Native American Commission

Boards, Commissions & Committees

Native American Commission - September 18, 2017 Minutes

Regular Meeting: Monday, September 18, 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 5:45 PM, Monday, September 18, 2017.

Community Spiritual Leader and Native American Commission City’s Liaison Willard Yellow Bird offered a prayer for the Grey Wind Family and asked all the Commissioners, Leaders, and the Community to keep giving healing energy to the Grey Wind family. Chair Fox asked us all to take a moment for a silent pray. Commissioner Ruth Buffalo pledge the support for Native American Commission to move forward to work with the community for a safer community for all people.

1. Welcome and Introductions:
Chair Guy Fox open the NAC monthly meeting at 5:45 pm

Present: John Strand, Rebecca Knutson, Ruth Buffalo, Sharon White Bear, Guy Fox, Lenore King

Absent: Clinton Alexander, Maylynn Warne, Frank Oakgrove

Also present: Staff- Willard Yellow Bird

2. September Agenda and August Minutes approved

3. Good of the Order:

4. Communities Updates:
Education Committee: Commissioner Rebecca Knutson gave and update on a meeting her, Dr. Bob Grosz Fargo School District, Melody Staebner Fargo Indian Education and NAC Chair Guy Fox, the purpose of the meeting was to review the presentation that was given to the school board and to review some highlights on the District Native American Education program. Commissioner Rebecca, said her, Dr. Grosz, Melody and Guy met for about hour to review the presentation. Dr. Grosz and Melody 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. Then we hope to be on the same page and dialog the School district will be offering annual to teachers. On August 9, the Fargo School District provided the North Dakota essential curricula of understanding training to some of the educators too get familiar with the curriculum. About 30 educators from the Fargo and West Fargo attended ND Native American essential understanding training which came from the ND State Education Department. The NAC education committee will have a follow up meeting with a discussing and review of training before the next NA commission meeting.

Special projects:
A. Indigenous Peoples Day: Chair Fox asked Commissioner Sharon White Bear to give an update on the October 9 Indigenous Peoples Day. Commissioner White Bear said the planning committee has been meeting and will be meeting again on Sept 22 and the committee is still trying to require some extra funding for the Indigenous programs. The committee will be scheduling a small powwow in the evening. The theme for the Indigenous Peoples Day is “Strengthening Community Though Reconciliation and Healing” and the committee will be sending out invitation for speakers and individuals we want to present. There was talk about including a small program about the tragic event, which happen in our community about the missing and murder indigenous women. The Powwow will be at the Agassiz School and Melody has setup buses for the Native students to come from the local schools for the afternoon education programs. Commissioner Ruth Buffalo said that we would need volunteers to help with the students and the youth events, which will start at 1 pm. There will also be meal provide which will start at 5 pm before the 6 pm powwow. Ruth also mention since the community picnic, Rabanus Park min-powwow we started to keep list of volunteers who been reaching out to us volunteer for our event. Chair Fox asked that we make sure we have an announcer that we lack in the Rabanus Park min-powwow, Rick White from White Earth will be the announcer for the IPD powwow. There is an event page on the FB indigenous Peoples Day. Commissioner John Strand acknowledge that the City of Fargo is one of the few cities in the US the acknowledge Indigenous Peoples Day, he is proud of the Native American Commission work on this event. The IPD committee gave a summary on the Gladys Ray Award, head boy and girl dancers and nomination for the award.

B. Native American Month
Chair Guy Fox, summary of the Public Library Native American Awareness Month programs, November 4 storytelling, asking native Commissioners to sit on a panel during lunch discuss topic with public, speaker who are invite in and will be servicing traditional food. Native American Festival hosted my Public Library, Plain Art Museum and NAC, with traditional story, Darlene St. Clair who developed educational history and cultural curriculum for caring for their land. Native American Festival committee is a request of 400 dollars to the NAC to help a little with their financial need. Guy gave a summary of Events for the community: IPD Oct 9, library Native American Festival Nov 4, Schools are celebrating (colleges) Heritage Month in November, Crossroad Powwow committee are having a silent auction in November, and NAC will be having their Round Dance December 31st. The NAC needs to start working together as a team with the community that would benefit the community has completely, we need a commission of doing and action instead of just attending.

C. Cultural Planner Position
Commission Rebecca Knutson would like to have Dan Mahli on the agenda to present to the NAC in Oct because Willard is retiring at the end of the year, NAC would like to help and with reviewing and involvement with the hiring the Cultural Planner position. NAC would like to send memo the Mayor express their involvement with hiring process. 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.

D. Summary City’s Diversity Training
City’s Diversity Training for the employees update, Family Village is doing the training it is open to all the commissioners, too. It’s better to sign up for the Diversity and take in the training so the commissioners could reviews then could ask your pro’s and con’s. Because of the sweat lodge, incidences the NAC were looking for a Native competency cultural training for the City and the Diversity training does not go far enough in the Native cultural.

E. Missing and Murdered Indigenous Taskforce
Commissioner Rebecca Knutson made a motion: 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. Second Sharon White Bear

Attach a letter of support: With City’s Proclamation: “The Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women Awareness Day” signed by the four Mayors of the City of Fargo, City of Moorhead, City of Dilworth and West Fargo. Signed February 14, 2015.
All commissioners voted yes for the Motion; motion carried

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.

Arrangement meeting with the Mayor on the task force with the Native American Commission and maybe send out a press release after we meet with Mayor.

F. Fargo Diversion
Federal Judge order a stop and cease on the Diversion because of the lacking permits from Minnesota to build. Commissioner John Strand, Ruth, and Willard became aware that some culture site and artifacts were discover on the route, however, the engineers change their route away from the culture sites but other sites still needed to be evaluate, yet.

5. Public comment or Business
Chair Fox: Recap our meeting, our hearts are heavy, we have chance do something special as a commission, we have some events coming up so let us acts and be on the top of it. Remember the letters, task force and the people we are going to reach out too.

Adjourn at 6:50 pm