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Urban News
Native community buys/builds art gallery in 11 months
Thursday, January 13 2011
 
Written by Sheila Regan,
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All My Relations Arts (AMR) opens the doors of its new gallery space on January 21 after a fast-paced 11 months of the American Indian communitynew american indian art gallery minneapolis 1 pulling together to make it happen. The opening exhibition, called Frank Big Bear Paintings: From the Rez to the Hood, marks the start for ARM after it left Ancient Traders Gallery (run by Great Neighbors) in 2009.
The new gallery, which will feature contemporary fine art by American Indian artists, is located at the former Open Arms space at 1416 Franklin Avene East in Minneapolis.
The one story brick building will house the gallery as well as a coffee shop owned by Robert Rice (White Earth Ojibwe) who also co-owns the 42nd Street Station in North Minneapolis. The coffee shop will contain a community wall, for youth and community art projects, as well as an electronic flat screen monitor, which will provide an interactive catalogue of information about Dakota Lands facilitated by the Indian Land Tenure Foundation.
In addition, the building will house the offices of the Native American Community Development Institute (NACDI) and the offices of the American Indian Community Development Corporation (AICDC) – who jointly own the building).  The building will also have a community meeting space.
Last February, AMR became an official initiative of NACDI, an organization focused on community development as part of NACDI’s goal to develop The American Indian Cultural Corridor, which runs along Franklin Avenue between Cedar and 11th Avenue, building alliances among American Indian businesses and organizations to improve the economic and cultural vitality of neighborhood.
According to Heid Erdrich (former curator of ARM), there has been incredible support from the arts community and the American Indian community to make the gallery happen. Last spring, volunteers gave their time to make phone calls raising money for the Friend Raiser for the Arts, which raised $8,600 in about a month from 70 individual donors. In addition, The McKnight Foundation donated $75,000 toward securing the space plus an additional $150,000 toward building out office space for NACDI, as well as the gallery. The Minneapolis Foundation contributed another $10,000 toward the project.
Suicide prevention "isten-ins"will culminate in national conference
Thursday, January 13 2011
 
Written by Jacob Croonenberghs,
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Suicide is a tragedy that strikes Native American communities disproportionately compared to other ethnic groups, and has been a top suicide prevention american indianpriority on the agendas of many tribal governments. The suicide rate among Natives is the highest of all ethnic groups in the U.S., and new efforts are being raised to bring attention to the problem.
The Indian Health Service (IHS), in association with the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), Bureau of Indian Education (BIE), and Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMSHA) are currently undergoing a fact-finding effort to better understand the problem of suicide. Representatives are conducting Suicide Prevention Listen-Ins across the nation to ask what can be done about this issue that affects Native communities so deeply. By talking to the tribal members and leaders who have first-hand knowledge of what they are dealing with, it is hoped that communities can improve upon current efforts and work toward better prevention in the future.
This past November the Midwest Regional Suicide Prevention Listening Session took place at Prior Lake, MN. Kevin Bearquiver, Deputy Director of the BIA said, “the primary purpose of this listen-in is to gather information for a national conference for the tribes.”

Domestic Abuse Program sewing circle builds skills and friendships
Thursday, January 13 2011
 
Written by Jennifer Fairbanks,
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Once a week, every Tuesday evening in Minneapolis, a group of women come together to participate in a constructive task of edgingamerican indian sewing circle minneapolis together a cultural symbol. The Domestic Abuse Project’s (DAP) sewing circle at Little Earth, made possible by a grant from Verizon Wireless, allows for a small group of women to take a few hours of intermission from daily life to focus on making star quilts. The sewing circle is a voluntary activity started by DAP Advocate Cindy Lyons. The group is a revamp and continuation of an earlier circle that had ended a few years ago.
Meeting in the Neighborhood Early Learning Center (NELC) Advocacy Office, the participants that are involved with the latest sewing circle are mostly from Lyons’ own clientele. Lyons, who’s been working for the DAP since June of 2000, leads the group with a volunteer named Cheri.
The sewing circle focuses mainly on teaching how to sew and construct star quilts. Star quilts have a challenging pattern and are traditionally given away within Native American cultures on special occasions like weddings and graduations.

Bemidji State launches website with Ojibwe language resources
Thursday, January 13 2011
 
Written by The circle staff,
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As part of its ongoing efforts to support the efforts of the Shared Vision Bemidji community-building initiative, Bemidji State University has unveiled a printable poster and a number of video Ojibwe language resources on its website.
The resources, a joint effort between the University’s American Indian Resource Center, Office of Communications and Marketing and eLearning Support, offer an easily-accessible primer for translations of nearly 100 English phrases common to Northern Minnesota into Ojibwe.

Whats News
Friday, October 15 2010
 
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Lakota collage artist recipient of Bush Artist Program’s 2010 Enduring Vision Award
Lakota collage artist Arthur D. Amiotte, is one of three winners of the 2010 Enduring Vision Awards from the Bush Artist Program. The $100,000 awards – the only of this size and intent in the country – are focused on propelling the artistic careers of mature artists, those with 25 years of experience as working artists.    
Lakota artist and art historian Arthur D. Amiotte was born and raised on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. His current work in collage documents the history and culture of the Sioux  people. Amiotte uses images from epic, mural-sized drawings by his great-grandfather Standing Bear (1870–1930) to create a visual narrative of his family during this period. The collage materials tell the  story of Lakota people adapting to the farming and ranching lifestyle, economy, and society of the reservation in the late 19th and 20th centuries.
After receiving the Arts International Lila Wallace Reader’s  Digest Artists Fellowship in 1997, Amiotte lived at the Claude Monet residence in Giverny, France, where he began making collages mixing images of Indians in tribal and historical settings. In Amiotte’s  collages, the Sioux who traveled with Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show are portrayed in European cities and landscapes as they reflect on the newness and strangeness of their experiences. The texts that appear  in the paintings are the words of his great-grandfather, grandparents and others of their generation. The Bush Foundation previously awarded Amiotte a Bush Leadership Fellowship in 1980 and a Bush Artist  Fellowship in 2002. He lives in Custer, SD, and exhibits regionally, nationally, and internationally.    
The other 2010 recipients include Lao weaver Bounxou Daoheuang Chanthraphone, and photographer Paul Shambroom.   
The Bush Artist Program was established in 1976. Since then, 504 grants have been awarded to 453 different artists. The program provides financial and professional development support for artists to advance their work, stimulate dialogue, and contribute to deeper community engagement through the $100,000 Enduring Vision Awards and the $50,000 Bush Artist Fellowships, awarded annually to  15 artists.

Foundation grant provides scholarship funding for Native American students
The American Indian College Fund recently received a $6,000 grant from the Xcel Energy Foundation. The Xcel Energy Foundation Tribal College Scholarship Program will provide scholarships to Native American students pursuing degrees in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). The recipients must attend one of the three tribal colleges in Minnesota: Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College in Cloquet, Leech Lake Tribal College in Cass Lake, or White Earth Tribal and Community College in Mahnomen. Additionally, scholarships are awarded to students who have primary residency in the Twin Cities area, or whose families have primary residency there.
“Xcel Energy is happy to support this valuable scholarship program,” said Jim Garness, senior Foundation representative. “The investments we are making with these scholarships will help improve Native American student opportunities and prepare the next generation to manage the business and technical challenges of the future.”
Richard Williams, president and CEO of the American Indian College Fund, said, “Thanks to the generosity of the Xcel Energy Foundation, even more American Indian students will be able to pursue academic degrees in STEM fields. It is because of donors like Xcel [Energy] that Native scholars in Minnesota can achieve their educational and career goals.”

Bush Artist Program Introduces 2010 Artist Fellows
The Bush Artist Program announced their 2010 Bush Artist Fellows, chosen from a competitive field of  more than 500 applicants, who will receive a total of $50,000 in unrestricted funds and professional development support.    
This year’s fellowships focused on visual arts, media arts, and traditional and functional craft arts. The 2010 Bush Artist Fellows Visual Arts winners include: Star Wallowing Bull (Moorhead, MN), Cedric N. Chatterley (Sioux Falls, SD), Nancy Ann Coyne (Minneapolis, MN),  Lori Greene (St. Paul, MN), Michael Kareken (Minneapolis, MN), Mali Kouanchao (Minneapolis, MN), Jimmy R. Longoria (Hopkins, MN), Dean Lucker (St. Paul, MN), Megan Rye (Edina, MN), and Nate Young (St. Paul, MN). Media Arts winners include:  Bianca Pettis and Jacob Aaron Roske (St. Paul, MN), and John Whitehead (St. Paul, MN).  Traditional and Functional Craft Arts winners are: Dan F. Jerome (Belcourt, ND), Debra Lyn Korluka (Stillwater, MN), and Delina L. White (Deer River, MN).
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