Saturday May 28th 2022

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Posts Tagged ‘dakota’

Doo Wop And Cannon Falls

by Peter Molenaar The luckier members of my generation were again able to watch public television”'s annual review of the Doo Wop Pop Rock music emergence (late ”˜50s””early ”˜60s). As always, it was an awesome emotional head swoon. Moreover, let us self-reflect, the splendid performances of so many popular Black artists served to educate and humanize millions of white Americans Note: I was born August 26, 1950”¦ How is it that these tunes are lodged in my brain and subject to recall? Probably it is owing to the daily school bus rides into the town of Cannon Falls. The good bus driver had the radio on all those years. Yet the town remained white, with just a touch of Dakota blood mixed in. Any outside person of color was sure to incite such internal red flags as: Get a grip, be nice but do not touch. It was from elsewhere, moved by the music, that some white folks went South to confront the terror regime there. The news trickled in. We learned that some were killed. (more…)

The Power of Story in the Backyard

The Power of Story in the Backyard

by Janice Barbee, Cultural Wellness Center Throughout the process of bringing together residents to work together to improve health in the Backyard area, we are constantly reminded of the importance of story. When the Cultural Wellness Center first convened residents to hear about plans for the Backyard Initiative, residents told many stories ”“ stories about the history of the community, about residents”' relationships with Allina and other organizations, about people”'s hardships as well as hopes. “I see a lot. I see street level negative activity. I see garbage everywhere. I see people struggling. I see people on street corners, standing off the freeway. I see prostitutes. I see people going to work. I see people like Carol and Shirley and Miss Phoebe, people with conviction.” “I see more diverse businesses, more activity up and down Lake Street coming back. I own a business. There are so many smaller, family owned businesses, which is great because they tend to grow and develop the community. I”'ve also seen a lot of manufacturing leave the area, which needs to come back.” (more…)

We Want Your Ideas For Health Improvement! Backyard Initiative Update

We Want Your Ideas For Health Improvement! Backyard Initiative Update

by Janice Barbee, Cultural Wellness Center & Paula Fynboh, Allina Health System Join a BYI Citizen Health Action Team (CHAT) The Backyard Initiative has moved to a new phase. Community residents who live in the Backyard area (the Phillips neighborhoods, Central, Powderhorn Park, and Corcoran) are now meeting twice a month to develop projects that improve the health of residents. We want to involve more community residents in this work. If you have an interest in working with your neighbors on a health-improvement project, and/or if you have a great idea to bring to the dialogue, please join us. CHATs now meeting: 1. Rebirthing Community: Bringing Elders and Youth Together: Focused on bringing elders and youth together for a “rebirthing” of community. The team has discussed mentoring and visual arts as a way to bring the generations together. 2. Establishing Anchor Families: Seeking to establish “anchor families” on each block who can teach life skills and guiding values to youth as well as connect youth and their families to resources for wellness. 3. Mapping: Identifying the services that exist in the Backyard area which treat sickness and also those that prevent sickness. 4.  LGBT: Working to connect individuals from all cultures who are LGBT with the resources they need to be healthy and safe. 5.  Food and Nutrition: Focusing on finding ways to support healthy eating though accessibility to healthy foods and educating about healthy practices across cultures. 6. Dakota Language Revitalization: Keeping Dakota language and life ways alive and vibrant in the Dakota community. 7.  Alternative/Traditional Medicine: Educating community about natural and ancient ways to be healthy and well and connecting people to so-called ”˜alternative”' health practitioners for healing and wellness purposes. 8. Environmental: Looking at the impact of environment on the health of residents in the [...]

Wakan Tanka

by Peter Molenaar It took on the order of 200,000 years for humankind to develop a written language. Subsequently, “the word” accumulated in the form of scripture which in turn made literacy a requirement for entry into “the faith”. Hence, the emergence of the Abrahamic religions (Judaism, Christianity, Islam) within the once vast sea of illiteracy. Note: the various peoples of this neighborhood might do well to acknowledge that we all reside upon Dakota land. Prior to Abraham, prior even to the Druid elites of Pagan Europe, it was the vision quest which nourished the spiritual community. The trekker was rewarded by nature”'s unforeseen coincidences, including close encounters with curious animals. Such were the revelations of “the great spirit”. Note: A totem animal should be regarded as but one aspect of Wakan Tanka. Prior to the existence of life sustaining planets, was there a great spirit? Or, did mind emerge merely as a function of highly evolved central nervous systems? Perhaps, as some have suggested, Wakan Tanka translates better as “the great mystery”. Who among us has not noticed the great flock of crows which resides in this neighborhood during the winter months? What is the explanation for this? I suggest we observe them with great respect and admiration. Might we embrace the crow as our totem connection? As for me, I will continue to function as a philosophical materialist i.e. liberation in the spiritual realm can be achieved only as we collectively re-harmonize to the material realm (matter is primary). Yet I confess the possibility that matter and spirit have coexisted for eternity and express my preference for the spiritual outlook of preliterate peoples. I walk upon Dakota land.

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