What's New In the Community: September 2014
Monday, September 08 2014
Written by The Circle Staff,
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The American Indian Cancer Foundation, a national nonprofit committed to eliminating cancer and its impact on American Indian families, announced the new members that will join its board of directors in October 2014: Andrew Adams III, JD (Muscogee Nation), Bret R. Benally Thompson, MD (White Earth Ojibwe), Mary Fairbanks, DNP (White Earth Ojibwe), Mark Fox, JD (Mandan Hidatsa Arikara Nations), Margo Gray (Osage Nation), Samuel A. Moose, MTAG (Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe) and Kalina Newmark (Sahtu Dene First Nations).

These individuals bring an impressive set of energy, passion, partnerships and skills to the board that will help the foundation advance its mission. In addition to their service with the American Indian Cancer Foundation, the new members serve in many professional and volunteer capacities devoted to improving and strengthening American Indian communities.

The AICAF Board of Directors is made up of 12 American Indian leaders from across the United States. The seven founding board of directors who successfully launched this foundation have served their maximum terms. The current board of directors led the process to identify and elect new board members to join the AICAF board of directors and guide the next phase of the organization’s development.

“We are so honored to welcome the new additions to the American Indian Cancer Foundation Board of Directors. Their individual and combined dedication and service to serving American Indian communities are well known and respected across the nation. Their drive is just what we need as we work to expand our capacity to address cancer issues in American Indian communities across the country” said Kristine Rhodes, executive director of the American Indian Cancer Foundation.

The U.S. has celebrated declining rates of cancer mortality over the past two decades, yet American Indians face increasing cancer mortality compared to other populations.

Today, many American Indians face alarming inequities in cancer incidence and mortality. Cancer rates vary by tribe, region, and gender. But according to a 2014 American Journal of Public Health special issue, cancer is now the No. 1 cause of death for American Indian men and women in many states and for all American Indian women in the United States.

The American Indian Cancer Foundation (AICAF) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization established to address the tremendous cancer burden faced by American Indians. Its mission is to eliminate the cancer burdens on American Indian families through education, prevention, early detection, treatment and survivor support. AICAF supports transformational interventions that engage communities in the discovery of best practices. AICAF believes that communities possess the wisdom to discover the solutions to effectively address challenges but are often looking for resources and support. The American Indian Cancer Foundation strives to be a partner trusted by tribes and organizations working toward effective and sustainable cancer solutions.

For more information, visit


Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell announced on Aug. 26 that $35.7 million in Affordable Care Act funding would go to 147 health centers in 44 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico to support patient-centered medical homes through new construction and facility renovations.

Among those facilities, agencies and organizations was the Indian Health Board of Minneapolis. It was awarded a $250,000 grant from Health Resource and Service Administration to support clinic renovations to support the Medical Home at IHB. The Medical Home model of care focuses on providing a team approach to care coordination and providing the highest quality of service.

“Health centers provide access to quality health care for millions of Americans regardless of their ability to pay,” said Sec. Burwell. “We’re making these investments so that health centers will be able to provide even higher quality services to the patients that rely upon them.”

The patient-centered medical home delivery model is designed to improve quality of care through team-based coordination of care, treating the many needs of the patient at once, increasing access to care, and empowering the patient to be a partner in their own care.

Currently, 1,300 health centers operate more than 9,200 service delivery sites that provide care to over 21.7 million patients in every state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the Pacific Basin. Health centers are also playing a critical role in helping the public learn about new coverage opportunities under the Affordable Care Act, by conducting outreach and enrollment activities that link individuals to affordable coverage options available through the Health Insurance Marketplace. The awards will help support high quality care and updated facilities for the millions of newly insured.


This summer, the Indigenous Peoples Task Force and its youth are spreading the word about tobacco products that attract kids and threaten their health.

Tobacco companies are making products that taste like candy and are priced like candy. Cigarillos such as Swisher Sweets com in flavors like grape, cherry and tutti-fruitti. They're sold nearly everywhere and they're much cheaper than a pack of cigarettes. Two packs of flavored cigarillos are sold for as little as 89 cents. A three-pack of Sweet Show costs 99 cents. Kids can buy them with pocket change.

Cheap, flavored tobacco products attract kids. In fact, nearly twice as many kids smoke cigar products as adults do. Almost one in five 12th grade males smoke ciagrillos on a regular basis and at a rate higher than cigarettes. Public health experts are concerned that these flavored tobacco products are deceiving young people who don't understand that they're as addictive and deadly as cigarettes. And, these products may act as products that addict kids to nicotine and lead to a lifelong smoking habit that will increase their risk of cancer, heart disease and premature death.

Shisha is another flavored tobacco product that's becoming increasingly popular with young people. Smoked in a hookah pipe, usually shared in social situations, shisha is as addictive as a cigarettes and potentially more harmful. Smoking hookah for 20-30 minutes is the same as smoking 100-200 cigarettes in the same amount of time.

To raise awareness about the harmful health effects of these products, the Indigenous Peoples Task Force is working with the City of Minneapolis on a Project called Tobacco Free MPLS. The organization will educate youth in the community on the harmful effects of commercial tobacco products and we teach them about the traditional use.

The Indigenous Peoples Task Force's efforts are part of the Minneapolis Health Department's Tobacco Free Minneapolis campaign, funded by a Community Transformation Grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.



The annual Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community Wacipi featured nine winners from Minnesota. Over 800 registered dancers of all ages from the United States and Canada participated in more than 30 dance categories at the Wacipi from Aug. 15-17 at the Wacipi Grounds on the SMSC Reservation.

A social gathering where friends and relatives celebrate the Dakota culture and way of life, the Dakota word, “Wacipi” (pronounced “wah-chee-pee”) translates to "they dance."

Following are partial results of this year’s Wacipi: Jr. Girl’s Traditional (ages 6-12): Victory Randell, Sacramento, CA (first place); Sparrow Little Sky, Kyle, S.D. (second place). Jr. Girl’s Jingle (ages 6-12): Yanabah Whitehorse, Standing Buffalo, SK (first place); Coral Benton, Hayward, WI (second place). Jr. Girl’s Fancy (ages 6-12): Micayla Silas, Oneida, WI (first place); Lara Pansy Lasley, Montour, IA (second place).

Jr. Boy’s Traditional (ages 6-12): Elijah Bear Leonard, Baraboo, WI (first place); Terry Brown Otter, Fort Yates, ND (second place). Jr. Boy’s Grass (ages 6-12): Chaske Jacobs, Oneida, WI (first place); Bodie Nordwall, Fallon, NV (second place). Jr. Boy’s Fancy (ages 6-12): Wayne Silas, III, Oneida, WI (first place); Tyler Thurman, Shawnee, OK (second place).

Teen Girl’s Traditional (ages 13-17): Wamblie Little Sky, Kyle, SD (first place); Aerius Benton, Hayward, WI (second place). Teen Girl’s Jingle (ages 13-17): Kia McCloud, Harrah, WA (first place); Shaydee Pretends Eagle, Bismarck, ND (second place). Teen Girl’s Fancy Shawl (ages 13-17): Beedoskah Stonefish, Peshawbestown, MI (first place); Oke-tw’sha Roberts, Atwood, OK (second place). Teen Girl’s Jingle (ages 13-17): Kia McCloud, Harrah, WA (first place); Shaydee Pretends Eagle, Bismarck, ND (second place).

Teen Boy’s Traditional (ages 13-17): Talon White Eye, Sarnia, ON (first place); Lakota Little Sky, Kyle, SD (second place). Teen Boy’s Grass (ages 13-17): Therien Paskemin, Sweetgrass, SK (first place); Jai Knight, Thunder Valley, SD (second place). Teen Boy’s Fancy (ages 13-17): Koy Bearstail, Sioux Falls, SD (first place); Sonny Means, Eagle Butte, SD (second place).

Women’s Golden Age Traditional/So. Buckskin/Cloth (ages 55+): Diane Goodwill-McKay, Ft. Quappelle, SK (first place); Carmen Clairmont, Lakewood, CO (second place). Women’s Golden Age Fancy/Jingle (ages 55+): Dianne Desrosiers, Browns Valley, MN (first place); Patricia Eagleman, Black River Falls, WI (second place).

Men’s Golden Age Traditional/So. Straight (ages 55+): Terry Fiddler, Swift Bird, SD (first place); Ronnie Goodeagle, Sr., Flandreau, SD (second place). Men’s Golden Age Fancy/Grass (ages 55+): Wayne Pushetonequa, Montour, IA (first place); Albert King, Sr., Oneida, WI (second place).

Jr. Adult Women’s Traditional (ages 18-34): Tara Whitehorse, Standing Buffalo, SK (first place); Tierra LaBelle, Morley, AB (second place). Jr. Adult Women’s So. Buckskin/Cloth (ages 18-34): Charish Toehay, Anadarko, OK (first place); Hauli Sioux Gray, Yukon, OK (second place). Jr. Adult Women’s Jingle (18-34): Leah Omeasoo, Maskwasis, AB (first place); Mallary Oakes, Saskatoon, SK (second place). Jr. Adult Women’s Fancy (ages 18-34): Tanksi Clairmont, Lakewood, CO (first place); T’ata Roberts, Ada, OK (second place).

Sr. Adult Women’s Traditional (ages 35-54): Tosha Spottedtail, Sioux Falls, SD (first place); Orrie Little Sky, Kyle, SD (second place). Sr. Adult Women’s So. Buckskin/Cloth (ages 35-54): Danita Goodwill, Reserve, KS (first place); Toni Mule, Norman, OK (second place). Sr. Adult Women’s Jingle (ages 35-54): Anika Day Topsky, Rocky Boy, MT (first place); Thea McCloud, Harrah, WA (second place). Sr. Adult Women’s Fancy (ages 35-54): Nahmi Lasley, Tama, IA (first place); Kellie LeBeau, Eagle Butte, SD (second place).

Jr. Adult Men’s Traditional (ages 18-34): Wendall Powless, Odanah, WI (first place); Eli Snow, Morley, AB (second place). Jr. Adult Men’s So. Straight (ages 18-34): Denny Medicine Bird, Jones, OK (first place); Terrance Todome, Tahlequah, OK (second place). Jr. Adult Men’s Grass (ages 18-34): Trae Little Sky, Sioux Falls, SD (first place); Wambli Charging Eagle, Green Bay, WI (second place). Jr. Adult Men’s Chicken Dance (ages 18-34): Rooster Topsky, Rocky Boy, MT (first place); Marty Thurman, Shawnee, OK (second place). Jr. Adult Men’s Fancy (ages 18-34): Marquel Crawford, Cass Lake, MN (first place); Eric Bird, Cherokee, NC (second place).

Sr. Adult Men’s Traditional (ages 35-54): Chaske Le Blanc, Morton, MN (first place); Russell McCloud, Harrah, WA (second place). Sr. Adult Men’s So. Straight (ages 35-54): Kelly Grant, Pinehill, NM (first place); Erwin Morris, Walthill, NE (second place). Sr. Adult Men’s Grass (ages 35-54): Randy Paskemin, West Valley, UT (first place); Clifton Goodwill, Reserve, KS (second place). Sr. Adult Men’s Chicken Dance (ages 35-54): Rod Atcheynum, Bismarck, ND (first place); Michael Davis, Boston, MA (second place). Sr. Adult Men’s Fancy (35-54): Spike Draper, Kirkland, NM (first place); Michael Roberts, Ada, OK (second place).

For a full listing of all categories and winners, visit

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