What's New In The Community: August 2015


bemidji american indian resource center-bill blackwell.jpgBemidji’s American Indian Resource

Center names new director

(By Lee Egerstrom) Bill Blackwell Jr.

became director of the novel, two-school American Indian Resource

Center at Bemidji in July and is now overseeing merged programs for

In­dian students at Bemidji State University and Northwest

Technical College.

The collaboration between the two

nearby Bemidji campuses is partly an economic move for better use of

resources, Blackwell said in an interview. At the same time, it will

build critical mass for programs.

Three weeks into the job, Blackwell was

already holding meetings with students and com­munity people

planning for the 43rd annual BSU Council of Indian Students Pow-Wow

next April. The Northwest Tech students will likely become a chapter

of the BSU group, working both jointly with the university students

and separately, he said.

That makes a fit given the

relationships between the two Minnesota State Colleges and

Universities (MnSCU) institutions at Bemidji. Students at the

two-year Northwest Tech can select on-campus dormitory housing at

Bemidji State and access dining services and cultural events at the

four-year university, the only such arrangement in the MnSCU system.

An enrolled member of the Grand Portage

Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, Blackwell has a bachelor’s degree

from Bemidji State and a master’s from University of

Minnesota-Duluth. Most recently he served as director of

institutional advancement heading private and public fundraising

efforts for Leech Lake Tribal College and previously was an

admis­sions and outreach coordinator at Leech Lake.

He succeeded Dr. Anton Truer who as

returned to the BSU faculty after a three-year term as the center’s


Fond du Lac Band gets $6M in federal

broadband grants

MINNEAPOLIS – The Fond du Lac Band of

Ojibwe is receiving $6 million in federal grants to expand broadband

Internet service on its northeastern Minnesota reservation, the U.S.

Department of Agriculture announced July 20.

Garden Valley Telephone in the

northwestern town of Erskine and Consolidated Telephone in the

east-central city of Brainerd will get loans of $12.63 million and

$12.27 million respectively to help them improve phone and Internet

service, U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack also said in an

interview with The Associated Press.

The Fond du Lac tribal government will

contribute over $2 million to the project aimed at making high-speed

service available to all homes on the reservation, which currently

has DSL service only in a limited area, said Jason Hollinday, the

band’s planning director. He said that will support education,

economic development and health care — even let more members watch


Expanding rural broadband access is

“extraordinarily important,” Vilsack said. It creates

opportunities for businesses to access wider markets, farmers to get

market information, schools to provide distance-learning and for

health care providers to consult specialists, he said.

“Frankly, in rural areas,

particularly low-populated areas, it’s sometimes difficult to get

the private sector — without some incentive or boost — to be able

to fund a project,” he said.

The USDA has awarded more than $77

million in grants and over $6 billion in loans since 2009 for rural

broadband, bringing new or better access to more than 1.5 million

subscribers, Vilsack said. He added that millions more now have

access if they choose to use it.

Prairie Island announces contest


RED WING, Minn. – The Prairie Island

Indian Community is hosted its annual wacipi July 10-12.

The dance championship included

contestant from about 80 tribes, with more than $33,000 distributed

across nine categories during the special feature at Prairie Island

Dakota Days. Champions were crowned in such categories as Tiny Tots,

Teens, Golden Age and Tribal Council, among others. The weekend

brought in 679 dancers.

Winners for the 2015 powwow (first and

second place, out of five total places) include: Golden Age Men’s

Northern: Terry Fiddler (first place); Jim Red Eagle (second place);

and Wayne Pushetonoqua (third place).

Golden Age Women’s Northern: Annamae

Pushetonequa (first place); Bev-Lar­vie Medhaug (second place);

and Madelynn Goodwill (third place). Golden Age Women’s Southern:

L. Amber Komahcheet (first place); Jones Sage (second place); and

Grandad Flyingmsn (third place).

Junior Boys Traditional Northern and

Southern Combined: Elijah Leonard, Jr. (first place); Aidan Buffalo

(second place); and Lincoln Kingbird (third place). Ju­nior Boys

Grass: Peyton White Buffalo (first place); Ross Ike (second place);

and Rusty McCloud (third place). Junior Boys Fancy: Preston Olney

(first place); Geno Yellowbird-White Cloud (second place); and Dwight

White Buffalo, Jr. (third place).

Junior Girls traditional Northern and

Southern Combined: Sparrow Littlesky (first place); Candelinn Toehay

(second place); and Olivia Olson (third place). Ju­nior Girls

Jingle Dress: Dori Rose Blue Thunder (first place); Kitahna Silas

(second place); and Orie Lowe (third place). Junior Girls Fancy:

Kasandra Arcoren (first place); Micayla Silas (second place); and

Morning Rain Honani (third place).

Teen Boys Northern Traditional: Donovan

Haury (first place); T.J. Olney (second place); and Talon White-Eye

(third place). Teen Boys Southern Straight: Darian Adakai (first

place); Brycen Whiteshirt (second place); and Jeffrey Lightfoot

(third place). Teen Boys Grass: Mason Mills (first place); James

Eaglestar (second place); and Desmond Madera (third place). Teen Boys

Fancy: Jessup Yazzie (first place); Tyler Thorman (second place);

Silas Whitebuffalo (third place).

Teen Girls Northern Traditional: Taylor

Clairmont (first place); Wamblie Lit­tlesky (second place); Regan

Alexis Ishana (third place). Teen Girls Southern Buck­skin/Cloth:

Whitney Sage (first place); Makayla Sage (second place); Alexis

Tanyan (third place). Teen Girls Jingle Dress: Waskwane Stonefish

(first place); Hokian Mc­Cloud (second place); Emma Clairmont

(third place). Teen Girls Fancy: Summer Dawn Olney (first place);

Oke-tw’sha Roberts (second place); Malia Jacobs (third place).

Junior Adult Men’s Northern

Traditional: Brando Jack (first place); Wendell Powless (second

place); Reuben Crowfeather, Jr. (third place). Junior Adult Men’s

Southern Straight: Lewis Perkins (first place); Denny Medicine Bird

(second place); Kiowa Charlie Cozad (third place). Junior Adult Men’s

Grass: Wylee Bearstail (first place); Wanbli Changing Eagle (second

place); Jon Taken Alive (third place). Junior Adult Men’s Chicken

Dance: Isaiah Stewart (first place);Rooster Topsky (second place);

Lee Goodman, Jr. (third place).

Junior Adult Women’s Northern

Traditional Cloth: Cindy Ward (first place); Jasmine Fiddler (second

place); Ariana Green Crow (third place). Junior Adult Women’s

Northern Traditional Buckskin: Alva Fiddler (first place); Krista

Marie Goodwell (second place); Randi Bird (third place). Junior Adult

Southern Cloth: Amanda Harris (first place); Elizabeth Nevaquaya

(second place); Ponca Wee Vic­tors (third place). Junior Adult

Women’s Jingle Dress: Ryanne White (first place); Willow Abrahamson

(second place); Shawna Olson (third place). Junior Adult Women’s

Fancy: Laryn Oakes Yazzie (first place); T’ata Roberts (second

place); Naomi Nevaquaya (third place).

Adult Men’s Fancy 18+ Northern: Wayne

Silas, Jr. (first place); White Coyote Holy Bull (second place); Koy

Brearstail (third place). Adult Men’s Fancy 18+ Southern: Michael

Roberts (first place); Quanah Henry (second place); Canku One Star

(third place).

Senior Adult 35-54 Men’s Northern

Traditional: Russell McCloud (first place); Lonny Street (second

place); Tony Wahweotten (third place). Senior Adult 35-54 Men’s

Southern Straight: Kelly Grant (first place); Everett Moore (second

place); Dilly Komahcheet (third place).

Senior Adult 35-54 Women’s Northern

Traditional Buckskin: Tasha Spotted Tail (first place); Kellie Mae

Chaboyee Downwind (second place); Amber Buffalo (third place).

Junior Adult Women’s Southern

Buckskin: Charish Toehay (first place); Michelle Flyingman (second

place); DaLynn Alley (third place).

Senior Adult 35-54 Women’s Southern

Cloth: Tonya Moore (first place); San­dy Harris (second

place);Dyanni Hamilton (third place). Senior Adult Women’s Northern

Traditional Cloth: Gina Topsky (first place); Marcy Fiddler (second

place); Angie Handsley (third place).

Adult 35+ Men’s Grass: Buck Spotted

Tail (first place); George Growing Thunder (second place); Clifton

Goodwill (third place). Adult 35+ Men’s Chicken Dance: Marty

Thorman (first place); Dennis Nevagnaya (second place); Michael Davis

(third place).

Adult 35+ Women’s Jingle: Denise One

Star (first place); Rebecca Roberts (sec­ond place); Cassie

Lasley (third place). Adult 35+ Women’s Fancy: Verna Street (first

place); Nahmi Lasley (second place); Crystal Cleveland (third place).

Senior Adult Women’s Southern

Buckskin: Damita Goodwill (first place); Toni Tsatoke-Moore (second

place); Jaqueline Tsonetokay (third place).

Tribal Council Special Teen Girls

Fancy: Charlize Arcoren (first place); Alonna Childs (second place);

and Waskwone Stonefish (third place). Tribal Council Spe­cial

Teen Boys Chicken Dance: Cedrick Lasley (first place); Pete Bear

Heels (second place); and Desmond Madera (third place).

For a full listing of all the winners,

visit the Prairie Island Wacipi Facebook page at