Three Natives Win Minnesota Book Awards
Louise Erdrich (Turtle Mountain Ojibwe) has become the first writer to win five Minnesota Book Awards. On April 13 Erdrich won her fifth award in the fiction category for “The Round House,” a novel about a teenage boy on a North Dakota reservation who tries to solve the mystery of his mother’s brutal rape. The Round House is also a National Book Award winner. She has previously been awarded the Minnesota Book Award for “The Plague of Doves,” “The Painted Drum,” “The Last Report on the Miracles at Little No Horse” and “Tales of Burning Love.”
David Treuer (Leech Lake Ojibwe) has won the Minnesota Book Award for a second time. Treuer’s book, “Rez Life: An Indian’s Journey Through Reservation Life”, is his first major work of nonfiction. He won in the General Nonfiction category. Centered on Ojibwe reservation communities of northern Minnesota and Wisconsin, “Rez Life” is written by an insider about what Indian reservations are, why they exist, and where they are going. He also won the 1996 Minnesota Book Award for “Little.”
Gwen Westerman (Dakota) and Bruce White were the Award for Minnesota winners, with their book “Mni Sota Makoce: The Land of the Dakota”. “Mni Sota Makoce” tells a detailed history of the Dakota people in their traditional homelands for hundreds of years prior to exile. Westerman is professor of English and Humanities at Minnesota State University in Mankato. White is author of “We Are at Home: Pictures of the Ojibwe People.”
256 books were nominated for the Minnesota Book Awards, a project of the Friends of St. Paul Public Library in consortium with the library and the City of St. Paul.
FDL Scholarship Director Wallace Retires
Bonnie Wallace, Tribal Scholarship Director for the past 16 years, retired on Dec. 21, 2012. Wallace previously worked at the University of Minnesota from 1970-74 as a Student Counselor for Native students, from 1974 to 1978 she worked for the Minnesota Chippeway Tribe’s TRIO program as a Career Education Specialist in the Minneapolis Office. In 1978 she was hired at Augsburg College as Director of the American Indian Student Support Program and held that position for nearly 20 years.
She became the FDL Scholarship Director in 1996. During her tenure as the Scholarship Director over the 250 Band members have completed their college degrees (both undergraduate and graduate levels) or technical certificates.
When asked what she would like her legacy to be, she said, “I will always remember what it was like when I went to college as a single parent, there weren’t as many financial aid programs as there are today, there wasn’t a per capita payment, it was truly a financial struggle and it was totally a foreign culture for me. The main campus at the U of M was scary as all get out, but there was a special person that reached out to me, taught me how to become my own best advocate and I completed my degree in four and a half years. I tell band members that if they find that one person who reached out to help them, take their hand. Learn how to become your own best advocate and practice personal responsibility, which leads to self sufficiency, which then can result in some economic freedom and success.”
“Smokahontas” Amy Donovan Wins Game Changer award
(Story by Swan Sherwood. Photo by Amy Donovan.)
Third time is a charm, at least it was for Smokahontas, (Amy Donovan) of the Atomic Bombshells, a team of the MN Roller Girls. Bombshells overcame their opponents the Rockits in a hard fought bout as AB pulled ahead winning 115-102 earning them the championship and the Golden Skate. Donovan’s 2013 season also includes her winning the Game Changer award from her 3/2 bout with the Dagger Dolls, winning her new wheels from the Derby for All shop.
“Winning new wheels is awesome, it’s like winning new skates!” New wheels will assist her in skating practice this summer as she has set goals to tryout out again for the MN Roller Girls All-Stars. This past January 2013 Smokahotas was successful in making the MN RG All-Stars team but will not skate with them this season.
“All-Stars starts when home season ends. They have tryouts year round. I made the January tryouts, but you have to tryout every time so I will wait till next season to tryout again.”
Smokahontas will be skating and training for the next Bombshells season which will start up in late summer.