First Person Radio
Originally aired on Wednesday, October 9th, 2013
Please join Laura Waterman Wittstock as she talks with Dr. Robert Martin. In 2010 he received the American Indian College Fund’s Tribal College President of the Year Award. The College Fund 2013 Gala will be held in Minneapolis on Thursday, October 10th. The Fund was established in 1989 and since then has acquired over $68m in assets (2011 annual report). This will be a fascinating conversation about the Fund, the Gala and the work Dr. Martin is doing in Indian Country.
Robert Martin is a member of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma and received his Doctorate from the University of Kansas. On July 1, 2007, he began his tenure as President of the Institute of American Indian Arts. Prior to coming to IAIA, Dr. Martin was the Associate Head for the American Indian Studies program at the University of Arizona. Dr. Martin has extensive experience in higher education both as a faculty member and as an administrator. He served as President of Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute in Albuquerque, New Mexico for eight years before assuming the presidency at Haskell Indian Nations University. Under his guidance, Haskell made the transition from junior college to a university offering baccalaureate programs. Prior to returning to the University of Arizona, Dr. Martin served as the President of Tohono O’odham Community College. During his tenure, the College achieved accreditation by the Higher Learning Commission, North Central Association, and was designated as a 1994 Land Grant Institution by the United States Congress.
Originally aired on Wednesday, October 2nd, 2013
Please join Laura Waterman Wittstock as she talks with Amy Langenfeld, Sargeant Matthew St. George of the Minneapolis Police Department and Fawn Marquez, Coordinator of Women of Traditional Birthing at the Division of Indian Work in Minneapolis. Ms Langenfield is a Certified Nurse Midwife with the Indian Health Board of Minneapolis, Inc. and West Side Community Health Services in St. Paul. Amy also works as a sexual assault nurse examiner for Hennepin County and is the current president of the Minnesota Chapter of the International Association of Forensic Nurses.
Amy Langenfeld is a Registered Nurse, Public Health Nurse, Master of Science, Certified Nurse Midwife, Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner – Adult/Adolescent. Ms Langenfeld works primarily with an inner city population that sees sexual violence and opiate dependence at a much higher rate than the national average. She works daily with women and families who have experienced multi-generational sexual violence, human trafficking, and drug and alcohol dependence. Fawn Marquez White Earth enrollee and a mother of five children, born and raised in South Minneapolis. Fawn began working in the American Indian community in 1996 as an Administrative Assistant for Division of Indian Work. Throughout the years Fawn gained experience providing direct services and program development within the American Indian community.
Originally aired on Wednesday, September 25th, 2013
Please join Laura Waterman Wittstock as she talks with Matthias Voigt about his travels in the West as he studies the roles of warriors and military personnel in the Dakotas, Minnesota and Wisconsin. He is now traveling in Arizona and will be joining us by phone. He will have some interesting stories to share with our audience.
Mattias Voigt is a Visiting Fellow with the German Historical Institute in Washington, D.C. His extensive study includes archival research and trips to reservations to conduct oral interviews in Indians in MN, WI, SD, MT and AZ between this year and next. He will complete studies through June, 2015 with the German Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgesellschaft, DFG).
Originally aired on Wednesday, September 18th, 2013
Please join Laura Waterman Wittstock as she talks with Ananya Chatterjea, a dancer, choreographer, dance scholar, and dance educator, who envisions her work in the field of dance as a “call to action” with a particular focus on women artists of color. She is the Artistic Director of Ananya Dance Theatre, a company of women artists of color committed to the intersection of artistic excellence and social justice. She is also Director of the Dance Program and tenured Professor in the Department of Theater Arts and Dance in the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis.
Ananya Chatterjea is a recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship for Choreography in 2011 and a McKnight Artist Fellowship in Choreography in 2012. Trained initially in Indian classical and folk dance traditions, she became known at a young age as a practitioner of the Odissi style of classical dance under the tutelage of her internationally acclaimed guru, Sanjukta Panigrahi. She performed and toured widely with community-based companies and government initiatives. Chatterjea’s choreography has been supported by the National Endowment for the Arts, Asian Arts Initiative, Minnesota State Arts Board, and the McKnight, Jerome, and Bush foundations. Recent engagements include performances at performances and master classes at the Harare International Festival for the Arts, Zimbabwe; dance talks at University of Rome and Kunsthistoriches Institut, Florence; and a performance at the Indian Council of Cultural Relations, Kolkata, India (2013); Festivale Danca Indiana de America de Sul in Campinas, Brazil; Indigenous Contemporary Dance Festival at National Hispanic Cultural Center, Albuquerque; and Norwegian Theater Academy, Oslo (2012); and an artist residency and performances at New Waves Institute in Trinidad (2011). Her last work, Moreechika, was remarked upon as “all powerful…Chatterjea's choreography also leaves room for brutal beauty and vulnerability” (Star Tribune, 9/9/12).
Originally aired on Wednesday, September 11th, 2013
Please join Laura Waterman Wittstock as she talks with Dr. Mary Hermes, Associate Professor of Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, MN campus. Prior to that she was an Assistant Professor and Associate Professor in the Department of Education Eni-Gikendaasoyang Center for Indigenous Knowledge and Language Revitalization, University of Minnesota Duluth, Waadookodaading Ojibwe Language Immersion School 2000-05, Founder, Director, Co-Teacher and Curriculum Developer 2000-2005, and Assistant Professor 9/96- 7/00 Department of Educational Studies, Carleton College.
Originally aired on Wednesday, September 4th, 2013
Please join Laura Waterman Wittstock as she talks with Executive Director Joe Rice about the new year with Indian students at Center School in Minneapolis. Center School has taken home the ribbons again for its organic garden on campus, a project of students and staff. Joe will tell us how all that happened and what he looks forward to in the new school year. Indian Country has lost a great friend in attorney Ken Tilsen who died on Sunday, September 1. He established the Wounded Knee Defense/Offense Committee and was involved in criminal and civil trials throughout the 1970s. His papers are at the Minnesota Historical Society. Attorney Bill Tilton knew Ken Tilsen in another one of Ken's many interests in justice: defense of the Minnesota 8 - a group of young protestors against the Viet Nam War. Eight were arrested according to MinnPost, "on July 10, 1970, while trying to break into government offices in three Minnesota towns Little Falls, Alexandria and Winona to destroy draft records. During subsequent trials, they were dubbed "The Minnesota 8" and their defenses centered on their opposition to the Vietnam War and the use of the draft to force men to fight it."
Joe Rice has been executive director of Center School in Minneapolis since 2001. Before that he taught high school in South Dakota for 17 years - at Little Wound Hight School on Pine Ridge and then Central High School in Rapid City. He serves as a member of the Minneapolis Urban Indian Directors and the Metropolitan Federation of Schools and is the chairperson of the group Phillips Indian Educators. He served on the United Way Investment Panel in 2003 and also lectures on Native American education and related issues. He graduated from Macalester College with a B.A. in History and earned a B.S. in Education secondary emphasis from Black Hills State University in Spearfish,South Dakota.
Bill Tilton has been a Minnesota lawyer since graduating from the University of Minnesota Law School with a J.D. in 1977. In over three decades of practice, he has obtained many superlative settlements and verdicts for his clients, with record results in several categories. He received the “Minnesota Lawyer Attorneys of the Year” from Minnesota Lawyer newspaper in 2001. http://www.minnlawyer.com/ He has been named a Minnesota Super Lawyer for many years by Minnesota Lawyer. Bill is a former adjunct professor of law at William Mitchell College of Law. He has helped educate other legal professionals by speaking at many continuing legal education seminars over the years. He is admitted to practice in the State of Minnesota, State of Wisconsin, U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota, and has also practiced in the Western District of the U.S. District Court of Montana. Bill found inordinate visibility in 1970 when became one of the Minnesota 8 draft board raiders, a group which had intended to feed Selective Service records to the Mississippi River. He was convicted of “attempted interference with the Selective Service System” and sentenced to five years imprisonment, of which he did just over 20 months in federal prison. After his release, for some time Bill was a part of the community support team for the Wounded Knee Legal Defense/Offense Committee. Then he went to law school at the University of Minnesota, where he served a year as editor of Quare, the law school newspaper.
Originally aired on Wednesday, August 28th, 2013
Please join Laura Waterman Wittstock as she talks about famed attorney Ken Tilsen and shares recorded parts of a longer interview done with him last year. Tilsen's remarkable career includes working on the Wounded Knee trials in 1973 (with the pretrial work) on to 1974. It was the longest trial in history at the time. Listen in as Ken Tilsen recalls his work during and the courtroom antics of the prosecution.
Kenneth Earl Tilsen was born on 4 November 1927 in New Leipzig, North Dakota, one of five children in the family. Tilsen's family lived briefly in Michigan, then moved to St. Paul, Minnesota when Tilsen was in the first grade. Tilsen's awareness of social inequities and the disenfranchised began early in life. Tilsen's father founded Tilsen Homes, the Twin Cities' first builder of integrated housing. Tilsen spent his formative years in St. Paul's Selby-Dale neighborhood, at the time the most integrated in the Twin Cities and later attended integrated Marshall High School. After serving briefly in the navy, Tilsen went on to the University of Minnesota where he completed law school, graduating at the top of his class in 1950. Tilsen began his legal career with the firm of Robbins, Davis & Lyons where he practiced for fourteen years before becoming an independent practitioner. Throughout his life Tilsen has been an active supporter of what he described as "political and social movements for change." Areas of particular interest during his legal career included draft resistance, civil rights, student protests, and other issues relating to social activism. In 1964 Tilsen was investigated by the House Committee on un-American Activities for alleged activities as president of a Marxist-Socialist club during 1948-1950 at the University of Minnesota. He made news headlines when he staunchly refused to answer the committee's questions regarding activities before September 1950, when the Internal Security and Subversive Activities Control Acts were passed, giving the committee its authority. After successfully thwarting the committee's attack on himself, Tilsen became known as a "protest" attorney, taking public interest cases, often pro bono, and defending other "anti-establishment" protesters, such as members of the Honeywell Project and the students involved in the 1969 takeover of the University of Minnesota's Morrill Hall. Tilsen also represented members of the famed "Minnesota Eight" accused of a 1970 draft office break-in. Following the 71-day Indian occupation of the village of Wounded Knee (S.D.) in 1973, Tilsen gained national prominence as chief legal coordinator for the Wounded Knee Legal Defense/Offense Committee and attorney for American Indian Movement leaders Dennis Banks and Russell Means. In 1947 Tilsen married Rachel Le Sueur, daughter of Minnesota writer, feminist, and activist Meridel Le Sueur. The two had met earlier that year at St. Paul's Prom Ballroom at a protest over its policy not to admit blacks. The couple had five children. Following his retirement from legal practice in 1993, Tilsen joined the faculty at Hamline University Law School, specializing in teaching litigation skills and running a clinic through which students learned to handle public interest lawsuits.
Originally aired on Wednesday, August 21st, 2013
Please join Laura Waterman Wittstock as she talks with Julie Davis, author of Survival Schools: The American Indian Movement and Community Education in the Twin Cities. In 1972, AIM organizers and local Native parents started their own community schools. The story of these schools, told through the voices of activists, teachers, and families, is also a history of AIM’s founding and community organizing—and evidence of its long-term effect on Indian people’s lives.
Julie Davis grew up in a small town in northern Minnesota. She earned a Ph.D. in history from Arizona State University and is an Associate Professor of History at the College of St. Benedict/St. John's University, where she teaches U.S., Native American, and public history. As a public historian, she also works to foster historical understanding outside the classroom and beyond academia. She has been an exhibit researcher and historic site interpreter for the Minnesota Historical Society and is an experienced oral historian. Her research includes Indigenous community education and cultural revitalization in Minneapolis/St. Paul, and interpretations of the past in Belfast.
Originally aired on Wednesday, August 14th, 2013
Please join Laura Waterman Wittstock as she talks with MIGIZI Communication's Summer Program students about their studies in the Wetland Health Evaluation Program, the Step-Up Discover Summer Job Program and the Summer Media Internship. The programs are part of a multi-year effort to keep students learning through the summer. They acquire new skills and they are able to express themselves in creative new ways. The classes extend from June to August.
Originally aired on Wednesday, August 7th, 2013
Please join Laura Waterman Wittstock on Wednesday August 7, 2013 as she talks with Fawn Edberg (Marquez), Coordinator of Women of Traditional Birthing at the Division of Indian Work in Minneapolis . WTB program offers high risk American Indian women prenatal support, education and advocacy. In 2012, WTB offered the community, DIW clients and community workers a 2 day workshop on Healthy Babies Healthy Future and ending the cycle of prenatal alcohol & drug exposure. In 2013, the documentary: Healthy Babies Healthy Futures was released to the community to educate the community on chemical use dangers during pregnancy. Traditional birthing and nursing is fluctuating in acceptance among Indian people. It is an important bonding experience for mother, father and baby. A recent article in the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported: "In American Indian communities, where breast-feeding rates declined between 2005 and 2010, the dilemma is that public health messages from external sources are sometimes met with skepticism. State leaders believe changes will have to come from within the tribes — as happened in the Fond du Lac tribe when a public-health nurse convinced tribal leaders to embrace and promote breast-feeding."
Fawn Edberg (Marquez) White Earth enrollee and a mother of five children, born and raised in South Minneapolis. Fawn began working in the American Indian community in 1996 as an Administrative Assistant for Division of Indian Work. Throughout the years Fawn gained experience providing direct services and program development within the American Indian community.
Originally aired on Wednesday, July 31st, 2013
Please join Laura Waterman Wittstock as she talks with Mark Anderson, Executive Director of the Barbara Schneider Foundation. Recently, the Foundation hosted a "World Cafe" in South Minneapolis to discuss the issue of Native American mental health. This is one of many gatherings around the country on this important but neglected issue in Indian Country. Mark Anderson, from 2003 to present, is a Consultant in Health Care and Human Rights Policy. He is the founding Executive Director of the Barbara Schneider Foundation, from 2003 to the present. 1990-2003, he was the Senior Policy Advisor on health care, mental health, human rights and related issues in the office of U.S. Senator Paul Wellstone, including his work on universal health coverage and mental health and substance abuse treatment parity. 1989-1990, he was Director of the Board and Commission Appointments in the Office of Governor Rudy Perpich.
Originally aired on Wednesday, July 24th, 2013
Please join Laura Waterman Wittstock for a conversation with contemporary dance choreographer Rosy Simas, Seneca who lives and teaches in Minneapolis. Her family is from the Cornplanter tract and Cattaraugus reservation. Simas’ choreography has been presented in Minnesota, New York, Wisconsin, California, Montréal and Vancouver and the New Dance Alliance Performance Mix in NY. She has received several arts awards recently and we will talk about those in addition to her plans for the coming year.
Originally aired on Wednesday, July 17th, 2013
Please join Laura Waterman Wittstock as she talks with Terry Janis about the White Earth Constitutional Reform. The White Earth Nation - Gaa-waabaabiganikaag - has According to tribal records, an error was found in the Constitution. "During the fourth Constitutional Convention in 2009, Delegates made a number of changes to the draft document." Chapter 16, Article 1 now reads: “The White Earth Court shall consist of a Chief Judge and Associate Judges. The Chief Judge shall be elected by a majority plus one of the eligible votes in a duly called election.” Mr. Janis will discuss the process and expected outcomes of the constitutional reform tribal effort.
Terry Janis, Oglala Lakota, joined the White Earth Nation as Constitution Reform Manager in April 15, 2013. Prior to that, beginning in 2005, he worked with the Indian Land Tenure Foundation as a Program Officer where he managed the grant making and program activities. Currently, Janis is a member of Native Americans in Philanthropy, the National Indian Education Association, the National Congress of American Indians, and the State Bar of Arizona. Janis holds a bachelor’s degree from Macalester College, a master’s in education from Harvard University, and a law degree from the University of Arizona.
Originally aired on Wednesday, July 3rd, 2013
Please join Laura Waterman Wittstock as she talks with attorneys Larry Leventhal and Bert Hirsch on the recent Indian Child Welfare Act Supreme Court Decision of June 25, 2013, which said in part that (ICWA) "does not bar a non-Indian family like Adoptive Couple from adopting an Indian child when no other eligible candidates have sought to adopt the child. We accordingly reverse the South Carolina Supreme Court’s judgment and remand for further proceedings." In her dissent, Justice Sotomayor wrote: "But the majority gives with one hand and takes away with the other. Having assumed a uniform federal definition of 'parent' that confers certain procedural rights, the majority then illogically concludes that ICWA’s substantive protections are available only to a subset of “parent[s]”: those who have previously had physical or state-recognized legal custody of his or her child. The statute does not support this departure." Two distinguished experts in the history, field work, and use of ICWA will comment on the Supreme Court decision and ICWA in general.
Larry Leventhal has represented Tribes in Minnesota, Wisconsin, North Dakota, South Dakota, Michigan, Oklahoma and other states in issues ranging from tribal government operations, gaming, business development, environmental issues, and litigation. He currently serves as legal counsel to several American Indian Tribes.
Bert Hirsch is a lawyer who has practiced federal Indian law for more than 40 years, played a role in drafting and securing enactment of the ICWA and in its ongoing implementation since enactment in 1978.
Originally aired on Wednesday, June 26th, 2013
Please join Laura Waterman Wittstock as she talks with Matthias Voigt about his activities as a Visiting Fellow with the German Historical Institute in Washington, D.C. His extensive study includes archival research and trips to reservations to conduct oral interviews in Indians in MN, WI, SD, MT and AZ between this year and next. He will complete studies through June, 2015 with the German Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgesellschaft, DFG).
Originally aired on Wednesday, June 19th, 2013
Please join Laura Waterman Wittstock as she talks with Jay Bad Heart Bull, President and CEO of NACDI, the Native American Community Development Institute in Minneapolis. Jay is responsible for helping to create innovative strategies and solutions focused on supporting a vibrant future for American Indian people. NACDI is committed to transforming the American Indian community to effectively respond to 21st century opportunities. NACDI works to promote innovative community development strategies that strengthen the overall sustainability and well-being of American Indian people and communities.
A member of the Oglala Sioux Tribe in South Dakota, Jay was raised throughout North and South Dakota and is a graduate of Oglala Lakota College, and the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. He has worked as a Lakota Language Instructor, Youth Worker, Food Shelf Manager, non-profit administrator, Vice President of Little Earth of United Tribes housing community and currently serves as the President/CEO of the Native American Community Development Institute. Jay has made a priority of working with and for American Indian people throughout his career with an emphasis on promoting self-determination and progressive models of success. Jay is also a poet.
Originally aired on Wednesday, June 12th, 2013
Please join Laura Waterman Wittstock as she reprises a 2009 conversation with Joe Selvaggio. Born and raised in Chicago, Joe attended Marquette University (majoring in math), followed by eight years of seminary training. After earning a B.A. in Philosophy from Aquinas University, he was ordained into the Benedictine priesthood of the Roman Catholic Church in 1965. His years as a priest (primarily in the South) were marked by a keen interest in civil rights. During his ministry at Holy Rosary Church in the Phillips Community in Minneapolis, he decided to leave the priesthood (in 1968) in order to address the issues of civil rights and social justice. In 1972, he founded Project for Pride in Living (PPL), an organization created to address poverty issues in a south Minneapolis neighborhood by purchasing run-down, inner-city houses and then using a comprehensive approach to rebuild. The “rebuilding” of the neighborhood—by the neighborhood itself—addressed a rich set of goals: job training, youth development, public safety, better transportation, affordable housing, development of problem-solving skills, building a healthy sense of community, leadership development, planning for the future, and overall self-sufficiency within the community.
Joe served as PPL’s executive director for 26 years, retiring in 1996 after completing a $4.5 million capital campaign.
Originally aired on Wednesday, June 5th, 2013
Please join Laura Waterman Wittstock as she talks about the book The Great Sioux Nation: Sitting In Judgment on America with book editor Roxanne Dunbar Ortiz, attorney Larry B. Leventhal, author of an article reprinted in the book, "Indian Sovereignty, It's Alive", and William Means, former executive director of the International Indian Treaty Council. Amazon says, "It features pieces by some of the most prominent scholars and Indian activists of the twentieth century, including Vine Deloria Jr., Simon Ortiz, Dennis Banks, Father John Powell, Russell Means, Raymond DeMallie, and Henry Crow Dog. It also features primary documents and firsthand accounts of the activists’ work and of the trial."
Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz is Professor Emerita of Ethnic Studies at California State University, East Bay. Since retiring from university teaching, Dunbar-Ortiz has been lecturing widely and writes. Born in San Antonio, Texas, in 1938 to an Oklahoma family, Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz grew up in Central Oklahoma, daughter of a sharecropper and a half-Native American mother. Graduating in History from San Francisco State College in 1963, she began graduate study in the Department of History at the University of California, Berkeley but transferred to the University of California, Los Angeles completing her doctorate in History in 1974. In addition to the doctorate, she completed the Diplôme of the International Law of Human Rights at the International Institute of Human Rights, Strasbourg, France in 1983 and an MFA in Creative Writing at Mills College in 1993. In 1974, she accepted a position as Assistant Professor in the newly established Native American Studies program at California State University at Hayward, near San Francisco, and helped develop the Department of Ethnic Studies,designing curriculum and teaching Native American Studies. In the wake of the Wounded Knee siege of 1973, she became active in the American Indian Movement (AIM) and the International Indian Treaty Council, beginning a lifelong commitment to indigenous peoples' right to self-determination and to international human rights. Her first book, The Great Sioux Nation: An Oral History of the Sioux Nation and its Struggle for Sovereignty, was published in 1977 and presented as the fundamental document at the first international conference on Indians of the Americas, held at United Nations' headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. The book was issued in a new edition by University of Nebraska Press in 2013. It was followed by two other books: Roots of Resistance: A History of Land Tenure in New Mexico (1980) and Indians of the Americas: Human Rights and Self-Determination (1984). She also edited two anthologies on Native American economic development, while heading the Institute for Native American Development at the University of New Mexico.
Larry Leventhal has represented Tribes in Minnesota, Wisconsin, North Dakota, South Dakota, Michigan, Oklahoma and other states in issues ranging from tribal government operations, gaming, business development, environmental issues, and litigation. He currently serves as legal counsel to several American Indian Tribes.
Bill Means, Oglala, founder of the International Indian Treaty Council that worked extensively with other indigenous groups on the passage of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples which was adopted by the UN General Assembly on September 13, 2007. Mr. Means is currently working to bring attention to newly introduced legislation to eliminate team names such as "Redskins" and leering mascot images. Thousands of amateur teams have given up such names and images.
Originally aired on Wednesday, May 29th, 2013
Please join Laura Waterman Wittstock as she talks with Dr. Tiffany R. Beckman, Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe. Dr. Beckman is the Principal Investigator on a 5 year National Institutes of Health research grant for her study, "Neural Correlates of Food Reward in American Indian Women." She was a past participant in the National Institutes of Health funded Native Investigator Development program. She is also a co-Investigator on a Robert Wood Johnson Healthy Food Healthy Lives research grant, "Good Heart Grocery and Eat Right Deli Community Assessment & Strategic Plan," a feasibility study designed to help people living on Yankton reservation to have access to healthy low cost foods.
Originally aired on Wednesday, May 15th, 2013
Please join Laura Waterman Wittstock for a conversation with contemporary dance choreographer Rosy Simas, Seneca who lives and teaches in Minneapolis. Her family is from the Cornplanter tract and Cattaraugus reservation. Simas’ choreography has been presented in Minnesota, New York, Wisconsin, California, Montréal and Vancouver. Most recently Simas’ work was presented in the New Dance Alliance Performance Mix in NY. She is a 2013 recipient of the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation Dance Fellowship, and an American Composers Forum Music for Dance grant. Her new work “We Wait In The Darkness” will be presented in Minneapolis by the Red Eye Theater and in Montréal by the MAI (Montréal, arts interculturels).
Originally aired on Wednesday, May 8th, 2013
Please join Laura Waterman Wittstock for an exciting conversation with photographer Dick Bancroft, author of the just released We Are Still Here: A History of the American Indian Movement in Photographs, a powerful, insider’s history of the first decade of the American Indian Movement. Also joining the conversation is Michael Wong, nephew of the late Roger Woo whose photographs are going up for exhibit in the "I'm Not Your Indian Anymore" opening at the All My Relations Gallery on Franklin Avenue in Minneapolis.
Dick Bancroft is a lifelong resident of Minnesota. He grew up in St. Paul, graduated from St. Paul Academy and went to the University of Minnesota. He joined the Marines in 1945, just as World War II was ending. After the war, he worked in the insurance business where he was introduced to the richness and diversity of the African American community. They were customers of his insurance firm and he was invited to sit on one of their boards. Leaders in the African American community convinced him to go to Africa and experience that country. In 1970, after returning to Minnesota, he met members of the American Indian Movement and that became his focus for the last 43 years, chronicling the lives of American Indians. He has thousands of images, posters, and other memorabilia that he has collected from his years with AIM.
“Though he has passed, his vision will continue to live on. I believe that it is in his honor that I continue to show his vision.” – Michael Wong, nephew Roger L. Woo, born 1929 in Canton, China (Chang-zhou) to Charles and Bessy Woo. He was the oldest of five children. He migrated with his family to the United States as an adolescent and graduated from West High School in Minneapolis. He graduated from the University of Minnesota. He served in the infantry of the U.S. Army. He was a member of the AIM patrol in 1968 and too photographs of police brutality. He worked for the Minnesota Daily, MIGIZI Communications, and the Red School House in St. Paul, taking thousands of black and white photographs of American Indian people.
Originally aired on Wednesday, May 1st, 2013
Please join Laura Waterman Wittstock for a conversation with LeeAnn Tallbear, Dakota, who has worked with the Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate for many years in developing its education school system. The elementary school was dedicated in her name. She currently works for the Lower Sioux Community in Minnesota. She has had a distinguished career in Democratic politics, development in raising many millions of dollars for causes and programs, and helping bring American Indian positions into public understanding.
Originally aired on Wednesday, April 24th, 2013
Please join Laura Waterman Wittstock as she talks with authors Professor Gwen Westerman and Bruce McCann White in a return visit about their book: Mni Sota Makoce, Land Where the Waters Reflect the Clouds, which examines narratives of the people’s origins, their associations with the land, and the seasons by drawing on oral history interviews, archival work, and painstaking comparisons of Dakota, French, and English sources. They consider Dakota interactions with Europeans and offer an in-depth “reading between the lines” of historical documents—some of them virtually unknown—and treaties made with the United States, uncovering misunderstandings and outright deceptions that helped lead to war in 1862.
Dr. Gwen Westerman, a professor of English and humanities at Minnesota State University–Mankato, specializes in multi-cultural and Native American literature. She serves as director of the Native American Literature Symposium, is the recipient of several prestigious grants, and has published widely on contemporary American Indian literature. Her poetry has been published in Yellow Medicine Review, Water~Stone Review, and other journals. Her award-winning quilts have been displayed in numerous venues. She is an enrolled member of the Sisseton Wahpeton Dakota Oyate.
Bruce McCann White, of Turnstone Historical Research, is a prolific author about Indian life. His recent book is Pictures of the Ojibwe People A fascinating history of the Ojibwe people at home in the Minnesota landscape through 1950-as told through more than 200 vivid photographs. It was winner of the 2008 Award of Merit from the American Association for State and Local History (AASLH) Leadership in History Awards
Originally aired on Wednesday, April 17th, 2013
Please join Laura Waterman Wittstock as she talks with Dr. Clifford Canku, author of "The Dakota Prisoner of War Letters: Dakota Kaskapi Okicize Wowapi" published by the Minnesota Historical Society Press. The letters, translated by the author and Michael Simon, reveal the prolonged agony of warriors denied treatment as prisoners of war and instead treated like criminals without any rights whatsoever. Dr. Canku and Mr. Simon are both fluent in Dakota and provide to the public for the first time these transcriptions.
Dr. Clifford Canku is an assistant professor of Dakota studies at North Dakota State University. He is a co-author of Beginning Dakota and the Beginning Dakota Teacher’s Edition.
Originally aired on Wednesday, April 10th, 2013
Please join Laura Waterman Wittstock as she talks with organizers of the first American Indian art exhibit featuring the photographs of Dick Bancroft and Roger Woo, two photographers who captured the images of the growing AIM organization in the Twin Cities, around the country, and internationally. Titled, "I'm Not Your Indian Anymore," from the song by the late Floyd Red Crow Westerman. Westerman took his inspiration from the 1968 book by his close friend, Vine Deloria: "Custer Died for your Sins." The exhibit runs from May 10 to June 30 2013 at the All My Relations gallery in Minneapolis.
Originally aired on Wednesday, April 3rd, 2013
Please join Laura Waterman Wittstock as she talks with David A. Nichols, a native of Kansas. Dr. Nichols has his Ph.D. in history from the College of William and Mary. His dissertation, Lincoln and the Indians: Civil War Policy and Politics, was published by the University of Missouri Press in 1978. That book, still the definitive study of Lincoln’s Indian policies during the Civil War, was reissued as a paperback by the University of Illinois Press in 2000 and republished in 2012 by the Minnesota Historical Society Press. He contributed to a 2012 documentary commemorating the 1862 United States-Dakota War and has spoken widely on Lincoln and the corruption in the Indian System of the 1860s that led to that war.
Dr. David Nichols is a presidential historian and a leading authority on the presidency of Dwight D. Eisenhower. Dr. Nichols’ book on President Eisenhower and civil rights, entitled A Matter of Justice: Eisenhower and the Beginning of the Civil Rights Revolution, was published in 2007. His publisher, Simon & Schuster, describes it as “the definitive book on Eisenhower’s civil rights policies.” His book on the Suez Canal crisis, entitled Eisenhower 1956: The President’s Year of Crisis – Suez and the Brink of War, was released by Simon and Schuster on March 8, 2011. It is the most important book published on the Suez crisis in thirty years, using for the first time hundreds of declassified documents. He is currently working on a book about Eisenhower and Senator Joseph McCarthy. More recently, Dr. Nichols spoke about the Eisenhower presidency at conferences at the Harvard University Law School, Texas Christian University, a seminar sponsored in Washington, DC, by the Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress and, on March 8, 2013, was a featured speaker at a major Eisenhower conference at Hunter College in New York City. Dr. Nichols is the former academic dean at Southwestern College in Winfield, Kansas, where he and his wife, Grace, live.
Originally aired on Wednesday, March 27th, 2013
Please join Laura Waterman Wittstock as she interviews Bill Means, Oglala, founder of the International Indian Treaty Council that worked extensively with other indigenous groups on the passage of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples which was adopted by the UN General Assembly on September 13, 2007. Mr. Means is currently working to bring attention to newly introduced legislation. On March 20 Congressman Eni F.H. Faleomavaega and colleagues introduced H.R. 1278, the Non-Disparagement of Native American Persons or Peoples in Trademark Registration Act of 2013. This bill seeks to clarify certain protections provided by the Trademark Act of 1946 (Lanham Act), which prohibits registration of trademarks that use disparaging terms like “redskin.” The following Members of Congress are original cosponsors of H.R. 1278: Tom Cole (R-OK), Betty McCollum (D-MN), Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), Raul Grijalva (D-AZ), Karen Bass (D-CA), Gwen Moore (D-WI), John Lewis (D-GA), Michael Honda (D-CA), and Donna Christensen (D-VI).
Bill Means has been a member of AIM since 1970 but a member of a family that sought to restore Lakota lands and justice for all Indian people. He has been leadership positions in AIM and other organizations. He was executive director of American Indian OIC and the MN state OIC office.
Originally aired on Wednesday, March 20th, 2013
Please join Laura Waterman Wittstock as she talks with Associate Professor Shona Buchanan, author of Who's Afraid of Black Indians?. There is perhaps no other alliance greater between two groups than that between the native nations and first Africans and later African Americans. As colonialism progressed in the United States, the native nations were foreign in their own country. Then as African Americans were emancipated and later given the vote, native nations remained apart in their own separate lands. All during this period, American Indian and African American families were intermingling with the result that we have several tribes with notable representation of Indian/African lineage. David Nicholson will talk about this and the contemporary experience.
Shonda Buchanan is an award-winning poet and fiction writer. Also a creative nonfiction essayist, she is editor of Voices from Leimert Park: A Poetry Anthology. She is an Eloise Klein-Healy Scholarship recipient, a Sundance Institute fellow and a PEN Center Emerging Voice fellow. She has received a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts and several grants from the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities. Former managing editor of Turning Point Magazine, Shonda is an Associate Professor in the Department of English at Hampton University, teaching fiction, poetry, narrative nonfiction, senior seminar, composition and magazine writing. She has published three chapbooks of poetry.
Originally aired on Wednesday, March 13th, 2013
Please join Laura Waterman Wittstock as she talks with returning observers of the 40th Anniversary of Wounded Knee: February 27, 1973. The village was held for 71 days against formidable U.S. marshals, the FBI and some military.
Originally aired on Wednesday, March 6th, 2013
Please join Laura Waterman Wittstock as she talks with Jane Harstad about her new publication, the Native American Nonprofit Economy Report. Harstad is an enrolled member of the Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa . Before graduating from the Pennsylvania State University with her doctorate in educational leadership, she graduated from the University of Minnesota with a bachelors of science in elementary education with a concentration in American Indian studies . After teaching in St . Paul for 11 years, she attended the American Indian Leadership Program and continued on to complete her doctorate work . Having moved back to the Twin Cities, she is continuing to work and collaborate with American Indian communities in Minnesota
Jane Harstad is author of the just released Native American Nonprofit Economy Report, which is a joint project of Native Americans in Philanthropy and the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits. The Native American Nonprofit Economy Report is designed to provide an overview of an important part of Minnesota’s nonprofit sector, and to identify trends and challenges facing these organizations and the people they serve. Through interviews and community outreach, 89 nonprofit organizations and programs were identified serving the Native American community in Minnesota.
Originally aired on Wednesday, February 27th, 2013
Please join Laura Waterman Wittstock as she talks with Melanie Peterson-Hickey and Autumn Baum about a Minnesota Department of Health report , "Adverse Childhood Experiences in Minnesota," findings and recommendations based on the 2011 Minnesota Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. Since 2000, Peterson-Hickey has been employed in the public health field as a Senior Research Scientist at the Minnesota Department of Health. Her work focuses on mortality and natality data analysis, health disparities among populations of Color, data support to the Office of Minority and Multicultural Health and the Elimination of Health Disparities Initiative. Her work involves analysis of data and reports on infant mortality, low birthweight births in Minnesota and measuring health disparities. In addition, Melanie is an independent research evaluation consultant for several non-profit organizations in Minnesota and serves as a trustee for the Minnesota Women’s Foundation. Melanie is a member of the Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians in Wisconsin.
Melanie Peterson-Hickey graduated from MSU in 1980 with majors in Sociology and Corrections. She completed her master's degree in Administrative Leadership in Education at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 1986 and her doctorate in Educational Policy and Administration at the University of Minnesota in 1998. Melanie worked for several years in institutions of higher education in student affairs, administration, and teaching including the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, St. Olaf College and the University of Minnesota. Since 2000, she has been employed in the public health field as a Senior Research Scientist at the Minnesota Department of Health.
Originally aired on Wednesday, February 20th, 2013
Please join Laura Waterman Wittstock with guest Clyde Bellecourt as they discuss the 40th anniversary of Wounded Knee. Bellecourt, who was in Wounded Knee and part of negotiations to bring elders and chiefs to Washington, D.C. for talks directly with the Nixon government. Wounded Knee lasted for 73 harrowing days as FBI and federal marshals pinned the compound down with heavy artillery, including sniper fire. NPR reporter Kevin McKiernen reported from inside. We will include short clips from his reports.
Clyde Howard Bellecourt co-founded the American Indian Movement (AIM) in 1968. His Ojibwe name is Nee-gon-we-way-we-dun which means "Thunder Before the Storm." He is an enrolled member of White Earth Nation. He founded Heart of the Earth Survival School in 1972. In all, over 10,000 students attended the school in its 40-year history. Other organizations founded by Bellecourt are the Elaine M. Stately Peacemaker Center for Indian youth, AIM Patrol which provides security for Indian community, Legal Rights Center, MIGIZI Communications, Inc., Native American Community Clinic, Women of Nations Eagle Nest Shelter, and American Indian OIC (Opportunities Industrialization Center.
Originally aired on Wednesday, February 13th, 2013
Please join Laura Waterman Wittstock for a conversation with Joe Horse Capture, Associate Curator of the Native American Department: Arts of Africa and the Americas. He has worked at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts since 1997 and he is the author of "Native American Art at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts," Tribal Arts, Spring 2012, Number 63 edition. He also wrote "Time-honored Expression: The Knowing of Native Objects," Shapeshifting: Transformations in Native American Art, Peabody Essex Museum, 2012.
Joe sits on the board of directors of the Otsego Institute for Native American Art History in Cooperstown, NY and the Aboriginal Curatorial Collective in Ontario, Canada. Selected exhibitions and projects include: Young People's Ofrendas: Expressions of Life and Remembrance"; Panelist, "Quality of Native American Art," State of the Art Symposium, Southwestern Association for Indian Arts, Indian Market, Santa Fe, NM 2012; Presenter, “By The People, For The People: The Presentation of Native American Art and Culture,” European Project RIME, Museo Nazionale Preistorico Etnografico‘Pigorini,’ Rome, Italy, April 2012.;Co-Chair, “Expressions of Life and Remembrance: A Museum-School Exhibition Partnership,” American Association of Museums Annual Meeting, Minneapolis, MN, May 2012.; Presenter, “Receptacles of Power: Three Case Studies,” Otsego Institute of Native American Art History, Fenimore Art Museum, Cooperstown, NY, May 2012.; Exhibition advisor, “Mni Sota: Reflections of Time and Place,” All My Relations Gallery, Minneapolis, MN, Feb-June 2012.
Originally aired on Wednesday, February 6th, 2013
Please join Laura Waterman Wittstock as she talks with Kristopher Kohl Miner (Ho-Chunk Nation). He is the Executive Director of the First Nations Composer Initiative. Formerly, he has worked alongside Mark Murphy (current Executive Director of Disney Hall’s Red Cat Theater), and as Director of Development for Seattle’s ON THE BOARD’S, the Pacific Northwest’s premier performance space. He was also Director of Development for PAWS (Progressive Animal Welfare Society) and SAFEHOUSE, a program that provides housing to homeless individuals living with HIV/AIDS.
Kohl is a playwright & performer. He has performed with The New York City Hysterical Society, In the Heart of the Beast, The Ark Improv, The Blood & Milk Poets and American Indians in the Arts. His solo work includes; “Christopher Explained”, “Native Fruit”, “Left at Life,” “Heartflight Kohl Miner OR How my heart was hijacked by a handsome terrorist. This is my story.”, “Dreams of Cheerleading”, The Trip” and “The Semi-Conscious Memoirs of a Negligent Native” He has performed at Highways (Los Angeles), On The Boards (Seattle), Bumbershoot Wild Stage (Seattle), Alice B. Theater (Seattle), Josie’s Cabaret & Juice Joint (San Francisco), “In the Heart of the Beast Puppet & Mask Theater” (Mpls.), The Walker Art Center (Mpls.), Southern Theater (Mpls.), Red Eye Collaboration (Mpls.), ABC No Rio (NYC) and others. While attending U.W.-Madison (BA Theater) Kohl was a member of the ARK Improv, (a student comedy troupe with alums Joan Cusack and Jimmy Doyle). New office phone number for Kohl is: 651-336-8078.
Originally aired on Wednesday, January 30th, 2013
Please join Laura Waterman Wittstock as she talks with artist Carson Waterman. Carson's artwork has been displayed at the Smithsonian Institution, the Museum of the American Indian, the New York and Tennessee State Museums, the Ganondagan Historical Site in Victor, NY, the Seneca-Iroquois National Museum, as well as numerous other university and private museums and galleries throughout the Northeast. Carson has also illustrated two books, "Pow-wow" and "Cloudwalker," and has produced public art for the Niagara Frontier Transit Authority and the Southern Tier Expressway.
Carson Waterman grew up on the Cattaraugus Territory of the Seneca Nation. After graduating from Gowanda High School and serving in the Vietnam Conflict, he attended the Cooper School of Art in Cleveland, Ohio, eventually becoming an instructor at the Cleveland Museum of Art. After leaving Cleveland, Carson interned at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC and the New York State Museum in Albany, New York, where he specialized in model-making and exhibit preparation. In 1975, Carson became the primary exhibit manager, illustrator, and artist for the newly established Seneca-Iroquois National Museum, located in Salamanca on the Allegany Reservation of the Seneca nation. Since 1988, Carson has been self-employed as an artist at his gallery on the Allegany Territory. Carson's artwork is a deep reflection on his Seneca heritage. His paintings draw upon the relationships between Mother Earth and all living things, which are critical to the underlying traditional Seneca spiritual beliefs found in the Gaiwiio ("the Good World"). Through his art, Carson seeks to embody the richness and beauty of the Seneca and other Haudenosaunee Peoples that are unique to the northeastern United States. (from Seneca Nation website).
Originally aired on Wednesday, January 23rd, 2013
Please join Laura Waterman Wittstock as FIRST PERSON RADIO features the news headlines of 2012 and announcement of the FIRST PERSON of the year.
Originally aired on Wednesday, January 16th, 2013
Please join Laura Waterman Wittstock as she talks with guest Scott W. Berg, author of the new book: 38 Nooses: Lincoln, Little Crow, and the Beginning of the Frontier's End. The book looks closely at the events within the context of the Civil War, the history of the Dakota people and the U.S.-Indian Wars. First Person Radio has had several authors on the program who have written about the 150th Anniversary of the U.S.- Dakota War. Here is another account that examines other events as the Dakota struggled to save their lands and their lives.
Born and raised in St. Paul, Scott W. Berg is the author of two books, 38 Nooses (2012) and Grand Avenues: The Story of Pierre Charles L’Enfant, the French Visionary Who Designed Washington, D.C. (2007) He currently teaches nonfiction writing and literature at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, and since 1999 he has been a regular contributor to the Washington Post.
Originally aired on Wednesday, January 9th, 2013
Please join Laura Waterman Wittstock as she talks with guest John Kane, Mohawk, host of "Let's Talk Native...with John Kane" which airs on WWKB 1520AM in