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Buffy Sainte-MarieBuffy Sainte-Marie, (born February 20, 1941) is a Canadian-American Cree singer-songwriter, musician, composer, visual artist, educator, pacifist, and social activist. Throughout her career in all of these areas, her work has focused on issues of Indigenous peoples of the Americas. Her singing and writing repertoire also includes subjects of love, war, religion, and mysticism.
Suzan Shown HarjoSuzan Shown Harjo is a poet, lecturer and devoted advocate for the rights of Native Americans. In 2014, she was the recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Harjo is president of the Morning Star Institute, a DC-based nonprofit lobbying for the return of tribal lands and sovereignty.
Through her work in government and as the head of the National Congress of American Indians and the Morningstar Institute, she has helped preserve a million acres of Indian land; helped develop laws preserving tribal sovereignty; she’s repatriated sacred cultural items to tribes while expanding museums that celebrate Native life… Because of Suzan, more young Native Americans are growing up with pride in their heritage and with faith in their future. And she’s taught all of us that
"Native Values Make Americans Stronger.”
Karen Diver

In early February, 2007, UMD alumna Karen Diver was elected chair of the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa. In her new position, this 1987 economics graduate now heads a tribal government that employs between 1,600 - 1,800 people and has assets totaling over $300 million. She also serves on the governing body of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe, made up of the White Earth, Mille Lacs, Fond du Lac, Bois Forte, Leech Lake, and Grand Portage bands.
Diver, Fond du Lac’s first woman chair, is prepared for the job. Most recently she served as the director of special projects for the Fond du Lac Reservation and before that, she was the executive director of the YWCA in Duluth. The list of the positions she has held and the boards she has served on is impressive and includes: Arrowhead Welfare Reform Partnership, Minnesota Council of Nonprofits, American Indian Community Housing Organization, Duluth Community Action Program, Governor's Workforce Development Council, and the Blandin Foundation.

One significant opportunity, and possibly the event that prepared Diver most for her new position, was her participation as a Bush Foundation Leadership Fellow at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. There she received the Master in Public Administration degree in 2003. As a student in the Harvard American Indian Economic Development Project, she studied best practices in governance and economic development in Indian Country.

Dr. Jody E. Noe

Dr. Noé practices traditional Cherokee medicine as taught by her Cherokee elders. This is a practice that encompasses mind, body, and spirit. She was accepted as an official apprentice in 1987 by Crosslin F. Smith, high medicine priest of the Keetoowah, cherokees of the western band of Cherokees in Tahlequah, OK. She was adopted into the Smith family shortly after starting her apprenticeship. This is a unique honor reserved for few.

Prior to this she was taught by the elders of the eastern Cherokees, Mary U. Chiltoskey, "Mama" Geneva Jackson, and Amy Walker. Dr. Noé continues to study with her elders and practices traditional Cherokee ways with patients when appropriate.

The traditional Cherokee medicine way uses plants, earth, air, water, and fire (heat) along with rituals and prayers to invoke Spirit and Healing. The Keetoowah are traditionalists and practice ancient rituals such as the sacred "Stomp Dance" to this day. In Cherokee medicine many aspects of healing are addressed with the focus on the Spirit of each modality affecting the Spirit of the patient to conjoin with the Great Spirit of the universe.

Each modality is looked upon as an independent people, for example the traditional Cherokee name acknowledges 'plant people', 'rock people', etc. The Cherokee Way honors not only the medicine that is used to affect the physical being of people, but the Spirit that is in each and every living thing, that effects us all concurrently.

Professor Jace DeCory

Jace DeCory, a BHSU faculty member since 1984, is a Lakota from the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe and a professor emeritus of history and American Indian studies. She retired last week after 33 years of teaching.

Under BHSU’s proposal, the university would change the name of its Center for American Indian Studies in Jonas Hall to the Jace DeCory Center for American Indian Studies.

“Her research is in the areas of American Indian women, elders, art and traditional healing,” according to a document provided to the board this week. “She is one of BHSU’s most highly respected faculty members, both by her peers and students, and as such, received the distinguished faculty award in 2014.”

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