What's New In The Community: March 2015


Four tribal students win big at MN

High School League Dance Tournament

students win big at mn high school dance-web.jpg

Left to right: Jordyn Spry, Jensen Spry

(both Grand Portage Band), Clarissa Pederson (Lac Courte Oreilles)

and Camryn Towle (Mille Lacs Band).

The Duluth

Marshall Dance Team won first place at the 2015 Minnesota State High

School League Dance Team Tournament in the Jazz Competition on Feb.

13 at Target Center.


team dedicated time and energy to learning choreography, endurance

training and cardio. The win is especially exciting, as this team has

four tribal students who participated.

Red Lake’s Baby Shel nominated for

Are You Local? Contest

Sheldon Cook, Jr., a rap artist from

Red Lake, Minn. competed against three other finalists in Vita.MN’s

“Are You Local?” Contest on March 6.

Baby Shel qualified as a local act

because most of his performances have been in Minneapolis. But he

doesn’t think twice about making frequent, five-hour drives to the

Cities to perform. “A lot of times I’ll come down and do a show

and drive back afterward, so I don’t get home until like 7 a.m.

It’ll be like a 14-hour road trip round-trip just to do a 30- to

40-minute show,” he said.

The Ojibwe rapper has been fully

invested in his rap career for about five years, including a couple

of solo albums and work with the Red Lake-area group 100 Souls and

the resident label/crew Rez Rap. Last year, his crew opened a string

of Midwest dates with Yelawolf. Shel is headed back to SXSW Festival

in March for at least two confirmed gigs, whether or not he wins Are

You Local? or not.

Shel told Vita.MN that tribal citizens

listen to hip-hop in unprecedented numbers. “There are relatable

topics in it for native kids,” he said. “Just living in the

gutter, going through violence, losing family members and friends way

too often. Hip-hop touches on the really raw, tough stuff that’s

happening to us.”

Shel’s personal life attests to how

grim reservation life can be. He’s known many friends and relatives

who have committed suicide. His cousin was in the classroom in Red

Lake in March of 2005 when Jeff Weise went on a shooting-spree,

killing eight.

His dad – who originally gave him

the nickname Baby Shel – was released from prison in December after

serving a 10-year drug sentence. “He really stressed it to me to

stay out of that lane and learn from his mistakes,” Baby Shel told


MAICC celebrates opening of new


The Minnesota American Indian Chamber

of Commerce congratulates the Prairie Island Indian Community on the

grand opening of Tado, a new upscale steakhouse at Treasure Island

Resort and Casino.

“The décor is exquisite, the food

is amazing and we encourage you to visit, enjoy and celebrate! It is

exciting to see another economic diversification effort come to

fruition. We are grateful that we were able to enjoy the festive

Grand Opening and look forward to many more celebrations at Tado

Steakhouse!” Joanne Whiterabbit, MAICC Executive Director said in a

community notice.

Native Americans in Philanthropy

calls for board nominations

Native Americans in Philanthropy is

pleased to announce a call for nominations for new Board Members. NAP

will have three board positions open. Ideal nominations will have

expertise in law, operations, impact investing and tribal government.

Self-nominations are also being accepted. NAP is also interested in

geographic representation for the East Coast, Southwest and Midwest.

NAP’s mission is to advance

philanthropic practices grounded in native values and traditions and

is guided by three strategic directions: Engage Native and non-Native

practitioners of philanthropy to focus on sustainable Native

communities; Educate to instill Native philanthropic values into

contemporary practice; Empower Native philanthropic leadership to be

effective practitioners.

Only current NAP members are eligible

to nominate someone for a board position; and if voted onto the

board, the nominee must be, or must become, a NAP member prior to

joining the board. Native Americans in Philanthropy’s Board of

Directors has appointed a Nominations Committee that will consider

the nominations and develop a slate of candidates to stand for

election as directors of NAP’s board, by the General Members at the

annual meeting of members.

The deadline for submission is Friday,

March 20. For more information or to download an application, visit


Twin Cities Daily Planet welcomes

new editor

allison_herrera.jpgThe online publication connecting

citizens in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul with a global

community welcomed its new editor, Allison Herrera in an email

announcement on Feb. 12.

Herrera is a former member of the Twin

Cities Media Alliance board as well as an experienced reporter and

producer for KFAI, Ampers, the Nett Lake Radio Project for the Bois

Forte Band of Chippewa and The UpTake.

“I’m happy to say I’ve covered

everything from sports stadiums to pow wow dancers and all that is in

between. I’m also very well versed in Minnesota History, thanks to my

work for Ampers producing MN90: Minnesota History in 90 Seconds. I’m

also making a short film about Ojibwe painter Jim Denomie with a

grant I received from the Minnesota State Arts Board,” Herrera said

in the email statement.

The Daily Planet is a project of the

Twin Cities Media Alliance, a nonprofit organization dedicated to

closing the digital divide and helping citizens empower themselves

with media. Each day, the Daily Planet publishes multiple original

articles and blog entries and also republishes several articles and

blog entries from our 100+ community media partners, including The