The Minnesota Indian Affairs Council’s Language Revitalization Working Group has partnered with the Minnesota Humanity Center to host a Dakota and Ojibwe Languages Symposium. And the Lower Phalen Creek Project brings Native women’s stories to the virtual space for a new twist on winter storytelling. Here’s reporter Leah Lemm, with more.
Later this month, the Dakota and Ojibwe Languages Symposium will be bringing together people working in Dakota and Ojibwe Language Revitalization.
Leslie Harper is from the Leech Lake Band in Cass Lake. Leslie volunteers on the Minnesota Indian Affairs Council’s Language Revitalization Working Group.
“We have multiple presenters from Dakota backgrounds and from Ojibwe backgrounds.” said Harper.
“We want to bring attention to Dakota and Ojibwe Language Projects and programs and activities in the state. And to really elevate the idea of Dakota and Ojibwe Languages here to make them visible. And then to give folks who attend a chance to visit and be amongst each other and to reconnect,” Harper said.
The symposium is for Language learners, practitioners, Language teachers and those community members with an interest in the subject.
“We want to talk about, what is happening in the state? And really support the Minnesota Indian Affairs Council member tribes and advocating for Language and get the word out and support the Indian Affairs Council. When they have to go in and go to all the legislative sessions and support to have some updated responses and then to be forward-looking, looking at the future,” said Harper.
And there are quite a few presentations to look forward to.
“There are different community Language programs that are operating intergenerational Language learning projects in a community setting. The OOG Program out of Fond du Lac which works with adult Language learners and baby Language learners, is going to be presenting on a lot of things that they’re doing. Minneapolis Public School is presenting on efforts that they’re doing in the public school setting in an urban area,” said Harper.
The Symposium is a partnership between the Minnesota Indian Affairs Council’s Language Revitalization Working Group and the Minnesota Humanities Center. It’ll be done virtually and takes place on February 24th and 25th, more information and registration on the Minnesota Humanity Center website, MNhum.org, mnhum.org.
Next winter storytelling, done in a new way. Mishaila Bowman, who is Sisseton Wahpeton Dakota is organizing the event.
“I work for Lower Phalen Creek Project, which is a Native led environmental nonprofit here on East Side of St. Paul and I function as our Communications and Events Coordinators. On Thursday, February 17th, from 6:00 to 7:30 PM. We will be hosting our take on contemporary storytelling,” Bowman.
The evening will consist of more personal stories rather than traditional or creation stories.
“Me and my executive director for Lower Phalen Creek Project, Maggie Loren, we’re just talking about how it is so lovely to see so many storytelling events happening, especially in this virtual era that we are sort of in right now. But how we really wanted to do a more contemporary twist on a storytelling, particularly to uplift the voices of our Native women in our community that we admire,” said Bowman.
The three storytellers include, HolyElk Lafferty, Sandy White Hawk and Stephanie Autumn.
“HolyElk Lafferty, who is Mnicoujou and Oglala Lakota will be talking about her stories of resistance and healing. Whether that’s standing down the US government at uprisings, like Standing Rock or just her experiences as a Lakota mother and daughter and auntie. And Sandy White Hawk is going to be talking about ICWA and adoptee stories and all of her work in that field. And then Stephanie Autumn is going to be talking about, so much of her experiences, learning from other women and different social movements,” said Bowman.
Find the event through Lower Phalen Creek’s social media pages, Instagram and Facebook.
Leah Lemm reporting for MN Native News