Native American

Lisa Johnson

The suicide rate for Native kids is twice the rate of that for non-Natives.

With that terrifying number, how can tribal people encourage hope and resilience in young people when their lived experience is so different - and falls so short, many times - of what they see on television or online?

All over the country, and here in Minnesota, tribes are working hard to reconnect their young people with traditional teachings, the land, the natural world and with elders to restore their identify and reinvigorate their pride in who they are.

Additional Resources:

http://www.duluthmn.gov

The process to rename Lake Place Park Gichi 'ode Akiing (gih chee o DAY  ah king) or "Grand Heart Place" and  in so doing, recognize the Native community's long presence in what's now called Duluth continues.

Babette Sandman is the chair of the Duluth Indigenous Commission and she has big dreams for the project, including a naming ceremony that would bring all nations together, and opportunities for teachings and new beginnings.

Sam Moose is really excited about the re-opening of the new Four Winds addiction treatment center.

For one thing, the program's focus on traditional Native American teachings and traditions is the only one of it's kind in Minnesota.

For another, the band took over operation and management of the center March 1st after the state wanted to close it due to budget issues.

And Moose, the band's Commissioner of Health, isn't the only tribal member excited about the program.  The entire community is lining up to help, apply for jobs and volunteer.

KUMD is saddened by the passing of Larry Smallwood [Amik], a longtime contributor to our program Ojibwe Stories: Gaganoonididaa.  We send our thoughts and condolences to his family, and to the many people in the community who benefited from his wisdom and guidance.  Amik grew up in Aazhoomoog, the Lake Lena District of Mille Lacs, and served as the director of language and culture for the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe.  He also taught Ojibwe language at many institutions, including UMD.

Tribal members of the Lower Sioux Indian Community were frustrated with the lack of cultural awareness when it came to their health care and by a "fragmented" system that made it hard to track native health concerns.

But they had hope that they could create better access to care by opening their own clinic ... and also create employment opportunities beyond casino jobs.

Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians

Wild rice is the Minnesota state grain and this week MN Sea Grant host Jesse Schomberg welcomes UMD professor John Pastor to share his recent research about sulfide effects on wild rice.  Listen for more about the details of his findings and the future use of his work with sulfate and sulfides.

Maybe "prophet" is too strong a word to describe Larry Stillday.

Maybe "prescient" is a better one.

When Larry Stillday died in May of 2014, he left behind a legacy as a spiritual teacher.  Michael Meuers, a non-Native who worked for the Red Lake Band for over 20 years, found Stillday so poetic he just started writing down the things he said.

And at this time in history, Meuers says, Stillday's teachings, especially about the need to assimilate more with the "culture of the land," are even more important.

It's not easy to admit you're using drugs.

Especially if you're pregnant.

Nor is getting off drugs, especially if you're pregnant, when "cold turkey" withdrawal can put the unborn baby through withdrawal, too.

That's where the M.O.M.s program on the White Earth Nation comes in: a program to help expecting mothers get off drugs, and support them medically, emotionally, psychologically and culturally.

Gordon Coons 2002

Ojibwe Artist Gordon Coons continues with his Catalyst series at Intermedia Arts, Dimensions of Indigenous with Cultural Identity Politics.  Teamed up with Rebekah Crisanta de Ybarra of Xinka-Lenca, El Salvador, together their work has focused on indigenous identity, storytelling and the impact of colonizastion.  Through collaborative art and public events, they move the conversation forward in and out of the gallery setting.  You can see their current work,  up through February 4, 2017 at Intermedia Arts at 2822 Lyndale Ave S.

AICHO

AICHO (American Indian Community Housing Organization) is looking after 175 people at the moment, providing culturally specific help for families and individuals struggling with domestic abuse, homelessness and poverty.

More and more people in the non-Native community are becoming familiar with AICHO, thanks to their exploding presence as a showcase for Native art and artists, and Daryl Olson, a domestic violence/sexual assault training specialist, says the community - Native and non-Native alike, can help the organization by getting involved through attending events and volunteerism.

Unknown Artist c. 1890

Native art is the focus of this weeks Radio Gallery.  On Friday December 9, there is a benefit art exhibit and concert event hosted by AICHO in Duluth called Standing Strong for Our Precious Water.  Also happening next week at UMD, on Tuesday Dr. Karissa White is giving a lecture at the Tweed Museum of Art offering insights in to the Native American Art exhibit she has curated from the Richard E. and Dorothy Rawlings Nelson Collection and the Tweed Museum collection.  Dr. White presents her lecture Tuesday December 13, 6:30-8:pm at the Tweed.

Courtney Celley/USFWS.

On this episode of Ojibwe Stories: Gaganoonididaa we have a conversation with Dennis Jones about the 

Ojibwe language, naming ceremonies, offering tobacco and more. Jones recently retired from years as an Ojibwe language instructor at the University of Minnesota. He is a band member of Nigigoonsiminikaaning First Nation, located in the Treaty Three territory in northwestern Ontario.  He is the author of Daga Anishinaabemodaa: Let's Speak Ojibwe, an Ojibwe Word List and Phrase Book, illustrated by Aza Erdrich.

Wisconsin's poet laureate joins us this morning to read, among other things, the titular poem of Apprenticed to Justice:

Some will never laugh
as easily.
Will hide knives
silver as fish in their boots,
hoard names
as if they could be stolen
as easily as land,
will paper their walls
with maps and broken promises,
scar their flesh
with this badge
heavy as ashes.

AICHO

We've learned in recent years that a variety of social and personal ills can be addressed by a couple of strategies: first, meet people where they are (and not where we think they should be) and second, get them into stable housing. 

AICHO (American Indian Community Housing Organization) has been handling the first two since 1993.  But it's only recently that they've added a third ingredient to the mix and it's having a profound impact: art.

Photo by Rob Wilson Photography

An update on Standing Rock from Minnesota Native News…The confrontation continues to escalate near the Standing Rock reservation in North Dakota. Near the front lines, police have been spraying dozens of people with rubber bullets, mace and water in below freezing temperatures.  Contributor Roy Taylor talks with a mother and son from Minneapolis about their participation and support.  Minnesota Native News will be sharing an update from Standing Rock again nest week.  

Minnesota Native News airs Monday's at 7am on Northland Morning and at 4pm Monday's during the World Cafe.

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