Healing Minnesota Stories Gets Star Tribune Attention

A quick shout out about a Star Tribune article: American Indian storytelling project unearths past to educate, heal, that highlights Healing Minnesota Stories transition to the Minnesota Council of Churches. The story features our friend, Bob Klanderud, a man who doesn’t seek the spotlight but deserves our love and thanks for all the work he does.

Here’s a snipet:

Wind rustled through wildflowers as Bob Klanderud pointed down the Mississippi River valley from atop Pilot Knob Hill in Mendota Heights.

He could see the distant skyscrapers of Minneapolis and St. Paul. But he was imagining its first metropolis — villages of animal hide teepees dotting the banks.

Over many years, settlement and war annihilated such images. For Klanderud and others indigenous to the area, the wounds are still fresh. …

Telling the stories is difficult but necessary for Klanderud.

“When we stand with a live heart of Dakota descendancy and use our sacred voices with our holy words, it takes a new dimension and the healing can come,” he said. “Not for the person telling, but for all the people.”

Click on the link for the full story.

Healing Minnesota Stories Moves to the Minnesota Council of Churches

Celebration of Healing Minnesota Stories transitioning to the Minnesota Council of Churches.

Healing Minnesota Stories is now a program of the Minnesota Council of Churches (MCC), expanding its reach and opportunities for transformation.

Jim Bear Jacobs on St. Paul Neighborhood Network’s news show, Forum. (File)

Begun in 2011, Healing Minnesota Stories is an effort to create dialogue, understanding and healing between Native peoples and Minnesota’s faith communities and their individual members. The initiative grew out of a Saint Paul Interfaith Network (SPIN) conference on racism in the church. SPIN has supported Healing Minnesota Stores over the past seven years.

Rev. Jim Bear Jacobs, Healing Minnesota Stories founder, will now serve as the Director of Racial Justice at MCC, continuing to lead Healing Minnesota Stories and other initiatives. “I’m excited for this opportunity with MCC as we begin to dream how we might continue and expand the work of Healing Minnesota Stories on a larger scale,” Jacobs said in a media release issued today Continue reading

Encountering the Dakota Worldview: A Conversation with Bob Klanderud

Encountering the Dakota Worldview
Thursday, February 22, 12:00 PM at the University of St. Thomas
Conversation with Bob Klanderud

This session is part six of an eight part series running through the 2017-2018 academic year titled Encountering Religious and Cultural Traditions: A Series Fostering Religious Literacy and Interreligious Understanding. In this session, Bob Klanderud will teach about the lived experience of the Dakota worldview as well as address some common misconceptions and stereotypes people have about the tradition.

‌Robert “Bob” A. Klanderud, of Dakota and Lakota heritage, is enrolled with the Rosebud Sioux Tribe in Minnesota. With Healing Minnesota Stories, a project that works towards understanding and healing between Native American and non-Native people, Bob volunteers as a teacher by guiding groups to the sacred sites of Bdote, the place where Wakpa Tanka (Mississippi River) and Mnisota Wakpa (Minnesota River) come together. Central to Dakota origin stories, Bdote is understood to be the center of the earth and the place where the Dakota people trace their beginning to. Bob served for eight years for the Division of Indian Work and Minneapolis Council of Churches as a case worker in the Fathers Program, Strengthening Family Circles program, and mentorship program for incarcerated men. He also served for eight years in the chaplaincy program of the department of corrections for Hennepin, Stearns, Steele, and Anoka counties.‌

This program is sponsored by the Jay Phillips Center for Interfaith Learning, Justice and Peace Studies Department, the American Culture and Difference Program, and Students for Justice and Peace, all at the University of St. Thomas.

Click here for more information.

Water Protectors Camp Near Standing Rock: A Photo Essay

The Sacred Stones Camp where we stayed was just outside the reservation.
The Sacred Stones Camp where we stayed was just outside the reservation.

My friend Bob Klanderud and I drove to North Dakota this weekend to spend a few hours standing in solidarity with those who are working to protect the water and the sacred lands near the Standing Rock Indian Reservation.

It’s about an eight-hour drive from the Twin Cities.

In previous blogs, we have provided some of the political and legal context behind this story. With this post, we simply want to share images from the campground.

Still, for those who have not been following it, here is a quick rehash of the news. In previous blogs, we have linked to reports that state the original pipeline route would have crossed the Missouri near Bismarck, ND, “but authorities worried that an oil spill there would have wrecked the state capital’s drinking water.” So instead, it got rerouted so that plans now call for the pipeline to cross under the Missouri River just one mile upstream from the Standing Rock Nation’s fresh water intake. The pipeline also would pass over sacred ground, including burial sites.

This blog has shared articles about how the pipeline company provoked a confrontation by using heavy equipment to dig up a sacred site while a court case was pending, instigating a clash between pipeline opponents  and the pipeline company’s private security guards, who had mace and attack dogs. We have written about how religious leaders are coming out in support of the Standing Rock Nation.

There are multiple camp sites, and we stayed at the main camp. The main camp is just outside the reservation on federal land. Until recently, the camp was operating illegally. According to Indian Country Today, last Friday the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe got “an official permit to use federal lands managed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to ‘gather to engage in a lawful free speech demonstration … ‘”

OK, enough background. I have no knowledge of the camp politics or any developing strategy regarding the pipeline, but here (more or less in focus) is what I saw. Continue reading