What’s New in the Community – February 2019

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White Hawk wins 2019 USA Fellowship
The United States Artists (USA) has announced its 2019 USA Fellows. Dyani White Hawk is one of 45 artists or collectives to receive the unrestricted $50,000 cash award. White Hawk earned an MFA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a BFA from the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She served as Gallery Director and Curator for the All My Relations Gallery in Minneapolis from 2011 until 2015.
White Hawk is a recipient of numerous awards including; a 2018/19 Eiteljorg Contemporary Art Fellowship, 2017 and 2015 Native Arts and Cultures Foundation Fellowships, 2014 Joan Mitchell Foundation Painters and Sculptors Grant, 2013/14 McKnight Visual Artist Fellowship, and the 2012 Southwestern Association of Indian Arts Discovery Fellowship. She has participated in cross-cultural residencies in South Africa, Botswana, Australia and Russia. Her work is in the collections of the Denver Art Museum, Minneapolis Institute of Art, Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian, Tweed Museum of Art, IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native Arts, and the Akta Lakota Museum, among other public and private collections. She is represented by Bockley Gallery in Minneapolis. More info can be found at: dyaniwhitehawk.com

Community input sought for plan at Pilot Knob/Oheyawahe
A modest trail system with two interpretive signs welcomes visitors to Pilot Knob/Oheyawahe, and shares information about this historic blufftop, located in Mendota Heights, that was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2017. Funded by the American Express Foundation, plans have been drafted to improve the visitor experience as it relates to education and accessibility. With funding from the American Express Foundation, Great River Greening hired SRF Consulting to analyze the Historic Pilot Knob site and to design a plan to improve visitor experience and safety. The design includes proposals for new signage, new parking lot, a structure for gathering, a wheelchair accessible looped trail, and artwork by a Dakota artist. They say maintaining the sacred and historical nature of the site is most important in considering any changes.
Public comments will be considered before the final design plan is presented to the City of Mendota Heights. Fundraising for implementation of the plan would begin after that. If you have questions or comments, contact info@pilotknobpreservation.org or Deborah Karasov at dkarasov@greatrivergreening.org.

Snyder named ED of Dream of Wild Health
Dream of Wild Health has hired Neely Snyder as the new Executive Director. She will be replacing Diane Wilson, who is stepping down after 10 years with the organization. Snyder is an enrolled member of the St. Croix Chippewa. She brings extensive experience working with Native non-profits, most recently as the Operations Manager for the American Indian Cancer Foundation, and organizer of Powwow for Hope.
“The hiring process gave us a chance to think about what the organization needs going forward,” said Darlene St. Clair, Board Chair. “Neely has the right skills and experience. We’re very happy that she’ll be joining us.”  Snyder will be starting her new role in mid-February.

First-of-its-kind fund launched to support programs serving Minnesota’s Native children
The Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community (SMSC), Better Way Foundation, and the Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundations announced the establishment of a new collaborative fund to help Native children thrive in reservation and urban settings. The Healthy Children Healthy Nations (HCHN) Fund is the first donor-advised fund dedicated to supporting innovation in and the expansion of early childhood development and childhood nutrition programs in Minnesota’s Native communities.

The HCHN Fund will award grants to tribal governments and Native nonprofits in Minnesota for promising models, capacity-building, knowledge-sharing, and effective programming. The SMSC and Better Way Foundation have each committed $100,000 to seed the fund, and Casey Family Programs has pledged $20,000. The partners are seeking additional commitments from funders to expand the fund’s grantmaking abilities.