Happy Spring! April is blooming with many learning opportunities, in Native film, theater, Pow Wows and talks. Here are a dozen to choose from (starting with April Eve).
Thursday, March 31: Settler Colonialism and Justice After Indigenous Genocide. “This presentation will discuss Indigenous erasure as an inherent part of Settler colonialism, and Settler colonialism as an ongoing phenomenon in Minnesota – one that brings the genocide of Dakota Peoples out of the past and into the present: as acts of non-recognition, denial, assimilation, and marginalization,” according to the Facebook announcement.
- East Side Freedom Library, 1105 Greenbrier Street, St. Paul, 7 p.m.
Saturday, April 2, Augsburg College Traditional Pow Wow. Free admission. All are welcome. No feast this year but concession stands will be open. For more details, see website.
- Augsburg College, Si Melby Gymnasium, 715 23rd Avenue South, Grand Entry at 1 p.m. and 6 p.m.
Monday, April 4: Screening of the Movie “Blood Memory: A Story of Truth, Healing and Reconciliation. The film delves into the history of the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) and the importance of adoptees connecting with their tribe and Indian family. The film is a work in progress and is being shown in conjunction with the National ICWA Conference held in St. Paul this year.
- Creative Arts Secondary School, 65 Kellogg Boulevard, Saint Paul. 5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. Opening Prayer, Registration and a bowl of buffalo stew and corn bread, prepared by Yazzie the cook ($5.00 dollar donation). 6:30 p.m. Introductions. 7:00 p.m. Screening and Q&A with the filmmakers.
Tuesday, April 5: Book launch celebration for “A Good Time for Truth: Race in Minnesota.” In this book, 16 Minnesota’s best writers provide a range of perspectives on what it is like to live as a person of color in Minnesota. The event includes readings by Heid E. Erdrich, Bao Phi, Rodrigo Sanchez-Chavarria, Carolyn Holbrook and Andrea Jenkins. Nekima Levy Pounds will be a special guest speaker.
- The Minnesota History Center, 6 p.m. The event is free, but reservations are required. Get tickets from the Facebook page.
Wednesday, April 6: Augsburg Native American Film Series: Celebrating Sami Women in Film. An evening of short films by Sámi and First Nation women hosted by First Nations/Sami filmmaker Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers (Kainai Nation–Blood Reserve, Blackfoot Confederacy/Sámi). The event is free and open to the public.
- Augsburg College, Sateren Auditorium, Music Hall, 715 22nd Ave South, Reception 6:15-6:45 p.m. Screening begins at 7:00 p.m. Discussion with filmmakers follows.
Wednesday-Sunday, April 6-10: The National Native American Ten Minute Play Festival. Twenty-nine Native artists (actors, directors, playwrights, etc.) are featured in this festival which artistic director Rhiana Yazzie speculates “may be the most Native actors and artists on one main stage ever in the Twin Cities.” The subjects of the plays include injustices faced by migrant workers, a Native zombie apocalypse, a heated conversation between respected Native philosopher Vine Deloria and a civil rights activist, an original dance piece, and a fight over a tribe’s water rights.
- Bedlam Theater, 213 4th Street East, St. Paul. Wednesday, April 6 preview performance at 7:30 p.m.; Thursday, April 7, Opening night at 7:30 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, April 8-9, 7:30 p.m. with a music program starting at 9:30 p.m. on Saturday; and Sunday, April 10 at 2 p.m. It is “pay what you can” every night, but the suggested donation is $20.
Saturday, April 9: Bde Maka Ska Community Conversations. This group has met for several sessions to discuss ways that the proposed name change from Lake Calhoun to the traditional Dakota name, Bde Maka Ska, doesn’t just stop with a name change. It also needs to include inspirational changes in the culture and educational opportunities around the lake. This is a brainstorming and planning session to continue fleshing out ideas.
- First Universalist Church, 3400 Dupont Avenue South, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. All are welcome.
Wednesday, April 13: Doctrine of Discovery Film Screening and Discussion with the Director.
- Hennepin Avenue United Methodist Church, 511 Groveland Ave., Minneapolis, 6:30 – 9:00 p.m.. For more details, here is the Hennepin Avenue UMC flyer.
Wednesday, April 20: Indians in Public Art: Myths and Misconceptions. Healing Minnesota Stories Founder Jim Bear Jacobs (Mohican) will take people on a virtual tour of the Capitol art, and tell us how he sees it through Native American eyes. The Capitol is currently undergoing a major renovation and the historic art is under scrutiny. Jim Bear will provide an update on the ongoing debate.
- Olivet Congregational Church, 1850 Inglehart Ave., St. Paul, 5:30 p.m. dinner, 6:30 p.m. program.
Thursday, April 21: the 4th Annual Great Native American Cook Off! This is a fundraiser for the Wicoie Nandagikendan, an important Preschool Language Immersion Program to preserve the Dakota and Ojibwe languages. Raffle, too!
- The Minneapolis American Indian Center, 1530 East Franklin Ave., Minneapolis, 6-8 p.m.
Sunday, April 24: Doctrine of Discovery Film Screening and Discussion with the Director.
- Church of the Epiphany Episcopal Church, 4900 Nathan Lane North, Plymouth. 5:00 – 7:30 p.m.. For more details, here is the Epiphany flyer.
Saturday, April 30: University of Minnesota Traditional Pow Wow. Free. Event provided by the American Indian Student Culture Center at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. $5 meal ticket.
- University of Minnesota Field House. No times specified yet.