What’s new in the community – August 2018


Walker forms Indigenous Public Art selection committee

In cooperation with a group of Native curators, knowledge keepers, artists, and arts professionals, including individuals of Dakota descent and enrollment, the Walker Art Center has established an Indigenous Public Art Selection Committee. The committee is currently working with the Walker to shape a process and ultimately select a Native artist who will be commissioned to create a new work to be located in the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden or on the Walker campus.

The selection committee and upcoming project grew out of commitments made by the Walker and artist Sam Durant to a group of Dakota elders during last summer’s mediation regarding Scaffold, a controversial outdoor sculpture by Durant. Under the agreement, Scaffold was removed from the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden and the artist transferred intellectual property rights to the Dakota Oyate.

In order to keep the selection process moving forward with integrity and focus, the committee has requested that their names and tribal affiliations not be released until an artist has been chosen. An open call for artists will be announced this summer. The public artwork will be installed in spring of 2020.

American Indian scholarship supports Bemidji State University students

A new Bemidji State University scholarship established by White Earth-native Will Antell gives preference to members of the White Earth tribe. The Bernice Lena Fairbanks Antell American Indian Scholarship is awarded to an American Indian student attending Bemidji State each year. Endowed by White Earth tribe member Will Antell and his wife, Mary Lou, in honor of Will’s mother, Bernice, the scholarship was created to help American Indian students pursuing higher education at Bemidji State.

Bernice valued education, responsibility and integrity, and taught these values to her eight children.

“My mother was a disciplinarian who gave us chores and work to do. She insisted on us doing our homework, which she would often help us with,” Antell recalls. “She always had high expectations of us.”

Despite Bernice’s passing in 1956 at the age of 39, her respect for learning was not lost on her children. All of her children lead very successful professional and personal lives. Antell, who after graduating from BSU with a bachelor’s degree in social studies in 1959, went on to earn his master and doctorate degrees and serve in executive roles on Indian education committees at the national level for many years. He also served as the president and CEO of Antell Companies, an Indian-owned insurance and consulting firm.

The Bernice Lena Fairbanks Antell American Indian Scholarship is awarded each spring to an undergraduate (sophomore, junior or senior) American Indian student who has a minimum 2.5 GPA, with preference to members of the White Earth tribe. The scholarship has awarded $2100 to students since 2017.

For information on how to apply for the scholarship, contact the BSU American Indian Resource Center at 218-755-2032.

High school students explore health equity at TV Camp

(By Lee Egerstrom) Twin Cities metro high school students participating in the 2018 ThreeSixty Journalism’s TV Broadcast Camp in July focused on issues of health equity for Minnesota ethnic communities. Frank Haney, a staff member of the Sioux Chef, was among principals, or subject experts, the students interviewed to develop news reports on food and health. The Sioux Chef is a food catering and education business that was started in 2014, by Sean Sherman. It worked with Little Earth Community of United Tribes to design and launch the Tatanka Truck food truck in 2015 featuring Dakota and Minnesota Native foods.

ThreeSixty Journalism is a nonprofit program at University of St. Thomas in St. Paul where the July 23-27 summer camp was held. It was started as the Urban Journalism Workshop at University of Minnesota in 1971.

The ongoing program, or “career academy,” utilizes broadcast television talents from WCCO, KSTP, KARE and Twin Cities Public Television TV stations and former reporters, producers and anchors who work at St. Thomas, University of Minnesota and the Padilla communications company.

This was the second year in which the summer TV camp was a collaboration between ThreeSixty and the Center for Prevention at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota. ThreeSixty students are a diverse cross section of metro ethnic communities.

Bao Vang, ThreeSixty engagement manager, said in a statement that “advanced students are eager to work one-on-one with professional journalists to share health equity stories that have great impact on them and their communities.”

For info, see: https://threesixty.stthomas.edu/threesixty-center-for-prevention-at-blue-cross-team-for-tv-broadcast-camp-for-teens and www.centerforpreventionmn.com.