Events: Dialogue on Crude Oil Pipeline Impacts on Treaty Rights; Dakhota Language and Scavenger Hunt at Mia

Line 3 marker near Bemidji

Minnesota Interfaith Power & Light is hosting an interactive discussion on treaty rights and crude oil pipelines, Sunday, Feb. 25th, 1-3 p.m., at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, 1895 Laurel Ave., Saint Paul. Here is the Facebook post.

The discussion will include the history and continued significance of treaties in Minnesota, and the impact of the proposed Line 3 pipeline on treaty rights today.

Quick background: Canadian pipeline company Enbridge has several tar sands crude oil pipelines running through northern Minnesota. (They enter the state’s northwest corner and run southeasterly to connect with other pipelines in Superior, Wisc.)
Enbridge Line 3 is old and failing. Enbridge’s plan is to abandon Line 3 in the ground and build a new and larger pipeline along a new route. The new route avoids crossing reservation lands, but it does cross large areas of what is known ans 1855 treaty territory. These are lands where the Anishinaabe (Ojibwe) have protected rights to hunt, fish and gather. The Line 3 review process has done little to nothing to recognize those treaty rights.
Line 3’s new route also crosses the headwaters of the Mississippi River.
Rev. Robert Two Bulls will lead the Sunday discussion. He is a Missioner for the Department of Indian Work and Multicultural Ministries of the Episcopal Church of Minnesota.

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Separating Native American Art from “American Art” in Museums: Part of Our Tangled History

Minneapolis Institute of Art (Mia) curators and Native American artists are wrestling with some powerful questions:

  • Why are American art and Native American art separated in museums and not taught together?
  • How would their entangled history and legacy be better understood if placed side by side?
  • What challenges or cultural issues provide arguments for keeping them distinct?
  • What can museum curators do to best showcase Native American Art in their institutions?

These questions have sparked a collaborative presentation on “Native American Art as American Art,” Thursday, Feb. 8, starting at 6:30 p.m. at Mia, 2400 3rd Avenue S. Minneapolis. ($10 fee, $5 for Mia members and free for Native American community members.)

Panelists are:

  • Film Director G. Peter Jemison, who represents the Seneca Nation of Indians on repatriation issues. He was the founding director of the American Indian Community House Gallery in New York City.
  • Kathleen Ash-Milby, a member of the Navajo Nation, and Associate Curator at the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian in New York.
  • Robert Cozzolino, the Patrick and Aimee Butler Curator of Paintings at Mia.
  • Jill Ahlberg Yohe, Associate Curator of Native American Art at Mia.

Members of Native American communities register by calling 612-870-3286, or email with your name.

Others register by calling 612-870-6323 or online at

Oyate Hotanin hosts a traditional storyteller and community conversation at the Mia

[Update: The headline and parts of this blog have been updated after the Mia requested corrections and clarifications. First, it’s Oyate Hotanin that is organizing this event, the Mia is hosting it by  providing the space. It is part of the Mia’s broader mission: to “create a space that welcomes Native people, and hold events that get Native people interested in attending.” Second,  the Mia wanted it known this isn’t a conversation about Scaffold, “this conversation is about the state of Native American art within Western Institutions,” and the Mia is in no way making a statement “directly against the Walker and the Scaffold incident.”]

The following announcement was posted on the Minnesota Indian List Serve:

Free Event
Friday, Jan. 26, 6-8 p.m.
Minneapolis Institute of Art
2400 3rd Ave. S. Minneapolis

Indigenous Estate [Oyate Hotanin] is the community response to the scaffold placed by the Walker in the sculpture garden and multiple incidents of invisibility and disregard of Native artists, narratives and images.

It is a series of conversations to engage community around the questions: Who governs identity and cultural appropriation? How do we navigate authenticity versus censorship? What is art in this reality? What is the role of the art world in responding? Is the art world complicit?

Join us for a reception at MIA with traditional storyteller Colin Wesaw.  We invite you to join the conversation and shape this vision with us.

Oyate Hotanin Indigenous Estate Leadership Team

Nick Metcalf, Heidi Inman, Al Gross, Crystal Norcross, Thomas LaBlanc, Laura LaBlanc, Cindy Killion

Events: Dakota Language/Art Table; New Gallery Showing

Wóžupi Mnayáŋpi Kiŋ Iyúškiŋpi (Celebrate the Harvest!)

Mia is inviting people to attend a free Dakhóta language class and art activity that celebrates end-of-summer bounty. Participants will use seeds, grains and rice to create “paintings” that celebrate the abundant harvest while learning beginning Dakhóta words associated with the activity.

The class is Saturday, September 16, 10:00 a.m. – noon, at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, 2400 Third Avenue South; Minneapolis, classroom 111. Light refreshments will be served. This event is free, but seating is limited, so please email or call Tobie Miller to register: or 612-870-3286

This class is taught by Šišókaduta (Joe Bendickson), Dakhóta language instructor at the University of Minnesota and Wóokiye Wiƞ (Katie Bendickson) Pre-K language instructor for St. Paul Indian Education.

Art Show Opening and Opportunity to Create Your Own Wood Block Print!

Artist Gordon M. Coons of Ojibwe and Ottawa heritage will have an opening of his show Color My Inner Voice on Saturday, Sept. 9, 5-9 p.m., at the Vine Arts Center, 2637 27th Ave. S., Minneapolis. For the opening, Coons will talk about his work and offer a guided tour of the show.

On Saturday, Sept. 23, 1– 5 p.m., Coons will led a workshop creating a Woodland Art Style block print.

According to the announcement:

Gordon will be exhibiting the Ojibwa Woodland Art Style, created from the combination of Ojibwe petroglyphs (drawings or carvings on rocks) and images from birch bark scrolls. The images can also be identified as X-ray Vision. The inspiration for these images relies on Ojibwe clans and stories. The artist usually paints images with a heavy black outline and paints what is felt or perceived inside animals (or people). What is painted inside the animal or person represents a kind of spirit, a source of powers.

The show will run through Sept. 30.