Minnesota Native News: Books & Hoops
Minnesota Native News: Books & Hoops
STORY #1 - YOUNG NATIVE AUTHORS AT SOUTH HIGH IN MPLS
A group of Native students at South High school in Minneapolis have just published a book! It’s entitled Indigenous Originated: Walking in Two Worlds. Students created all of the poetry, stories and art work on its pages. It’s on sale now at local book stores in the city. Reporter Melissa Townsend was at the book’s release party and has this story.
We’re at Moon Palace Bookstore — it’s about a mile from South High school in Minneapolis. Students, teachers, families are chowing down on pizza and cake. We’re all waiting for the program to begin where students will be reading from the book. I can tell the students are nervous.
It’s got to be tough to be in 9th or 10th grade and read your poetry in front of 50 people!
These students have been working for 6 months with their teacher and a local writing organization called Mid-Continent Oceanographic Institute.
If that name sounds weird — it’s supposed to. It’s an organization dedicated to writing for fun — writing things that are goofy or funny or serious or sad or whatever flows out of your mind.
Cristeta Boarini is program director. She kicks off the program.
CRISTETA: Welcome, thank you for being here!
Local Anishinaabe rapper Tall Paul worked was an advisor to the students in the program. He offers this advice to the young writers who are about to take the stage:
TALL PAUL: I’ve been doing this for more than 10 years now but even today I still get nervous before my performances. It’s just managing to overcome that nervousness. because courage isn’t the lack of fear, it’s just the willingness to face it in order to inspire the world in the ways that you can. So I believe in you all, You all gonna kill it tonight. Everyone make some noise for these young poets please…. [applause]
As you might imagine - no student has volunteered to go first.
CRISTETA: I promised the students that we would draw names out of a hat. So I’m shuffling the names around. Going first, the first one up here tonight…
It’s 10th grader - Ava Keezer! She’s got a heart-felt, serious piece. This one is actually not in the book; she just wrote it just a day ago.
AVA: What is a poem of a drum with no beat?
We lost our song, so what do we dance to?
What song do we sing?
We play the Creators game, but forget the Creator’s ways
Some might dance jingle but forget the meaning behind that dress
Our grandmothers call from detox early in the morning —
intoxicated by these city lights that raise us
She finds home and refuge on park benches
Is this it for our Anishinaabe people?
is this our way?
Is this our song?
CRISTETA: MY GOODNESS. See what I’ve had to work with all year? My goodness!
After Ava breaks the ice more students take the stage with stories about family and the city and basketball and space aliens. For more information, pictures and poems from the students, go to facebook and find mid-continent oceanographic institute. It’s a mouthful but it’s worth it.
For Minnesota Native news, I’m Melissa Townsend.
STORY #2 LEECH LAKE BASKETBALL
The Leech Lake Tribal College has a winning basketball team. They’ve got four out of five winning seasons, an All-Conference Award, and an All- Academic Conference Award. Reporter Kayla Duoos talks with Leech Lake Basketball Coach Brady Fairbanks about how he manages to help his players shine.
FAIRBANKS: Boozhoo I’m Brady Fairbanks, I’m the Leech Lake Tribal College Athletic Director, and recruiter for the men's and women’s basketball team. We are are a small school but we have a lot of grit and determination to be successful on and off the court.
REPORTER: The Lakers currently do not have athletic scholarships, there are no dorms, they don’t even have their own gym. But they still manage to take on divisions one and two schools - and win. That’s mostly thanks to Fairbanks’s coaching method. He inspires players to think outside the box.
FAIRBANKS: We want to show the younger players, or younger generation that we can train anywhere, you can be a better basketball player and become a very good basketball player by doing the little things right.
REPORTER: The Lakers team will be holding a pre-season camp August 6th-8th for youth in elementary and high school.
I’m Kayla Duoos with DeBahJiMon for Minnesota Native News.
This week on Minnesota Native News: young Native writers in Minneapolis publish a book and Leech Lake Tribal college gears up for another winning basketball season.