Native American

Minnesota Historical Society

Fort Snelling needs a name change, says the Minnesota Historical Society. That is, the historic site, not the fort itself.  So they've been holding meetings around the state to see what Minnesotans are suggesting and the public comment period closed last Friday.  They want to know how to best reflect the different kinds of stories now being told there.

Roxanne Gould is Ojibwe and an assistant professor in the College of Education and Human Service Professions at UMD.  Dr. Jim Rock is Dakota and the Director of Indigenous Programming at the Marshall Alworth Planetarium.

Courtesy Arne Vainio

The hamburger steak was tough and I had the dirty fork stuck in it and I was sawing on the steak with the butter knife.  As I was sawing on it, the plate moved to the edge of the table and flipped over and landed on the floor. 

Johns Hopkins Center for American Indian Health/Facebook

When you think of world-class medicine in Minnesota, you probably think of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester. But Johns Hopkins has just opened up a center here in Duluth, and the new director is also an adjunct  professor here at UMD.

Roxanne Gould

What happens at the intersection of Native American "ways of knowing" and the kind of academic rigor demanded of colleges and universities? The Andrew Mellon Foundation is spending two million dollars at the University of Minnesota - in the Twin Cities and Duluth - to find out the answer.

There's only one way people arrive here on this planet, observed an contributor to the book of What God is Honored Here? Writings on Miscarriage and Infant Loss by and for Native Women and Women of Color, Sun Yung Shin. 

And yet the subject of miscarriage and infant loss remains a shameful secret.

After they suffered their own losses a few years ago, co-editors Shannon Gibney and Kao Kalia Yang decided to, as many have before them, to write the book they needed but couldn't find.

Native kids aged 10 to 24 have the highest rate of suicide of any age group in Minnesota -- more than three times that of white kids. 

Cristian Newman/Unsplash

Alvina died with her family at her side. No tubes. No ventilator. No machines keeping her alive. She died with dignity and in peace, just the way she wanted to.

Jonathan Thunder. Used with permission.

Although you've probably never thought about it this way, European colonizers exploring the world were more concerned with making themselves comfortable in new places (read "more familiar/Euro-centric") than appreciating or adapting to the environments and cultures that were already there.

You may know folks like this; perhaps not "colonizers," but people who want to stay in the comfort of what they know as opposed to learning new things.

Cristian Palmer/Unsplash

While I was at the hospital, my pager kept going off and I had to return multiple calls to patients, call in prescriptions, …and didn'’t get done with that until almost 11:30 PM.  I had to get up at 4:30 to catch my flight, go through security and check my luggage. 

The Sioux Chef/Facebook

It's pretty easy to bring a skill like mindfulness to eating.

Paying attention to that bite you put in your mouth? Enjoying it? Simple.

But many indigenous people are aware that they're not eating the kinds of foods that were traditional  (and healthy) for them prior to European contact. And they're thinking about what they eat, and why, and where it comes from.

Ivy Vainio

  Jim Northrup was a good friend and we used to visit him when he was finishing maple syrup in late winter.We would sit under a shelter around a big cast iron kettle.  The kettle was hanging from a tripod encircled by chairs. There was a pit under the kettle for the base of the fire and firewood was leaning against the kettle all the way around.  We sat there and Jim told stories and then he told more stories. Once in a while the boiling sap would rise and try to overflow the kettle.

Ivy Vainio/Association of American Indian Physicians

Dr. Mary Owen has a lot to be proud of.

Not only is she president-elect of the American Association of American Indian Physicians, the Center for American Indian and Minority Health and the University of Minnesota Medical School Duluth Campus welcomed a record-breaking 13 Native med students out of a class of 65 earlier this month.

Tony Goulding/Flickr

  I was sitting deeper in the barn and Jacob and Frank were silhouetted in the door with the rain falling hard beyond them. 

Arne Vainio

It seemed to me she was always old. She had long white hair and she tied it in a bun on the top of her head. 


Even though the sun's up, we've got stars in our eyes this morning on Northland Morning.

We'll start with a story from our AMPERS partner station, KOJB, about the importance of the stars.

You can listen to the story again here.