Native American Commission

Boards, Commissions & Committees

Native American Commission - January 8, 2018

Regular Meeting: Monday, January 8, 2018

A regular meeting of the Board of Native American Commissioners of the City of Fargo, North Dakota, January 8, 2018.

The Native American Commissioners present or absent were as follows:

Present: Rebecca Knutson, Lenore King, Ruth Buffalo, Guy Fox, Sharon White Bear, Maylynn Warne

Absent: John Strand, Francis Oak Grove, Clinton Alexander

Also Present: Nicole Crutchfield (City of Fargo)

Item 1. Honoring Willard Yellow Bird
To honor Willard Yellow Bird’s retirement, the Native American Commission members presented him a plaque, a star quilt and thanked him for his years of service to the City of Fargo and the Fargo Native American Commission.

Item 2. Welcome and Introductions
Vice Chair White Bear welcomed Members to the meeting and introductions were made.

Item 3. Approval of Agenda and Minutes
Mr. Foxed moved to approve the agenda and minutes. Ms. King seconded. All members affirmed aye and the motion passed.

Item 4. Whitney Fear & Jillian Gould: Update on Human Trafficking Escalation and Targeting of Indigenous Women
Ms. Fear, Homeless Health R.N. and Case Manager, stated that she and Ms. Gould, Homeless Outreach Specialist for the Gladys Ray Shelter and Veterans Drop-In Shelter, work closely together to address the social and health aspects of homelessness and are increasingly working on human trafficking, as well. Ms. Fear stated that they are seeing specific targeting of Native American women and children. Ms. Fear shared recent North Dakota human trafficking statistics. Ms. Fear stated that they are seeing more and more apparent activity downtown and more brazen interactions with suspected traffickers. Ms. Fear and Ms. Gould discussed the need for public awareness, signs and symptoms, education on ways traffickers are using social media, etc. Ms. Gould talked about how beneficial a downtown drop-in center would be to help keeping individuals safe.

Item 5. Public Comment
Jered Pigeon, Program Coordinator NDSU, talked about the annual Woodlands and High Plains Pow Wow, scheduled for April 14th. He stated that the Native American Commission typically donates about $1,000 and asked if there’s a process he needs to follow to request those funds. Ms. White Bear stated that it has already been included in the Native American Commission Budget.

Item 6. Update on Native American Commission’s City Liaison Position
Nicole Crutchfield updated the Native American Commission regarding a meeting she had with Ms. White Bear and Mr. Yellow Bird. From that meeting, Ms. Crutchfield gained insight on what qualities should be included in the job description. She further stated that it will take some time to hire someone. In the mean time, Kara Gloe will be the day-to-day contact.

Item 7. Panelist Request – Strengthening Government to Government Relationships and Partnerships
Ms. White Bear stated Willard Yellow Bird was invited to be a panelist at a conference called Government to Government Relationships and Partnerships. She asked the Commission members if they are interested in attending. Ms. King stated she and Ms. Buffalo are interested in attending. Ms. White Bear volunteered to call the organizer to get a better idea of who they want in attendance and will share that information with Ms. Crutchfield, Ms. King, and Ms. Buffalo.

Item 8. Executive Committee Elections
Ms. White Bear opened nominations for Vice Chair. Mr. Fox nominated Ms. King. Ms. Knutson seconded. All members affirmed aye and the motion passed.

Ms. White Bear opened nominations for treasurer. Mr. Fox nominated Mr. Oakgrove. All members affirmed aye and the motion passed.

Item 9. Monthly Meeting Times
Ms. White Bear stated that the first Thursday of the month at 5:30 p.m. is open again and asked for other day/time suggestions. Mr. Fox suggested the first Thursday of the month at Noon. Ms. Crutchfield said she would check on room availability.

Item 10. Committee Updates/Announcements
Education Committee: Mr. Fox stated they have met with West Fargo Public Schools and Fargo Public Schools to identify ways to strengthen Indian Ed. Chasley Snyder, Vice Chair of the Indian Ed Parent Committee, developed a tutoring program with MSUM elementary education students in partnership with the Boys and Girls Club of the Red River Valley. Kindergarten through 5th grade group tutoring will be on Monday nights from 4:30 – 5:30 p.m. Sixth through 12th grade students will receive group tutoring or one-on-one on Wednesday nights. Mr. Fox stated that the administrators are excited about this program and want to house it in the Indian Education Department.

Item 11. Old Business
Ms. King gave an update on the New Year’s Eve Pow Wow. Four hundred fifteen people attended. Ms. White Bear is working on sending Thank You notes to folks who have donated.

Ms. Buffalo requested a follow up regarding a Facebook page for the Native American Commission. Mr. Fox requested a redefining of the Public Relations Committee, which is in charge of the social media, Indigenous Peoples Day, Fargo Marathon, and other events. Ms. Buffalo is the point of contact, Ms. Warne, Ms. White Bear, and Ms. King volunteered.

Sweat Lodge Committee: Mr. Fox and Vince Kempf volunteered. There is still one spot on this committee.

Item 12. New Business
Ms. Buffalo gave an update regarding the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women Mayor’s task force. Ms. Buffalo agreed to head up an effort to organize an event on February 14th for MMIW awareness.

Ms. Warne suggested that the Native American Commission get cards that are blank inside and have the logo on the outside. Ms. White Bear agreed to work with the Public Relations Committee to look into that.

Item 13. Adjourn