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May What's New in the Community
Thursday, May 05 2016
 
Written by The Circle,
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Emily Johnson wins Guggenheim Fellowship

emily_johnson_native_american_artist.jpgTwin Cities resident Emily Johnson (Yup’ik) has won the prestigious Guggenheim fellowship, the New York-based foundation has announced. Out of approximately 4,000 applicants, Johnson is one of the 200 creative artists, natural scientists and humanities scholars to win a Fellowship.

Guggenheim winners get varying amount of funding, which helps to support their work over a period of six months to a year.

Johnson, who has performed at Walker Art Center and Northrop, among other venues, is one of several Twin Cities-connected winners. Guggenheim Fellowships are only open to advanced professionals in mid-career.

The Foundation receives between 3,500 and 4,000 applications every year.

 

Priscilla Day wins 2016 President’s Award/Outstanding Service

presilla_day_wins_award_native_american.jpgPriscilla Day (Leech Lake Ojibwe), professor and head of the Department of Social Work at the University of Minnesota Duluth, is a recipient of the 2016 President’s Award for Outstanding Service.

The award is presented each spring and recognizes exceptional service to the University of Minnesota, its schools, colleges, departments, and service units by an active or retired faculty or staff member.

UM President Eric W. Kaler praised Day for her accomplishments, “Your excellence is a model for your colleagues and co-workers to emulate. True to the mission of this great land-grant institution, you have done more than your share to make the University of Minnesota one of the preeminent institutions in the nation.”

In addition to teaching and serving as department head, Day serves as director for the Center for Regional and Tribal Child Welfare. She wrote “Bridging our understanding: American Indian family preservation,” for the Minnesota Department of Human Service and provides training on the subject. Her areas of research are American Indian family preservation and culturally competent practice.

Two events that honor recipients of the Outstanding Service award will be held in Minneapolis. The first is at a University of Minnesota Board of Regents meeting on May 13, and the second is at a reception on June 16. The University of Minnesota President’s Award for Outstanding Service was established in 1997 to recognize faculty and staff (current or retired) who have provided exceptional service to the University, its schools, colleges, departments and service units. Such service must have gone well beyond the regular duties of a faculty or staff member, and demonstrate unusual commitment to the University community.

Migizi Communications receives $702,000 grant

Migizi Communications has received at three-year grant totaling $702,000 ($234,000 annually) to support the Green Jobs Pathway that will involve 60 disconnected Indian youth per year to receive education, training, supports, and experiences needed to prepare them to become financially independent, self-determining adults.

The project will utilize the Back On Track model developed by Jobs for the Future to create a career pathway for American Indian youth to discover their cultural role as caretakers of the Earth, develop strong workplace skills, learn through their experience, and complete postsecondary coursework and credentials of value to secure living wage jobs as they build a career in the Green Economy. Minneapolis, Minnesota.

The projects include:

• A 10-week Green Stewardship Institute focused on educating and engaging youth in hands-on learning and community service that promotes clean energy, energy conservation technologies, and environmental sustainability.
• Paid internships in high-demand green jobs in the private and public sectors
• Individual Development Accounts for youth savings for college
• Enrollment in dual coursework for college credits
• Enrollment and completion of postsecondary certificate, degree, or union apprenticeship in the green energy field.

The funding was made possible through a 3-year $3 million Social Innovation Fund (SIF) grant to Youthprise for Opportunity Reboot. SIF is an initiative of the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) that is focused on improving the lives of people in low-income communities throughout the United States. Six organizations from across Minnesota were selected to receive 3-year grants ranging from $193,000 to $234,000 annually.

Mille Lacs Corporate Ventures buys Big Sandy Lake Lodge

Mille Lacs Corporate Ventures (MLCV) has purchased Big Sandy Lodge & Resort, in McGregor, Minn. The sale includes the resort’s 18 lodge rooms, seven cabins, fourteen townhomes and a seasonal retreat log home, as well as The Pines Restaurant, The Bear’s Den Sports Bar & Grille, indoor pool, hot tub and sauna.

According to Joe Nayquonabe, Jr., CEO of Mille Lacs Corporate Ventures, the McGregor area has been a market that has been on MLCV’s radar since beginning its diversification efforts in 2013. “Our roadmap calls for a mix of hospitality growth in targeted markets as well as acquisitions that allow us to expand the local business economy within all three districts of the Mille Lacs Band reservation,” Nayquonabe said. “Big Sandy Lodge has a reputation as one of Minnesota’s premier resort destinations. We look forward to expanding upon the resort’s rich traditions by leveraging our experience in hospitality.”

Melanie Benjamin, Chief Executive of the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe said that Big Sandy Lake is so important to the regional economy, but it is more than that for the Band. “We have a long history with Big Sandy Lake, and it is actually a very sacred place for Anishinabe people, so this acquisition was a perfect match for more than just business reasons. We are delighted to join the families of resort owners on Big Sandy Lake and honored to host the Minnesota Governor’s Fishing Opener this year with Gov. Mark Dayton.”

MLCV made the decision to acquire Big Sandy Lake Lodge & Resort based on its strong performance and its unique position as a premiere up-north destination resort on the Big Sandy watershed. No immediate changes are planned, but MLCV will monitor business operations and look for opportunities to improve efficiency and profitability over time.


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