On Aug. 25, a sunny morning in Minneapolis, Bdote Learning Center opened. The historic beginning marked the end of six years of planning and developing as – children entered the school to study what all children learn in Kindergarten to third grade – except that they will be learning in the Ojibwe and Dakota languages. These languages, now only spoken by a few, are reflected throughout Minnesota in place names and the very names of the city and state where the school is located.
On Oct 10, 2013, at 7:21 AM, Joe Nathan wrote:* A significant # of the secondary charters in Mpls and St Paul serve youngsters who have not succeeded in traditional schools – or with whom traditional schools have not succeeded.I would add to this balancing the educational system with curriculum that is lacking or in very short supply. Despite the fact that Minnesota is a major geographic site for Anishinabe and Dakota people and nations, the public schools reflect almost no study of the languages and cultures of these people. In this age of the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, enacted in the United Nations in 2007, the Minneapolis public education system has been exceedingly slow to add the languages and cultures of the native people of this state. Sprawling over the borders of Minnesota (they predate the state) a rich band of cultures and languages is here right under our eyes, so to speak.Now, Bdote Learning Center, a new charter school for grades K-8, will open in 2014. It will begin with grades K-3 – to be followed by adding one grade per year to 8th grade in 2019. Continue Reading
The American Indian Movement will open its first exhibit telling the story of its history on May 10th at the All My Relations Gallery. Planning for the exhibit has been underway for months, as Executive Director Clyde Bellecourt and AIM’s board of directors worked to narrow down thousands of choices to a fraction of the holdings that depict the history of the Movement. They chose a photographic exhibit, featuring the work of Dick Bancroft, long known informally as the “AIM photographer,” and Roger Woo, a photographer who worked in black and white in AIM’s earliest years.Woo joined the AIM patrol in 1968, at the beginning of the organization’s formal activities. He took photographs of elders in Minneapolis neighborhoods, some of the early pow wows and children at play. He recorded the poor living conditions in the Indian community and students in schools and after school programs. Woo was born in Canton, China and he came to Minneapolis as a youth, graduating from West High School and the University of Minnesota. Continue Reading
Museums are places where stories are told, and sometimes those stories are cultural. But often the storytellers are not the same people whose history is being explored. Recently, the Associate Curator of Native American Art at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts came to KFAI. Joe Horse Capture appeared on First Person Radio and talked about Native American people working as museum curators. He told Laura Waterman Wittstock that he’s seeing more young Native Americans interested in the field, and the two discussed a pair of beaded shoes made by artist Jamie Okuma that are on display at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts.
The American Indian Movement (AIM) gathered in its 42nd year to reflect on victories and the challenges still ahead. AIM founder Clyde H. Bellecourt pulled himself around after undergoing six hours of surgery just days before the conference began. Visibly tired and weakened by the ordeal of combined kidney and gallbladder surgery, he nonetheless led discussions on AIM history and accomplishments to a group of 100 attendees from all over the U.S. and Canada. A keynote address by Chief Terrence Nelson from Roseau River, Manitoba pointed the way to future AIM involvement in economic reforms and nation building. He explained that Roseau River is part of the Pembina Band of Anishinaabe people who in their several bands live in several U.S. states and provinces of Canada. Continue Reading
A few photos from the MayDay In the Heart of the Beast parade – photos by Lloyd Wittstock.Free Speech ZoneThe Free Speech Zone offers a space for contributions from readers, without editing by the TC Daily Planet. This is an open forum for articles that otherwise might not find a place for publication, including news articles, opinion columns, announcements and even a few press releases. Continue Reading
For the many Native nations that lived in ancient times throughout the Great Lakes region of the now United States Thanksgiving was a verb, not a noun. It was not a holiday. It was an action that brought families and communities together in thanks for continued life in an environment that embraced with rich abundance and at the same time killed under the fierce domination of nature. Native people understood in the most lucid fashion imaginable that the straight line from food source to their mouths involved a close and enduring relationship with nature. This started with respect for what the Creator made. Continue Reading