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Sam English's Big Dream
Monday, July 30 2012
Written by story by Jamie Keith o Photos by William hart,
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covers_story_sam_english_1.jpgSam English (Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa), a renowned Native American painter and activist based out of Albuquerque, New Mexico, is at the forefront of a movement to create the National Native American Healing Center Through the Performing Arts. English envisions the Center providing spaces for art workshops and studios in areas such as writing, dancing, sculpting, and wood-carving. He also sees the Center as the potential drop-in facility for people on the path to sobriety, a coffee shop and restaurant, and a green house.
In a concept paper for the Center written by Elizabeth Belcourt, a social work professional, the center is described as "an organization that will promote healing with integrity and [a] culture based approach utilizing the art form of Native American people." This goal will be realized by using art to "identify who we are as Indian people and address the historical trauma that has taken place throughout the centuries, and is current in our daily lives."
"Nothing's excluded from this movement," said English. "We need to have some choices about living life like everyone else has."
The Center was incorporated as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization in 2002, but securing funding and identifying a location are still in the early planning stages. Ideally, English would like to see the Center based in Albuquerque or somewhere in the Midwest. Kathy Samson (Manitoba Metis Federation/Ojibwe/Opasquiak Cree), is English's artist agent and foresees the Center eventually growing to encompass multiple sites nationwide. In order to fund the site initially, English plans on selling 65 original paintings he created for Native American programs and conferences in the thirty-some years he has been a practicing artist. English as donated the use of many of his images to Native organizations over the years, including local organizations like Mending the Sacred Hoop Technical Assistance Project in Duluth; Minnesota Department of Health's Leech Lake Youth Division in Leech Lake; and the Great Lake Inter-tribal Council in Lac du Flambeau, WI.
NACDI will lead design/construction of Anpetu Was'te Cultural Arts Market
Monday, July 30 2012
Written by Jamie Keith,
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The Native American Community Development Institute (NACDI) was one of four Twin Cities organizations that was awarded an ArtPlace grant for "creative place-making" initiatives in early June. NACDI will receive $435,000 to lead the design and construction of Anpetu Was'te Cultural Arts Market, a plaza surrounding the Franklin Avenue Light Rail Station that will include permanent art installations and spaces for local vendors.
"The grant is really promoting the idea of creativity, innovation, and catalyzing change," said Andrew Hestness, Interim President and CEO of NACDI, who has been the lead on the Anpetu Was'te Cultural Arts Market project.
The inspiration behind the Anpetu Was'te (which means "Good Day" or "Welcome" in Lakota/Dakota) Cultural Arts Market came from NACDI's participation on an urban planning advisory board with the City of Minneapolis. The board looked at possible city planning improvements along the light rail and the American Indian Cultural Corridor on Franklin Avenue. Although some enhancements were made to the pedestrian environment along the Corridor, NACDI employees didn't think the changes were as significant as they needed to be.
"Frankly, when that process came out, we just didn't feel like what they were doing was enough," said Hestness. "It gave us a lot of energy around trying to identify what's the next step for that area and how we could move that forward."
Whats new in the community
Monday, July 30 2012
Written by The Circle Staff,
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whats_new_adam_beach_at_powwow.jpgMeeting Actor Adam Beach
(By Rachel Peirce) In June actor Adam Beach (Aboriginal Saulteaux tribe of Canada) made an impromptu appearance at the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe's 21st Annual Hinckley Competition Powwow. The contest powwow was held from June 15 through June 17 at the Grand Casino Hinckley powwow grounds.
On Friday evening people excitely gathered around the arrival of Beach, who has appeared in Smoke Signals, Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. Ladies began to scream and the audience cheered loudly until Beach borrowed the microphone from the M.C. to tell his fans that regrettably he was not single and had brought his girlfriend with him (actress Leah Gibson).
I was lucky to get a moment of Beach's time. I had my almost two-year old baby, daughter in my arms. I was honored that Beach made a cameo appearance at Hinckley, and hundreds of other American Indian women that day were too.
Annual Ojibwe language camp has almost 700 campers
Monday, July 30 2012
Written by Photos by Ivy Vainio,
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Almost 700 register campers attended the 4th Annual Ambe Ojibwemodaa language camp held June 21 - 24 at the Kiwenz campground on the north shore of Big Lake in Sawyer, Minnesota. One camper came from as far away as New Zealand to attend. For the st­ory, see Fond Du Lac Follies on page 12.

Carri Jones becomes first woman and youngest tribal chair of Leech Lake
Monday, July 30 2012
Written by The Circle Staff,
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res_news_carrie_jones_wins_leech_lake_electiontif.jpg Carri Jones, 32, has become the first female Tribal Chair of the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe and the youngest person to win the top ranking position. The June 12 Leech Lake elections resulted in Jones ousting current Chairman Arthur "Archie" LaRose.
Jones will be the first female to lead the 9,000+ member Leech Lake Band. She has degrees in business administration and accounting from Bemidji State University. She also has more than twelve years experience working with tribal governments in finance-related roles.
The June 12 Leech Lake General Election results, which saw Carri Jones and LeRoy Staples-Fairbanks III oust two incumbents, were upheld as Leech Lake Chairman Arthur "Archie" LaRose and District III Representative Eugene "Ribs" Whitebird withdrew their respective election contests before Election Contest Judge Richard Osburn.
Because there's no automatic recount, LaRose and Whitebird both asked for recounts. But LaRose and Whitebird withdrew their contests after a pre-hearing conference and a two hour discovery process. Bruce Baird, who represented the incumbents at the hearing, informed Judge Osburn that "the burden of proof is too severe," so the incumbents were dropping their contests. Judge Osburn noted that he would issue orders reflecting the withdrawals of the contests.
Native Issues in the Halls of Government
Monday, July 30 2012
Written by by Mordecai Specktor,
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Pine Ridge's 'reign of terror'
When my professional journalism career, such as it is, began about 34 years ago, I learned about the case of Leonard Peltier, the American Indian Movement (AIM) activist serving two consecutive life sentences for the murder of two FBI agents in a June 26, 1975, shootout at Oglala, on the Pine Ridge reservation (So. Dakota).
I began corresponding with Peltier, and later conducted prison interviews with him, in the 1980s. Peltier is still in prison, at the federal lock-up in Coleman, Fla. According to Wikipedia, his release date is Oct. 11, 2040, when he will be 96.
In the 1980s, I spent some time at Pine Ridge, and heard stories about the years following the 1973 government siege of Wounded Knee, the tiny hamlet that was liberated by AIM and traditional Oglala Lakotas from the reservation. The period from 1973 to 1976 saw an upsurge of political violence, as the BIA tribal government under Richard "Dickie" Wilson essentially terrorized the AIM faction at Pine Ridge.
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