Native American Commission

Boards, Commissions & Committees

Native American Commission - April 5, 2018 Minutes

Regular Meeting: Thursday, April 5, 2018

A regular meeting of the Board of Native American Commissioners of the City of Fargo, North Dakota, April 5, 2018.

The Native American Commissioners present or absent were as follows:

Present: Rebecca Knutson, John Strand, Ruth Buffalo, Sharon White Bear, Lenore King, Guy Fox, Maylynn Warne

Absent: Clinton Alexander

Also Present: Vince Kempf (Fargo Police Department)

Item 1. Welcome and Introductions
Chair White Bear welcomed Members to the meeting and introductions were made.

Item 2. Approval of Agenda and Minutes
Mr. Fox moved to approve the agenda and minutes from March 1, 2018. Ms. King seconded. All members affirmed aye and the motion passed.

Ms. King moved to approve the minutes from March 18, 2018. Ms. Warne seconded. All members affirmed aye and the motion passed.

Item 3. Cradle Me: Ishika Gupta
Ishika Gupta is a Junior at Davies High School who developed a program to help improve the infant mortality rate called Cradle Me. Cradle Me offers bassinets to low income and underrepresented communities. People can contact Cradle Me at or email at

Item 4. Women Veterans Program: Margaret Leas
Margaret Leas, Women’s Veterans Program Manager, stated that the Women Veteran’s Program serves all women veterans in North Dakota. She stated there are several outreach centers throughout North Dakota.

Item 5. Native American Month Festival: Cassie Wiste & Lori West
Cassie Wiste, Cultural Diversity Resources and Lori West, Fargo Public Library presented on the Native American Month. Ms. Wiste invited a representative from the Native American Commission to join the group. Ms. West presented information from last year’s event.

Ms. White Bear asked Native American Commission members to consider volunteering to be a liaison to the planning group. Mr. Fox volunteered.

Item 6. Public Comment
Reba Mathern Jacobsen, American Lung Association, stated they are hosting a focus group for people who use commercial tobacco. American Indians who smoke or who have quit in the last year and live in North Dakota can participate and will receive a $40 gift card.

Kelly Novac talked about The People’s Institute for Community and Beyond and the trainings they offer. Ms. Novac asked for ideas for bringing the group up for a community workshop and/or go with her to a regional training. Ms. Whitebear asked for a volunteer to work with Ms. Novac to coordinate.

Sandy Berlin, Circle of Life Homecare, presented on culturally sensitive services provided.

Scott Mathern Jacobsen stated that the Presentation Prayer Center supports the sweat lodge and would be an ally in way they can.

Item 7. City of Fargo Diversity Training Update: Audra Stonefish and Michael Mitchell
Audra Stonefish and Michael Mitchell, City of Fargo, updated the Commission about the upcoming cultural diversity training being offered to City of Fargo employees. Ms. Whitebear asked Commission members to get in touch with Ms. Stonefish if there are things they would like added.

Item 8. Budget Review
Kara Gloe, Community Development Assistant Planner, stated that the updated and approved budget is in the packet for Commission members to review.

Item 9. Sweat Lodge Update
Mr. Fox gave an update on events that have been held at the Sweat Lodge, policies and procedures the Sweat Lodge Committee is working to develop, and plans for upgrading.

Ms. Whitebear asked Mr. Fox and Mr. Strand to set up a community meeting with Mr. Kempf to discuss unresolved issues surrounding the sweat lodge.

Item 10. Old Business
Ms. Whitebear asked for an update regarding the incident that happened within the school. No members had been in contact with the family.

Item 11. New Business
Mr. Strand pointed out that we have at least one opening and suggested the Commission members be thinking about that.

Item 12. Committee Updates
Laura Youngbird and Jennifer Thorson gave an update from the MMIW group and Sing Our Rivers Red event.

Ms. Buffalo stated the Native American Commission had a table at the Building Bridges conference.

Item 13. Adjourn