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Metro State students protest lack of Native classes offered in 2012
Monday, January 09 2012
 
Written by By Jacob Croonenberghs,
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metro-students-protest-native-classes-cut.jpgThis last December students of Metro State University held a protest rally to decry the lack of Native American Studies classes on their campus. Specifically, the students came together to protest the fact that two classes; 'American Indian Spirituality' and the class 'Genocide, Survival, and Recovery' were not being offered in the spring of 2012, the 150th anniversary of the War of 1862.
December 7th students gathered around the New Main building to hold a peaceful rally that included student speakers, professors, community leaders and representatives from the American Indian Movement (AIM).
One of the professors involved with the protest, Dr. Chris Nunpa, took the time to explain the grievances of the student body. "I had talked to the ethnic chair department, and told them these classes should be taught in the year 2012, in that it represents important years in the history of the Minnesota Dakota peoples as well as the state of Minnesota itself," Nunpa said.
Dr. Nunpa is a Professor of Native Studies, and would have been scheduled to teach the two classes at Metro State. When students learned that they would not be attending classes with Dr. Nunpa this semester, they sprung into action.
Students who helped to organize the event included Shannon Geshick, Zack Anderson, Matthew Sanchez, Keith Van Beek, and Di Roberge, among others. Word about the rally was spread through social media such as Facebook and Twitter, and the event attracted nearly a hundred protesters.
"Stop marginalizing Indigenous students, Indigenous professors, and Indigenous viewpoints! Create a Department of Indigenous Studies at Metro State!" one Facebook organization proclaimed.
Native woman to become first American Indian saint
Monday, January 09 2012
 
Written by The Circle Staff,
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native-woman-to-become-first-saint.jpgPope Benedict XVI, issued a decree in December 2011 saying that the Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha will be among seven new saints to be canonised by the Vatican, with the ceremony expected to take place in 2012.
Benedict decreed that the curing of Jake Finkbonner (Lummi Tribe), a six-year-old boy in Washington, of a flesh-eating virus in 2006 was a miracle directly attributable to Tekakwitha, more than 330 years after her death. This makes possible the canonization of the first American Indian saint in the Catholic Church.
The Vatican decided Jake's recovery was a miracle that is beyond the explanation of medicine and that could be attributed to the intercession on his behalf by Blessed Kateri.
Doctors who treated Finkbooner agreed that it was a miracle, saying they thought the boy would going to die. According the an artice in the Tuscaloosa News, Monsignor Paul A. Lenz, the vice postulator for the cause of Blessed Kateri, said, "They didn't think any of their medical expertise was the cure," he explained. "They thought every night he was going to die."
Mpls Public Schools and MUID to renew MOA
Monday, January 09 2012
 
Written by By Alleen Brown,
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For decades, American Indians have not trusted schools, and why would they? American Indian kids went to boarding school to unlearn language and culture. Indian schools were established to make sure the Indian community wouldn't get to teach. As Minneapolis Indian Education director Danielle Grant put it, "Education was something that was happening to us."
In January the Minneapolis school district will sign a revised Memorandum of Agreement (MOA), renewing a 2006 commitment by the Metro Urban Indian Directors and Minneapolis Public Schools to work together at changing those old dynamics. The agreement is likely the only one like it in the nation.
The MOA designates Anishinabe Academy, South High School's All Nations program and Nawayee Center School, a contracted alternative school, as best practice sites focusing on American Indian language and culture. It establishes programs for community engagement and professional development and sets achievement goals for Native students. The agreement's plan to establish an interview and select process and protections against seniority-based "bumping" for teachers at best practice schools will depend on Minneapolis teacher contract negotiations.
Swarm opens season with new Forward and Native American Heritage Night
Monday, January 09 2012
 
Written by By Alec Schimke,
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the_swarm_opens_season_-_corbyn_tao.jpgFrom an early age, Minnesota Swarm rookie forward Corbyn Tao felt a strong connection to the sport of lacrosse. Tao, who is a member of the Nishga Tribe (located on the Nass River in northwestern British Colombia), played several sports growing up, but none could compare to the rush he felt playing lacrosse.
"I started playing when I was around four years old after my dad introduced me to the sport," Tao said. " It's definitely a passionate sport that makes me feel culturally in tune with my background."
Tao's journey to the pros is a tale of both risk and reward. Before he entered his sophomore year of high school, Tao moved away from his family and friends in the Lower Mainland to attend a boarding school in Hudson, Ohio in hopes of being able to obtain a college degree and advance his lacrosse career.
"It was a pretty big decision, but I was excited about it at the same time," he said. "I was a little nervous, and I didn't know what to expect, but I was open for a new experience and I learned to become independent. The chance to pursue a secondary education was a big factor."
His decision to move east paid dividends. After high school, Tao attended Robert Morris University, where he graduated with a degree in Business Management and was a star attackman for the school's Division I lacrosse team from 2008-11. In 2010, Tao led the NCAA in shooting percentage (53.2%) and recorded 41 goals, which at the time was a school record.
Susan Allen Runs For State House District 61B
Friday, December 16 2011
 
Written by Story by Sheila Regan,
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susan_allen_runs_for_legistalture.jpg Susan Allen is hoping to take newly-elected Sen. Jeff Hayden's seat in the state House District 61B, after he won a special election to replace retiring Sen. Linda Berglin, who is retiring. The DFL and Labor endorsed candidate isn't just a fighter for social and economic justice- she's lived it. As a candidate, she believes in investing in jobs, addressing the achievement gap, reforming the tax system, creating a single-payer health care system, preserving the environment, and saying no to the Marriage Amendment. Her progressive politics, with emphasis on social and economic justice, has strong roots in her upbringing and life experience.
Born on the Ute Reservation in Utah, Allen is an enrolled member of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe where her mother, Helen Allen, was born and raised. Allen's father, Philip Allen (Oglala Lakota) was an Episcopal priest who was paid half of what the white priests in the Episcopal Church were paid. This inequality caused them to move quite a bit as he worked to change the way the church carried out its Indian work throughout the country. Her family would get to a town where the housing would be substandard, so sometimes they would move to three different places in a year. She went to 20 different schools in 5 different states in the first 14 years of her life.
Allen beat the achievement gap odds-with her parents' support and through her own negotiation of her education.
Allen says ending the achievement gap for all children is a priority. She believes it needs to start at the community level. "It's going to take extra attention, resources, and dedication. We need strategies to strengthen parent and community support. People in our district are extremely passionate about closing the achievement gap," she said.
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