What's New In The Community: March 2015
Wednesday, March 11 2015
Written by The Circle Staff,
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Four tribal students win big at MN High School League Dance Tournament

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Left to right: Jordyn Spry, Jensen Spry (both Grand Portage Band), Clarissa Pederson (Lac Courte Oreilles) and Camryn Towle (Mille Lacs Band).

The Duluth Marshall Dance Team won first place at the 2015 Minnesota State High School League Dance Team Tournament in the Jazz Competition on Feb. 13 at Target Center.

The team dedicated time and energy to learning choreography, endurance training and cardio. The win is especially exciting, as this team has four tribal students who participated.


Red Lake's Baby Shel nominated for Are You Local? Contest

Sheldon Cook, Jr., a rap artist from Red Lake, Minn. competed against three other finalists in Vita.MN's “Are You Local?” Contest on March 6.

Baby Shel qualified as a local act because most of his performances have been in Minneapolis. But he doesn’t think twice about making frequent, five-hour drives to the Cities to perform. “A lot of times I’ll come down and do a show and drive back afterward, so I don’t get home until like 7 a.m. It’ll be like a 14-hour road trip round-trip just to do a 30- to 40-minute show,” he said.

The Ojibwe rapper has been fully invested in his rap career for about five years, including a couple of solo albums and work with the Red Lake-area group 100 Souls and the resident label/crew Rez Rap. Last year, his crew opened a string of Midwest dates with Yelawolf. Shel is headed back to SXSW Festival in March for at least two confirmed gigs, whether or not he wins Are You Local? or not.

Shel told Vita.MN that tribal citizens listen to hip-hop in unprecedented numbers. “There are relatable topics in it for native kids,” he said. “Just living in the gutter, going through violence, losing family members and friends way too often. Hip-hop touches on the really raw, tough stuff that’s happening to us.”

Shel’s personal life attests to how grim reservation life can be. He’s known many friends and relatives who have committed suicide. His cousin was in the classroom in Red Lake in March of 2005 when Jeff Weise went on a shooting-spree, killing eight.

His dad – who originally gave him the nickname Baby Shel – was released from prison in December after serving a 10-year drug sentence. “He really stressed it to me to stay out of that lane and learn from his mistakes,” Baby Shel told Vita.MN.

MAICC celebrates opening of new restaurant

The Minnesota American Indian Chamber of Commerce congratulates the Prairie Island Indian Community on the grand opening of Tado, a new upscale steakhouse at Treasure Island Resort and Casino.

“The décor is exquisite, the food is amazing and we encourage you to visit, enjoy and celebrate! It is exciting to see another economic diversification effort come to fruition. We are grateful that we were able to enjoy the festive Grand Opening and look forward to many more celebrations at Tado Steakhouse!” Joanne Whiterabbit, MAICC Executive Director said in a community notice.

Native Americans in Philanthropy calls for board nominations

Native Americans in Philanthropy is pleased to announce a call for nominations for new Board Members. NAP will have three board positions open. Ideal nominations will have expertise in law, operations, impact investing and tribal government. Self-nominations are also being accepted. NAP is also interested in geographic representation for the East Coast, Southwest and Midwest.

NAP’s mission is to advance philanthropic practices grounded in native values and traditions and is guided by three strategic directions: Engage Native and non-Native practitioners of philanthropy to focus on sustainable Native communities; Educate to instill Native philanthropic values into contemporary practice; Empower Native philanthropic leadership to be effective practitioners.

Only current NAP members are eligible to nominate someone for a board position; and if voted onto the board, the nominee must be, or must become, a NAP member prior to joining the board. Native Americans in Philanthropy’s Board of Directors has appointed a Nominations Committee that will consider the nominations and develop a slate of candidates to stand for election as directors of NAP’s board, by the General Members at the annual meeting of members.

The deadline for submission is Friday, March 20. For more information or to download an application, visit www.nativephilanthropy.org.

Twin Cities Daily Planet welcomes new editor

allison_herrera.jpgThe online publication connecting citizens in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul with a global community welcomed its new editor, Allison Herrera in an email announcement on Feb. 12.

Herrera is a former member of the Twin Cities Media Alliance board as well as an experienced reporter and producer for KFAI, Ampers, the Nett Lake Radio Project for the Bois Forte Band of Chippewa and The UpTake.

“I'm happy to say I've covered everything from sports stadiums to pow wow dancers and all that is in between. I'm also very well versed in Minnesota History, thanks to my work for Ampers producing MN90: Minnesota History in 90 Seconds. I'm also making a short film about Ojibwe painter Jim Denomie with a grant I received from the Minnesota State Arts Board,” Herrera said in the email statement.

The Daily Planet is a project of the Twin Cities Media Alliance, a nonprofit organization dedicated to closing the digital divide and helping citizens empower themselves with media. Each day, the Daily Planet publishes multiple original articles and blog entries and also republishes several articles and blog entries from our 100+ community media partners, including The Circle.

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