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Rybak Addresses Achievement Gap for Native Students
Monday, October 07 2013
 
Written by Andrea Cornelius,
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“We've got to act like this is a crisis because it is,” Mayor R.T. Rybak said of the achievement gap, at the beginning of a roundtable discussion about Indian education at the Minneapolis American Indian Center on Aug. 26.

The auditorium at the Minneapolis American Indian Center was full of educators, parents and community members representing such organizations as Division of Indian Work (DIW) and others, who all came with concerns, questions and opinions on ways schools can help more Native American children succeed.

Mayoral Candidates Speak on the Step-Up program for youth
Monday, October 07 2013
 
Written by Brianna Skildum,
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Step-Up is a local summer program that introduces teens to temporary employment and prepares them for future careers. It runs 9 weeks, not including the courses that must be attended before hand. The students are educated about resumes, dress codes, attitudes, bills, pay rates, credit cards, banking, checking, necessary job skills, among other skills. At the start of the summer, students pick out a job and are on the road to cultivating life skills and a stipend of at least $1,000.
Schimmel Sisters Visit Red Lake
Monday, October 07 2013
 
Written by Alfred Walking Bull,
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Beaming with excitement waiting for the Schimmel sisters to come to Red Lake High School gym sits Amber McNeal and her sister Diane. With a big smile on her face Amber says, “Guess What? Last season I told my mom I would be so excited if they ever came to Red Lake to show me some basketball moves and I could get their autograph, and it came true!” Amber McNeal is ten years old and in the 5th grade at Red Lake Elementary where she plays on the basketball team. Amber had her wish come true that Jude and Shoni Schimmel (Umatilla Tribe) would visit Red Lake.
GED Grad Poised for Success
Thursday, September 05 2013
 
Written by Alfred Walking Bull,
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ged grad poised for success eugene needham grayeagle copy.jpgWith recent high school graduation rates in the Native American community in the Twin Cities hovering between 21 and 44 percent, the obstacles seem daunting for students hoping to make a future for themselves in the urban setting. The American Indian Opportunities Industrialization Center’s (AIOIC) Adult Basic Education/GED program helps students achieve academically and professionally.

AIOIC was created in 1979 to respond to high unemployment and poverty rates among Native Americans in the Twin Cities area. In addition to its ABE/GED component, it operates the Takoda Institute that educates students in business, health care and information technology. Its focus is to meld education and job training in a way that is both culturally appropriate and prepares its graduates for a successful transition into a life of achievement.

One of those AIOIC success stories is Eugene Needham-Grayeagle (Standing Rock Sioux Tribe). Born in St. Paul and having moved to Minneapolis at the age of three years-old, his story is a familiar one for Native Americans. “Like a lot of young, Native men going to high school, I started off at South High School. And being young and dumb, messing around with the wrong crowd, I fell back on the classwork and everything,” said Needham-Grayeagle.
The Little Earth Red Bears baseball team wins big
Thursday, September 05 2013
 
Written by Jamie Keith,
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little earth wins big 1 copy.jpgThe Little Earth Red Bears won the Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board Youth Baseball League Championship this summer in the 10 Year Old And Under division. In celebration of the team’s success, Little Earth of United Tribes (Little Earth) hosted an awards banquet on Aug. 7 at the Little Earth Neighborhood Early Learning Center.

The event included a trophy presentation and the unveiling of new team uniforms, which were designed and funded through a partnership with the Indian Health Board. The uniforms and the Red Bears’ team name were created to honor Trinidad Flores, a 16-year-old Little Earth resident who passed away this April due to complications from a heart transplant.

“Trinidad was the heart and soul of a lot of the youth programming we did,” said Nathan Ratner, Little Earth’s Volunteer Coordinator.

Representatives from the Minnesota Twins Baseball Club (the Twins), another of the program’s partners, were also on hand at the event to distribute back-to-school backpacks to community youth. Over the course of this season, the Twins have invited the team to Target Field for a tour and offered the youth classes on the intersections between science and baseball.
Contentions remain after alcohol vote on Pine Ridge Rez
Thursday, September 05 2013
 
Written by Alfred Walking Bull,
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Members of the Oglala Sioux Tribe voted on Aug. 13 to end the reservation’s 124 year-old alcohol prohibition. The vote was in response to the alcohol sales from the Nebraska border town of Whiteclay, where the Nebraska Liquor Control Commission estimates the equivalent of 162,000 cases of beer were sold last year. While the results were not immediately known, the final count showed 1,871 tribal citizens voted in favor of the legalization of alcohol with 1,679 against.

While the majority of Oglala citizens voted to allow alcohol, anti-legalization activists feared the worst. “Our culture was coming back strong and they brought in this colonization,” said Alex White Plume. “We’ll have to wait and see what the council is going to do because it was a non-binding vote. It’s damaging our culture and our traditions will slowly change for the worse.”
 
One of White Plume’s main concerns was the immediacy with which the vote was brought before tribal voters. “I think it was that it came out of the blue, there was no clear cut plan … it wasn’t planned right. It was really fast and no one really knew about it until the day of the vote.”
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