What's New In The Community: December 2014




ST. PAUL, MN – In recognition of

winning a 2014 Bush Prize for Community Innovation, the Native

American Community Development Institute of Minneapolis and First

Peoples Fund of Rapid City, S.D. have received continued funding from

the Bush Foundation in the amounts of $157,201 and $313,068,


NACDI grew out of research that showed

outcomes for American Indians in Hennepin County had not improved

substantially in the past 40 years. NACDI spent three years asking

Native people what they wanted for their future, as opposed to what

they needed to meet their basic needs. The gatherings resulted in a

rich and bold vision for a vibrant, resilient community that

celebrates Native identity.

This work has spawned numerous

efforts, from homeownership opportunities to youth entrepreneurship

training to the building of the American Indian Cultural Corridor, a

half-mile physical manifestation along Franklin Avenue of the

community’s vision for a prosperous home in Minneapolis.

The only entity of its kind in the

country, NACDI has employed an asset-building approach to reposition

the American Indian community as an engine of economic growth. It

works from the premise that comprehensive, asset-centered strategies

and cross-sector partnerships embracing technology, entrepreneurship

and community development will promote innovative ideas. (2014 Bush

Prize winner)

First Peoples Fund set out nearly 20

years ago to devise an approach that empowers Native artists to be

culture bearers and leaders of social change in their communities.

Today, First Peoples Fund empowers

Lakota, Dakota, Nakota and Ojibwe artists through a combination of

financial support, mentoring and entrepreneurship opportunities. The

program helps revitalize cultures while providing artists with tools

to grow as creative leaders and financially support themselves, their

families and their communities.

Recognized nationally as a leader in

its field, First Peoples Fund is sharing its model across the

country, working with other Native communities to provide artists

with access to knowledge, materials, networks, capital and markets.



WASHINGTON – U.S. Attorney General

Eric Holder just announced the launch of an ICWA initiative to

address ICWA noncompliance and halt the unnecessary and illegal

removal of Indian children from their families.

The initiative mirrors the

recommendations NICWA has made in countless pieces of testimony

submitted, policy briefings provided to officials, and hundreds of

hours working behind the scenes, building on the relationships and

reputation we have carefully nurtured in over 30 years of working on

Capitol Hill.

We use our invitation to the

policymaking table to advocate tirelessly, ensuring YOUR stories and

concerns are shared with those at the highest level. Chief among

these been reports of widespread noncompliance with ICWA. NICWA has

listened to you, and called for accountability for those who have

disrupted and damaged our families.

We applaud today’s announcement. Your

voices have been heard.

“Today, I am pleased to announce

that the Department of Justice is launching a new initiative to

promote compliance with the Indian Child Welfare Act. Under this

important effort, we are working to actively identify state-court

cases where the United States can file briefs opposing the

unnecessary and illegal removal of Indian children from their

families and their tribal communities. We are partnering with the

Departments of the Interior and Health and Human Services to make

sure that all the tools available to the federal government are used

to promote compliance with this important law.” Holder said in a

speech on Dec. 3.

“And we will join with those

departments, and with tribes and Indian child-welfare organizations

across the country, to explore training for state judges and

agencies; to promote tribes’ authority to make placement decisions

affecting tribal children; to gather information about where the

Indian Child Welfare Act is being systematically violated; and to

take appropriate, targeted action to ensure that the next generation

of great tribal leaders can grow up in homes that are not only safe

and loving, but also suffused with the proud traditions of Indian




By Michael Meuers

Red Lake Nation News

RED LAKE, MN – The Red Lake Chemical

Health Programs is proud to share the news that the Red Lake Alcohol

Rehabilitation Red Road of Wellness Grant was nominated by Dr. Cecil

White Hat to receive the Commissioners Circle of Excellence award.

The program was selected for the recipient of the 2014 award! “We

are thrilled and eager to share the news,” Project Director Salena

Beasley said.

Dr. Cecil White Hat, (Sicangu Lakota),

with the Minnesota Department of Human Services, Alcohol and Drug

Abuse Division, as a Principal Planner/Program Consultant, nominated

the program for the award.


Congratulations! You were selected to receive the Commissioner’s

Circle of Excellence Award for 2014,” White Hat said in an email to

Tom Barrett Director of Red Lake Chemical Health Programs. “It is

well deserved. You are finally being recognized for the outstanding

work that you do. Keep up the good work!”

In a letter to Red Lake Chairman

Darrell G. Seki, Sr., and Director Barrett, the Commissioner of the

Minnesota Department of Human Services Lucinda E. Jesson wrote,

“Congratulations on the selection of Red Lake Chemical Health’s Red

Road of Wellness Program as a recipient of a 2014 Commissioner’s

Circle of Excellence Award! Your organization was nominated for your

chemical health prevention and treatment support services that

emphasize cultural values.”

“I am pleased to have the

opportunity to reconginize your organization as our partner in

performing outstanding work to support the DHS mission, priorities

and goals and for your outstanding commitment to our human services

program clients,” Barrett continued.

The official award ceremony will take

place in St. Paul on Dec. 15.