Maadaadizi Program Weekly Update

Week of February 12, 2016

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Field Trip to Prairie Island Indian Community - March 11, 2016

We will be going on a field trip in March to Prairie Island Indian Community. The purpose of the field trip is to learn more about careers that build and sustain Native communities. We will spend some time speaking to American Indian people who have specific careers with the Community. Additionally, we will learn about the keepers of the buffalo and visit the buffalo pasture. For lunch we will have pizza and bowl at Treasure Island's Xtreme Bowl.

We will be taking 25 students from Indian Education (District-wide). The first 25 students to send in their permission slips will be able to attend. Permission slips are found here (please click this link). Students can also use this link to request a paper copy of the permission slip to be mailed to their home (deadline to sign up is February 26, 2016).

Students should take a picture of the signed forms on their iPads and email them to Students who are one of the first 25 to sign up will be notified through their school emails with directions. Students who are not one of the first 25 students will be placed on a waiting list and be notified through their school email with updates.

Only one bus will be used for the field trip. This bus will pick up students at Harding High School only. Student who do not attend Harding may still participate; however, they will need to make their own arrangements to get to Harding by 7:40 am and to get home after from Harding after 1:50 pm.

If you have further questions, please contact Kerrie (contact information is provided at the bottom of this e-newsletter).

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Families of Tradition - Sewing Society

SPPS Indian Education is proud to be providing drop-in sewing, beading, and crafting sessions. Students and families can access an Indian Education staff to work on regalias, to learn beading/crafting, and to learn basic sewing skills.

The workspace is open

  • Mondays: 12:00 pm - 8:00 pm
  • Tuesdays: 9:00 am - 2:00pm
  • Wednesdays: 12:00 pm - 8:00 pm

For more information please contact Dianna Johnson at 651-293-5191 or

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American Indian Science and Engineering Society's Leadership Summmit

AISES is excited to announce that the 2016 Leadership Summit will be held in Rochester, MN April 14-16. Serving as meeting hosts for the event this year are AISES partners IBM and the Mayo Clinic (Rochester Campus).

AISES’ Leadership Summit is aimed at providing Native higher education students and AISES professionals with in-depth professional development workshops and networking opportunities. Multiple sessions will engage participants on such personal and professional development topics as “Maintaining Cultural Identity” to “Change Management: Managing Personal Change” and “Bridging Native Tradition within STEM.” The Leadership Summit also offers networking opportunities for early to mid-career level professionals and Native students in STEM and fosters the matching of STEM professionals with STEM students for mentoring. Studies prove that building peer support networks and providing positive role models, mentors, and career development programs have profound effects on minority college students in STEM and, we all know, that it’s important for professionals too!

The major focus of the Leadership Summit is to build the skill and aptitude levels of AISES members in the realm of professional and career development- to better prepare them to attain jobs and careers in STEM fields.

For more information, please click here.

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SPPS School Choice is now open

SPPS permits students and their families to apply to schools that are the best fit for the student's educational needs. This is called School Choice. SPPS will allow families to apply to other schools in the District one time a year, which is now through February 16, 2016. To apply to a high school outside of your attendance area for next school year, click here.

One school choice for American Indian students is Harding High School, which houses the American Indian Studies (AIS) program. The AIS program offers students the opportunity to learn American Indian history, literature, art, academic support classes (general education and special education), and language (Ojibwe and Lakota) from a Native perspective. The courses are taught by Native American teachers. Additionally, Harding provides a full-time American Indian cultural liaison to support students day-to-day and to provide Check and Connect. Indian Education is available three times a week, and the American Indian Family Center provides free mental health counseling to Indian Education students twice a week. After school activities include Lakota Drum Group, Homework Help Group, American Indian Art Group, and Ojibwe Quiz Bowl Group. Plans to start a Student Tribal Council next year are also in the works. Students also participate in cultural field trips, storytelling events, and special cultural opportunties, like smudging, building a ciiporoke, Indigenous Peoples Day, and large student group presentations.

Indian Education students who are interested in transferring to Harding next year for the AIS program need to apply by February 16, 2016. Students who are accepted will receive special busing to attend Harding.

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Seniors -FAFSA

The FAFSA could assist you to receive free money for college. Here is how to get started...

  1. Sign up for a PIN at Both you and your parent/guardian will need to create a PIN. You will need your social security number to begin this process.
  2. Access the FAFSA application at and complete.

Some students have expressed concern about who to list as a parent on the FAFSA. This link can assist to answer some of those questions; however, please contact Kerrie if you need more assistance with this.

Please try to have your FAFSA submitted by March 1. To watch a step-by-step tutorial on how to complete the FAFSA, click here. Also, the completion of the FAFSA is required to be eligible for the Power of You (St. Paul College or MCTC). Failure to apply for the FAFSA will disqualify you from being in the Power of You.

Assistance for students and families to complete the FAFSA...Minnesota College Goal is sponsoring several family sessions to assist students to complete their FAFSAs. Click here to see the upcoming workshops or stop into your high school's College and Career Center for more information. Please contact Kerrie if you would like more assistance.

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IMPORTANT Scholarship Opportunities for Seniors

There are two, great scholarship opportunities for American Indian seniors.

  1. Minnesota Indian Scholarship- if you are going to stay in Minnesota for college, if you have at least 1/4 degree of Indian blood, and if your are eligible for Pell grants (you must submit your FAFSA for this), you may be eligible to receive up to $4000/year for college. Check out their website for more information and the application (very simple application).
  2. Cobell Scholarship - this scholarship is directed to original Cobell Settlement Class members or Direct descendants. The scholarship is distributed through the American Indian Graduate Center, and the amount of the scholarship will vary. Students MUST complete a Tribal Eligibility Certificate (not enrollment card) and complete the application. Deadline is May 1, 2016.

Also, please check with your Tribe/Nation to see if you are eligible to receive a college scholarship. To see a listing of Minnesota Tribal contact information for scholarships, please click here and scroll to the 12th page.

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Kerrie's Schedule for February 15-19

  • Monday- Indian Education Office
  • Tuesday-Harding High School
  • Wednesday-Como Park High School
  • Thursday- Highland Park High School
  • Friday -Harding High School

School Counselor Visits to High Schools

Kerrie will regularly be visiting Central, Como Park, Harding, Highland, and Johnson High Schools this school year. If you do not attend one of these high schools, you still can receive Indian Education counseling services. Please email Kerrie ( if you have questions or would like to schedule an appointment to meet.
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  • Conversation Corps: Minnesota’s afterschool program, Youth Outdoors, connects urban teens to the natural environment through hands-on conservation and neighborhood beautification projects. It empowers young people to become active, engaged citizens and leaders. Conversation Corps is currently taking applications for Spring 2016.
  • Right Track: Right Track offers summer jobs (YJ01) and internships (YJ02) for Saint Paul youth ages 14 to 21 who are from a low-income family or have a barrier to employment. The program runs from mid-June to mid-August and work experiences last 6 to 9 weeks, depending on the position. Youth may only apply to one of our two programs for the summer. What are the benefits? Earn as much as $2,000; add meaningful work experience to your resume; gain valuable job skills; and meet potential mentors and explore career pathways. IMPORTANT: Right Track will be at Harding High School on Feb. 16th from 1:00-3:00 in the CCC to assist students to complete their applications. There are two different jobs types - Job 1 with no resume required and Job 2 with a resume required. Once the application is open, the student must finish it at that time, including the upload of a resume for Job 2. Students will not be able to save the application and return. If you need assistance with creating a resume, please email Kerrie before Feb. 16.
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March 1, 2016: The INSPIRE Pre-College Program, operated by Native American Political Leadership Program and the GW Pre-College Program, is a full scholarship open to Native American, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian rising high school juniors and rising high school seniors, including 2016 anticipated graduates, who want to spend 3-weeks on the George Washington University (GW) campus to learn about intergovernmental relations between tribal governments and the federal government.

The program is a full-day experiential undergraduate course, Native Politics and the American Political System, taught by GW faculty. The course will offer opportunities for students to meet and interview influential advocates working on Native issues in Washington, D.C.

To learn more or to apply, please click here.

No Deadline: The Ninijanisag (Our Children) Program teaches youth ages 10-21 problem-solving, leadership, and communication skills in a community and cultural context. Traditional American Indian cultural activities are offered weekly and include drum and dance, sweat lodge, traditional crafts, talking circles, traditional storytelling, and intergenerational language tables. Leadership opportunities include public speaking, mentoring, and planning community cultural events. The long-term impact of Ninijanisag is to provide American Indian young people with cultural and community connections to sustain them and deter them from substance abuse, crime, violent behavior, suicide, and other destructive behaviors. Click here for more information and an application.

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Upcoming Events

February 27th: Thinking College Early Fair from 11:00am - 2:00pm at Harding High School. All middle and high school students and their families are welcome to attend. Free event!

April 14th and 15th: American Indian Science and Engineering Society's Leadership Summit in Rochester, MN. For information and registration, please click here.

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American Indian Scholarship Updates

For a comprehensive listing of scholarships and financial aid opportunities and information for American Indian students, please click here.

For specific Tribal scholarship programs, click here and scroll to page 12.

Deadlines for Scholarship Opportunties:

Ongoing: Sign up for the American Indian Graduate Center's e-newsletter for updated American Indian scholarship opportunities. Click here to register for the newsletter. Students can apply for the Cobell Scholarship through the AIGC's scholarship page.

May 1, 2016: Cobell Scholarship through the American Indian Graduate Center.

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Test Preparation Options

PrepFactory: This free test prep is in its Beta phase (testing to work out any bugs); however, any one can use the site to prepare for either the ACT or SAT. Sign up for a free account to save your progress.

Naviance Test Prep: This free program is available within each SPPS student's Naviance account. Students can prepare for either the ACT or SAT.

ACCUPLACER: The CollegeBoard has created a free testing preparation program. Use the link to "Add to Cart" and follow the directions to download the program to your iPad or computer.

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Volunteering & Service Opportunities

  • Student Tribal Council will be starting next school year at Harding High School. Students who are interested in assisting Jack with the council can speak with him now.
  • Tradition Not Addiction through Indigenous People's Task Force is currently recruiting youth ages 12-18 for their program. Youth receive $120 gift card for participating. For more information, an application, and schedule of days, please email or call 612-722-6248 and ask for Suzanne.

Contact Kerrie

Have questions about this newsletter? Contact me.