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Lawrence Dakota Irving Obituary. SACRED FIRE VIDEO Rest in peace my brother.

Lawrence Dakota Irving

November 13, 1975 ~ August 13, 2021 (age 45)


Lawrence Dakota Irving

Wanagi Ska Wakan Naji

Beloved son, father, nephew, uncle, friend, mentor, & spiritual leader

Age 45 of St. Paul

Started his journey to the spirit world on August 13, 2021. Preceded in death by grandparents, Andrew & Trevian Killscrow; brother, Donovan Redlegs; aunties, Andrea & Marion Killscrow; uncle, Alton Killscrow; nieces & nephews, Shayla Smith, Alyssa Irving, Danita Mata, Dennis Longelk, Travis Varney, and Miguel Jara; cousins, Christine Olvera, Marquita Sims, and Michael Mata. Survived by mother, Susie Longelk; children, Julian Franz, Tyus Irving, Tylese & Tyla Irving; sisters, Winona Irving, Misty Two Hearts, Randee Greenleaf, and Stephanie Perez (hunka sister); brothers, Marshall Longelk and Chester Dennis Quentin Longelk; godmother, Hazel Culburtson; aunties, Lavina Longelk, Marlene Olvera, and Nina Mata; uncles, Bernard Mountain, Adrian Killscrow, and Allen Flyingbye; close friends, mentors & loved ones, Joseph Bester, David Bowen, Kelley & Desmon Martin, Harel Perez, Lon Navarre, Joy Sorensen-Navarre, Virgil Foot, and many more. Visitation on Tuesday, August 17 from 4-9pm at O’HALLORAN & MURPHY, 575 S. Snelling Ave., St. Paul, MN. Arrive at O’Halloran & Murphy by 11am Wednesday, August 18 for procession to Church of the Messiah Cemetery.


Love from the Mendota Community.

Love Sharon


August 18, 2021

Church of the Messiah Cemetery
1730 Chakya St.
Welch, MN 55089


August 17, 2021

4:00 PM to 9:00 PM
O’Halloran & Murphy Funeral Home
575 South Snelling Avenue
St. Paul, MN 55116

Sacred Fire for Sundancer Lawrence Irving who started his journey to the Spirit World Friday.
Lawrence ran our sweats. Lawrence pass on Aug 13. He will be dearly missed.
Lon and Joy lite the fire last night. Fire will be lite for 3 more days and nights. Joseph has been there since 11:00pm last night.
Tommy came from Bemidji this morning to help. He will be fire keeper with others for the next 3 days and nights.
Fire keepers need wood, food, bug spray, sage and tobacco.
This is Mendota way to help his family.
Waiting to hear what his family wants to do.
Respectfully, Auntie Sharon and the Mendota Community.

Very sad to have lost these woman within a short time of each other all good friends.

We will be honoring these woman at our Wacipi Sept 10 -12-2021.

Sister Jan Dalsin

Jeannie Hollingworth’s

Christina Fowler Mrs. John Gebhardt

Cheryl Fields

These 4 amazing woman were around since the Coldwater and Hi Way 55 days.

All would have been at the Wacipi vending, dancing, showing support, just being the loving woman they all were.

They will all be dearly missed.

We will honor them, if you would like to say something about any or all, please let us know asap.

If anyone want to get pictures of each of them let me know.

We need someone to organize this like pictures, stories, etc.

The Mendota Tribal Council and it Members.

Love you all, until we meet again. Love Good Thunder Woman. Sharon



Cheryl Fields May 28, 1950 – July 1st 2021 age 71. Just hear this 2 hours ago on 7-11-21 very sad.


Christina J. Fowler November 19, 1971 ~ June 24, 2021 (age 49) Service in Aug.

Christina J. Fowler

November 19, 1971 ~ June 24, 2021 (age 49)


Christina Johanna Fowler 49, passed away at her home in St Paul MN on the evening of Thursday June 24, 2021.

Formerly from Boise Idaho, Christina enjoyed her work as a Massage Therapist and a Native American Artist.  She participated in women’s traditional dancing at Native American Pow Wows over the years.  Her artwork included Native American crafts, jewelry, and beadwork. Christina enjoyed sharing her knowledge.

She is survived by her husband of 9 years John, brother David (Debbie), parents Susan and Darrell, her daughter Amethyst, as well as granddaughters Kara and Gracen.

Christina is  lovingly remembered by all who knew her.


Dorothy Dottie Whipple has enter the spirit world on May15, 2021.

Dorothy Dottie Whipple has enter the spirit world on May15, 2021. I will write something about Dottie after 4 days it is profound.

She was a vital part of the commemorative marches, and was in the inipi with you. She and I drove an old gravel road that started near the Wabasha village site that she showed me, along the marshy river bed to the end of the road, where it then took a sharp right turn up a hill to the highway that went to New Ulm, to establish the route for the second March (the first March we took the highway to Sleepy Eye, we didn’t know the original route that the troops took them on. And then, we later learned that there was an original road that went directly through the now farm field and connected to another gravel road that we also found and took into New Ulm. It was the story that she told me about her father driving her down that road as a child on Sunday drives. He said nothing to her, but was always somber. This was the clue, that this was the road of removal from the Lower Sioux Agency site. This was absolutely incredible information!
I will always remember her for this.
Very Best and Love,
Mary Beth


Jeanne Hollingsworth passed away on Dec 21, 2020. This is from Accolon Jeanne only son & grandson Cia..

This is from Accolon Jeanne only son.

 I definitely want you to tell them: Help. My mom died. I ask you folks help my son know his Grandma in a way only you can. He has always been close with her and loves her as his grandma. It is time for him to know her beyond being his Grandma. I ask people to share stories of my mom, so my boy knows what she was like in the world, how she cared for people, what she is like as a person and in community. You folks carry those treasure stories in your hearts. I ask that you send them in letters to her grandson (over the next few months). My mom is so good for my boy and I. She is my best friend and the person I share about my parenting life with. She has always been a consistent loving support in my son’s life. They were laughing buddies when he was little and are still close now. My mom was the special person he could confide things to. She was that person for me too. I’m a single dad and my mom was the woman of this family. She always helped us through the tough stuff and made our family life more enjoyable. She added a sense of family beyond what my boy and I can create as just he and I. She was so good for us. And she is what made our holidays feel like family holidays. It’s always the 3 of us. I will miss our weekly mother/son nature walks together. And our visiting into the late night hours at my home, after our walking and talking at the nature center we both enjoyed so much. Friday nights are our nights. I will miss bringing my mom with when I take my boy to get an ice cream cone and walk along the lake. I will miss my mom swimming at the beach with us. She is a grandma that would swim at the beach with us. She would even get down on the floor in our living room to play with her grandson. We will miss sitting by the fire with her and camping with her and playing Uno (card game) with her at our neighborhood cafe while drinking cocoa. And just being with us at our house joking around with us or watching a show with us. My son often asked for my mom to sleep over when she visited and was delighted when she did. She joined in many bedtime story times and would rub my son’s back (like she did for me when I was a boy) while I read the bedtime story. When her grandson was little he would cuddle up between my mom and I and rest into having us both there. Those were extra special bedtimes. My boy has been growing up feeling that his grandma cares so much about us and about people in general. I have always been glad for my mom’s influence on my boy. I must tell you wonderful folks my mom was my childhood hero. When I was a boy, she gave me the good example of leaving my abusive alcoholic step-dad, and more than that, she lead the way for my spiritual life by embarking so fully her own spiritual life (that she began after freeing hers and my family life from alcoholism), and by sharing her spiritual explorations with me. She showed me a wide and varied spiritual world. When I was a boy, I wanted to help heal the pain in the society I was growing up in. My mom blazed that trail for me. And when I was a teenager, she connected me with my kung fu teacher who gave me kung fu priest training, which put me on my own path of service to humanity. I will always be grateful to her for that. The people I help have my mom to thank for me being able to help them with my spiritual kung fu skills because she helped me get started. When I was in high school, my friends who I sat with at lunch would complain about their moms while we ate. I did not complain about mine. I remember the 1st time they started in complaining about their moms, they took turns around the table. They had gone all around the table and I was the last one left to chime in a complaint. I sat quietly a moment while they all looked at me until I finally said: “What! I like my mom.” I felt that way because of her good example for me and her care of me. My mom so loved you folks and being part of your communities always meant so much to her. Thank you, folks, for being part of my mom’s life.


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Duane Wipple, Jr. of Santee, NE passed away

Obituary of Duane Whipple, Jr.


Duane Wipple, Jr. of Santee, NE passed away unexpectedly Tuesday, August 4, 2020 in Santee, NE.  Funeral services will be 2:00 PM, Saturday, August 8, 2020 at the Oyate Oyanke Community Center, Santee, NE with Rev. Pat Whitehorse-Carda officiating.  Burial will be in the Santee Episcopal Cemetery, Santee, NE.  Visitations will begin at 6:00 PM, Wednesday, August 5, 2020 at the Oyate Oyanke Community Center, Santee, NE and continue until service time on Saturday.  There will be a Scripture service each evening at 7:00 PM at the Community Center.  The Opsahl-Kostel Funeral Home & Onsite Crematory, Yankton, SD is assisting with the service details.  Online condolences may be sent at: www.opsahl-kostelfuneralhome.com.

Duane (Porky) Whipple Jr. was born November 19, 1968 to Duane Sr. and Bernadine Whipple Moran. Duane lived most of his life in Santee Nebraska. In his younger years he loved to play basketball and softball with his brothers Don Whipple, Robert Whipple and Sam Whipple and his cousin/brother Steve. He graduated from Santee in 1987. He was our music man and was into heavy metal. Morley Cru,  Cinderella and Poison was heard free from his room daily.  Duane had 3 children: Dominique, Kia and Sabastion. He loved them very much and talked about them often. Duane was the life of the party. He was the joker and would have everyone laughing with his jokes and humor. He always had a smile no matter the situation. Duane became an avid pool shooter in life just like his dad. He also was the tribal historian and museum curator.  Duane will be missed by all of his family.

Duane leaves behind his son Sabastion and Daughter Kia. His brothers Donnie and Robert Whipple. His sisters Patricia Beccera Whipple, Candice Anderson and Angela Anderson.  His cousin/sister Stacy Jo Johnson and his cousin/brothers Steve and Joseph Moose.

Duane was preceded in death by his father, son Dominique, grandmother Bernice, grandfather Tommy, brother Alvin, sister Suzette, and uncle Robert.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Duane Whipple, Jr., please visit Tribute Store


6:00 pm – 1:00 pm
Wednesday, August 5, 2020
Oyate Oyanke Community Center
104 N, Veterans Memorial Drive
Santee, Nebraska, United States
Scripture service each evening at 7:00 PM
Need Directions?

Funeral service

2:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Saturday, August 8, 2020
Oyate Oyanke Community Center
104 N, Veterans Memorial Drive
Santee, Nebraska, United States
Need Directions?

Order Flowers for Duane Whipple, Jr.’s Funeral serviceGuaranteed before Duane’s Funeral service begins


3:00 pm – 3:30 pm
Saturday, August 8, 2020
Episcopal Cemetery
Rural Santee, NE
Santee, Nebraska, United States
Need Directions?

Sorensen, Sheldon “Shel” D. age 86 of Richfield, passed away on July 26, 2020

Sorensen, Sheldon “Shel” D. age 86 of Richfield, went to be with his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, on July 26, 2020

Sheldon D. ‘Shel’ Sorensen

Sorensen, Sheldon “Shel” D. age 86 of Richfield, went to be with his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, on July 26, 2020 after a brave battle with cancer. He was born on April 1, 1934 in Duluth, MN. Preceded in death by parents Laurs (Slim) and Olivia (Solberg) Sorensen, infant brother Duane, sister Charlene Cassel and grandson-in-law Timothy Hammick. He is survived by his wife and high school sweetheart Agnes (Aggie) Peterson, his three children, Joy (Lon) Navarre of St. Paul, Shelley (Tim) Bauder of Coopersburg, PA, and Jon (Kim) of Minneapolis, and grand and great grandchildren: Karisa (Dan), Keila, Lucas, CJ (Billie Jo), Donald (Nichole), Kaysie, Caleb, James (Lauren), Maria, William, Levi, Simeon, Isaac, Joshua, Maurecio, Elijah Jaeden, Scarlette, and Colt; along with numerous in-laws, cousins, nieces and nephews. He graduated from Denfeld HS (Duluth, Class of ’51), the U of MN, and was commissioned as an officer in the USAF. He married Aggie in 1956 and they enjoyed 63 years together. Shel served for many decades in leadership at Ebenezer Lutheran Brethren Church in Minneapolis, building intentional community and loving people along their faith journey. He had tremendous love for his family and neighbors, along with his co-workers at Honeywell, Horner Waldorf, National Vitamin Products, Church of the Lutheran Brethren and Williams Steel. He enjoyed hosting Sunday dinners, solving problems on his computer, reading the comics, and finding four leaf clovers. He was a voracious reader and consumer of both oatmeal and M&M’s. He told his grandchildren endless stories, loved to hunt and fish, and instilled in us an appreciation for God’s creation and the saving grace of Jesus. The family wishes to thank Dr. M. Nashawaty, Minnesota Oncology, and Kindred Hospice for their loving care. A private family service is planned. A memorial service will be held later with burial at Ft. Snelling National Cemetery. Memorials may be made to Lutheran Brethren International Missions or Feed My Starving Children.

Mike Flammond has passed away details:

Mike Flammond is on his journey to be with his ancestors on 7-22-2020.

If you are able to pay respects to Michael Flammond Sr. and support Roxanne & family, we will be having a 24 hr wake tomorrow starting at noon. Prayer at 1:00 pm and feed the people after.

Viewing will be in a teepee at St. Peter’s Church, at the Mendota Pow Wow grounds located at 1405 Sibley Memorial Hwy, Mendota, MN 55150.

Funeral for Jim Anderson \ Red Sky: Wednesday Sept 11th at 11:00am

Funeral for Jim Anderson \ Red Sky

Jim passed into the spirit world on June 27, 2019.
We had a celebration of life gathering for Jim in August but the traditional Dakota Ceremony will be:
Wednesday Sept 11th at 11:00 am
St Peter’s Church 1405 Sibley Memorial Hwy Mendota, MN 55120.

The meal is pot luck as this is the traditional Native way.
Any volunteer help from friends is very appreciated.

Our family’s (MMDC) Wacipi / Pow Wow is Sept 13 -15, 2019 at St Peters Church two days after his funeral.
Red Sky loved our Wacipi & he will be with us dancing ~ we hope you can be with us too ❤

James Kermit Anderson “Red Sky” was born May 7, 1959. He passed into the spirit world June 27, 2019.

Claudia, ask me to post this. James Kermit Anderson “Red Sky” was born May 7, 1959. He is preceded in death by parents Russell and Lillian Rose Anderson, and brother Craig. Survived by loving wife Claudia and daughter Ameyalli Anderson. Also survived by former wife Juliane and sons James, Jr and Joseph Anderson. Sisters Patricia Baldwin, Catherine knutson, brother Rick Anderson, Brother Gregory Allen Sumpter, Cousin Victoria Scott, many nieces and nephews. Auntie Linda Brown and Sharon Lennartson. He was tribal chairman and historian for the Mendota Mdewakanton Dakota Tribal Community and defended the sacred sites of the Dakota nation. Retired Pipefitter 37 years. He spent the last five years of his life in the Yucatan, Mexico. The Creator called him home June 27, 2019. Family and friends remember him with love and appreciation. Service Sept 11th at St Peters Church at 11:00am.
1405 Sibley Memorial Hwy in Mendota 55150. St Peters is the oldest church in MN.
Please bring a dish to pass.
Hope to see you love Claudia and Ameyalli, and his family.

Update about (Red Sky) Jimmy Anderson passing from a heart attack on 6-27-2019.

Here is an update about (Red Sky) Jimmy Anderson passing from a heart attack on 6-27-2019.

Please light a candle for Jim for 4 days.
A ceremonial fire will be lit Saturday 6/29 at 3:00pm and will run continuously until Wednesday July 3rd. The fire will be at St Peter Church. The fire will be started by Lawrence and Tommy. Lon will do a Pipe Ceremony. Please bring a dish to pass. There will also be an inipi (sweat) at 6pm on Saturday at the DuPuis House.

There is still no date for the funeral. I will post more details as I know more.

Remember his laugh, remember his humor, his compassion for others, smile when you think of him. I loved him so much and will miss him so much this is a devastating lose to our family.

Feel free to contact me if you have any questions, 952-219-0196. If you want to contact Linda, Patty, Kathy or Vicky go on facebook.

Love Sharon

Jim Anderson Jimmy Anderson Redsky Chief Mendota Dakota tribe dies

Kam Roy has passed away 12-22-18

Kam Roy passed away 12-22-18 he is on his journey home. Kam will be missed at our Mendota Wacipi. Kam was a magnificent male traditional dancer.
Please help Leilani and Kams family through this difficult time. Rest in peace Kam you will be dearly missed. I will always see you smiling and making people laugh and of course your hugs. You are a true warrior. Praying for you Leilani for all you are going through. Call if you want I’m here for you. Love Sharon
There is a gofundme.com account for Kam Roy please donate to Leilani and Kams family.

Obituary for Curtis Russell LaClaire was called home on October 31, 2018.

Curt was the Mendota Community Tribal Chairman for 2 terms. The Mendota Community will miss him. Curt came to the Wacipi / Pow Wow each year and carried in the LaClaire / LeClaire Staff. If Sandy and family wants we will honor Curt at our next Wacipi / Pow Wow Sept 13-15-2019, this will be our 20th Wacipi / Pow Wow. We missed Curt at our last Wacipi / Pow Wow.

Rest in peace!

The Mendota Tribal Council & Our Community Members.

Love Sharon

Curtis Russell LaClaire

Obituary for Curtis Russell LaClaire

Curt LaClaire was called home on October 31, 2018, passing peacefully after a 13 month battle with cancer.

Curt married Sandy (Iverson) 48 years ago, and together they raised 9 wonderful children. He was a faithful member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for 42 years. He loved people, especially youth. He was always involved in serving in the Church, spending many years as a Scoutmaster.

A loving husband, father, and grandfather, his greatest joy was his 28 grandchildren. Curt is preceded in death by his parents, Russell and Pauline (Helseth) LaClaire.

He is survived by his wife, Sandy; his children: Kim (Todd) Sinjem, Curtis (Becky) LaClaire, Derek LaClaire, Keith (Kayla) LaClaire, Dionne (Steve) Sandall, Joel LaClaire, Spencer (Tatiana) LaClaire, Paul (Jane) LaClaire, Noelle (Josh) Slagowski; his siblings: Bruce (Carol) LaClaire, Vicky (Pete) Eckman, Doug (Linda) LaClaire, Susie Foty, Renee Foss, Dennis (Karyn) LaClaire; and his grandchildren: Sofia, Hogan, Lola, Ethan, Eli, Jonah, Janie, Sadie, Lukas, Isabelle, Mason, Alex, Elsie, Violet, Stevie, Lillian, Landon, Scarlet, Isaac, Juliet, Olivia, Brooklyn, Hadley, Teagan, Milo, Ari, Leo, Finn, and many nieces, nephews, and cousins.

Special thanks to the staff at HCMC Cancer Center and Heritage Hospice for their tender care of Curt.

Funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, November 10th, at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 4700 Edinbrook Terrace, Brooklyn Park, MN. A viewing will be held prior to services beginning at 9:30 a.m. private interment will follow services. Those wishing to send flowers may have them delivered to Holcomb-Henry-Boom-Purcell Funeral Home 515 Highway 96 West Shoreview, MN 55126.

Memories and condolences may be shared with the family under the “Tribute Wall” tab above.

Mound Cemetery of Brooklyn Center

3515 69th Avenue North
Brooklyn Center, MN, 55429




Obituary for Arthur “Sung Ska Natan” Owen

Obituary for Arthur “Sung Ska Natan” Owen

Arthur “Sung Ska Natan” Clark Owen, 68, of Prairie Island, died unexpectedly at United Hospital in St. Paul. He was born December 7, 1949 to Amos and Ione (James) Owen in Red Wing. He graduated from Red Wing Central High School and enlisted in the U.S. Army, serving in the Vietnam War and was a combat veteran. He attended the University of Minnesota where he studied political science and later he studied at the London School of Economics. He married Beverly Androsky and later Stephanie Autumn. Despite each marriage ending in divorce they were both blessing and helped to build the large family that Art was so proud of. In 2005, he married Carrie Morris in Mankato. Art loved playing sports and had been very athletic, especially following his time in the service. After the death of his father in 1990, Art carried on the Dakota traditions and ceremonies. He cherished his Dakota Wicohan. He became instrumental in building bridges between native culture and western culture and educating people both within and outside the Tribe on the importance of maintaining cherished native traditions. His awards and acknowledgements are numerous and he was responsible for starting the Buffalo Project on Prairie Island. He enjoyed working out at the YMCA, spending time with his grandchildren, traveling the world and he always made sure to enjoy his favorite meal – breakfast.
Art is survived by his wife, Carrie; children, Todd Reichelt of Germany, Jessica Owen, Michelle Wayne, Kachine Camp, Craig (Noy) Camp, Mashugashon Camp, Ujon Camp, Leah (Redwing Thomas) Owen, Austin Owen, Wynona Owen and Jack Seiji Rios Shibata; many grandchildren and the many children, grandchildren and godchildren that he has helped raise and care for; sibling, Brenda Owen Milano, Linda Owen, Ray Owen, Michael (Claudia) Owen, Clifford (Debbie) Owen and Duane “Duffy” (Timya) Owen; as well as many nieces and nephews, other family and many friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Amos and Ione; and infant brother, Hepi.

Funeral service will be 11 a.m. on Wednesday, October 31, 2018 at the Prairie Island Community Center. Visitation will be from 5 p.m. Sunday, October 28, 2018 until the time of the service at the Community Center. Burial at the Prairie Island Community Cemetery. Arrangements handled by Mahn Family Funeral Home, Bodelson-Mahn Chapel.

Margaret LeClaire Nordin passed away Oct 25, 2018. Rest in peace my precious auntie🧚‍♀️.

Margaret LeClaire Nordin my precious Auntie passed away last night Oct 25, she was 98. She is my mother Selisha LeClaire’s younger sister. Auntie Margaret was the last of her siblings. The picture below is her and her siblings. Now they are all together again forever. Grandma Lilly Felix LeClaire and Albert LeClaire are happy to have all their children together again. Rest in peace my dear auntie I love you. Say Hi to my Mother and all my family. My condolences to all of Auntie Margaret’s family.

She is the woman on the right 🧚‍♀️


Image may contain: 5 people, people smiling


People have been asking me where this picture came from. It was an article the Circle Native Newspaper did on us. When we came back home to Mendota our ancestral home. Our families have been here for hundred of years. The article was called New Growth from Old Roots done in February 2000.

Dick Bancroft died July 16th, 2018

Dick Bancroft died early yesterday morning 7/16/2018. He was a great man, he and his art will be dearly missed.

He was in hospice.  Memorial to be announced.  A huge loss to our world and movements.  He did such incredible brave work and was so fun.  We’ll miss him.

Love Sharon

Dick Bancroft. Photographer

Photo by Annette Lopez

Rest in peace my dear uncle Russell F. LaClaire died November 29, 2017.

Russell F. LaClaire

LaClaire, Russell F. Age 95 of Mendota passed away November 29, 2017. WWII Veteran. Preceded in death by wife Pauline; parents Albert and Lillian; siblings Albert, Raymond and Selisha. Survived by sister Margaret; children Bruce (Carol), Curt (Sandy), Vicki (Peter) Eckman, Doug (Linda), Susan Foty, Renee Foss, Dennis (Karyn); 25 grandchildren; 47 great grandchildren. Visitation 4:00-7:00 PM on Friday, December 8 at Washburn-McReavy Northeast Chapel, 2901 Johnson St. N.E. Memorial service 11:00 AM Saturday, December 9 at Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, 100 Silver Lake Road N.W., New Brighton. Interment Fort Snelling National Cemetery. Washburn-McReavy.com Northeast Chapel 612-781-6828

Windy Downwind passed into the spirit world 11/28/17.

Windy Downwind pass into the spirit world 11/28/17. Check out face book for more information. When I get it I will put it on our website.

I will see Windy forever at our Mendota powwows he will always be there with us, always smiling and visiting with everyone. When he saw me at the pow wow he would come up to me and give me big hug, we both would say I love you. I will miss those big hugs. NO one can take his place, except his son. He came to the pow wow when he was not feeling good. He was our arena director for more then 18 years. Love you brother. You touch the hearts of so many people. Rest in peace my friend. Until the creator comes and get me to go home. See you then I know you will greet me with a big hug & smile. Yesterday I was in a daze all day. To all of Windy’s family I’m sorry for your loss of this great warrior man. Love Sharon


We are all saddened by the passing of Frances (“Frannie”) Fairbanks on October 30, 2017 at the age of 88.

Frances (“Frannie”) Fairbanks

We are all saddened by the passing of Frances (“Frannie”) Fairbanks on October 30, 2017 at the age of 88.  “Frannie” started work at the Minneapolis American Indian Center (MAIC) in 1975 as an employment counselor in the job training program, not long after the Center’s doors first opened. She was soon directing that program.  She became Executive Director in 1982, and led MAIC for nearly thirty years until she retired in 2012.  Under Frannie’s leadership, MAIC survived tough economic times in the 1980’s when many other urban Indian Centers across the country were forced to shutter their doors.  During Frannie’s time with the Minneapolis American Indian Center, she touched tens of thousands of Native people’s lives, by providing guidance, support, services, and by insisting on just treatment for her community.  When Frannie finally retired in 2012, the Minneapolis American Indian Center was firmly established as a legacy institution to serve the urban Indian community, and preserve and share our traditions with future generations.


Frances Fairbanks was one of the group of urban Natives who founded the American Indian Movement in the 1970’s, and she often talked about the terrible mistreatment of her people at the hands of police, government agencies, and the mainstream community that she had seen in her years.  In her role at the Center, she reached out to help Natives living in neighboring communities.  One of Frannie’s other legacies was the hundreds of young Native people she mentored and supported across her career. Nearly all of today’s leaders in the Minneapolis Native American community have a “Frannie story”, of how she inspired them with advice given in the old ways, through stories, by calmly and fairly arbitrating disputes in the community, sometimes by rebuking us in a friendly but firm way, and always by sharing a good laugh or shedding tears with us for our losses.


Frannie was a proud member of the Red Lake Nation.  She is survived by her children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, and great – great grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and siblings, as well as many children that she fostered over the years, as well as the hundreds of others who felt as though Frannie was also their auntie, or mother.


An all-night wake service will begin at 5:00pm at the Minneapolis American Indian Center on Wednesday, November 8th, 2017.  A service will be held at 7:00pm that evening; the service will be officiated by both, Mitch Walking Elk and Rev. Marlene Helgemo.  Funeral services will be held at 10:00am on Thursday, November 9th, 2017, at the Minneapolis American Indian Center, located at 1530 E Franklin Avenue, Minneapolis, Minnesota.  Interment will be at the Gethsemane Cemetery, located in New Hope, Minnesota.




Mary LaGarde – Agnew

Executive Director

Minneapolis American Indian Center

(612) 879-1750



Obituary: Longtime American Indian activist Dennis Banks

Obituary: Longtime American Indian activist Dennis Banks

By Mila Koumpilova and Paul Walsh Star Tribune staff writers

October 30, 2017


Dennis Banks


Dennis Banks, one of the country’s most influential American Indian activists, was a key figure in the 1970s standoff with federal agents at Wounded Knee. The American Indian Movement he helped found drew attention with a string of high-profile occupations.

But some who worked closely with Banks saw him more as a thoughtful intellectual than a strident fighter. Away from the media spotlight, he worked to preserve American Indian culture, promote wellness on Indian reservations and export traditional products such as wild rice to markets as far-flung as Japan.

Banks died Sunday at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester from complications following open-heart surgery, his family said. He was 80.

“Someone who has such courage as Dennis Banks was everything to us,” said Winona LaDuke, the prominent American Indian advocate who considers Banks a major inspiration. “He was a leader in our community, not just to talk but to be there for the community.”

In a moving post on Banks’ Facebook page signed by his children and grandchildren, his family said Banks “started his journey to the spirit world” just after 10 p.m. Sunday. His children sang traditional songs and prayed over him as he took his last breaths. He had developed pneumonia after surgery 10 days earlier.

“We felt like he was improving, but the pneumonia came on real fast,” Tashina Banks, one of Banks’ 20 children, said as she traveled Monday afternoon in a family caravan with her father’s body from Rochester to a funeral home in Buffalo.

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Dennis Banks

The family said Banks will be buried Saturday in his home community of Leech Lake in northern Minnesota.

Banks, or “Nowa Cumig” in his native language, was born April 12, 1937, on the Leech Lake Indian Reservation. At age 5, he was placed at a boarding school in southwestern Minnesota. At 17, he joined the military and served in Japan.

In 1968, Banks was among the founders of the American Indian Movement in Minneapolis, which started out as a protest against police treatment of American Indians in south Minneapolis and spread nationwide. Under Banks’ leadership, marches and takeovers became AIM’s signature tactics.

Banks participated in the 1969 occupation of Alcatraz, the San Francisco Bay Area island that had housed a federal prison. In November 1972, he led AIM in a takeover of the federal Bureau of Indian Affairs building in the nation’s capital, a protest dubbed “The Trail of Broken Treaties.”

Laura Waterman Wittstock, then a reporter for the American Indian Press Association in Washington, D.C., said AIM’s grass roots organizing riveted the Washington press corps. In Banks, the movement had a thoughtful spokesman.

“I was impressed with his intelligence and his ability to articulate clearly what he was doing,” she said.

Banks and other AIM members made their biggest mark in 1973, when federal agents clashed with hundreds of protesters occupying Wounded Knee in southwestern South Dakota, the site of an 1890 massacre of Indians by federal troops.

Protesters and federal authorities were locked in a standoff for 71 days. Two tribal members were killed and a federal agent seriously wounded. Banks and fellow AIM activist Russell Means were charged in 1974 for their roles in the uprising.

After a trial in federal court in St. Paul that lasted several months, a judge threw out the charges on grounds of government misconduct.

Bill Means, Russell Means’ brother, said the two activists helped craft their defense with their lawyers. They used the courtroom and regular news conferences to launch an indictment of the federal authorities’ tactics.

“What we did in the 1960s and early 1970s was raise the consciousness of white America that this government has a responsibility to Indian people,” Banks once said.

Banks’ refusal to shun confrontation made him a divisive figure both in the mainstream and among some reservation officials, recalled Jim Parsons, a retired Star Tribune reporter who covered Banks ­extensively.

“He was being a militant, disturbing the status quo,” Parsons said. “AIM was controversial even on the reservation because they were challenging the power of the local tribal chiefs.”

Banks spent 18 months in prison in the 1980s after being convicted of rioting and assault for a protest in Custer, S.D., earlier in 1973. He avoided prosecution for several years because California Gov. Jerry Brown refused to extradite him, and the Onondaga Nation in New York gave him sanctuary.

LaDuke said following media coverage of the Wounded Knee trial was a formative experience; as an 18-year-old Harvard University student five years later, she joined AIM and worked for the organization. Banks eventually became a close friend. She said she will remember his humor and kindness, and a joyful dance they shared at a traditional ceremony in northern Wisconsin several years ago.

“He was probably badass, as they say, but I didn’t really see that side of him,” she said.

Fighter, thinker: Some saw Banks as strident; others lauded his intelligence and thoughtfulness.

Although Banks kept a lower profile in recent years, friends say he remained active in advocacy until his death. In 2010, Banks joined other Ojibwe from the Leech Lake and White Earth bands who tested their 1855 treaty rights by setting out nets illegally on Lake Bemidji a day before Minnesota’s fishing season opener.

LaDuke said Banks, who launched a successful wild rice and maple syrup business, pitched in to oppose the genetic engineering of wild rice. To nurture pride in native traditions, he started canoe races on the Mississippi, securing a trip to Japan as a prize. LaDuke ran into him at the Dakota Access pipeline protests in western North Dakota last year.

He also organized caravans that stopped at Indian reservations across the country to raise awareness about various issues, most recently the unsolved murders and assaults of native women.

“Dennis was one of the greatest defenders of Indian rights and human rights of this generation” said Means.

Services in various locations around the state begin Wednesday, with a wake at noon at the American Indian Center, 1530 E. Franklin Av., in Minneapolis. Another wake will be held Thursday and Friday at Banks’ home near Federal Dam.

A traditional burial will be Saturday at Bug-O-Nay-Ge-Shig Cemetery at Battle Point on the Leech Lake Reservation. The time for that rite is also pending.mila.koumpilova@startribune.com 612-673-4781 MilaKoumpilova

pwalsh@startribune.com 612-673-4482 walshpj


Leventhal, Larry a prominent Twin Cities civil rights attorney, died Jan. 17, 2017,

Larry Leventhal

Leventhal, Larry a prominent Twin Cities civil rights attorney, died Jan. 17, 2017, after a heroic battle with pancreatic cancer. Larry was born 4/28/41 in Mpls to Sally and Robert “Ruby” Leventhal. He is predeceased by his parents and his beloved daughter, DeGalynn Wade Sanders, who died in 2016. Larry is survived by son-in-law, Lance Sanders; beloved grandsons, Landen & Logan Sanders; sister and brother-in-law, Paula and Bob Maisel; nieces, Lisa (Paul) Gendler, Julie Maisel, and Debbie (Dan) Levin; grandnieces and grandnephews, Joely, Parker, Elliott, and Sara; and a host of wonderfully supportive cousins. Also mourning Larry’s loss is his longtime devoted and loving significant other, Vicki Schraber. Larry’s distinguished legal career spanned 50 years during which he was known for his legal talents, ethical standards, tenacity, and his compassion for others. He fought hard for his clients until recent months when he fought valiantly for his own life. He was one of the country’s experts on Indian treaty law which he used in support of the defendants of Wounded Knee, the restoration of tribal sovereignty for the Delaware Indians and the many other struggles of the American Indian Movement (AIM). Larry led a full life beyond his professional career. He was an avid reader and Vice Sheik of the local Laurel and Hardy Club. He was a collector of memorabilia and art relating to Laurel and Hardy, other noteworthy entertainers and to Walt Disney. Larry co-owned and ran a 100 acre campground where he spent summer weekends tending to his garden and hosting family and his many friends. The family wishes to thank the staffs of HCMC and Sholom Home West for their skilled and loving care during Larry’s last journey. Funeral service FRIDAY, JANUARY 20, 11:00AM, TEMPLE ISRAEL, 2323 Fremont Ave. S., Mpls. Memorials are appreciated and can be sent to Mpls Jewish Family & Children’s Service (Leventhal Fund), and to the American Indian Movement National Office at 1113 E. Franklin Ave., Ste 103, Mpls 55404. SHIVA (gathering of family and friends): Saturday & Sunday, 7:00PM at Temple Israel. Hodroff-Epstein 612-871-1234 hodroffepstein.com

Published on January 18, 2017

Beverly Mae Scott passed into the Spirit World Oct 5th, 2016. Memorial for her Nov 19th at the DuPuis House 1-5 POTLUCK

Beverly May Scott passed into the Spirit World Oct 5th, 2016. Memorial to be at the DuPuis House in Mendota November 19, 2019.

Beverly’s Memorial will be November 19th at the DuPuis House 1357 Sibley Memorial Hwy, Mendota, MN 55120 from 1-5 potluck! Inipi after for those of you who want to go in to the Inipi.

Beverly May Scott passed into the Spirit World Oct 5th, 2016. From her daughter Victoria Scott.

With a heavy and sad heart, I have to let you all know that my phenomenal momma went on her journey. We had a splendid day yesterday. Her sense of humor was still intact. She still enjoyed DWTS and the sexy professional male dancers last night. She wanted alfredo, Linda got that for her. She loved Stouffers mac & cheese too and she had that for dinner. She even took one tiny bite of my salad with dressing. Last night I tucked her blankets up around her face, so the new fluffy soft blanket i bought for her welcome home, would comfort her. My mom went with no pain, gracious as could be, gentle and peaceful. I miss her already. I can’t stop crying and I am weak with heartache. I have to believe she is at peace now.

She said, just before she passed last night, momma, momma, I’ll see your smiling face in the morning.”
I know she is with her momma and other relatives very soon. She will dance, teach and spread her wisdom as a proud Native warrior that she was. See you soon .”Good Sounding Bird.”

From her sister Sharon Lennartson

My older sister Beverly Scott, what an amazing woman. Beverly was 10 years older than me, she passed into the spirit world Oct 5, 2016. Beverly will be dearly missed by me, Victoria, Linda and many others. I really wanted to be with her when she passed, or at least see her one last time, but that’s not what the creator had in mind, I missed her passing by two days. Beverly took care of Linda and I, she basically raises us. Later on I had to take Linda everywhere I went LOL. Beverly took me for a bike ride and mother told her not to give me a ride as I may get hurt, but I kept crying until she gave in and gave me a ride, I did get hurt I put my feet in the spoke of the bike and over we both went, my big toe almost ripped off, the next thing I know we are off to general hospital, mother was so mad. Our mother made her take me everywhere she went. She was like my mother and sister in one. I always got my way with Beverly growing up We use to go on the rides at excelsior amusement park, and we would go on the roller coaster over and over again all day long and we never got sick. I always looked up to her. Until she got married and went to New York I was sad when she left who would take care of me like she did. She would say to me why did the creator give me this rare muscle disease what did I do in life. I would say I don’t know; you did not do anything wrong. Bev was always there when I had my 12 different surgeries. Now I’ve lost my two older sisters and my two orders brothers, Morris Brown and Bob Brown. Now there is only Linda and I left. Our mother came to get Beverly to bring her home. I know she is talking about her book and all the family is listening as most of them are in her book. I just wish her book would have been published before she passed but that was not to be. Maybe someone out there can still help get her book get published?  I remember when Bev and I found our native way of life. We both got regalia, and we danced until we could not anymore. Mike her son made our regalia for both of us. I can still see Bev dancing in her regalia so beautiful and elegant, and I always will see her dancing and being so proud to be a Dakota woman. I will see her at our pow wow every year, because I know she will be there. As I always say I’m so proud to be a Dakota woman too. Who would think I would lose my two older sisters in a short time from each other, this is just too hard so very hard. I could go on and on and on about Beverly but I won’t now. Good bye Beverly I know your spirit is still here for 4 days I know you can hear me when I say I will miss you and love you your little sister Sharon. Please say hi to mother, grandma Lilly, I always wanted to know Lilly but she passed before I was born, grandfather, Bob, Morrie, Al, dad, even Little Crow just say hi to everyone tell them I love them all. Until we meet again, maybe someday you will come with mother to come get me when the creator comes for me.

Love Sharon your little sister!!

Smith, John A., Sr. “Johnny” age 75, of Minneapolis Journeyed to the Spirit World on Thursday, November 3rd, 2016

Rest in peace

John A. Smith, Sr.

Smith, John A., Sr. “Johnny” age 75, of Minneapolis Journeyed to the Spirit World on Thursday, November 3rd, 2016 at Abbott-Northwestern Hospital. All night wake TODAY beginning at 5 P.M. American Indian Center, 1530 E. Franklin Ave., in Minneapolis. Further All night wake Monday beginning at 5 P.M. Humanity Center in Red Lake. Funeral service Tuesday 11:00 A.M. Humanity Center in Red Lake. Serving the family Chilson Funeral Home Winsted 320-485-4447 chilsonfuneralhome.com

Thank you all for your kindness, love and support over these last few days for Margery’s family. I am following up to let you of the arrangements we have made to celebrate my mom’s life.

Dear friends of ,


Thank you all for your kindness, love and support over these last few days for Margery’s family. I am following up to let you of the arrangements we have made to celebrate my mom’s life.



4-7pm, Tuesday, Sept 20th

Washburn-McReavy Funeral Home

5000 W 50th St & Highway 100

Edina, MN 55436


9-10am, Wednesday, Sept 21st




10am, Wednesday, Sept 21st

Also at Washburn-McReavy


I hope you are able to join us and appreciate your helping to share this invitation with others across Margery’s many networks of friends and support.
We will be posting these details in the paper as well. In lieu of flowers donations may be made to All Nations Indian Church, 1515 E 23rd St, Minneapolis, MN 55404.


Following the service we will have a private burial at Lakewoods Cemetery in Minneapolis.


Peace and gratitude,



Cell: 312-479-1790