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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.jpg GUEST COLUMNIST: Trahant Reports

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

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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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Fond du Lac Follies
Monday, July 30 2012
Written by by Jim Northrup,
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Wiidookawishin ji wiidookawigwaa niij anishinaabeg. That means "help me help my Anishinaabe people." It is part of my morning prayer when I make an offering of tobacco. I got my chance to use that prayer repeatedly when we began planning the 4th Annual Ambe Ojibwemodaa language camp.
The camp is held in June at the Kiwenz campground on the north shore of Big Lake in Sawyer, Minnesota.
My wife Patricia Northrup and my brudder Rick Gresczyk have been working on this camp for almost half a decade now.  Just to review the first year we had 189 people attend, second year was 400, third year was 500 and this year we had almost 700 registered campers. I am sure we had some attending who had not registered but attending is more important than registering anyway.
I remember a phrase I learned as a young Marine from an old crusty Gunnery Sergeant, "Prior Planning Prevents Poor Performance." That was certainly the case when we began planning this year's language camp.  My wife did the bulk of the planning while Rick and I sat in Solomon-like judgment and decided which ideas were good and which were not so good.
Patricia enlisted support from many, many people and most responded positively. The first of course was the Fond du Lac Reservation Business Committee. It costs money to put on an endeavor of this size. We needed to buy food to feed the campers, and we needed money to pay the fluent speakers and artists.
It ain't easy being indian
Monday, July 30 2012
Written by Ricey Wild,
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Just the other night I?was driving myself to the ER. Right after 12 am on a rez road I?looked up to the sky when 3 bright lights flashed in a row and I?thought, "Wow, what was that." It was coming closer to me. It made no sound and when I looked up the side of my windshield on the right it was just above the trees. The white light had turned blue by now. I thought about g­etting out of t­he car and looking at it more but I?got a chill and decided to just keep going. The craft, whatever it was, made no noise and flew too slowly ­to be an airplane. And it was not a helicopter because it was silent. I've told yoov before and I?annoy even myself by repeating it, but "they" are here and in fact, some tribal nation creation stories say that we Indians come from the stars. I'm just mad at the aliens who inflicted upon t­his earth the perpetrators and practitioners of a culture of greed and wealth. When I?think of good people, I?think of what they do, not what they have.
By the time I got to t­he ER I w­as in desperate pain from my broken arm. Broken arm? What? Again? Yes my friends, t­he crazy wild woman has a broken humerus bone on my right arm but t­here is nothing funny about it.
July 2012 powwow calendar
Monday, July 30 2012
Written by Jenny,
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July 6 - 7
34th Annual Red Cliff Powwow
Powwow Grounds, Red Cliff, WI. Traditional Powwow. FMI: 715-779-3082

July 6 - 8
Leech Lake 4th of July Traditional Pow Wow
Cass Lake, MN. Located next to Palace Casino. FMI: 218-308-3680 or email: LaVonne.Thompson@

July 6 - 8
Red Lake Nation Independence Day Powwow
Powwow Grounds, Red Lake, MN. Contest Powwow. FMI: 218-556-7566.
July 2012 Calendar
Monday, July 30 2012
Written by Jenny,
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July 20 (deadline)
MN State Arts Board
Visual Grants
The Minnesota State Arts Board Artist Initiative grant for Visual Arts supports and assists artists at various stages in their careers. IGrants will be awarded for career building and for the creative development of artists.  Artists working in all artistic disciplines: media arts, photography, and two- and three-dimensional visual arts, may apply. Grant amount $2,000‚-10,000. Applications are available at: Native community members with questions call the MSAB office at 800-866-2787 or email the Native American Community Liaison: This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it Applications must be received by July 20 at 4:30 pm.

July 21
Financial Literacy Class: Financial Skills for Families
Bii Gii Wiin CDLF is offering "Financial Skills For Families" for Native people.  Learn how to: develop a spending plan, work with checking/savings accounts, understand credit and your credit report, and access credit. 9 am to 3 pm. Free. The mission of the Bii Gii Wiin CDLF is to promote homeownership among Native American households throughout the State of Minnesota through the provision of development services and financial products and service. 612-843-2118. 1508 E. Franklin Avenue, Minneapolis, MN.

Woodrich Becomes First Woman/Native CEO Of GMCC
Sunday, June 10 2012
Written by by Jamie Keith,
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Inoya_woodrich_becomes_first_woman_and_native_ceo_of_gmcc.jpgn an historic move, the Greater Minneapolis Council of Churches (GMCC) has selected Noya Woodrich (Athabaskan) as both the first woman and the first Native American to serve as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and President of the organization. Woodrich currently serves as the Executive Director of the Division of Indian Work (DIW), a position she has held for the past eleven years. DIW is partially funded  by GMCC.
"This is breaking through another glass ceiling, making another step for proving that a woman and a person of color can do the same job that a white man can do," said Woodrich.
Woodrich began working with the DIW as an intern while she was pursuing her Bachelor's degree in Social Work at Augsburg College. After her internship was completed, she volunteered for some summer youth programs and did part-time work for the DIW before being hired full-time as a Program Director for the Teen Indian Parents Program. She was later hired as the Assistant Executive Director of the DIW, a position she held for six years before moving on to become the Executive Director. In all, Woodrich has been with the DIW for a little over twenty years.
"I did not grow up in the Indian community here," she said. "Being at the DIW offered me a way to be involved and connected to my community."
Woodrich was born in Alaska, but she and her brother were adopted by a white couple and grew up outside of Wasaw, Wisconsin, where the closest American Indian Reservation was 30-40 miles away.
"My brother and I were the only Indians growing up. Once we started high school in Wasaw, there were maybe 2 or 3 other Indian students," she said.
Woodrich credits her adoptive parents with inspiring aspects of her leadership and work style.
"My mom and dad were and are entrepreneurs, and I'm definitely an entrepreneurial thinker," she said.
Woodrich also credits the former Executive Director of DIW, Mary Ellen Dumas, with giving her the opportunity to become a successful manager.
"She took the chance and hired me," she said. "She allowed me to grow."
Woodrich also says that the current CEO and President of GMCC, Rev. Dr. Gary Reierson, has been a supportive influence.
"He built me up along the way and I always felt valued for the work I did," she said. "I never doubted that I could do the job, and I think you get that confidence because the people around you support you and the job you're doing."
American Indian Family Center employees call for removal of E.D.
Sunday, June 10 2012
Written by By Jamie Keith,
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american_indian_family_center_call_for_removal.jpgKevin Martineau, Executive Director of the American Indian Family Center (AIFC) in East Saint Paul, is at the center of a protest and pending investigation by the organization's Board of Directors for what employees and former staff members describe as "angry outbursts and intimidation practices." Staff members said that Martineau, a member of the Mendota Mdewakanton Dakota Community, has held his position for between four and five years.
According to a recent press release issued by protestors, over 90 community members attended an AIFC staff meeting on March 17 where they confronted Martineau with their allegations. Since March 22, staff and community members, largely comprised of a rotating group of dedicated women, have picketed outside AIFC.
"Our main goal is to have Kevin either resign or have the Board terminate him as an employee," said Yellow Cloud Provincial, a community member who has volunteered to be the media contact for the protestors. "His behavior wouldn't stand in any working environment."
Martineau has not been into the office since the protests began and was unavailable for comment. No current or former AIFC employees wished to be identified in the press, citing fears about job security and jeopardizing the pending Board investigation.
One former employee feels that the protest is a crucial next step. "Our intent is to shed light on what's been going on for so long," she said. The former AIFC staff member, who worked at the organization for about a year before resigning, felt discriminated against by Martineau for being openly gay.
"He said that several employees were 'too flamboyant ' so they put clients off, but told me that I wasn't 'flamboyant,' so I was all right," she said.
An anonymous current employee feels that a protest was the only option open to staff and community members with objections to Martineau's conduct.
"People felt there was no other recourse," she said. She said she has complained about Martineau's behavior to the Board on three occasions, and that she knew of at least four other employees who filed formal complaints.
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