What's New In the Community: December 2013
Thursday, December 05 2013
Written by The Circle Staff,
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Anpetu Was'te Cultural Arts Market Set to open next summer

By Rebekah Peterson

TC Daily Planet

Next summer, a new marketplace will open on Franklin Avenue and will bring art, food, and music to a very unlikely location – the median between Cedar Avenue and South 17th Avenue.

The project is the result of a $435,000 ArtPlace grant and the work of the Native American Community Development Institute. NACDI Vice President Andy Hestness explained at a recent project unveiling that the Anpetu Was'te Cultural Arts Market is designed to bring the Ventura Village and Seward neighborhoods together and create a pedestrian-friendly roadway, something that the presence of a light rail station has not been able to do on its own. “People originally thought that plopping the light rail here would create a new paradigm. We've been waiting for years for this to happen, and it never did. We finally decided that we were going to do it ourselves, since no one was going to do it for us.”

Jay Bad Heart Bull, NACDI president, explained that for the light rail to be strong and successful, there needs to be a strong pedestrian presence. He noted, “[The Marketplace] will bring life to the street. It's really going to change the face of the avenue and bring life to the station.”

The Marketplace will feature a stage for performances and theater and a space for vendor tents and food trucks.

Throughout the Market, the work of Native American artists and writers will be represented, and, as local poet Jim Oliver Smith said, “It will bring the Native presence to the street.”

Poetry by four local writers and four nationally-known writers will be featured throughout the space. The work of artist Francis Yellow will welcome visitors from Seward as they go under the underpass. Yellow explained at the project unveiling that his artwork for this project was heavily influenced by his ancestry. He said, “The Lakota welcomed the Ojibwe to this land. My inspiration is the generosity of my ancestors, the friendly people.” One of his pieces depicts trading in keel boats. Another piece shares a Lakota saying, “Welcome all to the land of the friendly people.”

Construction has begun on the median in preparation for the Marketplace, and NACDI is planning on opening the space in mid-July. However, this open date is dependent on the ability to complete construction this spring.

More information on the project is available in a previous article, New Cultural Arts Market Planned for Franklin (


Little Earth Receives Grant for Skill Tech Youth Development Program

ST. PAUL, Minn. – The Little Earth Boys and Girls Club Extension was awarded a $15,000 grant from the Comcast Foundation to support its Skill Tech program. The digital arts program re-introduces culture to participants through technology and provides relevant, fundamental skills and a creative outlet for youth.
Little Earth will use the funding to purchase supplies for its digital arts training program, including computers, digital cameras, video equipment and robotics kits. The materials will be used in weekly photography, video and robotics classes and labs.
Since Comcast started supporting the Little Earth Boys and Girls Club Extension in 2012, the company awarded $30,000 of grant money to the Skill Tech program. Comcast also supported Little Earth’s attendance at the 2013 Boys & Girls Club Indian Country Summit in Scottsdale, Ariz.

Northwest Indian OIC Unveils New Cultural Training

BEMIDJI, Minn. – Northwest Indian OIC is announces Anishinaabe World View, a newly-accredited training in Cultural Competency. The training is a result of many gatherings of elders, teachers, critical thinkers and traditional Anishinaabe and the voices of our members, who share their experiences and their recommendations to make our communities, Native and non-Native, healthier, safer and culturally-enriched places.

This course will give a general understanding of the Anishinaabe. It will give learners a historical framework from which to understand and articulate the Native experience today. The outcome will be a sense of identity in the Native learner and increased understanding for the non-Native learner.

Participants can receive Continuing Education Units (CEU) or three college credits from Northwest Technical College and Bemidji State University, as well as a certificate of completion. Registration fees for this training, as with all our trainings, are used to support the ongoing services of Northwest Indian OIC, a Native American-controlled community based nonprofit organization.

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