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"Our story is one of the best American stories ... despite a painful past, we are still here."


When Rebecca Crooks-Stratton's daughter was in fourth grade, she came home with an assignment to pick a Native American tribe and research it to find out "where the people lived" and "the kinds of things they ate."

It was pretty clear the project had consigned Native people to the past, since there was no hint that indigenous people were not only very much alive and thriving in the community, but actually sitting in the classroom.

This fall, the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community launched a multi-million dollar campaign to update the Native American narrative taught in Minnesota K-12 schools. Understand Native Minnesota builds on the work of a program called Reclaiming Native Truth. Crooks-Stratton is the campaign leader and SMSC’s Secretary/Treasurer, and she introduced the narrative change initiative in November at the 35th annual Minnesota Indian Education Association (MIEA) Conference 2019.

Thanks to our AMPERS partners at Minnesota Native News for this story, and you can listen to the story again here.

Lisa Johnson started her broadcast career anchoring the television news at her high school and spinning country music at KWWK/KOLM Radio in Rochester, Minnesota. She was a reporter and news anchor at KTHI in Fargo, ND (not to mention the host of a children's program called "Lisa's Lane") and a radio reporter and anchor in Moorhead, Bismarck, Wahpeton and Fergus Falls.Since 1991, she has hosted Northland Morning on KUMD. One of the best parts of her job includes "paying it forward" by mentoring upcoming journalists and broadcasters on the student news team that helps produce Northland Morning. She also loves introducing the different people she meets in her job to one another, helping to forge new "community connections" and partnerships.Lisa has amassed a book collection weighing over two tons, and she enjoys reading, photography, volunteering with Animal Allies Humane Society and fantasizing about farmland. She goes to bed at 8pm, long before her daughter, two cats, or three dogs.
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