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Thursday November 21st 2019

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Women have right to live violence-free lives

The Minnesota Indian Women’s Resource Center (MIWRC) is a non-profit community organization that provides social services and education to American Indian women and their families. 

Established in 1984 by three local Native women and one male Native ally, its mission is to empower American Indian women and families to exercise their cultural values and integrity, and to achieve sustainable life ways, while advocating for justice and equity. 

MIWRC programs provide support, advocacy, and activities that utilize traditional teachings and other cultural strengths to encourage healing, build resilience, and counter the normalization of violence.

Departments collaborate to:

• Empower Native American women to live violence-free lives

• Provide a safe place for women to explore their life options

• Challenge systems that disenfranchise Native American women

• Create a more just environment for all women and their families

Safe Harbor Youth Program

The Safe Harbor Youth Program at the Minnesota Indian Women’s Resource Center (MIWRC) is a supportive service program for youth ages 24 and under who have experienced sexual exploitation or are at risk of sexual exploitation.

Some examples of these services include:

• Basic needs assistance (food, shelter, etc.)

• Transportation assistance

• Job search assistance

• Culturally supportive services

• Information about group and community activities

• Referrals to other supportive programs

Self-referrals accepted.

To get more information or make a referral, please contact Logan Tootle at 612-728-2020 or ltootle@miwrc.org

Healing Journey

One of MIWRC’s longest continuously-funded direct service programs, Healing Journey is a peer-led support program for adult American Indian women aged 22 and older who are challenged by chronic mental health, substance abuse, and trauma histories. The Healing Journey program utilizes harm reduction strategies and the Ojibwe teaching “zhoo-way-nah-dig” (“taking care of each other”) to provide safe space and time for women to walk their own healing path at their own pace. 

This model operates from cultural teachings that prioritize the process of working toward a life “in balance” over linear markers of success, such as total abstention from substance use, while connecting women with a support system of staff and peers who view them as vital, contributing community members regardless of their past or current struggles.

Learn more at: Minnesota Indian Women’s Resource Center 2300 15th Avenue S., Minneapolis,  55404; 612-728-2000; www.miwrc.org.

~ Information from Minnesota Indian Women’s Resource Center.

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Healing with community

Jessica entered DAP Advocate Makenzie’s office looking for healing after a long, exhausting journey. She was finally ready to ask for support from someone.

Thirty years was how long Jessica was abused by her partner. 

Thirty years trying for a few months at a time to leave, but ultimately having to go back. 

Financial control kept her from gaining stability on her own and for her children. Her partner would cut off access to her money.

Faced with overwhelming hurdles, Jessica didn’t know where to start: shelter, employment, childcare, safety, basic needs?

Staying seemed easier.

She could endure the abuse for the sake of her children.

Courtesy of Domestic Abuse Project

When things were good, her abuser would build her up, give her an allowance, and provide luxuries that would otherwise be impossible – but within two weeks, the relationship always shifted.

Drugs and alcohol started being used as a means for power and control over Jessica’s physical autonomy, and gaslighting was used to control her mind.

Jessica was stuck.

Years later, once all five adult-children moved out of their family home and at the time that was right, DAP’s Little Earth advocate and other on-site community resources were available to assist Jessica as she successfully exited her abusive relationship.

She left the relationship feeling broken and full of self-doubt.

When she met with Makenzie, she began her healing journey through strengths-based and holistic services. Makenzie went with her to court; helped her connect to DAP’s other programs; and supported her to regain the autonomy stolen from her.

After meeting for a few weeks Makenzie did an activity with Jessica called the “Marvelous Marble Activity,” where she hands a small stone to the client and asks them to name the things they love about themselves, and to name their strengths. Together they named attributes like: strong woman, strong mother, kind, courageous, patient, and forgiving. Till today Jessica keeps it as a symbol and reminder of her many strengths.

A few weeks later they checked in and talked about the stone; Jessica said that she made a rattle and included the rock in her rattle – so whenever she uses her rattle in ceremony she has that reminder.

Because of DAP, Jessica was able to find safety and stability. She could be her full authentic self. She could heal.

DAP OFFICE AT LITTLE EARTH

DAP’s Little Earth Advocacy Satellite Office serves residents of the Little Earth of United Tribes, a 212-unit HUD-subsidized housing complex, and the local surrounding community. DAP’s advocacy services are often requested on a walk-in basis and through community referrals.

Little Earth Advocacy Office, 2495 18th Ave S., Minneapolis; 612-590-7968; dap@mndap.org. 

ADVOCATE AFTER 911 CALL

When Ashley opened her door to see a Minneapolis Police Department (MPD) officer in uniform she felt her shoulders tense up, initially not noticing a DAP advocate standing opposite him. After Ashley glanced at the advocate longer, she remembered seeing the advocate in the community previously, and immediately breathed easier. 

The advocate and the MPD officer arrived at Ashley’s home simply in the hopes of offering her family more resources regarding domestic violence. 

A day earlier a domestic 911 call had been made from Ashley’s home and as part of the South Minneapolis Hot Spots program, the DAP advocate and the MPD officer were standing at Ashley’s door. Because of this simple follow-up, the advocate was able to inform Ashley of the domestic violence resources in her community and assist her in writing an Order for Protection against her ex-husband.

DAPS advocate splits a work-week between DAP headquarters, the Little Earth Community in South Minneapolis, and Hot Spots home visits. With an officer, a DAP advocate visits homes where 911 calls have been made but no police report has been filed, as in Ashley’s case.  The advocate hopes to act as a bridge between the Little Earth community and the MPD.

~ Information from Domestic Abuse Project

DEFINING ABUSE

Domestic violence (also called intimate partner violence (IPV), domestic abuse or relationship abuse) is a pattern of behaviors used by one partner to maintain power and control over another partner in an intimate relationship.

Domestic violence does not discriminate. Anyone of any race, age, sexual orientation, religion or gender can be a victim – or perpetrator – of domestic violence. It can happen to people who are married, living together or who are dating. It affects people of all socioeconomic backgrounds and education levels.

Domestic violence includes behaviors that physically harm, arouse fear, prevent a partner from doing what they wish or force them to behave in ways they do not want. It includes the use of physical and sexual violence, threats and intimidation, emotional abuse and economic deprivation. Many of these different forms of domestic violence/abuse can be occurring at any one time within the same intimate relationship.

It’s not always easy to tell at the beginning of a relationship if it will become abusive.

In fact, many abusive partners may seem absolutely perfect in the early stages of a relationship. Possessive and controlling behaviors don’t always appear overnight, but rather emerge and intensify as the relationship grows.

Domestic violence doesn’t look the same in every relationship because every relationship is different. But one thing most abusive relationships have in common is that the abusive partner does many different kinds of things to have more power and control over their partner.

~ From www.thehotline.org

Gaslighting: A form of psychological manipulation in which a person seeks to sow seeds of doubt in a targeted individual making them question their own memory, perception, and sanity. Named after a movie called “Gaslight.”

Coercive Control: An act or a pattern of acts of assault, threats, humiliation and intimidation or other abuse that is used to harm, punish, or frighten victims.

CALL FOR HELP

Day One MN Emergency Crisis HotLine: call or text 1.866.223.1111

LGBTQ Domestic Violence Hotline 612.824.8434

Teen Dating Violence Hotline

866-331-9474, LoveIsRespect.org

Native Domestic Violence Helpline 844-762-8483

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Franklin Library closing Oct. 20

Library will be closed about 3 months for 

rennovations, get items on hold from East Lake

Franklin Ave. Library will be closed for three months beginning Oct. 20.

Franklin Library will close for a three-month renovation beginning Sunday, Oct. 20, 2019. 

The library is scheduled to reopen after about three months.

The renovation will address immediate needs while a more comprehensive long-term plan is developed. Funds for the the capital projects come from bonding.

 During the closure, patrons are encouraged to visit other Hennepin County libraries nearby:

• East Lake Library, 2727 E. Lake St., Minneapolis

• Minneapolis Central Library, 300 Nicollet Mall

 All library materials on hold will be sent to East Lake Library. To change to another location, ask staff. The Franklin Library book return will also be closed during this time.

Franklin Learning Center will also be closed during the library renovation.

Hennepin County Library Capital Projects and Operations Administrative Supervisor Amber Lee answered some questions about the project for Alley readers.

What are the specifics of the work being done? 

The project will address immediate needs:

• Restrooms – ADA accessibility and safety improvements.

• Replacement of floor that is at the end of its useful lifespan.

• Improving sightlines to the public areas.

• Replacement of worn furniture and equipment.

These improvements are needed to support continued library operations and services while a more comprehensive long-term plan for the library is developed.

What are the challenges the library has faced that this project will resolve? 

It was important to understand the challenges and how this project would be able to address them. Franklin Library has not seen any major remodeling or refurbishments since 2005 and was built in 1914, adding to some of the challenges. We wanted to ensure we were able to do as much as we can to extend the life of the building but also to bring it up to modern times and usage by patrons and staff. Some of this includes, reconfiguring furniture and replacing existing worn furniture, improving sightlines and addressing safety concerns, and improving ADA accessibility to the restrooms.

What is exciting about this project? 

It is exciting to address the immediate needs of the building. This library location is heavily used and it’s important to expand the buildings lifespan while also providing improvements needed for modern day use to support patrons and library operations and programming.

What is the plan for staff members during this project?  

Staff will relocate to other library locations during the closure. Among those are Building Patron Experience Supervisors and Co-Supervisors include, Abdirizak Dahir and Jessica Shaykett.

Get updates

Online informational updates will be provided throughout the closure for the community. Updates will be posted on Hennepin County’s Library’s website. 

Compiled by Tesha M. Christensen

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Dream of wild health

IN THE COMMUNITY

Garden Warriors at the Four Sisters Farmers Market, left to right, back row: Nicole, Chef Brian Yazzie and Tristan. Bottom: Belen, Zoey and Callista.

Meet St. Croix Ojibwe member Neely M. Snyder, who works as the executive director at Dream of Wild Health.

How did you get involved in Dream of Wild Health? 

Snyder: I’ve always been a huge fan of Dream of Wild Health. I have volunteered at the farm, and was always impressed with the youth leaders doing good work in the community. It is my passion to work toward building stronger, healthier Native communities. 

What is this organization important? 

Dream of Wild Health works to restore health and well-being in the Native community by recovering knowledge of and access to healthy Indigenous foods, medicines and lifeways. This is important to our community because health inequities in Native American communities are the result of intentional efforts to displace Native people from historical land and to erase traditional culture and languages, and replace healthy, indigenous foods with government-rationed commodity foods. This has greatly impacted the spiritual, emotional, physical, and mental health of Native people for generations. Dream of Wild Health is restoring health in the community by: Creating culturally-based opportunities for youth employment, entrepreneurship and leadership; Increasing access to indigenous foods through farm production, sales and distribution; and Community outreach and education around reclaiming cultural traditions, healthy indigenous food, cooking skills, and nutrition. 

Why are gardening and foraging and cooking valuable skills? 

We know that food is medicine. Dream of Wild Health is building mechanisms to improve the health and future of Native people. The creativity, innovation and vision of the Native American community is resulting in changes that are being initiated by young leaders and supported by seasoned elders as we create a future for our children. Dream of Wild Health teaches valuable life lessons and employment skills to youth through various programs and community outreach.

In what ways are you making a difference in the lives of the youth participants?  

Dream of Wild Health’s Native Youth Education and Leadership Programs provide culturally based lessons for youth, ages 8-18, most of whom come from low-income inner-city families. The farm provides a safe and creative learning environment where they learn about organic gardening, healthy foods, and Native traditions while gaining employment and leadership skills. Staff also provide community outreach and education opportunities to youth and families of all ages.

What are participants most surprised about when they go through this program? 

Our younger youth are often afraid to join our program. That is, until they arrive at the farm for programming. The farm provides a safe and creative learning environment where they learn about organic gardening, healthy foods, and Native traditions while gaining employment and leadership skills. They are often surprised at how happy weeding the garden makes them feel. Dream of Wild Health promotes continuation of programming for youth through their teenage years providing additional support and educational opportunities, including internships at the farm.  

Save the date for the Third Annual Indigenous Food Tasting, hosted in partnership with the Indigenous Food Network (IFN), is an event rooted in community, bringing Indigenous chefs, food entrepreneurs, and youth together for a night of tasting our indigenous foods. Join us on Indigenous People’s Day, Monday, Oct. 14 from 5-7 p.m. at the Minneapolis American Indian Center. Meal prepared by The Sioux Chef team, Wildbearies Catering (Elena Terry), Native Food Perspectives (Christina White), and more indigenous chefs to come.

Learn more at dreamofwildhealth.org.

Compiled by Tesha M. Christensen

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Backyard October 2019

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Midtown Phillips October 2019

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Ventura Village October 2019

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EPIC October 2019

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Same story: Couple fights, man kills woman, police then self

Tales from
Pioneers and Soldiers Memorial Cemetery

By Sue Hunter Weir

170th in a Series

Although half of the National Rifle Association’s members report that they own guns to protect their families, their rationale is not supported by facts. A study conducted by the Center for Disease Control found that only 16% of women are killed by strangers—more than half are killed by their husbands, lovers, ex-husbands or former boyfriends. Fifty-four percent of those women were shot. Where there was a gun in the house, a woman was five times more likely to be killed by her current or ex-partner than when there was not.

There is nothing new about domestic violence that ends with a women’s death and almost as often, the death by suicide of the person who shot her.  In fact, there is a certain sameness to these stories.  A couple fights (alcohol may be involved, though not always); the man shoots and kills (or tries to) the woman, and then kills himself.  It’s a story that is told over and over again.

FLORA ENGLE

Photo courtesy of TIM MCCALL
Of the three women historians know died from intimate partner violence and are buried at the Pioneers Cemetery, only one, Flora E. Engle, has a marker.

Flora Engle, a 36-year-old-mother of four, was shot and killed by her husband Alexander on May 22, 1916.  The couple had been fighting earlier in the evening.  Alexander left and returned with a gun.  Flora’s oldest son ran for help and an off-duty police officer responded.  The two men wrestled but Alexander got the upper hand and shot Nels C. Anderson twice.  Alexander chased his wife who had run through the backdoor of a nearby drugstore. He was waiting for her outside of the front door. He fired three shots, one of which killed her instantly.  He continued shooting: he fired 2 shots at his seven-year-old son, and once at his 12-year-old daughter, missing them both.  He barricaded himself in the family’s house.  Police arrived, surrounded the house, and entered it only after they heard Alexander fire one final shot.  Police found his five-year-old daughter clinging to her dead father.

Patrolman Nels C. Anderson died from his wounds two days later.  He was 48 years old and the father of three children.  His funeral was held at St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church. 

HAZEL LOWE

Minneapolis Pioneers and Soldiers Memorial Cemetery

Hazel Lowe’s story is a little sketchier, probably because there were no eyewitness accounts.  Hazel was shot and killed by Stanley Zamuda (aka C. E. Stanley), presumably her lover, in his room in the Gateway Hotel on Oct. 26, 1914.  Hazel was the mother of a six-year-old child. She and her husband had been separated for five years, and she was living with her brother who disapproved of Zamuda, and had threatened to tie Hazel to a chair to prevent her from meeting up with him.  Hazel slipped out and joined Zamuda at the Gateway Hotel.  Other residents of the hotel heard the couple arguing but could not tell what it was that they argued about.  Shortly afterward they heard two gunshots.  The police arrived about 10 minutes later and broke down the door.  They found Hazel lying on the floor close to the door, apparently shot as she tried to escape.  Zamuda’s body was found by the bed. 

MARGARET BOWEN

Margaret Bowen had only been married one month when her husband, Joseph Bowen, shot and killed her on March 12, 1917.  She was staying with her parents after having left her husband for the second time.  The first time that she left him was only one week after they had married.  Her mother persuaded her to go back to her husband but three weeks later Margaret left again. Joseph tracked her to her parents’ home where he kicked in the door, and dragged Margaret out into the street and shot her.  He escaped and the police organized a manhunt.  Bowen was arrested after he was caught breaking into a railroad car.  He committed suicide is his jail cell in Glenwood, Minn. 

EFFECTS ON OTHERS

The stories make no mention of what effect or consequences these murder/suicides had on others.  At least four children lost both of their parents.  Several parents lost their adult children.  Siblings lost siblings, and, undoubtedly, friends lost friends. 

These three women were by no means the only casualties of domestic violence in the cemetery.  There are undoubtedly many others.  Of the three, only Flora Engle has a marker.  She is buried in Lot 72, Block P, in the seventh row from the north. Police officer Nels C. Anderson is buried in Lakewood.

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Transit: Lift every voice and sing

By JOHN CHARLES WILSON

I don’t know much about making freedom ring, but I do know from experience that the old adage “you can’t fight City Hall” doesn’t always apply to public transit agencies. They actually do sometimes listen to reasonable requests from the public. The key is to actually show up at public comment forums and use the channels that are designed for that purpose. I have personally influenced two bus routes, both in Saint Paul, through my comments.

I have always wanted to post information about these public meetings in this column. Unfortunately, this is a monthly newspaper with about two weeks’ lead time between the writers turning in their work and the actual paper coming out, so usually the meetings would be over before you, the reader, would get the information. Therefore, all I can do is point you to the best source of information about such things, and that is the Metro Transit website itself: https://www.metrotransit.org.

At present, there are two major projects Metro Transit is doing preliminary work on that will benefit the Southside Pride readership area: the B and D Lines.

• The D Line will provide a faster equivalent to Route 5 along Chicago Ave. While Route 5 stops every block, the D Line will only stop at Franklin Ave., 24th St., 26th St. and Lake St. in the Phillips neighborhood, with similarly limited stops along the rest of the route. This new service is expected to start in 2024.

• The B Line will provide a faster equivalent to Route 21 along Lake St. The stop pattern for the B Line is not determined yet, but I speculate it will be somewhat similar to that of current Route 53, which also runs on Lake St. but only at rush hour. The B Line will run all day.

There are other projects which will dovetail with these plans; for example, the planned Orange Line on I-35W will be dovetailed with the B Line, including a joint station at I-35W and Lake St. The Nicollet Ave. and 4th/5th Ave. S. B Line stations will also be covered by the Orange Line funding.

If you care about what happens to your transit service, please go to the public meetings associated with these projects. If that’s not feasible, email and phone contact information is usually provided on each individual project website.

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