What's New In The Community: November 2014


Migizi Communications

receives $1.2 million grant

MINNEAPOLIS Migizi Communications, Inc.

has received a $1.2 million federal grant to launch Native Youth

Financially Independent. This five-year demonstration project is

funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of

Community Services and the Administration for Native Americans.

The Native Youth

Financially Independent project is designed to present permanent and

sustainable solutions to the intergenerational poverty and lack of

economic opportunity that have plagued the Minneapolis Indian

community since its formation in the 1950s. Migizi Communications

will recruit 150 low-income Native youth from across Minneapolis,

ages 14-21, providing them with opportunities and support needed to

prepare them to become financially-independent adults.


students will undergo work readiness training, be placed in paid

internship opportunities in high-growth, high-demand careers; save

earnings for college in an Individual Development Account which will

be matched four-to-one through program funds; and receive financial

literacy training, mentorship and 21st century skills development


The project’s main

partners include AchieveMpls, which will provide workforce training

and internship placement for participants through the STEP-UP Achieve

youth employment program over the five year course of the project.

One of the country’s premiere youth employment programs, STEP-UP

Achieve – part of the City of Minneapolis STEP-UP program –

places 800 Minneapolis youth each year in paid internships with Twin

Cities companies, non-profits and public agencies.

NYFI’s second

partner is Woodlands National Bank, owned by the Mille Lacs Band of

Ojibwe, which will administer youth IDA savings accounts. The

students will have their savings matched four-to-one to be used for

higher education expenses. Woodlands is the primary banking

institution serving the urban American Indian community in


NYFI responds directly to the needs identified and

vision created out of a two-year strategic planning process

(2008-2010) initiated by the Native American Community Development

Institute and involves hundreds of Minneapolis American Indian

community members of all ages.

The document created from

this process and published in 2011, “American Indian Community

Blueprint: Building a 21st Century American Indian Community,”

articulates a 20-year vision for a “vibrant, healthy, and balanced

community where American Indian people have living-wage jobs that

build wealth and assets and eliminate barriers to success, creating

economic self-sufficiency.”

Migizi Communications has been in

existence for over 37 years and advances a message of success,

well-being and justice for the American Indian community.

Tiwahe Foundation announces

grant recipients

MINNEAPOLIS The Tiwahe Foundation is

honored to announce that at its Oct. 14 board meeting, 14 grants were

awarded to Native American individuals in the Twin Cities

seven-county metro area through its American Indian Family

Empowerment Program.

This program awards

$70-80,000, annually, to American Indian individuals and families

seeking financial resources to achieve their goals, shape their

future and make positive contributions to their community through

three priority areas: economic self-sufficiency; education; and

cultural connections.

Grants range from $500 to

$2,500 – enough to make a significant impact on grantees and the

community and contributing to the self-determination of individuals.

During the September grant round individuals received awards in the

following focus areas:

Goal 1: Preserving and

Renewing Native Cultural Connections: Carolyn Gurneau; Goal 2:

Educational Achievement: Daryl Alkire, Mika Barrett, Vivian Big

Eagle, Roberta Dunkley, LaCecelia Guernsey, Melissa Olson, Joseph

Regguinti, Michael Roberts and Lucie Skjefte; Goal 3: Economic

Self-Sufficiency: Alexandra Buffalohead, Troy Clark, John Hunter and

Rachel LaFriniere.

AIFEP strives to reverse

the social, educational and economic challenges facing American

Indians by investing in human capital, skills, resources and cultural

strengths that people possess that allow them to live healthy and

productive lives, build strong relationships and make meaningful

contributions to their communities.

SMSC and SCALE Receive National Honors

PRIOR LAKE, Minn. The Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux

Community received an Honoring Nations award on Oct. 29 from the

Harvard University Project on American Indian Economic Development.

SMSC’s nomination of the Scott County Association for Leadership

and Efficiency was selected as an Honors recipient, the Honoring

Nations award for excellence in Native American tribal governance.

SCALE consists of more than 30

members, including the SMSC, all of which are governments or agencies

in Scott County. The organization formed in 2003 to foster regional

collaboration, better serve local residents, and share resources to

save money.

“SCALE has helped improve

communication, trust and cooperation between the SMSC and neighboring

governments,” said SMSC Chairman Charlie Vig. “We truly value the

relationships we have built, and we appreciate the Harvard Project’s

recognition of SCALE as a model for other communities and tribes to


One of the priorities of Honoring

Nations is to help share the innovative ideas of its award recipients

with other tribes across the country. Related to SCALE, the goal is

to encourage tribes, cities, townships and counties nationwide to

cooperate more as governments in order to build trust and effectively

serve tribal members and local citizens.

Some of SCALE’s achievements


Regional Public Safety Training

Facility – Needing a local option to train public safety officials,

the SCALE partners combined resources to build a joint facility in


Fiber optic ring – To enhance its

members’ ability to work together, SCALE helped develop a 94-mile

fiber optic ring that allows every government and public agency in

Scott County to function as one continual network. It is the largest

high-speed fiber network in Minnesota;

First Stop Shop – A clearinghouse

called the “First Stop Shop” was established in 2012 through

SCALE to provide one point of contact for businesses that are

interested in locating in Scott County. The First Stop Shop assisted

Shutterfly and Emerson Electric in opening facilities in Scott County

in 2013;

Mutual aid agreements – The SMSC’s

Mdewakanton Public Safety has established 15 mutual aid agreements

with other local fire and emergency response departments to improve

the quality and speed of responses;

Joint transportation plan and numerous

road projects – SCALE members developed a unified transportation

plan and jointly implement road projects to increase safety and


Intergovernmental Working Group (IWG)

– As an outgrowth of SCALE, the IWG meets regularly to discuss land

use, transportation, upcoming trust applications, and planning issues

of common concern to the SMSC, Scott County, and the cities of Prior

Lake and Shakopee;

Interconnected water system –

Another development that traces back to SCALE is the SMSC, the City

of Prior Lake, and the City of Savage interconnecting their water

systems, so that they can share water in the event of a shortage.

“The SMSC and SCALE’s other

members make it a priority to work together, because we can

accomplish much more that way than working alone,” said SCALE Chair

Jay Whiting, who is a Shakopee City Council member. “Strong,

creative partnerships are critical when needs must be met and budgets

are stretched thin.”

From a pool of nearly 90 diverse

programs that were nominated for an award, the Honoring Nations Board

of Governors selected three High Honors and three Honors recipients.

Awarded programs demonstrate tremendous impact in their communities

and evidence great effectiveness, significance to sovereignty,

transferability, and sustainability – the criteria by which

Honoring Nations assesses applicant programs. In addition to the SMSC

and SCALE, the other 2014 award recipients include the Citizen

Potawatomi Nation in Oklahoma (High Honors), Lummi Nation in

Washington (Honors), Ohkay Owingeh in New Mexico (High Honors), Port

Gamble S’Klallam Tribe in Washington (High Honors), and Swinomish

Indian Tribal Community in Washington (Honors).

Shooting Star Casino announces new

General Manager


Minn. – The White Earth Nation Tribal Council congratulates Bill

Marsh as the new general manager for the Shooting Star Casino, Hotel

and Event Center in Mahnomen, Minn. In addition, Mindy Iverson was

named as the assistant general manager.

Marsh is a member of Michigan’s

Sault Tribe of Chippewa Indians and has more than 14 years of

professional and executive level experience in Indian Gaming. He has

been responsible for all facets of casino marketing, including

strategy development, branding, advertising, media, promotions,

player development, database (mining and analysis), direct mail,

public relations, group tours, sales, revenue projections,

entertainment and in-house graphics.

He has also been involved in team

building, coaching, vision creation, planning and development and

training in gaming environments. Marsh has a master’s degree in

Business Administration and Marketing and a bachelor’s degree in

Business Administration from Lake Superior State University in Sault

Ste. Marie, Mich. He has been with Shooting Star Casino since 2010 as

the director of marketing.

Iverson has been the Human Resource

Director for Shooting Star Casino since 2008. She has 16 years of

executive level professional experience in gaming, and retail from

Lueken’s Foods, Inc. in Bemidji, Minn. She holds an Advanced Tribal

Human Resource Professional Certification from Falmouth Institute and

the National Native American Human Resource Association.

She is currently a Native Nation

Rebuilder, Cohort IV, through the Bush Foundation representing tribes

in Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota. Iverson attended Bemidji

State University from 1989-1994. She brings an extensive background

in Workforce Development, Strategic and Business Planning, Financial

Budgeting, Employment Law, Associate Relations, Conflict Resolution,

Peer Mediation, Staff Recruitment/Retention and Setting Performance


She loves to travel, make star quilts,

read and compete in 5k’s in her community. Iverson is an enrolled

member of the White Earth Nation and the daughter of Vernon and

Denice Iverson of Bagley, Minn.