Native American Commission

Boards, Commissions & Committees

Native American Commission - October 16, 2017 Minutes

Regular Meeting: Monday, October 16, 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 5:40 PM, Monday, October 16, 2017.

1. Welcome and Introductions:
Co-Chair Sharon White Bear open the NAC monthly meeting at 5:40 pm

Present: John Strand, Rebecca Knutson, Ruth Buffalo, Sharon White Bear, Lenore King
Absent: Clinton Alexander, Maylynn Warne, Frank Oakgrove, Guy Fox
Staff: Willard Yellow Bird

2. October Agenda revised (Dan Mahli presentation moved to November meeting)
September Minutes approved

3. Good of the Order:

4. Communities Updates:
Commissioner Lenora King provided information on the Native American Festival and Education Series at the Fargo Public Library. The Native American Commission gave financial support for this Festival. Festival committee contacted Commissioner Ruth Buffalo looking for Art and Crafts individuals who could demonstrate the Native American crafts.
NAC Face Book committee: The Public Relative committee meet with the City’s Communication Manager to discuss the Native American Commission Face Book page. The need is to appoint a NA commissioner to be an administrator for the FB. Another meeting will be setup with the Communication Office once the NA appoint an administrator to over the page and the Cultural Planner will be the other administrator, too for the NAC. The Native American Commission asked Commissioner Ruth Buffalo to be the administrator for their FB page, which she accepted.
Commissioner Rebecca Knutson gave an update, couple of folks from school board members attend to give the information on the Native Education program, Staebner said they would be willing to give the same presentation they gave to the School District to the NAC on their November 2 meeting. Commissioner Rebecca did attend the City’s Diversity training it was an hour long and that was just a beginning session that just to touch the awareness that not everyone who lives here in Fargo/Moorhead community is the same. City of Fargo Human Resources and the Village family Service Center sponsor the diversity training session. The trainer for the Village family services said that this is not enough training for a diversity program.
Commissioner John Strand gave his observation on Indigenous Peoples Day: what a great turn out and the energy from the community and staff for the Indigenous Peoples Day event. Commissioner Strand also acknowledge that the City of Fargo is one of the few cities in the US that adoptive Indigenous Peoples Day, however, he also noted that in a national post of city’s that changed from Columbus Day to Indigenous People Day that the City of Fargo was not listed. Ms. Warne stated that the City of Fargo didn’t officially acknowledge or celebrate Columbus Day, but it did adopt Indigenous People’s Day. Commissioner Ruth said she would check into this and get it changed or make them aware of Fargo change. The student IDP program had little over 80 NA students from the Fargo and Moorhead schools that attended the NA IPD event, the Fargo North Students Council participated in the IPD events, too. The Circle of Nation School from Wahpeton, ND also expressed interest in the Native American Commission Indigenous Peoples Day events, probably for next year. Commissioner Rebecca also brought how the NA commission should bring awareness to the community and the down merchants that still have Columbus Days. Commissioner Sharon White Bear said she would inform the new committee for Indigenous Peoples Day on the concerns of Columbus Days sell and more involvement with the true history of Indigenous Peoples Day.


1. Tribal Sovereignty and the Roots of Government
Wednesday, November 15, 2017
9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
UND American Indian Center
315 Princeton Street
Grand Forks, ND

View the Event Flyer
This workshop examines the evolution and foundations of Tribal government and leadership in order to help agencies and organizations work with Tribes and Tribal programs. The session provides a brief overview of the Tribes of North Dakota and a set of protocols that may be helpful in building Tribal relations.

Upon completion of this session, participants will:
• Gain knowledge of historical and contemporary views of Tribal governances and leadership
• Be able to articulate the major historical events shaping Tribal governments
• Be able to effectively interact with Tribes and American Indian populations

2. Living Through Grieving: A Native Perspective of Cutting
Thursday, November 16, 2017
9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
UND American Indian Center
315 Princeton Street
Grandforks, ND

View the Event Flyer
Self-injury has become a common practice among youth, especially Native American youth. This training presents a uniquely Native American perspective of the practice of 'cutting' that may empower helping professionals to address the issue in a culturally sensitive and competent manner. The session describes a historical basis for the practice, specifically from a Lakota/Dakota perspective, and will provide information on using this knowledge to help Native youth live through personal trauma and grief.

Upon completion of this session, participants will:
• Gain knowledge of traditional Native grieving and healing practices
• Apply this knowledge to contemporary interventions
• Be able to apply the learned concepts to help Native American youth

3. North Dakota Human Rights Film and Arts Festival

Tribal Communities fighting to protect and expand human rights and social justice topics. Individuals and NPO organizations will be invited to talk about their work protecting and promoting human rights, share their thoughts on the state of those rights within North Dakota and the Country, and provide ideas on how communities should to move forward in our current political climate.

4. Native American Juried Arts & Crafts Festival
November 11, 2017 11:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Plains Art Museum
Fargo, ND

View the Event Flyer
Free and open to the public. Only Native American made products for sale. Games for kids and adults.

Public Comment:
Amanda Vivier, Native American Christian Ministry, who participate in our Native American Commission sweat site program, suggested the NA sweat committee and the City of Fargo needs to start to redevelop the sweat site to be friendlier to the community.

October Goals
1) Write letter to Dan Mahli that the NAC would like to help in the hiring process for Cultural Planning Position or ask Dan to present on the hiring process at October meeting.
2) To Create a Task Force, with Native American Commission and Mayor Mahoney and leaders to create a task force for Missing and Murdered Indigenous women with local government and leadership along with Native American Commission for a task force.
3) Write a Second Letter: To support the North Dakota Tribal Leaders who agree to send letter to congressional delegates involved this current issue “Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women” to Ruth will do a first draft.

Adjourn at 6:46 pm