte, White Earth, Mille Lacs, Leech Lake Bands and Red Lake Nation.
• Dakota Wicohan, Morton, Minnesota, $30,000 – Dakota Wicohan will use the grant for its Tawokaga Program to create opportunities to develop artists and for artists to make art. Dakota Wicohan will also focus on strengthening its organizational capacity to support the artists to be able to better sustain the artists and the arts while also expanding the visibility of and supporting the network for Dakota arts in rural Minnesota.
• Lower Sioux Indian Community, Morton, Minnesota, $30,000 – This project will help revitalize the Native American artists who have been teaching, preserving and showcasing art in the mediums of pottery, quilting/sewing, woodwork/sculpting, beading, leather work, painting/drawing, and quillwork. The Lower Sioux Agency Historic Site will be the hub station for artists to showcase their art, market their products and provide educational workshops to the Lower Sioux Tribal Community members and other Natives in the area.
• Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians, Red Lake, Minnesota, $30,000 – The Red Lake Native Arts Program serves predominantly adult artists and emerging youth artists living on and or near the remote Red Lake Reservation in northwestern Minnesota. The grant will provide a wraparound approach from developing the artist’s personal/business foundation to providing access to expanded markets and the necessary tools for success.
•Little Eagle Arts Foundation (LEAF), Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin, $15,000 – The Little Eagle Arts Foundation (LEAF) will utilize the grant to expand its capacity as a Native nonprofit. LEAF will plan and implement a board retreat for a planning, growth and expansion project, which will serve the LEAF Board of Directors and the Native artists (predominantly Ho-Chunk and other Great Lakes-area tribes) that benefit from LEAF's programs.
• Turtle Mountain Tribal Arts Association, Belcourt, North Dakota, $30,000 – The Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians has experienced a loss of art forms that were essential to its heritage and culture. Creating an authentic Native American artwork project will assist in redeveloping the lost arts. The Turtle Mountain Tribal Arts Association has created an art project, the Artistic Renewal and Preservation Project, consisting of three component: beadwork, red willow basket creation, and dance regalia, focusing on the traditional styles of the ancestors.

SMSC and MAZON partner with U of Arkansas School of Law
A landmark project to enhance tribal food sovereignty was unveiled as the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community (SMSC) and MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger announced their collaboration with the University of Arkansas School of Law as part of the tribe’s Seeds of Native Health initiative.
 Due to a long history of limited access to nutritious food, Native Americans suffer with obesity, diabetes, and other nutritional health problems at disproportionate rates compared to other ethnic groups. In an effort to create and sustain lasting policies and programs that will overcome these challenges, the Indigenous Food and Agriculture Initiative at the School of Law will lead the development of a long-needed, comprehensive set of model food and agriculture codes to be customized and adopted by tribal nations.
The project will be led by Janie Simms Hipp, director of the Indigenous Food and Agriculture Initiative and former U.S. Department of Agriculture senior adviser for tribal relations.
The SMSC’s leading gift of $250,000 through its Seeds of Native Health campaign and MAZON’s gift of $50,000 through its Rural and Remote Initiative will support the first phase of an anticipated three-year project.
For more info about Seeds of Native Health, see: www.SeedsOfNativeHealth.org.
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