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Tom Goldtooth To Receive Top Sierra Club AwardTom Goldtooth, a Native American environmental leader known nationally for his tireless efforts to defend Indigenous rights to a healthy environment and his dedicated work against fossil fuel projects like the Keystone XL pipeline has received the Sierra Club’s 2016 John Muir Award.
Goldtooth, of Bemidji, Minn., has spent more than 40 years helping Native American and indigenous communities worldwide address issues such as environmental protection, climate change, energy, biodiversity, environmental health, water, and sustainable development. Tom and his son Dallas have both been leaders on domestic and international efforts to keep fossil fuels in ground and foster indigenous-based environmental protection initiatives. Tom’s tireless work to elevate tribal opposition to the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline was key to the project’s ultimate rejection by the Obama Administration. Tom has served as the Executive Director of the Indigenous Environmental Network since 1996 and is now helping lead and coordinate the ongoing tribal opposition to the Dakota Access pipeline.
The majority of the awards were presented at a ceremony in Oakland, CA on Sept. 10. For more information on the Sierra Club awards program, visit www.sierraclub.org/awards.
Dr. Arne Vainio Recognized as Unsung Hero with $10,000 AwardThe McKnight Foundation and the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits (MCN) have selected Dr. Arne Vainio of Cloquet as one of four recipients of the 2016 Virginia McKnight Binger Unsung Hero Awards.
Dr. Vainio is a member of the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe and a physician at the Min-No-Aya-Win Human Services Clinic on the Fond du Lac Ojibwe Reservation. Dr. Vainio spends long hours serving his patients at the clinic, as well as traveling to reservations across America to discuss native health, suicide and native traditions. His passion for health led to bringing his popular "Mad DR. Science Project” to many classrooms, with the goal of inspiring young Native Americans to take up careers in health and science.
Dr. Vainio received a cash prize of $10,000 from the McKnight Foundation and MCN during an awards luncheon at the McKnight Foundation in Minneapolis on September 9. Award recipients will also be recognized at the 2016 MCN Annual Conference on October 6 in Duluth, MN.
Since 1985, The McKnight Foundation has recognized Minnesotans who have improved the quality of life for individuals and the community around them through the Virginia McKnight Binger Awards in Human Service. In 2015, MCN partnered with McKnight to coordinate and present the first-ever Unsung Hero Awards, honoring individuals doing life-changing work in communities across Minnesota with little or no recognition.
Patricia Deinhart-Bauknight is New Wicoie Nandagikendan EDPatricia Deinhart-Bauknight is the new executive director of Wicoie Nandagikendan. Patricia has worked in Indian Country for many years. She was a Program Officer at The Saint Paul Foundation and Northwest Area Foundation. Patricia has also worked as executive director of Whittier Alliance and Whittier Housing Corporation. For 10 years Patricia was president of the Volunteer Network in Chicago providing management and technical assistance to emerging community organizations throughout the City.
Most recently, she was a partner in The Urban Design Lab, a Northside business, focused on designing and implementing community engagement processes to meet specific project needs; conducting research to develop and evaluate programs; facilitating community strategy development; grant writing and management consulting.
Audra Tonihka named one of the Top Women in Finance of 2016 Finance & Commerce have announced their Top Women in Finance awards. Top Women in Finance honorees were judged for their leadership and service to their community, professional accomplishments and dedication to the profession. Among the honorees is Audra Tonihka of White Earth Investment Initiative, Midwest Minnesota CDC. Tonihka is an enrolled White Earth tribal member who grew up in the community of White Earth and received a bachelor’s degree in business management. Prior to joining the White Earth Investment Initiative staff, she served as a loan officer for the tribal credit union.
Finance & Commerce will recognize this year’s Top Women in Finance at a Nov. 17 event. This is the program’s 16th year of honoring women in finance, business and other sectors.
For more info, see: http://finance-commerce.com/2010/08/top-women-in-finance.
Watermark Art Center awarded $47,951 for Native programmingWatermark Art Center is a recipient of an Art Access grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board. Watermark has been awarded $47,951 for program development relating to its Native American gallery and efforts to foster strategic, long-term engagement with regional Native American artists.
“We are thrilled about what this means to future programming at the art center, as well as for area Native American artists,” said Watermark Executive Director Lori Forshee-Donnay.
“Receiving an Arts Access grant provides Watermark the opportunity to further implement the ongoing efforts of our Native American Gallery committee. This opportunity is significant for the Watermark and for the region.”
The grant will expedite Watermark’s plans for the dedicated Native American Gallery by providing funding for a program director, outreach and artist development, and design and construction of gallery cases to display artwork, culminating in a guest artist juried exhibit in 2017.
Funding for the Arts Access grant was made possible through an appropriation by the Minnesota State Legislature and Cultural Heritage Fund passed by the Minnesota voters on November 4th, 2008.