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Photography helps Native youth enrich their lives

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Willis Swenson June 25, 1987 - April 22, 2012
Thursday, May 17 2012
Written by The Circle Staff,
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Willis A. Swenson, age 24, of the Lower Sioux Community unexpectedly entered the spirit world Sunday, April 22, 2012. Willis Swenson was born June 25, 1987 in Redwood Falls, MN to Dan and LaVonne (Columbus) Swenson.  He was baptized at St. Cornelia's Episcopal Church. He attended school at Redwood Falls, Morton Charter, and Sisseton. Willis was a Powwow dancer when he was younger. He loved family gatherings and picnics, and spending time with his friends. Willis enjoyed the children and all his relatives. He was a great story teller and remembered all the details of the past. Willis made you feel like you were in the story. He enjoyed a variety of music, the outdoors, fishing, and camping. He also loved traveling, cooking, and watching TV.
Willis is survived by his parents Dan and LaVonne Swenson of Morton; Siblings: Regina (Tony) Stacy, Dean R. Peterson, and Aaron Swenson, all of the Lower Sioux; godparents: Chris Columbus, Leon Columbus, and Joan Pendleton, all of the Lower Sioux; aunts and uncles: Tim, Trulo, Lillian, Dodo, Sandee, Dixie, Yuker, Dan, Gus, and Melissa; cousins: Willard, Mary Ellen, Dale, Virgil, Collette, Richard Dean, Tom, Duane, Michelle, Cindy, Stevie, Tony, Eileen, Dion, Tim, Donovan, Caesar, Stacy, Tony, Pam, Dory, Richard, Vicki, Angel, Amber, Mindy, Christina, Tamica, Wishbone, Scootie, Raquel, Eleanor, Dennis, Vinnie, Joe, Deb, Val, Danielle, Deedee, Lydia, Trisha, Jason, Vernon Jr., Brandon, Felicia, and April; nieces and nephews: Americis, Dean, Arianna, Chad, Velecia, Xavia, and Marquese Morris; his dog Murphy; and many other relatives and friends. Funeral services were held April 26 at the Lower Sioux Community Center. Interment is in St. Cornelia's Episcopal Cemetery. Online condolences may be sent at
Political Matters: Native Issues in the Halls of Government
Thursday, May 17 2012
Written by by Mordecai Specktor,
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De-listing the wolf
The American Prospect's March 13 issue featured a 5,500-word story about the killing of wolves in the Northern Rockies. "Wolves to the Slaughter," by Christopher Ketcham, recounts the history of the reintroduction of gray wolves to central Idaho and Yellowstone National Park.
The effort to bring wolves back to this region of the American West followed decades of depredations against the species. The wolf, Ketcham writes, was "shot, trapped, poisoned with strychnine, fed glass shards stuffed in bait, its pups asphyxiated by fires set in their dens. By 1935, the gray wolf had disappeared almost entirely from the U.S."
Fond du Lac Follies
Thursday, May 17 2012
Written by by Jim Northrup,
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A man I honored for many years died. Roy Joe Defore was 80 when he moved into the spiritual world. I respected him because when I was a young teenager, he came back from the the Korean War as an US Army paratrooper. He made his final jump from the military to life on the Reservation. Roy and nimisenh, my first cousin Geraldine, were married 55 years.
At one point we were both working for Fond du Lac construction at the same time. He lived at the north end of Northrup Road. Every time I drove by his house, and he was in the yard, I would throw him a Sawyer wave. He'd wave back. I was honored when his family decided to use my poem, End Of The Beginning, on his funeral card.
You earned your rest Roy Joe, Ogichidaa
It ain't easy being indian
Thursday, May 17 2012
Written by by Ricey Wild,
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Last year I was at home semi-watching regular TV for background noise when stormy weather blew out some power lines. I was at a momentary loss as to what to do while the electricty was out. I decided to put in a movie until the electricity came back on. I remember looking at my DVD collection when the realization hit me; the power is out and there wasn't anything I could do but wait. True story.
Superintendent Speaks
Thursday, May 17 2012
Written by by Bernadeia Johnson,
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On Tuesday, April 17, the Minneapolis Board of Education approved a new two-year labor contract with the Minneapolis Federation of Teachers (MFT) that supports and advances student achievement. The teachers' union and MPS reached agreement on key issues such as providing students with more time to learn, allowing teachers more time to effectively prepare for classes each day and establishing a more collaborative and focused professional development plan.
This contract is only one cornerstone of our reform efforts to turn around underperforming schools and improve academic outcomes for all students. We take the challenge of educational improvement seriously and are launching some substantial revisions to our structure and practice to build momentum for increasing success in our most struggling schools. This work includes focused instruction - what we teach, how we teach and how we measure student progress; teacher evaluation that is both supportive and meaningful; partnering with successful charter schools like Harvest Preparatory; and utilizing instructional time, including summer school, more effectively.
While the labor contract is not the only way for us to achieve improvements in these schools, it is a vital part of the overall equation. We must continue to align contracts to support school district reform efforts. This contract is not an end in itself; it is a foundation to help build future success. This contract continues to change the way we do business.
May 2012 calendar
Thursday, May 17 2012
Written by Circle Staff,
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Thru May 26
Artist Exhibit:?Wendy Red Star
The Bockley Gallery presents two recent print publications: The Four Seasons series, 2006 comprised of four prints, Fall, Winter, Spring, and Indian Summer and the Thunder Up Above series, 2011 comprised of 6 prints, Hoop in the Cloud, Medicine Rock Child, Sits with the Stars, Stirs Up the Dust, and Walks in the Dark. Wendy Red Star's work explores the intersection between life on the Crow Indian reservation and the world outside of that environment. Gallery Hours: Wed. through Sat., noon to 5 pm. Bockley Gallery, 2123 W. 21st St., Minneapolis.

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