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(Re)building Relationships with Native Nations

By Jennifer Garbow, Extension Educator — Family Resiliency

Darlene St. Clair of St. Cloud State University, also known as Iyekiyapiwiƞ, will provide information and context about native peoples of Minnesota in a professional development webinar for Extension employees this February. First presented at the 2015 Program Conference, this session will support and encourage Extension employees to consider the history, experience, and concerns of the native nations of Minnesota.

As Extension staff and educators, we benefit from a basic and fundamental understanding about American Indian families and communities — which hold a significant place in the history and culture of Minnesota. Whatever our areas of focus in our day-to-day work, we should develop educational frameworks that consider American Indians’ sense of place, ways of knowing, and the elements and relationships that have shaped their communities. Darlene connects the contemporary American Indian experience and cultural nuances with history — including treaties, federal and state relationships with tribes, and the concept of tribes as sovereign nations. Darlene encourages learners to broaden their knowledge and drill down deeper to strive for greater meaning and understanding of American Indians in Minnesota.

Darlene teaches American Indian Studies and directs the Multicultural Resource Center at St. Cloud State. Her work as an associate professor focuses on several areas: Dakota studies; native nations of Minnesota; the integration of native cultures, histories, and languages into curricula and educational institutions; and the arts and cultural expressions of native peoples. She is a citizen of the Lower Sioux Indian Community, which is part of the Mdewakanton (Bdewakaƞtuƞwaƞ) Band of Dakota in Minnesota.

This webinar, offered by Extension Professional Development, will be held at 1 p.m. on Wednesday, February 17. Register here. For more information about Extension’s American Indian Task Force and Community of Practice, visit the FD intranet page: American Indian Task Force.

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