Urban News
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.
Four new Native radio stations to hit the airwaves
Friday, December 16 2011
Written by By Dan Gunderson,
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Minnesota Public Radio News
Minnesota  Public Radio News can be heard on MPR's statewide radio network or online.

4_new_native_radio_stations.jpgFour new radio stations are on the air across northern Minnesota, and each is eager to serve American Indian audiences. In Callaway, Nett Lake, Cloquet and Cass Lake, station employees and volunteers have been scrambling to get the stations up and running so they can provide music and information to tribal members, many of whom live in isolated areas.
The new stations all benefited from a new Federal Communications Commission policy that gives tribal entities priority for radio frequencies that cover tribal lands.
That's made for a whirlwind couple of months for Betsy McDougall, who is coordinating efforts to put a radio station on the air on the White Earth reservation.
As she walked into a small studio space in an old school in Callaway, McDougall recalled with a laugh the day she realized how much local residents care about the new radio station. She said one man showed up with his own can of paint and went to work.
"By the time I could even say, 'hold on here a minute,' he had this thing green in minutes," she said. "At that point we started to think this is going to be the green room."
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