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Native Issues in the Halls of Government
Wednesday, October 17 2012
 
Written by by Mordecai Specktor,
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Sexual predators
My February 2011 column concerned a "plague of sexual violence" on the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation (South Dakota). My writing followed up on a story by Kathy Dobie in Harper's Magazine, which examined the epidemic of rape and sexual molestation on the sprawling reservation, and the grossly ineffectual response to these crimes by both tribal and federal authorities.
This deplorable situation in Indian Country continues to fester. In late September, a front-page story in the New York Times, "A Tribe's Epidemic of Child Sex Abuse, Minimized for Years," reported horrific accounts of the sexual molestation and rape of children on the Spirit Lake Indian Reservation (North Dakota).
"Federal officials are now moving to take over the tribe's social service programs, according to members of the tribe, government officials and documents," the Times reported. "The action comes after years of failure by government and tribal law enforcement officials to conduct proper investigations of dozens of cases of child sexual abuse, including rape."
The article noted that these "crimes are rarely prosecuted, few arrests are made, and people say that because of safety fears and law enforcement's lack of interest, they no longer report even the most sadistic violence against children. In May 2011, a 9-year-old girl and her 6-year-old brother were killed on the reservation after being raped and sodomized."
While the U.S. government apparently is now taking action at Spirit Lake, Timothy Williams, the Times reporter, wrote that federal agencies "have sought to minimize the extent of the problem, including disciplining employees who have spoken publicly about sexual abuse and questioning the competence of others, according to federal and tribal officials."
Poverty and alcoholism are cited as factors behind the high incidence of sexual abuse and rape on these reservations. In any case, more resources clearly are needed to deal with this dire situation on the rez, a blight on the future of Indian life on the land.
Fond du Lac Follies
Wednesday, October 17 2012
 
Written by by Jim Northrup,
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My aunt Sandy Shabiash died. I am not sure what the cause was but we knew she had been battling lung cancer. Right up to the end she continued fighting for the people. She was attending meetings on other Reservations representing Fond du Lac. We will have a special election to try and replace her.
We will miss you aunt Sandy. I think Roberta Morrison should be honored for the help she gave Sandy in the final months of her life. Of course her sister Jeanette helped a lot also.  
Berta would stop by my house and visit and we would tell stories of the old days in Sawyer, the 1940s and 50s when we were growing up around here. Berta remembered things I didn't and I remembered some she didn't. We laughed muchly as we told those old family stories.
It ain't easy being indian
Wednesday, October 17 2012
 
Written by by Ricey Wild,
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My Dear Readers, first I'll ask for your patience for this column. My thoughts and feelings have been mainly concerned with the upcoming presidential election next month, yet I'm having a slight difficulty at this time organizing my words into little rows that make the most sense. That being so, I ain't gonna bother trying to…make entirely perfect sense. Why start now you ask? Yooz are right of course and so here I go, all stream of consciousness and as un-hysterically as I can be.
First things first, if you are a citizen of this great nation of ours you must vote. Yeah I said it. If you have never voted in an election before and think it does not matter anyway, tell that to your children and grandchildren who will approach you some time in the near future and ask you, "What happened? What about your pledge to the Seven Generations? I'm hungry, are there any scraps left from yesterday?"
SUPERINTENDENT SPEAKS
Wednesday, October 17 2012
 
Written by Bernadeia H. Johnson, Ed.D. Superintendent of Schools,
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Attend to Achieve: Attendance is key to our students' success

As we begin another school year in Minneapolis Public Schools, I am pleased to report that we are off to a great start.
We are excited about this year's priorities, which will help us continue to improve teaching and learning in our schools. One of those priorities is the launch of our new attendance campaign, Attend to Achieve. We know that attendance is critical to student success, but far too many of our children are not attending school as regularly as they should.
We know that students need to attend school to achieve in school. Study after study proves that being in school leads to succeeding in school. The Attend to Achieve campaign supports our goal for all students to attend school at least 95 % of the time.

COMMUNITY CALENDAR October 2012
Wednesday, October 17 2012
 
Written by The Circle Staff,
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Oct. 2
Louise Erdrich Reading:
The Round House
Join us as we celebrate the release of Louise's great new novel The Round House. Riveting and suspenseful; at once a powerful coming-of-age story, a mystery, and a tender, moving novel of family, history, and culture. The Round House is receiving glowing praise from early readers. Louise will be signing books after the reading. We will have plenty of copies available for purchase at the event. Don't miss this opportunity to hear Louise read from her excellent new book! Doors open at 6:15 pm, Reading at 7 pm. Free! St. Paul's Episcopal Church, 1917 Logan Avenue South, Minneapolis. For info, see:?http://birchbarkbooks.com or call 612-374-4023.

Oct. 3
Dakota 38 Film and Panel
A special showing of the acclaimed documentary film, "Dakota 38," the story of an annual sojourn on horseback that honors 38 Dakota warriors who were hanged in Minnesota in 1862, will be presented from 7-9 p.m. in the Pohlad Hall at Hennepin County Library, Minneapolis Central, 300 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis. Admission is free. Following the film, a brief panel discussion will be led by the Star Tribune's Curt Brown. Panel members include Elizabeth Baer, a professor of English at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minn.; Sandee Geshick, a Dakota elder from Morton, Minn.; and Elitta Gouge, a Dakota elder from the Upper Sioux Community in Granite Falls, Minn. For more information contact Anne Pederson at 612-543-8394.
POWWOW CALENDAR
Wednesday, October 17 2012
 
Written by The Circle Staff,
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Nov. 2
5th Annual Gitchi Gami Powwow
Ashland High School Gymnasium, Ashland, WI. Traditional Powwow. FMI: 715-682-7089 x1011 or x1248; email: This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it


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