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What's New in The Community


September Whats New in the Community
Friday, September 09 2016
 
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NACDI announces new All My Relations Gallery Director

nacdi-gallery-new-director.jpgThe President and CEO, Robert Lilligren, of the Native American Community Development Institute (NACDI) announced the appointment of Rory Erler Wakemup as new Director for All My Relations Gallery.  Wakemup brings to the organization 20 years of experience in contemporary Native arts as a student, artist, and curator.
 

As the Youth Activities Coordinator for the Golden Eagle Program at the Minneapolis American Indian Center,  Rory introduced local youth to art activities and a wild rice camp at the White Earth Reservation. Wakemup, who received his MFA from the University of Wisconsin, Madison in 2015, cofounded a successful visual arts gallery in Santa Fe, NM. Wakemup brings an artistic and gallery background to the All My Relations Arts program.

“I am excited and humbled by the NACDI team’s invitation to serve as the Director of All My Relations Arts.  As both a Native artist and a committed community member, I am thrilled to begin a role that allows me to work closely with the American Indian community in Minneapolis – one that I consider to be my home and people,” says Wakemup.
Wakemup started his work as AMRA Director on August 15.

Gov. Dayton Appoints AIOIC President to Minnesota Job Skills Partnership Board

Governor Mark Dayton has appointed American Indian OIC’s president and CEO, Dr. Joe Hobot, to the Minnesota Job Skills Partnership board. The Minnesota Job Skills Partnership works with businesses and educational institutions to train or retrain workers, expand work opportunities, and keep high-quality jobs in the state. The board is comprised of public, private, and educational leaders who are tasked with ensuring the ongoing stability and growth of the state’s economy and labor force- principally through the management of the Dislocated Worker program and the issuance of grants and other supportive measures.
 In his role as a member of the board, Dr. Hobot will ensure that underrepresented communities, particularly the American Indian community, remain a part of the conversations, planning, and resource allocations administered by the Minnesota Job Skills Partnership.

FDLTCC selected for Dept. of Ed Program

The U.S. Department of Education announced that the Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College was selected to participate in the new Second Chance Pell pilot program. Featuring a renewed partnership between Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College and the Minnesota Correctional Facility-Shakopee, the college’s application was selected as one of only three Second Chance Pell pilot program sites in Minnesota. The Second Chance Pell program allows incarcerated individuals access to Pell Grants for college courses delivered online and in person. The college will serve an estimated 45 students each year who are incarcerated at the prison in Shakopee.

Pine Technical College and South Central College were the only other Minnesota colleges to receive Second Chance Pell program funding. Across the United States, selected colleges and universities will partner with 141 federal and state penal institutions to enroll approximately 12,000 incarcerated students in educational programs. Through the pilot program, colleges may provide federal Pell Grants to qualified students who are incarcerated and are likely to be released within five years of enrolling in college coursework.

The Second Chance Pell is an experiment started last year to test whether participation in high quality education programs increases after expanding access to financial aid for incarcerated individuals. The pilot program allows eligible incarcerated Americans to receive Pell Grants and pursue postsecondary education with the goal of helping them get jobs when they are released.

A 2013 study funded by the U.S. Department of Justice found that incarcerated individuals who participated in correctional education were 43 percent less likely to return to prison within three years than prisoners who did not participate in any correctional education programs. The study also estimated that for every dollar invested in correctional education programs, four to five dollars are saved on three-year re-incarceration costs.

Indian Health Board wins Giebink Award

The Minneapolis Indian Health Board has been awarded the 2016 G. Scott Giebink Award for Excellence in Immunization. The organzation was nominated by Immulink, the Hennepin County-based organization that provides MIIC support to the 7 county metropolitan area. IHB was one of four nominees that was presented to the selection committee made up of MDH staff. The committee selected the organization because of their excellence in MIIC use and data interoperability. Some of the activities considered for the award were: First organization to have bi-directional MIIC data exchange, Excellent use of immunization assessment reports, Excellent data quality and MIIC participation and High immunization coverage for clinic population.

AIOIC Recognized for Its Work

The American Indian OIC (AIOIC) was recently recognized by the First Nations Development Institute, the Kresge Foundation, and the National Urban Indian Family Coalition for its work helping Native Americans living in urban areas attain meaningful employment.
 The group partnered with AIOIC to help more individuals of Native descent break into technology careers. According to the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, of the 34,000 “computer systems design and related services” workers in the state, only 180 or .5% identified as American Indian. AIOIC is working to change this by providing rigorous training for good-paying, in-demand technology jobs through its accredited career college, the Takoda Institute of Higher Education.

Dr. Rock among 100 Influential Minnesota Health Care Leaders

Dr. Patrick Rock, CEO of the Indian Health Board of Minneapolis, has been named one of the “100 Influential Minnesota Health Care Leaders” based on nominations from the Minnesota Physician’s readers. Every four years, Minnesota Physician recognizes the 100 most influential health care leaders in Minnesota.


August Whats New
Friday, August 05 2016
 
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Danielle Grant Named CEO of AchieveMpls

daniellegrant.jpgAchieveMpls, the strategic nonprofit partner of Minneapolis Public Schools, has announced the selection of Danielle Grant as the organization’s new President and Chief Executive Officer. Grant stepped into this position in July, following the retirement of Pam Costain. 
 Grant has worked for Minneapolis Public Schools for the past nine years. She currently serves as Executive Director for MPS Educational & Cultural Services & Indian Education. She directed the development of a district-wide Metropolitan Urban Indian Directors Memorandum of Agreement, secured over $3 million in competitive grants, realigned programming to integrate cultural relevance with academic rigor, established professional best practices for working with Native students, and created culturally-specific programs to engage families and communities with Native youth.

She serves on the boards of American Indian OIC and the Minnesota Education Equity Partnership, and sits on the Minnesota Historical Society Indian Advisory Committee. She holds a Master of Public Affairs in Public and Nonprofit Leadership and Management from the University of Minnesota Humphrey Institute, and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and English from Marquette University.

MNHS receives grant to update Fort Snelling Historic District Designation

The Minnesota Historical Society has received a federal grant to update the historical designation of the Fort Snelling Historic District for both the National Register and National Historic Landmark listings. The update will result in a more inclusive description of what is historically important and why.

The current designation focuses on military history, from the arrival of Col. Henry Leavenworth and his troops in 1819 to the decommissioning of the military base at the end of World War II. The updated documentation will be more inclusive, recognizing all historical aspects of this place from American Indian history that dates back 10,000 years, to the stories of Dred and Harriet Scott, enslaved people who sued for their freedom, to the Japanese Military Intelligence Language School during World War II, and many more stories.

Over the next two years, MNHS staff will work with local communities and regional Tribal Historic Preservation Offices to re-examine the historical resources. The study will help determine the appropriate boundary and period of significance for the updated district.
National Historic Landmark and National Register designations are federal recognitions of historical significance. This documentation helps land managers protect the most important parts of a property.

Local writer wins 2016 national Artist Fellowship Award

The Native Arts and Cultures Foundation has awarded its National Artist Fellowship to a new group of 16 artists in five categories, selected from a national open call of American Indian, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian artist applicants. The awardees reside in 14 states including author Susan Power (Yanktonai Dakota) of Minnesota.

During her fellowship, Power will continue completing her novel that centers on the lives of her five Native American student characters at Harvard (class of 2013), each from a different tribal nation. The friends seek to raise ancestor spirits and bring to light what many seek to keep hidden. They are preparing to turn the tables and do some teaching of their own.

The NACF National Artist Fellowship includes a monetary award that provides additional support for Native artists to explore, develop and experiment with original and existing projects. Fellows also work with their communities and share their culture in numerous ways.  

To date, NACF has supported 180 artists and organizations in more than 26 states and Native communities. To learn more about the National Artist Fellows and NACF’s work, visit: www.nativeartsandcultures.org.

Treasure Island begins $86 million expansion

Treasure Island Resort & Casino began an $86 million expansion with a ground breaking on July 12. The expansion will add two towers and 300 hotel rooms, a renovated front desk, new restaurant, and an expansion to the Lagoon Water Park.  
The towers, eight-story and seven-story, will connect to the current Eagle Tower, and will feature upgraded amenities. They will add 184,000 square feet to the hotel. The first phase is scheduled to be finished in 2017.
The Prairie Island Indian Community said the project will create around 200 construction jobs and 150 news positions.


Whats New July
Friday, August 05 2016
 
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Circle of Life Academy Graduates

grads2.jpgThe Circle of Life Academy held their 2016 graduation commencement on June 2 at the Circle of Life Academy in White Earth, Minn. Graduating seniors were Autumn Auginaush, Jordan Bower, Nathaniel Christianson, Precious Dominguez, Cassidy Fineday-Roy, Tristian Fox, Kathleen Heisler-Azure, Adrianna Smith, Chandler Smith, and Jarred Whitener. Front row from left are pictured: Precious Dominguez, Cassidy Fineday-Roy, Tristian Fox, Adrianna Smith, and Autumn Auginaush. Back row from left: Nathaniel Christianson, Chandler Smith, Jordan Bower, and Jarred Whitener. Not pictured: Kathleen Heisler-Azure. Photo by Gary W. Padrta.

Fond du Lac elects new leadership

The Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa has elected Kevin Dupuis Sr. to take over after a victory in the June general election, with 622 votes or 58.5 percent of the vote. Kevin Dupuis Sr. will replace Karen Diver on the Reservation Business Committee, the governing body of the band. Diver, the longtime chairwoman, left in the fall to become special assistant to the president for Native American affairs D.C., in President Barack Obama’s administration . Kevin Dupuis was previously the District III (Brookston) representative on the RBC. Vanessa L. Northrup and Roger M. Smith Sr. also were elected to the RBC. The band had narrowed the field of 10 chairperson candidates to two during its April primary election.

White Earth Nation elects Tibbetts chair

The White Earth Nation has voted in Terry Tibbetts Sr. as their new chair. Tibbetts and Mindy Iverson led a field of 12 candidates in a primary earlier this spring. In that race, they each received roughly 20 percent of the vote, with Tibbetts squeezing out a lead of just eight primary votes. Official results of the election put Tibbetts ahead of Iverson with nearly two-thirds of total votes. Tibbetts will be sworn in in July. He'll be the first elected chair since a power struggle over constitutional reform cost former chair Erma Vizenor her job late last year. Eugene Tibbetts beat out Barbara Fabre for White Earth district three representative.

American Indian Family Empowerment Program June grantees

The American Indian Family Empowerment Program Fund has awarded ten grantees in the June round of funding Native individuals to help them pursue their vision and dreams. The grants were made in partnership with the Two Feathers Fund of the Saint Paul Foundation.   The American Indian Family Empowerment Program Fund invests in human capital, skills and cultural strengths through three priority areas: cultural connections, educational achievement and economic self-sufficiency.  During the June 2016 grant round, the following individuals received awards: • The Preserve and Renew Native Cultural Connections category: Brian Heart, to support Native cultural education in the Little Earth community • The Educational Achievement category: Cassandra Buffalohead, to support her education at Augsburg College; Frances Butler, to support her education at Anoka Technical College; Andrea Cornelius, to support her education at Augsburg College; Heather House, to support her education at Minneapolis Community and Technical College; and Lisa Lachner, to support her education at Minneapolis Community and Technical College • The Economic Self-Sufficiency category: Korina Barry, to support completing a yoga teacher certification program; Patricia Columbus-Powers, for small business to purchase materials to create first product line of Native made fashion items; Brook LaFloe, to support living costs relating to education at the Montessori Institute of San Diego; Jacqueline Pearl, to support creating a family owned and operated window cleaning business. The next deadline is September 6th. For information on how to apply, see: www.grottofoundation.org/aifep.


Whats New July
Friday, August 05 2016
 
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10-year-old runs marathons for suicide prevention

tristangofundme.jpg10-year-old Tristan Smith ran in the May 19, Fargo 5K and the half-marathon on May 20, in Fargo, North Dakota. He plans to run all summer and has set up a GoFundMe page to raise $1,000.

On his GoFundMe page, Tristan said, “I am currently the White Earth Jr Brave and trying to represent the White Earth Nation as best as I can. I am asking for your help to raise money for suicide prevention. I have seen what drugs and alcohol have done to families and it makes me sad. I want to raise money to help kids get into sports because I think if they are active in sports like I am, they will stay away from drugs and not want to kill themselves.” The money raised will help White Earth Nation kids afford to play football.

Tristan is a 4th grader at Roosevelt School in Detroit Lakes, but used to live on the White Earth Reservation.
People can donate to “Run For Life” at any Midwest Bank, or donate on his GoFundMe page at: www.gofundme.com/24zymgc.

Robert Lilligren new President and CEO of NACDI

robertlilligren.jpgThe Board of Directors of the Native American Community Development Institute (NACDI) announced the appointment of Robert Lilligren as their new President and CEO. Lilligren, a former Minneapolis City Council Member and enrolled member of the White Earth Band of Ojibwe, just finished an 18 month commitment as interim CEO of Little Earth of United Tribes in Minneapolis. Earlier this year Lilligren stepped down as the chair of the board of NACDI.  Lilligren took the reigns of NACDI on May 9, 2016.

“We are thrilled to have Robert take on the leadership of NACDI,” says the board’s Vice Chair Reverend Marlene Helgemo (Ho-Chunk), “As the founding board chair Robert has lived NACDI’s asset-based approach toward community development in his personal, professional, political and activist life. We expect great things from him in this new role as NACDI’s CEO.”

Founded in 2007, NACDI is committed to transforming the American Indian community to effectively respond to 21st century opportunities. NACDI works to promote innovative community development strategies that strengthen the overall sustainability and well-being of American Indian people and communities.

FDLTCC publishes Thunderbird Review Anthology

The Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College has published the fourth edition of its literary anthology, The Thunderbird Review. The 97-page book features writing and art submitted by students from Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College and residents of northeastern Minnesota and northwestern Wisconsin communities.
The journal received over 100 submissions this year to consider for inclusion, and is an opportunity for students to gain hands-on experience in writing, editing, and publishing at Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College.
“Working on the journal is a great experience for students,” said English instructor Darci Schummer. “It is also so important for students to have a place to submit their work. The feeling of seeing your work in print for the first time, which it is for many of these students, is indescribable.”

For more information or to purchase a copy of The Thunderbird Review, contact Darci Schummer at 218-879-0845. People interested in purchasing copies of the anthology can find them at the Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College Bookstore for $5 each. Funds from book sales go toward producing the current publication as well as the next edition.

Dream of Wild Health Receives National Kresge Foundation Grant

Out of more than 500 applications, Dream of Wild Health is one of 26 organizations selected for a national grant from the Kresge Foundation. The Kresge Foundation announced funding to develop food-oriented initiatives in cities across the nation through it’s “Fresh, Local & Equitable: Food as a Creative Platform for Neighborhood Revitalization” initiative, also known as FreshLo.

Dream of Wild Health (DWH) submitted a plan to establish, plan, and create an Indigenous Food Network in the Philips neighborhood of Minneapolis. As part of the FreshLo community, DWH will create and enhance pathways to opportunity for Native American people in low-income, urban neighborhoods.
DWH will receive $75,000 planning awards through FreshLo to design neighborhood-scale projects demonstrating creative, cross- sector visions of food-oriented development.

The Indigenous Food Network, Gimino-Wiisenimin (We Eat Well Together) is a cooperative Native American cultural food system that will address the community’s food needs by: expanding production of organic and traditional foods, improving healthy food access through innovative community distribution systems, developing job training and employment opportunities, and providing hands-on gardening and cooking programs for Native youth and families.

DWH is partnering initially with the Minneapolis American Indian Center, Nawayee Center School, Little Earth of United Tribes, and Division of Indian Work.

Native American Students with SMSC Scholarships Celebrate Graduation from UofMN

studenatgradstory.jpgThe Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community (SMSC) joined the University of Minnesota on April 30 to celebrate the graduation of this year’s Native American students who received scholarships from the SMSC.
 The scholarship program is part of the SMSC’s focus on bolstering other tribal nations and supporting talented Native American students with financial needs.

This year’s graduates are: Chad Auginash, Red Lake Nation; Hannah Brengman, Adopted Native American; Veronica Briggs, White Earth Mississippi Band of Ojibwe; Chilah Brown, Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe; Robert Budreau, Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa; Hana Bushyhead, Eastern Band of Cherokee; Travis Crego, St. Croix Chippewa Indians of Wisconsin; Rachel Forrest, Koasek Traditional Band of the Koas; Vanessa Goodthunder, Lower Sioux Indian Community; Phillip Gullikson, Three Affiliated Tribes; Diana Hawkins, Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate; Chelsea Holmes, Rosebud Sioux Tribe; Alayna Johnson, Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa; John Kelsey, Huron Band of the Potawatomi; Olivia Mora, Manchester Band of Pomo Indians; Brandon One Feather, Oglala Sioux Tribe;  Jasmine Paron, Red Lake Nation; Cage Pierre, Avoyel-Taensa Tribe of Louisiana; Jesslynn Poitra, Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians; Kate Shelerud, Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Lake Superior Ojibwe; Zachary Wilkie, Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians; Jaimin Williams, Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa; Tia Yazzie, Navajo Nation; Darian Ziegler, Lower Brule Sioux; and Mathew Zumoff, Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe.

About 200 Native American students have received the SMSC Endowed Scholarship in the past eight years. The program was established in 2009 with a $2.5 million gift from the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community. The University of Minnesota matches the scholarship payouts from the endowment fund.

Name Change for Midwest Area Tribal Health Board and Bemidji Area Indian Health Service 
The Great Lakes Area Tribal Health Board (GLATHB) is working to change the Area Indian Health Service Office name from “Bemidji Area” to “Great Lakes  Area”. The GLATHB represents 34 tribes across Minnesota, Wisconsin and  Michigan. In an effort to promote uniformity, the board voted in April to change its own name from Midwest Area Tribal Health Board to Great Lakes Area Tribal Health Board.

One of 12 Indian Health Service (IHS) regions in the country, the “Bemidji Area” serves 34 tribes and nations in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan; plus four Urban Indian Health Centers in Minneapolis, Milwaukee, Detroit and Chicago.

The press release sent out by the GLATHB said, “This name will  promote unity, comprehensive representation and inclusion of the Great Lakes  area. Additionally, it will eliminate confusion regarding the composition of the  service area.”

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.


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