Maadaadizi Program Weekly Update

Week of January 15, 2016

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Como Park Drum and Singing Group

Como Park High School students are reminded that we will be having a drum and singing group on January 20 during advisory. Students will learn the basics of sitting at the drum and also learn traditional powwow songs. All Como Park Indian Education students are welcome to attend. Travis Decory, from the Ain Dah Yung Center, will be leading the group. He will also share information on the Ain Dah Yung Center.
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Free access to for SPPS students

Kerrie wrote a grant and received access to and Fold3's Native American Records. SPPS students can use school electronic devices and school internet access to research their Native American geneology. Students can only use these free resources within the SPPS buildings (it will not work at you home unless you have a paid subscription to (for general ancestry research) (for Native American ancestry research)

Why is this important?

While knowing where and who you are from make up your identity, being able to link yourself to a specific tribe or nation may assist you to receive scholarships and college tuition waivers after high school. This process is not automatic, unless you are already an enrolled member with a tribe or nation. You will need to do some research through your relatives and sites like and to find your connection to a tribe or nation. This process could take days or years. Students who have the information by their senior year may be able to apply for specific scholarships and college tutition waivers with ease. Students without the information may not be eligible for Native American scholarships or college tuition waivers.

Get a jump start on the research now. Kerrie will be working with all 9th graders at Central, Como, Harding, Highland, and Johnson to begin the process in March and April. Kerrie will assist students at the other high schools if students contact her directly. The ultimate goal is for students to either become enrolled with their tribe or nation or obtain a Certificate of Degree of Indian or Alaska Native Blood (CDIB).

For more information on Tracing your Native ancestry, 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

Seniors can now begin to fill out and submit their FAFSA applications for Federal Financial Aid. This is government money to support students with tuition costs, including loans, grants, and work study.

To start:

  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.

Additional FAFSA support and MN Indian Scholarship application assistance will be available at the January 15th powwow or students can contact Kerrie Troseth or their high school school counselor for more support.

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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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JUNIORS - SPPS/Princeton Review ACT Prep Course

SPPS is offering a free ACT Prep Course to any current Junior. There are three options available; however, students choose the option that corresponds to their ACT PLAN score. If you do not know your ACT PLAN score, please ask your school counselor, email Kerrie, or review it under the "About Me" tab in your Naviance account.

The following are the three options - - You will need to register online through the provided link by 1/28/2016:

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Kerrie's Schedule for January 18-22

  • Monday- No School
  • Tuesday-Indian Education Office and District Office
  • 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‚Äôs 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.
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February 1, 2016 Deadline: AIGC's College Horizon Program.

February 2, 2016 Deadline: The Jackson Laboratory 2016 Summer Student Program. The Summer Student Program is designed to help students understand the nature of research science. All students receive a stipend of $4,750 for the 10-week program, including room and board at Highseas or Avon Old Farms. The cost of round-trip travel between the student's home and the Laboratory is also provided.

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

Check back next week for more opportunities.
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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.

January 15, 2016: Lara Gerhardson from the Minnesota Indian Scholarship Program will be available at the SPPS Indian Education powwow. She can answer questions regarding the scholarship and FAFSA program.

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

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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.