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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 ...


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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The Arts

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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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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.
Sunday, June 10 2012
Written by The Circle Staff,
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Leech Lake Member Receives Her Doctor of Pharmacy
(By Elizabeth Sherman)
whats_new_in_community_-_lisa_sherman_get_doctor_pharmacy.jpgLisa Renee Sherman (Ogimaakwe) received her Doctor of Pharmacy from the University of Minnesota-College of Pharmacy on May 4, 2012.  Lisa is the daughter of Frank Sherman of Winnie Dam, and Evelyn Howard of Cass Lake. Lisa grew up with her parents and two other siblings at Winnie Dam and is a 1999 Cass Lake-Bena High School graduate.  Lisa accepted a position as a pharmacist for the Bad River Ojibwe Tribe of Wisconsin and will start her position the end of May 2012.
Her advanced pharmacy practice experience led her to a learning experience in Acute Care at Community Memorial Hospital Pharmacy in Cloquet, MN, St. Luke's Hospital in Duluth, MN and at Grand Itasca Clinic and Hospital, Grand Rapids, MN.  She also participated in a wonderful learning environment in Patient Care at the Deer River Hospital Pharmacy and Ambulatory Care at Cass Lake Indian Health Service.  Her two-year Research Project in Pharm.D.IV focuses on Native American patients and their pharmacists in an Indian Health Service Pharmacy with the final analysis as a documented data collection of the utilization of a holistic relationship to pharmacy.
Lisa was the first cohort to receive an undergraduate scholarship award from the Gates Foundation as a Gates Millennium Scholar. Lisa also received a scholarship award from the Indian Health Service Scholarship Program. 
The Dakota War of 1862, refuges in Canada
Sunday, June 10 2012
Written by By Kathy Henderson,
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It is well known that in the aftermath of the U.S.-Dakota War of 1862 when the Dakota people were being rounded up and confined at Fort Snelling, some chiefs fled with their bands into the Dakota Territory and Canada. And in most history books, that's where the story ends - at the Canadian border.
But the often-overlooked story about what happened on the other side of the 49th parallel deserves telling, for it comes with ancient silver medals and an amazing account of refugee status based on oaths of perpetual obligation made to the Dakota people a half century before. As Minnesotans commemorate the 150th anniversary of the U.S.-Dakota War of 1862, it took a visit to the Manitoba Museum in Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada to spotlight this little-known chapter of Dakota history.
The sign in the museum's Grassland Gallery exhibit area simply states:  "Following the Sioux Uprising in Minnesota in 1862, many Dakota families moved north into British territory. In recognition of their longstanding allegiance to the British Crown, they were granted reserve lands beginning in 1874, although they did not sign treaties. By the mid-1870s, there were over 1,000 Dakota living in camps near Portage la Prairie, along the Assiniboine River, at Oak Leaf and near Fort Ellice."
What! Canadian Dakotas. Allegiance to the British Crown! How did all this happen?
The Dakota people have had a long history of crisscrossing the border and had at various times since 1821 established trading relationships with the Hudson Bay Company (HBC) at Fort Garry. Fort Garry was not a military post, but a fur trading post near the confluence of the Red and Assiniboine rivers, where Winnipeg, Manitoba, is located today.
However, this time the arrival of the Dakota at the fort was different. In the aftermath of the U.S.-Dakota War of 1862, the Dakotas came to Forth Garry as refugees, not trading partners, and they arrived with silver medals that displayed the image of King George III and claims to sanctuary based on promises made to their forefathers for their allegiance and service to the British during the War of 1812.
Running Wolf Fitness Center member loses 60 lbs, regains health
Sunday, June 10 2012
Written by by Connie Norman,
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We here at the Running Wolf Fitness Center would like to share one of our success stories with the community. Salvador Pacheco (White Earth Ojibwe/ Hispanic) lives and works in the Phillips neighborhood and heard we were re-opening the Running Wolf Fitness Center in the neighborhood. So in September he went to the Native American Community Clinic (NACC) and got his fitness exam, which entitled him to recieve a free 6 month membership at Running Wolf Fitness Center.
During the exam Salvador learned that he had a high total cholesterol of 236. He determined to set goals to improve that through dietary change. Several of the changes he made included cutting butter from his diet and eating high fiber oatmeal.  Pacheco said the toughest part of the diet change was giving up Pepsi.
After changing his diet and working with a NACC Dietician his cholesterol went down 100 points in about 6-8 weeks.
Salvador started his membership at Running Wolf Fitness Center November 1st. He came every morning at 10 am when Running Wolf opened and set goals with the trainer named Q. When he started Salvador said that he could only do about 5 minutes on the Nustep (Recumbent bike).
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