This Week in Native American News

April 8, 2016 Edition

Native Americans are Making Their Mark in the Gaming World

Elizabeth LaPensee's ,  Honour Water,  represents the imagery of some of the games.

Elizabeth LaPensee'sHonour Water, represents the imagery of some of the games.

Native stories, legends, and teachings are finding their way into a new niche of video games. The games range from educational, culture-reviving tools to action-adventures based on the Inuit legend of the Qalupalik, a mythical creature that kidnaps children who venture too close to cracks in the ice.

Check out these six great Native-inspired games.

Minnesota Organization Tries to Close the Gap for Native Girls

The statistics regarding Native American girls are staggering:

  • Highest rates of incarceration of any ethnic group (18x more likely than caucasian girls)
  • 29% live in poverty - higher than any other ethnic group
  • Highest dropout rates in the country - 2x the national rate
  • 1 in 5 become mothers before they turn 20
  • Highest rate of rape victims - 2x more likely than any other ethnic group

Despite these facts, few programs are addressing the issues Native American women face, but the Indian Women's Resource Center in Minneapolis is trying. Young women receive mental health services and educational counseling and form mentor relationships with local elders.

“It gives them hope,” Patina Park, executive director, said. “It helps them see they can be more than their parents, who are struggling with drug addiction and homelessness. It’s hard to see yourself as more when you don’t see that around you.”
“It’s like these kids are living in a war zone,” said Sarah Deer, co-director of the Indian Law Program at the Mitchell Hamline School of Law in St. Paul, Minnesota Read the full story here.

At Lutheran Indian Ministries, we try, too. In our various locations, LIM staff forms relationships with local native women to help stop the cycle of abuse and replace it with the love of Christ. Read one example of how we do that: Haskell's Sister to Sister Night Reaches Young Native Women on Campus

Oglala Lakota, Sean Sherman, Mixes Native Practices with Great Food

Known as the Sioux Chef, Sean Sherman, an Oglala Lakota, born in Pine Ridge, South Dakota, is using his platform as a chef to teach the next generation the ancestral way. Not only dos he connect a younger generation to their heritage, but he also promotes natural, healthy food.

Learn more about the Sioux Chef and upcoming events here.

Portland Art Museum Adds Native Art to Curtis Exhibit

Wendy Red Star, “Apsa’olooke Feminist,” 2015. | Image source: Wendy Red Star

Wendy Red Star, “Apsa’olooke Feminist,” 2015. | Image source: Wendy Red Star

When the Portland Art Museum decided to feature an exhibit on Edward Curtis and his Native photography, they didn't want to make it simply a historical show. The show, which runs through May 8th, features three prominent Native Artists, Red Star (Apsa’alooke), Jackson (Mandan/Hidatsa/Arikara) and Wilson (Diné), interspersed among the historical Curtis photographs.

“Our visitorship is largely clueless about contemporary Native American life and thinks that the body of Curtis’ work is the end-all be-all representation of Indians,” Dartt says. “So they have no idea that Native peoples are alive and well and still very much rooted in their culture and are dynamic, modern people, so we have to unpack these issues for them.” Read the full article here.

If you're in the Portland area this spring, make sure to check it out!