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Forcia Honored With Fundraiser Feast
Friday, October 07 2011
 
Written by Story and photos by Jacob Croonenberghs,
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forcia_honored_cover1.jpgforcia_honored_cover2.jpgA benefit and feast was held on September 22nd in the Minneapolis American Indian Center (MAIC) in Minneapolis to honor Mike Forcia for his tireless efforts in helping feed the homeless. The event brought together over 100 members of the Native American community. Young and old alike could be seen sitting together enjoying fried walleye, wild rice, hot-dish and fry-bread, all courtesy of the cooks and community members who wanted to show Forcia their appreciation.
Forcia (Bad River Ojibwe) has always placed an emphasis on public service. Starting with a fatherly interest in his children's educational welfare, Mike has worked with the Minneapolis Public Schools to help raise awareness of Native student's special needs.
This interest in the welfare of those around him translated into an ability to identify some of the special needs of the Native community at large.
Looking out the window of his own cafe on Franklin Avenue, Forcia saw an opportunity to help the homeless using the resources of his very own diner, The Wolves Den.
"Back in 2005, Wade Keezer and I decided we wanted to find a way to help feed the homeless. Along with our friend Kevin Oberdain, we began to feed the homeless using the resources of my Cafe. We called the breakfasts Oyate Oshkabaywis. This is essentially two words from the Dakota and Anishinaabe languages that we put together into one name, meaning 'helper' in both languages," Forcia said.
The Wolves Den is one of the only places in the city to grab a piece of real, Indian-made frybread. Described as the home of lone wolves and pack eaters alike, Forcia has enjoyed running his own business for many years on Franklin Avenue.
The Berenstain Bears speak Lakota in special 20-episode series
Friday, October 07 2011
 
Written by The Circle staff,
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berenstein_bears_cover_1.jpgThe Dakotas and Minnesota are at the front of a new wave in children's education, as beloved furry faces begin to speak in an ancient tribal language.  
For 50 years, the adventures of the Berenstain Bears have been translated into Spanish, French, and other European languages. This year, for the first time they are speaking a Native American language - Lakota - in the hopes that the language will take hold again with Lakota children and families.
A 20-episode Lakota-language series, Mat?? Wa???ila Thiw?he, or "The Compassionate Bear Family," premiered on Sunday morning, September 11, and will broadcast through November 2011 on South Dakota Public Broadcasting's Create channel, and Prairie Public television's Lifelong Learning channel in North Dakota and Minnesota.
The premiere coincided with the United Tribes International Powwow in Bismarck, an annual event that draw thousands of Natives and non-Natives from all over the North American continent.  During the Powwow's events September 7-10, the Bears seemed to be everywhere: live costumed characters were honored as "dignitaries" in the Powwow's spectacular Grand Entry and met a mob of children at Youth Day.  
The voice actors, all fluent Lakota speakers from several reservations, joined the costumed characters on a float during the powwow's parade through downtown Bismarck, and met the children on Youth Day.  A special screening was presented at the Tribal Leaders' Summit meeting, and a big display booth kept the premiere episodes running on a continuous loop.
Running Wolf Fitness Center to reopen at Phillips Community Center
Friday, October 07 2011
 
Written by By Andrea Cornelius,
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running_wolf_fitness_story.jpgThe Native American Community Clinic (NACC) and the Indian Health Board (IHB) have teamed up to reopen the Running Wolf Fitness Center in a new location at the Phillips Community Center, located at 2323 11th Avenue South in Minneapolis. Both organizations received grants from Ucare and the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Tribe to re-open the community gym.
There will be a grand re-opening event in October at Running Wolf complete with tours and demonstrations of equipment. The first six months of membership are free after receiving a fitness exam at either NACC or IHB and a monthly charge will begin thereafter.
The fitness exam allows for personal attention because it will determine each individual's level of fitness and thereby allow the staff to give personal attention to each member, which will better yield results for everyone no matter their goals.
There will be a personal trainer available as well as staff from NACC and IHB working at Running Wolf during its hours of operation which are Monday through Thursday from 10am to 7pm, and Friday through Saturday from 10am to 2pm.
Duluth opera has non-Indian cast in 'Pocahontas'
Friday, October 07 2011
 
Written by The Circle Staff,
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An attempt to stage an opera intended to celebrate American Indian culture is now facing an accusation of racial insensitivity.
The Duluth Festival Opera's production of "Pocahontas: A Woman of Two Worlds," is a one-act chamber opera about the young American Indian woman who eased relations between American Indians and Europeans in the 1600s.
When the cast was named, no American Indians landed principal roles - not even Pocahontas, a Powhatan Indian.
Duluth Festival Opera director Craig Fields said auditions didn't generate interest from the American Indian opera performers from around the country. But Lyz Jaakola, an operatic mezzo soprano and member of the Fond du Lac Band, said the DFO didn't try hard enough or in the right ways and that there is no excuse for non-natives to "play Indian" in 2011.
Transfer Station, Four New Landfills to Open at Red Lake
Friday, October 07 2011
 
Written by Photos and Story by Michael Meuers,
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Red Lake has received a grant and loan to build a transfer station and four brand new landfills, one for each reservation community, said Red Lake Chairman Floyd Jourdain Jr., in a recent address to the people.   ??"New solid waste construction sites will be constructed in all districts this year.  This will be a major improvement to our waste management capabilities", said Jourdain.  This project will also create several additional jobs.  ??As part of grant funding received from USDA Rural development, MN DOT, U.S Dept of Energy, and the federal highway administration, the Red Lake solid waste management team has purchased new garbage trucks for the transfer/ solid waste program.  In addition there will be a multi-million dollar solid waste recycling facility at Red Lake. ??Gilbert "Gil" Lussier, Solid Waste/Transfer Station Director, was it's first employee, beginning work back in 1995.  During a recent interview, one could hear the excitement in Lussier's voice as he described all that was going on at Red Lake in the area of waste management.  ??In his own words, Lussier is "kind of addicted to this business in a way," he likes the work and he's been advocating for better policies for a long time.  He said is very pleased with the direction the tribal council is going with this issue.  "Before this new initiative," said Lussier, "we had nothing but dumps.  Here, (at the Red Lake site) we will have hazardous waste disposal, and household waste e.g. appliances, tires, batteries, etc., which will be picked up and shipped to other facilities daily."??Lussier talked about what he called the first phase of what waste management is going through.  Each community will have rear load containers, fences will deter bears and dogs, and there will be prescribed times to use waste sites.   "We have a highly trained and versatile team," stated Lussier.  "This group of workers can do each other's jobs if necessary."??"This (Red Lake) will be the first site to open," Lussier said. "One is now being prepped in Ponemah.  Little Rock is done but not open.  We will wait for Red Lake to be completed and open both at the same time."  ??"Right now we have dumpsters out there that handle six cubic yards of waste.  New dumpsters will handle twice as much at 12 cubic yards," explained Lussier.  "There will be ten at each site in all four communities."??A new large structure nearly completed, is the Tipping Building.  Garbage trucks will pick up bins, dump them into the trucks where the garbage is compacted, and then travel to the new tipping building.
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