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ira jourdain-cap.jpgJourdain Seeks to be a Voice for Native Students

A Red Lake tribal citizen seeks accountability and to raise Native issues in his bid for the MPLS Public Schools Board of Education. Read more ...


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Mordecai Specktor explores the relationship between PolyMet, its sulfide mining and its investment connections to Iranian interests. 

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The Arts

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Hennepin Theatre Trust Celebrates Andrew Jackson

“I respect your opinion, however ... I was looking at the show more as a political statement of politics in general," said artistic direct Steven Meerdink.

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It ain't easy being indian
Thursday, December 15 2011
Written by Ricey Wild,
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The Indian dating website "" sent me an email notification saying they had two new matches for me. Since I gave up on that long ago I just had to open it (actually I forgot all about it, I only signed up so I had a topic for my column). The message was brief; rather curt really, they want me to expand my snag-wish list. Sheez! But I think I know one reason why I haven't received many responses. I put 'honest' down for one of my potential buck's qualities. Hai! Oh well, I don't understand why any man wouldn't want to snag up a woman with four geriatric cats, a spoiled little foofy dog, crushing debt and whom can beat your flat butt in Scrabble anytime, anywhere. I'm such a catch, ennit?
Fond du Lac Follies
Thursday, December 15 2011
Written by Jim Northrup,
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Yea!, Fond du Lac won in Federal Court. We no longer have to split the profits from Fond du Luth, our casino in Duluth. We had been giving about six million dollars annually to the city for the right to have a casino there.
Remember back in the bad old days when we gave 50% of the profits to the Joint Economic Development Commission, 24 % of the profits to the City and 26% for the Rez?
Now, as I understand it we get 100% of the profits and Duluth will have to look elsewhere for money. See, once in a while the good guys win. Maamakaaj astonishing
Native Issues in the Halls of Government
Thursday, December 15 2011
Written by Mordecai Specktor,
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Vegas on Hennepin
Politicians, business interests and labor unions are applying a full-court press to build a new stadium for the Vikings (to mix sports metaphors). Team owners Zygi and Mark Wilf favor the old arsenal site in Arden Hills, while Minneapolis boosters - including Mayor R.T. Rybak and the Minneapolis Downtown Council - are dangling sales tax money to lure the Purple People Eaters to one of three proposed sites in the Mill City.
Of course, the Vikes have fallen on hard times of late (a dismal 2-9 on the season, as The Circle goes to press); but this is Political Matters, not the Sports Report.
Over at the Capitol, two Senate committees held a joint hearing Nov. 29 to hear testimony on proposed stadium sites. There is no bill in the hopper; and there is no funding mechanism for a new stadium (beyond the Wilfs' offer to put up $425 million, with the remaining $600 million coming from somewhere).
A faction in the Legislature, comprised of both Republicans and DFLers, is adamant that no public money be used to build a football stadium; at the same time, a knowledgeable source in St. Paul told me that the building trades unions and the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce are flexing their muscles in support of a new home for the Vikings.

Breakfast With Diane Wilson & Jim Northrup December 8th, 8:00 a.m.
Saturday, November 12 2011
Written by The Circle Staff,
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A Breakfast Fundraiser For The Circle

Breakfast and reading by award winning Native
American authors Diane Wilson and Jim Northrup.


Friday, November 11 2011
Written by Jacob Croonenberghs,
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cover_story_tobacco_youth1.jpgAmerican Indian youth are challenging their community to take a stand against commercial tobacco. The students, ages thirteen to seventeen, are working hard to educate Native businesses and agencies in the Twin Cities about eliminating commercial tobacco from their workplaces.
The students are part of the Mashkiki Ogichidaag program, which is supported by the Division of Indian Work. The program seeks to educate students about the adverse effects of commercial tobacco abuse, as well as teach Native youth about tobacco's traditional uses in Native American culture.
"The program is named Mashkiki Ogichidaag, which translates into 'Medicine Warriors'," said Leya Hale, the program coordinator of Mashkiki Ogichidaag. Hale stepped into the role of coordinator in March 2011. "This program has been around for about three years. The Division of Indian Work hires grant writers to apply for the funding that makes programs such as these possible," said Hale.
The Division of Indian Work, founded in 1952, is the oldest organization directly serving American Indians in the Twin Cities area. Located at 1001 East Lake Street, the Medicine Warriors hold their meetings in a room upstairs next to the kitchen. There is macaroni and cheese with a make-it-yourself-chili dog table for the youth. Hale says she always tries to provide for students who are taking time out of their day to listen to her words. Sitting in their chairs, arranged in a circle, the students talk about the traditional uses of tobacco.
All non-Native Pocahontas opera funded by Legacy Funds
Friday, November 11 2011
Written by Lisa Steinmann,
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pocahontas_opera.jpgIn October, Pocahontas-Woman of Two Worlds, a new opera composed by Minnesotan Linda Tutas Haugen, was performed at the Burnsville Performing Arts Center. After the show, over 100 community members - many of them protestors from the Native American community - shared their views during a sometimes heated discussion. While emotions expressed that evening have cooled, questions about the funding of the production linger.
Despite efforts by the opera's composer Linda Tutas Haugen and librettist Joan Vail Thorne to avoid the Disney pitfall of turning Pocahontas into what noted Native American historian Helen Rountree called  "a buckskin-clad Barbie" they walked right into the heart of the problem: whether it is opera or animation, the story of Pocahontas is still a story of oppression of Native Americans.
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