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superintendent speaks:
Friday, November 11 2011
 
Written by The Circle Staff,
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Since 2006, the third Thursday in November has been set aside in Minneapolis Public Schools as Native American Family Involvement Day (NAFID). This year, NAFID will be held on Thursday, November 17. This day is designated to recognize the importance of American Indian families being involved in their child's education, and to help to build trust between students, families and schools. MPS encourages all schools to celebrate NAFID to honor the efforts of American Indian students and families, and to celebrate the unique contributions of Native Americans to education and to our school district.
I am pleased to announce that I will again host seven Soup with the Supe events in different areas of the school district to connect with the community by serving soup and engaging in a town hall discussion. Soup with the Supe allows me to hear directly from our stakeholders in a welcoming, interactive environment. Student entertainment, food, childcare and interpreters will be available at each event.
It ain't easy being indian
Friday, November 11 2011
 
Written by Ricey Wild,
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he sleeping Tigress has awakened. I mean me. I found out in a definitive way that there's more to life than having fun, or at least desperately trying to. It took a bonk on my head, literally, to come to this amazing revelation. So I am taking my own sage advice: "I practice moderation…in moderation." Well, we all gotta have some fun, right? And it's not like I'm the only person who made a mistake which was totally out of character. While I was paging through the Bible I came across the quote: 'Judge not, lest ye be judged." Wise words.
Like most people I've been following the Republican race for presidential nominee whether I want to or not, but I don't mind cuz it's providing me with many moments of hilarity. Michelle Bachman has become increasingly screechy and frantic and is now The Queen of De-Nial; even the Tea Party wants her to wrap it up and go home. How embarrassing! Hee hee! Now the Republicans are pitting Herman Cain (he's black, anyone notice that? Interesting, ennit?) who is a former pizza maker against the Democratic incumbent, President Barack Obama who graduated from Harvard Law School. Really?! I snicker.
Fond du Lac Follies
Friday, November 11 2011
 
Written by Jim Northrup,
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Yeah, the war in Iraq is going to be over in a couple of months President Obama promises. Did we win? Did we lose? Or did we just lose interest in a war that just kept ambling on and on, one that cost billions of dollars and lives.
Was it worth it? Did we ever find those pesky weapons of mass destruction? How many Americans died in that long lasting war? I know who suffered besides the Iraqi, it was the combat veterans that came home greatly affected by their experiences.
According to the news over 4,000 Americans died, and over 150,000 Iraqi citizens. The cost of the war was estimated at 400 billion dollars.
But alas, the war is not over. Now I hear America is sending troops into Africa, four different countries. And what about Afghanistan, aren't Americans still getting wounded and dying there? I forget why we were even there in the first place.
Do we always have to be at war somewhere?

Native Issues in the Halls of Government
Friday, November 11 2011
 
Written by Mordecai Specktor,
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In October, on the federal Columbus Day holiday, Sasha Houston Brown (Santee Dakota) wrote a letter to the CEO of Urban Outfitters Inc., the apparel chain that has an Uptown store. She visited the shop and noted the "cheap, vulgar and culturally offensive retail collection."
"Indian-look" items seem to come and go in the fashion world; but Brown's letter to Glenn T. Senk decried what she saw as "blatant racism and perverted cultural appropriation" in the store's items branded as "Navajo."
She wrote: "There is nothing honorable or historically appreciative in selling items such as the Navajo Print Fabric Wrapped Flask, Peace Treaty Feather Necklace… or the Navajo Hipster Panty. These and the dozens of other tacky products you are currently selling referencing Native America make a mockery of our identity and unique cultures."
Forcia Honored With Fundraiser Feast
Friday, October 07 2011
 
Written by Story and photos by Jacob Croonenberghs,
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forcia_honored_cover1.jpgforcia_honored_cover2.jpgA benefit and feast was held on September 22nd in the Minneapolis American Indian Center (MAIC) in Minneapolis to honor Mike Forcia for his tireless efforts in helping feed the homeless. The event brought together over 100 members of the Native American community. Young and old alike could be seen sitting together enjoying fried walleye, wild rice, hot-dish and fry-bread, all courtesy of the cooks and community members who wanted to show Forcia their appreciation.
Forcia (Bad River Ojibwe) has always placed an emphasis on public service. Starting with a fatherly interest in his children's educational welfare, Mike has worked with the Minneapolis Public Schools to help raise awareness of Native student's special needs.
This interest in the welfare of those around him translated into an ability to identify some of the special needs of the Native community at large.
Looking out the window of his own cafe on Franklin Avenue, Forcia saw an opportunity to help the homeless using the resources of his very own diner, The Wolves Den.
"Back in 2005, Wade Keezer and I decided we wanted to find a way to help feed the homeless. Along with our friend Kevin Oberdain, we began to feed the homeless using the resources of my Cafe. We called the breakfasts Oyate Oshkabaywis. This is essentially two words from the Dakota and Anishinaabe languages that we put together into one name, meaning 'helper' in both languages," Forcia said.
The Wolves Den is one of the only places in the city to grab a piece of real, Indian-made frybread. Described as the home of lone wolves and pack eaters alike, Forcia has enjoyed running his own business for many years on Franklin Avenue.
The Berenstain Bears speak Lakota in special 20-episode series
Friday, October 07 2011
 
Written by The Circle staff,
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berenstein_bears_cover_1.jpgThe Dakotas and Minnesota are at the front of a new wave in children's education, as beloved furry faces begin to speak in an ancient tribal language.  
For 50 years, the adventures of the Berenstain Bears have been translated into Spanish, French, and other European languages. This year, for the first time they are speaking a Native American language - Lakota - in the hopes that the language will take hold again with Lakota children and families.
A 20-episode Lakota-language series, Mat?? Wa???ila Thiw?he, or "The Compassionate Bear Family," premiered on Sunday morning, September 11, and will broadcast through November 2011 on South Dakota Public Broadcasting's Create channel, and Prairie Public television's Lifelong Learning channel in North Dakota and Minnesota.
The premiere coincided with the United Tribes International Powwow in Bismarck, an annual event that draw thousands of Natives and non-Natives from all over the North American continent.  During the Powwow's events September 7-10, the Bears seemed to be everywhere: live costumed characters were honored as "dignitaries" in the Powwow's spectacular Grand Entry and met a mob of children at Youth Day.  
The voice actors, all fluent Lakota speakers from several reservations, joined the costumed characters on a float during the powwow's parade through downtown Bismarck, and met the children on Youth Day.  A special screening was presented at the Tribal Leaders' Summit meeting, and a big display booth kept the premiere episodes running on a continuous loop.
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