There has been plenty of news coverage and fundraising appeals regarding Native-led efforts to stop the Dakota Access Pipeline. However, there are any number of ways to learn about and support Native American communities. Opportunities include attending free upcoming Native American documentary screenings, an evening of traditional Native American story telling (also free), and supporting food drives to help Native American families.
Augsburg Native American Film Series
The Augsburg Native American Film Series will screen two films in March. Both events are free.
The first is the film is Red Power Energy, Wednesday, March 8, at Augsburg College. The screening will be held in Sateren Auditorium, Music Hall, 715 22nd Ave. S. A reception will be held from 6:15 – 6:45 p.m. with the screening starting at 7 p.m. Larry Pourier (Oglala Lakota), one of the film’s directors, will host the screening and take questions afterwards.
According to the film’s publicity materials:
Red Power Energy is a documentary film that combines engaging storytelling with in-depth journalism. Told solely from the Native perspective, with a nearly all-Native film crew and all-Native Advisory Council, the film features Western and Great Plains American Indian tribes from North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, Wyoming and Colorado. First-person stories illustrate the complex realities of American Indian reservations grappling with how to balance their natural resources with their traditional beliefs. From the historic United Nations Climate Conference to the proliferation of non-Western countries industrializing their economies through fossil fuel production, Red Power Energy offers a rare glimpse into Indian Country while further advancing a deeper understanding of the energy debate.
The second film is The Seventh Fire, Thursday, March 16 at the University of St. Thomas. The screening will be held in the John Roach Center auditorium (JRC 126), located on the corner of Summit and Cleveland avenues. The event will run from 1:30-3:10 p.m.
Organizers provided the following summary:
From executive producers Terrence Malick, Natalie Portman and Chris Eyre comes a fascinating new documentary by Jack Pettibone Riccobono, The Seventh Fire.
When Rob Brown, a Native American gang leader on a remote Minnesota reservation, is sentenced to prison for a fifth time, he must confront his role in bringing violent drug culture into his beloved Ojibwe community. As Rob reckons with his past, his seventeen-year-old protégé, Kevin, dreams of the future: becoming the most powerful and feared Native gangster on the reservation
Together the lives of Rob and Kevin present a devastating counter-myth to textbook notions of the American dream, and they force us to confront the modern-day ramifications of what are still the most overlooked aspects of American history.
Click here for the trailer.
An Evening of Traditional Native American Story Telling
The American Indian Education Program for Independent School District 622 (North St. Paul, Maplewood and Oakdale) is hosting an evening of Native American story telling, along with an educational presentation with hawks and eagles from the raptor center. Light refreshments will be served
The event is free and open to the public. It is Thursday, Feb. 16, 6:15- 8:30 p.m. at the Skyview Community School, 1100 Heron N. in Oakdale. For more information, call 651-748-7548.
Food Drive for Native Families
March is Food Shelf Month, and organizations serving Native families already are gearing up to boost donations. All funds raised during March will be matched by Minnesota FoodShare March Campaign.
Here are two good options.
The Department of Indian Work Food Shelf of Interfaith Action of Greater St. Paul issued the following appeal:
- Have a Food Drive: Organize a Generous Spirit Food Drive at your faith community. We provide the materials needed for your drive.
- Attend Empty Bowls: Support the Department of Indian Work by joining us at this year’s Empty Bowls event, to be held on March 23.
- Make a Gift: Mail a check payable to Interfaith Action with “Food Drive” in the memo line or donate online.
The Division of Indian Work of the Greater Minneapolis Council of Churches is hosting the LEAP into the Fight Against Hunger event on Monday, February 27, 5 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. at Th