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history of owamni yomni.jpg A History of Owamni Yomni

As the St. Anthony Lock closes by Congressional order, The Circle's Jon Lurie offers a history of this important Dakota cultural site. Read more ...


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Mark Trahant offers his thoughts on the upcoming Republican presidential candidates and their potential impact on Indian Country.

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The Arts

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A Goldilocks show at Bockley Gallery

A summer show follows the tradition of group shows that adhere to the Goldilocks principle — not too big, not too small, but just right. Read more ... 

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Artifact Traffic Combines Old and New Native Art
Thursday, December 05 2013
Written by Jamie Keith, TC Daily Planet,
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artifact traffic combines old and new native art2-color.jpgHeid Erdrich, co-director and curator of the multi-genre art exhibit and performance Artifact Traffic, has always been drawn to seemingly disparate forms and images.

“When I work as a curator, I feel drawn to those things that traffic contemporary images with traditional images,” she said. “I love pushing forms against one another – you're making all those things create a vibration between them.”

Artifact Traffic was born of the desire to create this vibration between different forms of art and brought together Indigenous artists with whom Erdrich had collaborated over her long career as a poet, playwright, and curator.

“It's really helpful for us to be in community, even if we don't do the same kind of art,” Erdrich said.

From the Editor's Desk: White Earth Blood Quantum Reform a Courageous Act
Wednesday, December 04 2013
Written by Alfred Walking Bull, The Circle Managing Editor,
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from_the_editors_desk_alfred_walking_bull.jpgThere is a courage to be admired by those who take an action first. The White Earth Band of Ojibwe recently voted in a constitutional reform effort to effectively remove its blood quantum requirements for citizenship. Of the Ojibwe that I have come to know here in Minnesota, there's been mixed reaction ranging from hopeful joy about the future to immediate calls for the dissolution of the tribal government for taking what they regard as an unwarranted action.

Having covered my own tribal council for just over two years, it wasn't a question if – but when – a tribal citizen or fellow council member would allege constitutional violations, followed by long executive sessions where the press and members of the public were required to leave the room for hours at a time.

VIDEO: Change The Name Protest
Friday, November 08 2013
Written by Alfred Walking Bull,
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Minneapolis Mayoral Candidates Address Native Issues
Monday, November 04 2013
Written by Alfred Walking Bull,
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mpls mayoral candidates address native issues.jpgThe Native American Community Development Institute sought to engage Native American voters in the city's mayoral race with its inaugural Minneapolis American Indian Mayoral Forum on Oct. 17 hosted at All My Relations Gallery.

Candidates for the city's highest office included Jackie Cherryhomes, Dan Cohen, Bob Fine, Betsy Hodges, Don Samuels, Cam Winton and Stephanie Woodruff. Noticeably absent was Mark Andrew, who sent a representative from his campaign to read a prepared statement. In his place, event organizers allowed Merrill Anderson to take part in the forum, a first according to the candidate.

Opening statements staked out the positions of most of the candidates on issues, from qualifications for office to personal stories and broader visions for the city's future.

Cherryhomes said her goal was, “to build one city that treats us with respect and dignity.” Citing affordable housing and employment disparities in the African American and Native communities, she described her campaign for mayor as a race to leave the city a better place for her daughter and that she would, “look at everything through the eyes of justice and equality.”

Fine characterized his involvement in government as a strong point in his candidacy, serving 16 years on the Minneapolis Parks Commission, two years on the zoning board and as the longest-serving civil rights commissioner. He also said he wanted to see city government streamlined, audits and attracting more business.

Bdote Charter School to Open in 2014
Monday, November 04 2013
Written by Laura Waterman Wittstock,
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The first new charter school to feature Dakota and Ojibwe language immersion will open will open in Fall 2014. Named Bdote Learning Center, with the prominent word “Bdote” that signifies the birth or origin place of the Dakota people where the Mississippi and Minnesota Rivers meet.

The new K-8 charter school was made possible by the Minnesota Department of Education’s approval and support of the charter school authorizer Innovative Quality Schools. The school’s board is on the fast track to make preparations for the first students in grades K-3. Although a site has not been selected, a search is underway in the Minneapolis area. In the interim, Bdote’s offices will be located at the Division of Indian Work in South Minneapolis. Grades K-3 will begin in 2014, to be followed with one grade per year to eighth grade in 2019.

Lacrosse Resurges As a Cultural Tradition
Monday, November 04 2013
Written by Art Coulson,
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Baaga’adowewag dagwaaging. They are playing lacrosse in the fall. lacrosse resurges as a cultural tradition.jpg

Clutching sticks and bouncing hard rubber balls off of walls, youth from reservation communities across Minnesota and Wisconsin gathered at Bemidji State University and at Bug-O-Nay Ge-Shig School at Leech Lake in early October for two days of lacrosse skills training. While there, the 50 or so young people and family members of all ages heard stories from a number of players and coaches about the deep and enduring connections of native people to the Creator’s Game.

The Minnesota Ojibwe Lacrosse league, founded by Bemidji High School basketball coach Dan Ninham, Oneida, is working with tribal communities to return the game of lacrosse to Native homelands. Lacrosse, played by Native peoples for thousands of years, is both one of the oldest games in America and the fastest growing.

The Youth Lacrosse Skills Camps are free and open to all K-12 students, thanks to sponsors such as the National Indian Gaming Association, Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe, BSU American Indian Resource Center, Minnesota Ojibwe Lacrosse and Paul Bunyan Broadcasting.

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