News and Events: MMIW Bill Expected to Pass; Four Sacred Directions Water Walk; New Native Theater Jam Sessions and More

Events in this blog:

  • MMIW Bill Expected to Become Law
  • Four Sacred Directions Water Walk Friday, May 24
  • New Native Theatre Jam Sessions, Workshops, Centered on the Native Rights Movement

MMIW Bill Expected to Become Law

After failing to pass last year, the legislature has agreed to create a Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women Task Force, MPR reports. The task force will “look into the staggering rates of disappearances and violence against Native American women.”

This data collection is a basic first step to address the problem. The bill still needs to pass in special session and get the signature of Gov. Tim Walz.

(Congratulations and thanks to Mysti Babineau of Red Lake who worked tirelessly on this bill.)

Four Sacred Directions Water Walk at Bde Maka Ska Friday, May 24

Sorry about the late notice. The 3rd annual Four Sacred Directions Water Walk at Bde Maka Ska will start at 7 a.m. tomorrow (Friday) on the lake’s south shore.

Indigenous peoples, youth and allies will acknowledge and honor the sacredness of water at each direction. The walk will end where it began, converging with the Mde Maka Ska Canoe Nations Gathering at 9 a.m.

The walk is supported by Migizi Communications, Indigenous Roots, Mde Maka Ska Community Conversations, Minneapolis Climate Action and In Progress.

New Native Theatre Hosts Jam Sessions Centering the Native Rights Movement

New Native Theatre presents, An Ode to Songs of Resistance and Celebration, a community jam session, sing-along, and conversation set to the soundtrack of the Native Rights Movement coupled with a series of classes and workshops.

New Native Theatre continues the celebration of their tenth anniversary season with a new program that encourages audiences to bring their guitars, voices, and other instruments for a community jam session and conversation to learn and play songs and hear personal stories from the Native rights movement.

Audiences are encouraged to attend as many of the practice sessions as they like, with an invitation to perform with the cast and band on all Friday and Saturday dates. Jam Sessions run Thursday, May 23 through Sunday, June 2, 2019 at 7:30 p.m. taking place at Gremlin Theatre, Annex Building, 550 Vandalia St, St Paul, MN 55114.

Jam sessions are led by Gary Rue and celebrated Native American musicians, Scotti Clifford (May 27), Annie Humphrey (May 28, 29, and 30), and Mitch Walking Elk (May 29).

Directed by Fern Renville and Artistic Director, Rhiana Yazzie, in collaboration with music director Gary Rue, and Geneva Seaboy, member of the Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate nation, who was at the initial occupation of Alcatraz Island in 1969, An Ode to Songs of Resistance and Celebration includes Friday and Saturday performances, which audiences are invited to bring their guitars, voices, and other instruments to the theatre to perform with the cast and The Gary Rue Trio. All levels and ages of musicianship and experiences are welcome.

Youth participation is the focus on both Sundays, May 26 and June 2, from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. with a storytelling workshop and jam session led by co-director Fern Renville who hails from the Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate nation, and music director, Gary Rue. Youth ages 8 and to high school are encouraged to attend.

The offering of classes and workshops that coincide with the event are Hoop Dancing, Flute, Tap Dance, Yoga and Self-Care, and Making Music Without Instruments among others. All workshops are taught by guest artists including the acclaimed Native American singer-songwriter Annie Humphrey whose class on May 28 is titled Making Music without Instruments. Most classes take place weekdays and Saturdays from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m at Gremlin Theatre. A list of classes and times can be found at

Like the jam sessions and performances, all classes and workshop are free to the general public while donations are accepted. To hold a reservation for the classes, jam sessions and performances, attendees are encouraged to RSVP by emailing or by calling New Native Theatre’s office at (612)367-7639.

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