What’s New in the Community: June 2018

Filmmakers interview Spiritual Leader and Hereditary Chief Greeting Spears and Wesley Cloud. (Photo by Michael Meuers.)

Inspired by Standing Rock: “Nibi Eteg: Where the Water Is”

(By Michael Meuers) Inspired by Standing Rock, a student film, Nibi Eteg: Where the Water is, explores the cultural and spiritual significance of water. The film makers visited the Red Lake Nation and interviewed elders and traditional people about the Sacred Lake, and then traveled to the Sacred Ganges River in India.

The student filmmakers came to Red Lake and the traditional village of Ponemah from the College of St. Benedict and St. John’s University. Their mission is to foster awareness surrounding social justice issues through the creation of annual documentaries. They call themselves Extending the Link. (ETL)

“Because water is one of the four elements – the first round of Creation – we want to show everyone why the problems surrounding pipelines and water access/ownership is much more than an issue of resource distribution, and we must respect our water as it is a source of spiritual life as well,” said co-producer Grace Lundquist.

ETL’s motto is “Think Globally, Act Locally,” and each film focuses on an issue at an international and domestic level, with the goal of tying the story back into how it affects local communities in Minnesota. This year, their 11th film, Nibi Eteg focuses on the cultural significance, spiritual importance, and value of water.

“We saw all these native groups screaming ‘water is life, water is spirit, you cannot be doing this to our water’ – and it was being completely ignored,” said Grace Lindquist, a College of Saint Benedict senior chemistry major from Detroit Lakes, Minnesota, who has been a member of ETL for three years.

The half-hour long film features Red Lake members Vickey Fineday, Spiritual Leader and Hereditary Chief Greeting Spears, Wesley Cloud, Nate Taylor, Clifford Hardy, and Zac Mitteness. Also interviewed, but not seen in the film, were Al Pemberton and Pat Brown from Red Lake, and Elders Frannie Miller and Elizabeth “Pug” Kingbird.

Extending the Link is a nonprofit, student-run venture through CSB and SJU and the Donald J. McNeely Center for Entrepreneurship.


Saboo Selected as 2018-2019 Aspen Presidential Fellowship For Community College Excellence

Michelle Saboo (Bay Mills Indian Community) of Leech Lake Tribal College has been awarded the Aspen Presidential Fellowship for Community College Excellence, a leadership program aimed at preparing the next generation of community college presidents to transform institutions across the nation to help students be more successful both in college and in the workforce.

LLTC President Broker said “It gives me great pleasure to learn of the selection of Michelle Saboo to participate in the Aspen Presidential Fellowship for Community College Excellence program for the upcoming year! Michelle is a young woman full of promise for the future and this experience in leadership training will provide her with opportunities, new tools, and insights that will help to position her to be among the next generation of leaders within the Tribal College movement.”

The fellowship is awarded by the Aspen Institute’s College Excellence Program, an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, D.C.

Saboo and the 39 other Aspen Presidential Fellows will embark on a 10-month fellowship beginning in July 2018. The Fellows will be mentored by community college leaders who have had outstanding results for their students, learn from national experts about ways to use data to make their students more successful, and learn how to create strong external partnerships with K-12 schools, four-year colleges, and employers in their community.

Saboo was selected through a rigorous process that considered her abilities to take strategic risks, lead strong teams and cultivate partnerships, and focus on results-oriented improvements in student success and access.