What's New In The Community: August 2015
Monday, August 03 2015
Written by The Circle Staff,
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bemidji american indian resource center-bill blackwell.jpgBemidjiís American Indian Resource Center names new director

(By Lee Egerstrom) Bill Blackwell Jr. became director of the novel, two-school American Indian Resource Center at Bemidji in July and is now overseeing merged programs for In≠dian students at Bemidji State University and Northwest Technical College.

The collaboration between the two nearby Bemidji campuses is partly an economic move for better use of resources, Blackwell said in an interview. At the same time, it will build critical mass for programs.

Three weeks into the job, Blackwell was already holding meetings with students and com≠munity people planning for the 43rd annual BSU Council of Indian Students Pow-Wow next April. The Northwest Tech students will likely become a chapter of the BSU group, working both jointly with the university students and separately, he said.

That makes a fit given the relationships between the two Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MnSCU) institutions at Bemidji. Students at the two-year Northwest Tech can select on-campus dormitory housing at Bemidji State and access dining services and cultural events at the four-year university, the only such arrangement in the MnSCU system.

An enrolled member of the Grand Portage Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, Blackwell has a bachelorís degree from Bemidji State and a masterís from University of Minnesota-Duluth. Most recently he served as director of institutional advancement heading private and public fundraising efforts for Leech Lake Tribal College and previously was an admis≠sions and outreach coordinator at Leech Lake.

He succeeded Dr. Anton Truer who as returned to the BSU faculty after a three-year term as the centerís director.

Fond du Lac Band gets $6M in federal broadband grants

MINNEAPOLIS Ė The Fond du Lac Band of Ojibwe is receiving $6 million in federal grants to expand broadband Internet service on its northeastern Minnesota reservation, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced July 20.

Garden Valley Telephone in the northwestern town of Erskine and Consolidated Telephone in the east-central city of Brainerd will get loans of $12.63 million and $12.27 million respectively to help them improve phone and Internet service, U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack also said in an interview with The Associated Press.

The Fond du Lac tribal government will contribute over $2 million to the project aimed at making high-speed service available to all homes on the reservation, which currently has DSL service only in a limited area, said Jason Hollinday, the bandís planning director. He said that will support education, economic development and health care ó even let more members watch Netflix.

Expanding rural broadband access is ďextraordinarily important,Ē Vilsack said. It creates opportunities for businesses to access wider markets, farmers to get market information, schools to provide distance-learning and for health care providers to consult specialists, he said.

ďFrankly, in rural areas, particularly low-populated areas, itís sometimes difficult to get the private sector ó without some incentive or boost ó to be able to fund a project,Ē he said.

The USDA has awarded more than $77 million in grants and over $6 billion in loans since 2009 for rural broadband, bringing new or better access to more than 1.5 million subscribers, Vilsack said. He added that millions more now have access if they choose to use it.

Prairie Island announces contest winners

RED WING, Minn. Ė The Prairie Island Indian Community is hosted its annual wacipi July 10-12.

The dance championship included contestant from about 80 tribes, with more than $33,000 distributed across nine categories during the special feature at Prairie Island Dakota Days. Champions were crowned in such categories as Tiny Tots, Teens, Golden Age and Tribal Council, among others. The weekend brought in 679 dancers.

Winners for the 2015 powwow (first and second place, out of five total places) include: Golden Age Menís Northern: Terry Fiddler (first place); Jim Red Eagle (second place); and Wayne Pushetonoqua (third place).

Golden Age Womenís Northern: Annamae Pushetonequa (first place); Bev-Lar≠vie Medhaug (second place); and Madelynn Goodwill (third place). Golden Age Womenís Southern: L. Amber Komahcheet (first place); Jones Sage (second place); and Grandad Flyingmsn (third place).

Junior Boys Traditional Northern and Southern Combined: Elijah Leonard, Jr. (first place); Aidan Buffalo (second place); and Lincoln Kingbird (third place). Ju≠nior Boys Grass: Peyton White Buffalo (first place); Ross Ike (second place); and Rusty McCloud (third place). Junior Boys Fancy: Preston Olney (first place); Geno Yellowbird-White Cloud (second place); and Dwight White Buffalo, Jr. (third place).

Junior Girls traditional Northern and Southern Combined: Sparrow Littlesky (first place); Candelinn Toehay (second place); and Olivia Olson (third place). Ju≠nior Girls Jingle Dress: Dori Rose Blue Thunder (first place); Kitahna Silas (second place); and Orie Lowe (third place). Junior Girls Fancy: Kasandra Arcoren (first place); Micayla Silas (second place); and Morning Rain Honani (third place).

Teen Boys Northern Traditional: Donovan Haury (first place); T.J. Olney (second place); and Talon White-Eye (third place). Teen Boys Southern Straight: Darian Adakai (first place); Brycen Whiteshirt (second place); and Jeffrey Lightfoot (third place). Teen Boys Grass: Mason Mills (first place); James Eaglestar (second place); and Desmond Madera (third place). Teen Boys Fancy: Jessup Yazzie (first place); Tyler Thorman (second place); Silas Whitebuffalo (third place).

Teen Girls Northern Traditional: Taylor Clairmont (first place); Wamblie Lit≠tlesky (second place); Regan Alexis Ishana (third place). Teen Girls Southern Buck≠skin/Cloth: Whitney Sage (first place); Makayla Sage (second place); Alexis Tanyan (third place). Teen Girls Jingle Dress: Waskwane Stonefish (first place); Hokian Mc≠Cloud (second place); Emma Clairmont (third place). Teen Girls Fancy: Summer Dawn Olney (first place); Oke-twísha Roberts (second place); Malia Jacobs (third place).

Junior Adult Menís Northern Traditional: Brando Jack (first place); Wendell Powless (second place); Reuben Crowfeather, Jr. (third place). Junior Adult Menís Southern Straight: Lewis Perkins (first place); Denny Medicine Bird (second place); Kiowa Charlie Cozad (third place). Junior Adult Menís Grass: Wylee Bearstail (first place); Wanbli Changing Eagle (second place); Jon Taken Alive (third place). Junior Adult Menís Chicken Dance: Isaiah Stewart (first place);Rooster Topsky (second place); Lee Goodman, Jr. (third place).

Junior Adult Womenís Northern Traditional Cloth: Cindy Ward (first place); Jasmine Fiddler (second place); Ariana Green Crow (third place). Junior Adult Womenís Northern Traditional Buckskin: Alva Fiddler (first place); Krista Marie Goodwell (second place); Randi Bird (third place). Junior Adult Southern Cloth: Amanda Harris (first place); Elizabeth Nevaquaya (second place); Ponca Wee Vic≠tors (third place). Junior Adult Womenís Jingle Dress: Ryanne White (first place); Willow Abrahamson (second place); Shawna Olson (third place). Junior Adult Womenís Fancy: Laryn Oakes Yazzie (first place); Tíata Roberts (second place); Naomi Nevaquaya (third place).

Adult Menís Fancy 18+ Northern: Wayne Silas, Jr. (first place); White Coyote Holy Bull (second place); Koy Brearstail (third place). Adult Menís Fancy 18+ Southern: Michael Roberts (first place); Quanah Henry (second place); Canku One Star (third place).

Senior Adult 35-54 Menís Northern Traditional: Russell McCloud (first place); Lonny Street (second place); Tony Wahweotten (third place). Senior Adult 35-54 Menís Southern Straight: Kelly Grant (first place); Everett Moore (second place); Dilly Komahcheet (third place).

Senior Adult 35-54 Womenís Northern Traditional Buckskin: Tasha Spotted Tail (first place); Kellie Mae Chaboyee Downwind (second place); Amber Buffalo (third place).

Junior Adult Womenís Southern Buckskin: Charish Toehay (first place); Michelle Flyingman (second place); DaLynn Alley (third place).

Senior Adult 35-54 Womenís Southern Cloth: Tonya Moore (first place); San≠dy Harris (second place);Dyanni Hamilton (third place). Senior Adult Womenís Northern Traditional Cloth: Gina Topsky (first place); Marcy Fiddler (second place); Angie Handsley (third place).

Adult 35+ Menís Grass: Buck Spotted Tail (first place); George Growing Thunder (second place); Clifton Goodwill (third place). Adult 35+ Menís Chicken Dance: Marty Thorman (first place); Dennis Nevagnaya (second place); Michael Davis (third place).

Adult 35+ Womenís Jingle: Denise One Star (first place); Rebecca Roberts (sec≠ond place); Cassie Lasley (third place). Adult 35+ Womenís Fancy: Verna Street (first place); Nahmi Lasley (second place); Crystal Cleveland (third place).

Senior Adult Womenís Southern Buckskin: Damita Goodwill (first place); Toni Tsatoke-Moore (second place); Jaqueline Tsonetokay (third place).

Tribal Council Special Teen Girls Fancy: Charlize Arcoren (first place); Alonna Childs (second place); and Waskwone Stonefish (third place). Tribal Council Spe≠cial Teen Boys Chicken Dance: Cedrick Lasley (first place); Pete Bear Heels (second place); and Desmond Madera (third place).

For a full listing of all the winners, visit the Prairie Island Wacipi Facebook page at

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