whats_new_woman_finds_mom_supermodel.jpgNative Woman Finds Her Birth Mother, Who Turned Out To Be Native Super-Model

Susan Fedorko found her birth mother when she was 40 years old. Her biological mother was from the Grand Portage Indian Ojibwe Reservation in Minnesota and her father was from the White Earth Ojibwe Nation also in Minnesota.  

Fedorko discovered that just a few years after her birth, her birth mother – Cathee Dahmen – had become an immensely popular supermodel, probably the first Native American woman to attain that status.

She also learns she is also related to the famous Ojbwe artist George Morrison, whom took her mother under his wing after Dahmen’s mother adopted her out without her knowing about it.

Her book Cricket: Secret Child of a Sixties Supermodel, published by Outskirts Press in November 2012, chronicles her journey from Native American adoptee-turned "white" mother and wife, to a person reunited with her extended family.

Red Lake Nation to Embark on Constitutional Reform

(by Michael Meuers) The Bush Foundation has approved a grant of $1,542,700 to Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians to support constitutional reform outreach, education and meetings. Over the past two years, the Tribe has been working closely with Native Nations Institute and the Bush Foundation to begin constitutional reform dialogue with the tribal leadership of the Red Lake Nation.

In order to begin the process, a Constitutional Reform Initiative Committee (CRI) will be formed and participants appointed. The Tribal Council developed a selection criteria and have directed all participating in the interview and recommendation process to adhere to that selection criteria.

­The Red Lake Constitutional Reform Initiative’s ("CRI") goal is to revise the tribe’s current constitution to reflect who the people of Red Lake are as citizens, with the Ojibwe culture, language, customs, and collective priorities at the forefront of the way they govern themselves. The Initiative’s purpose is to identify these collective priorities and transfer them into the Tribe’s main governing document.  

"This exercise in tribal government reform is the ultimate empowerment for the people of Red Lake Nation," said Red Lake Chairman Floyd Jourdain, Jr.

The Initiative’s two main goals are bringing revisions to the tribal constitution to a Nation-wide referendum vote. The first will take place in May 2014 which will be in the form of a ballot question to remove the clause in the current Red Lake tribal constitution that requires the Secretary of Interior/Bureau of Indian Affairs to approve any modifications to the tribal constitution. Assuming this ballot question passes, in May 2015 the tribal membership will vote on a revised Red Lake tribal constitution.

Shakopee Mdewakanton Employees Plunge to Raise Funds for Special Olympics Minnesota

Jumping into icy cold water in February in Minnesota isn’t something most folks would want to do, but 70 Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community employees raised $19,800 for Special Olympics by doing just that. The Polar Plunge Presented by Law Enforcement for Special Olympics Minnesota was held at Sand Point Beach on Prior Lake, February 16.

Nine teams from the SMSC tribal government gaming and non-gaming enterprises participated in the Plunge, raising funds to support Special Olympic athletes. The 13 members of the "Arctic Avengers," employees of the Gaming Enterprise Player Development Department, raised $3,340. The largest group of jumpers was Playworks with 18 participants.

Each year 16 Polar Plunge events are held around Minnesota from January through March to raise funds. This was the 16th year, though only the fourth year in Prior Lake. A total of 653 plungers participated, raising $120,164 for Special Olympics.

The SMSC has supported Special Olympics with charitable contributions for many years though this was the first time the SMSC employees volunteered to participate in the Polar Plunge.

Shakopee Mdewakanton Award $1 Million Grants to Bois Forte, Upper Sioux

The Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community gave $1 million grants to two Minnesota tribal nations to continue infrastructure projects previously funded by the SMSC. The Bois Forte Band of Chippewa and Upper Sioux Community are the recipients.

"We are happy to be able to help tribes improve their facilities so that they can better provide services for their members," said SMSC Chairman Charlie Vig.

Bois Forte Band of Chippewa

A $1 million grant to the Bois Forte Band of Chippewa of northern Minnesota will fund a new medical and dental clinic on the Lake Vermilion portion of their reservation. This is the second consecutive year that the SMSC has supported this project with a $1 million grant. The project is going out to bid in April; construction is scheduled to begin in June; with a grand opening planned for September.

Upper Sioux Community

The Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community has awarded a $1 million grant to the Upper Sioux Community to help with construction of a new wastewater treatment plant. This is the third year the SMSC has supported this initiative with a $1 million grant. The new facility will replace the current "drainfield" type system which is nearing the end of its life cycle. The facility provides services for about 50 homes and four tribal enterprises, including Prairie’s Edge Casino Resort. The same project was funded with a $1 million grant in fiscal year 2011 and fiscal year 2010.