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What's New in The Community


Dec. What's New in the Community
Tuesday, December 06 2016
 
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MHS Announces New Director of American Indian Initiatives

The Minnesota Historical Society (MNHS) has appointed Joe D. Horse Capture as the new director of American Indian Initiatives. MNHS created the leadership position to help develop and implement a vision and strategy for American Indian programs and services in collaboration with American Indian communities throughout the state and beyond.

“MNHS has been building relationships with American Indian communities,” said Stephen Elliott, director and CEO. “We welcome the leadership Joe Horse Capture will provide in developing existing relationships and building new ones between MNHS and American Indian communities to better interpret and share our history.”
Horse Capture is an enrolled member of the A’aninin (Gros Ventre) Tribe of Montana. Since 2013 he has been a curator for the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of the American Indian.

Prior to that he served for 15 years as a curator of Native American arts at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. His work history has allowed him to build strong working relationships with many tribes. “This type of collaborative work is what I enjoy the most, and I have come to believe collaborative efforts should be paramount among the priorities of cultural institutions,” he said. Horse Capture’s start date is Dec. 5, 2016.

The Minnesota Historical Society is a non-profit educational and cultural institution established in 1849. For info, see mnhs.org.

Watermark hires Native Am. Gallery Program Director  

The Watermark Art Center in Bemidji, Minn. has hired Karen Goulet (White Earth Ojibwe) as Program Director of the Native American Gallery. Goulet recently completed her role as the program coordinator of Gizhiigin Arts Initiative, a tribal entity serving artists on the White Earth reservation. In addition to her work as an arts leader, Goulet is also a multi-discipline artist who has been showing art both nationally and internationally for twenty years.

Goulet has longstanding ties to the region, with both her parents growing up and attending school in Bemidji.
As Program Director of the Native American Gallery, Goulet will be responsible for the development and orientation of Watermark’s Native American Gallery and related programming. She will also act as community liaison to cultivate relationships with Native American artists and tribal members.

Goulet earned her BA in Fine Arts and Cultural Education from The Evergreen State College, her MFA in Sculpture from The University of Wisconsin – Madison, and her M Ed from University of Minnesota Duluth. Throughout her career, she has worked primarily in education, most often with Indigenous institutions and programs.

Heid Erdrich’s new collection named the 2016 Winter Book

Heid Erdrich’s (Turtle Mountain Ojibwe) new collection has been named 2016 Winter Book by the Minnesota Center for Book Arts. “every-blest-thing-seeing-eye” features poetry and prose, and explores the complex conversations between artists and viewers. “every-blest-thing-seeing-eye” features poetry and prose by Erdrich, a poet, writer, and faculty mentor for Augsburg College Low-residency MFA. The Winter Book was produced in two editions, with illustrations by Jim Denomie, Aza Erdrich, Eric Gansworth, Dyani Whitehawk, Louise Erdrich, Adrea Carlson, and Jonathan Thunder.

Artists, staff and board at MCBA will celebrate the handmade book on December 10. at 7 pm. Readings by Heid E. Erdrich will be followed by a book signing and public reception with light refreshments in MCBA’s Studios and Gallery. Free and open to the public.
MCBA’s annual Winter Book publication was created to preserve and promote the traditional crafts of bookmaking (hand papermaking, letterpress printing, printmaking and hand bookbinding), and the contemporary exploration of the book as art. Since 1988, Winter Book has engaged artists, designers, papermakers, printers, bookbinders and community volunteers in producing a handmade, limited edition artist’s book featuring poetry by a Minnesota author or editor. The hand craftsmanship of each Winter Book makes it a collected series, included in museum and rare book library collections across the country.


November Whats New in the Community
Monday, November 07 2016
 
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Four Native women running for MN office

Four Native American women are running for Minnesota offices this November.
• Incumbent Susan Allen (Rosebud Sioux) is a Democratic-Farmer-Labor member of the Minnesota House of Representatives, representing District 62B. She was elected in a January 10, 2012 special election to the fill the vacancy created by Jeff Hayden.
• Peggy Flanagan (White Earth Ojibwe) is a Democratic-Farmer-Labor member of the Minnesota House of Representatives, representing District 46A. She was first elected to the chamber in a special election on November 3, 2015.
• Attorney Jamie Becker-Finn (Leech Lake Ojibwe) is running for Minnesota House District 42B (DFL). She currently work as an Assistant Hennepin County Attorney at the Domestic Abuse Service Center.
• Mary Kunesh-Podein is running for House of Representatives, District 41B. She has been a teacher for 22 years, is chair of the Park, Recreation and Environment Board in New Brighton, and building steward and member of the negotiations team for the Robbinsdale Federation of teachers Union.

Election day is November 8th. To find out where to vote in your area and information on who is running, see: http://www.sos.state.mn.us/elections-voting.

 

Mpls IHB Receives MSPI Generation-Indigenous Award

On September 29th, the White House, IHS Principal Deputy Director Mary L. Smith announced Methamphetamine and Suicide Prevention Initiative (MSPI) funding awards to 42 Tribes, tribal organizations, IHS federal programs, and Urban Indian organizations. The four-year awards are part of the White House’s Generation Indigenous initiative to focus on improving the lives of Native youth.

The Indian Health Board of Minneapolis (IHB) is one of these new awardees.­ IHB specializes in healthcare for the urban American Indian community in the Twin Cities, and the $138K of new annual funding will be used in IHB’s Counseling and Support Clinic to integrate traditional and western mental health practices for healing historical and personal trauma, fostering resiliency, and promoting family engagement among Native youth up to age 24. The grant’s ultimate objective is to reduce suicide in Native youth, which is why drumming is central to the program.

“The drum is our mother’s heart, and we seek its sound for spiritual comfort and optimal safety,” explains Richard Wright (Leech Lake), IHB’s Chemical Health Specialist and resident elder. Planning work will begin in November; drum-making and drumming groups will start in early 2017. The program is called Dewe’igan, Zhewindindiwin (Drum Teachings for Success).

 

Jeffers Petroglyphs to change name, community input requested

The Jeffers Petroglyphs are 5,000 sacred carvings made by American Indian ancestors thousands of years ago on a ridge in southwestern Minnesota. This ridge was a destination for many American Indians, including ancestors of the Dakota, Cheyenne, Ojibwe, Ioway, Omaha, Otoe, Ponca, Mandan, Arapaho, Crow and Hidatsa. The current name of this historical site, “Jeffers Petroglyphs”, reflects the name of the family who once owned the land where the carvings are located.

The Minnesota Historical Society (MNHS), which is responsible for the site’s preservation, invites the community’s input as it explores renaming this historic site. If a new name is chosen, it will showcase the importance of this special place to all people, but especially American Indians, and it will better tell the story of the carvings and the people who made them.

American Indian people are especially urged to attend an upcoming meeting; and all people are welcome. The gathering will be moderated by facilitator and consultant Everett Black Thunder (Oneida/Sisseton/Wahpeton Oyate). Snacks and beverages will be provided.

The event will take place on Nov. 19 at the Jeffers Petroglyphs, 27160 County Road 2, Comfrey, MN. Those who are unable to attend in person can provide feedback via email to This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it or by calling 651-259-3130.

Letters can also be sent to: Minnesota Historical Society, ATTN: Jeffers Name Input, 345 Kellogg Blvd. W, St. Paul, MN 55101. (A previous gathering to discuss this topic was held in late October in Minneapolis.)


October Whats New
Tuesday, October 11 2016
 
Written by Catherine,
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Tom Goldtooth To Receive Top Sierra Club Award

tomgoldtooth.jpgTom Goldtooth, a Native American environmental leader known nationally for his tireless efforts to defend Indigenous rights to a healthy environment and his dedicated work against fossil fuel projects like the Keystone XL pipeline has received the Sierra Club’s 2016 John Muir Award.
 Goldtooth, of Bemidji, Minn., has spent more than 40 years helping Native American and indigenous communities worldwide address issues such as environmental protection, climate change, energy, biodiversity, environmental health, water, and sustainable development. Tom and his son Dallas have both been leaders on domestic and international efforts to keep fossil fuels in ground and foster indigenous-based environmental protection initiatives. Tom’s tireless work to elevate tribal opposition to the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline was key to the project’s ultimate rejection by the Obama Administration. Tom has served as the Executive Director of the Indigenous Environmental Network since 1996 and is now helping lead and coordinate the ongoing tribal opposition to the Dakota Access pipeline.
 The majority of the awards were presented at a ceremony in Oakland, CA on Sept. 10. For more information on the Sierra Club awards program, visit www.sierraclub.org/awards.

Dr. Arne Vainio Recognized as Unsung Hero with $10,000 Award

arnevainio.jpgThe McKnight Foundation and the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits (MCN) have selected Dr. Arne Vainio of Cloquet as one of four recipients of the 2016 Virginia McKnight Binger Unsung Hero Awards.
Dr. Vainio is a member of the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe and a physician at the Min-No-Aya-Win Human Services Clinic on the Fond du Lac Ojibwe Reservation. Dr. Vainio spends long hours serving his patients at the clinic, as well as traveling to reservations across America to discuss native health, suicide and native traditions. His passion for health led to bringing his popular "Mad DR. Science Project” to many classrooms, with the goal of inspiring young Native Americans to take up careers in health and science.
Dr. Vainio received a cash prize of $10,000 from the McKnight Foundation and MCN during an awards luncheon at the McKnight Foundation in Minneapolis on September 9. Award recipients will also be recognized at the 2016 MCN Annual Conference on October 6 in Duluth, MN.
Since 1985, The McKnight Foundation has recognized Minnesotans who have improved the quality of life for individuals and the community around them through the Virginia McKnight Binger Awards in Human Service. In 2015, MCN partnered with McKnight to coordinate and present the first-ever Unsung Hero Awards, honoring individuals doing life-changing work in communities across Minnesota with little or no recognition.

Patricia Deinhart-Bauknight is New Wicoie Nandagikendan ED

Patricia Deinhart-Bauknight is the new executive director of Wicoie Nandagikendan.  Patricia has worked in Indian Country for many years. She was a Program Officer at The Saint Paul Foundation and Northwest Area Foundation.  Patricia has also worked as executive director of Whittier Alliance and Whittier Housing Corporation.  For 10 years Patricia was president of the Volunteer Network in Chicago providing management and technical assistance to emerging community organizations throughout the City.
Most recently, she was a partner in The Urban Design Lab, a Northside business, focused on designing and implementing community engagement processes to meet specific project needs; conducting research to develop and evaluate programs; facilitating community strategy development; grant writing and management consulting.

Audra Tonihka named one of the Top Women in Finance of 2016

Finance & Commerce have announced their Top Women in Finance awards. Top Women in Finance honorees were judged for their leadership and service to their community, professional accomplishments and dedication to the profession. Among the honorees is Audra Tonihka of White Earth Investment Initiative, Midwest Minnesota CDC. Tonihka is an enrolled White Earth tribal member who grew up in the community of White Earth and received a bachelor’s degree in business management. Prior to joining the White Earth Investment Initiative staff, she served as a loan officer for the tribal credit union.
Finance & Commerce will recognize this year’s Top Women in Finance at a Nov. 17 event. This is the program’s 16th year of honoring women in finance, business and other sectors.
For more info, see: http://finance-commerce.com/2010/08/top-women-in-finance.

Watermark Art Center awarded $47,951 for Native programming

Watermark Art Center is a recipient of an Art Access grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board. Watermark has been awarded $47,951 for program development relating to its Native American gallery and efforts to foster strategic, long-term engagement with regional Native American artists.
“We are thrilled about what this means to future programming at the art center, as well as for area Native American artists,” said Watermark Executive Director Lori Forshee-Donnay.
“Receiving an Arts Access grant provides Watermark the opportunity to further implement the ongoing efforts of our Native American Gallery committee. This opportunity is significant for the Watermark and for the region.”
The grant will expedite Watermark’s plans for the dedicated Native American Gallery by providing funding for a program director, outreach and artist development, and design and construction of gallery cases to display artwork, culminating in a guest artist juried exhibit in 2017.
Funding for the Arts Access grant was made possible through an appropriation by the Minnesota State Legislature and Cultural Heritage Fund passed by the Minnesota voters on November 4th, 2008.
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.


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