Native American Commission

Boards, Commissions & Committees

Native American Commission - June 1, 2017

Regular Meeting: Thursday, June 1, 2017

The Regular Meeting of the Board of Native American Commission of the City of Fargo, North Dakota, was called to order in the City of Commission Room at City Hall at 5:41 PM, Thursday, June 1, 2017.

Chair Guy Fox open the NAC monthly meeting at 5:41 pm.

Commissioners: Connie Longie, John Strand, Guy Fox and Lenore King

No Quorum

City Staff: Willard Yellow Bird, Cultural Planner

May minutes tabled and June agenda reviewed.

Communities Updates:

Public Relations:

1. Fargo Marathon, Saturday, May 20 - NA community members had a great turn out to help and cheer, along with four drum groups, two from the Sisseton/Wahpeton Area and two local drums for the Fargo Marathon on May 20. Dakota Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate tribe also donated buffalo paddies to the Native Commission for the event to feed the members and guests, along with what the community members brought to feed and drink everyone was full even the police officers who stop by for buffalo burgers. The only drawn back at the beginning, the First United Methodist Church was also setup in the same area which is their parking lot, with a DJ which kind a drowned out the drum groups with their music. However, we decide to move over to a smaller parting lot which ended being the best place since it was right on the corner where the runners turned.

2. FM Crossroads International Contest Powwow is all setup to start June 2, 3, and 4th at the Fargo Scheels Arena and is hoping to draw great number of dances, singers, and spectators.

Education Committee:

1. Fargo School District will be having a Public Hearing on the Indian Education Program at Agassiz School on June 6th with two sessions one starting at noon and at 6:30 p. m. (The Fargo Forum stated that the Native American students have highest rate among students that don’t graduate from the high school in the area)

2. Cultural Competence Training – Officer NA liaison Vince Kempf has met with Melody Staebner to find way to collaborate with the Indian Ed program with interaction with NA students. Officer Kempf also questions about the different tribe traditional value and characteristics: are they the same or different? Officer Kempf would also like to work with the NA committee for a 5-year plan to work together regarding the Sweat Lodge program. NA Chair Guy Fox is willing to work with Officer Kempf help with collaboration in answering questions from the police officers to gain friendship and trust. Sandi Berlin a community member and a past commissioner also met with Officer Kempf and discussed a native community and police-talking circle to help end the ceremony that was abrupt doing the February sweat incidence. Commissioner Strand said cultural understanding go both ways and Commissioner Longie said elders from the different tribes in the area should be part of the first talking circle. Sand agree to head the committee on the talking circle program.

Upcoming program for the summer:

1. The Fargo Project reached out to the Native Commission to be involved in the 2017 Summer Series at the World Garden Commons at Rabanus Park. Rachel Asleson (Reach Partners) would like the NA commission to setup a program this summer to showcase the Native cultural tradition at the park for the community from 1 to 4 pm. Lenore King will work with Ms. Asleson to follow through with this program.

2. Community member Ruth Buffalo was asked to help with the Cultural Competence Education for the City and to contact Dr. Cheryl Kary who initiated into ND legislation cultural competence training to the legislation members that fail by four votes. Dr. Cheryl Kary was CEO of the Sacred Pipe Resource Center.

3. The Native American Commission still has one vacate position for a commissioner. Please let Willard Yellow Bird anyone that might be interested.

4. Follow up with the Fargo Public Library and Cultural Diversity on their November Native American month for financial support for their native awareness week.


1. Fargo Police Picnic June 27 - to make sure the Buffalo River singers and dancers are contacted for the police picnic program and volunteers for the booth.

2. Education committee meet and discuss the Public Hearing on the Indian Education program.

3. Office Vince Kempf and Chair Fox will meet and discuss way to improve cultural competences awareness.

4. Lenore King will reach to Ms. Asleson to help with 2017 Summer Series at the World Garden Commons for a native cultural program

5. Guy will reach to the Administrator of the Fargo Website Sweat Lodge to add on a NA commissioner as an administrator.

6. Follow up on the NA commission vacate position.

7. Send thank you letters to drum groups, Sisseton/ Wahpeton Oyate Chairman, and the First United Methodist church