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American Indian presentations coming to Minnesota West

Minnesota West Community and Technical College

WORTHINGTON -- In continuation of its Culture Corner series, Minnesota West Community and Technical College and the Nobles County Integration Collaborative will host several events to celebrate traditions of the nation's first inhabitants -- American Indians.

The events will begin with a presentation on "Native American Spirituality and the Keepers of the Sacred Traditions" from 5 to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday in the Worthington campus commons and Room 501.

Pipestone residents Bud and Rona Johnston will share American Indian dances and storytelling with the public.

"Bud has an outfit that was his grandfather's from the 1800s and it's all handmade and hand-beaded; it's just gorgeous," said Le Lucht, the multi-cultural affairs coordinator for the college.

"They'll probably describe several of the handmade utensils and things that are used in some of their rituals," she continued. "For example there is a huge drum ... and an instrument made out of a snapping turtle shell, a rattler for rhythmic sounds."

The couple's son will perform a traditional hoop dance and they will also speak about traditional pipes and how they are made.

On April 29, Richard Berreth will lead several presentations on traditional canoes in the college commons. At 11 a.m. and from 5 to 7:30 p.m., he will explain the canoe-building process using traditional materials and techniques and will have his handmade Birch and Cedar canoes on display.

Minnesota West faculty and area students also will attend separate but similar presentations, but all events are open to the public and refreshments will be served. Lucht said it is hoped the events will generate interest for this summer's international festival.

"Next year they might come down and do a powwow for the school district," Lucht said. "We're hoping if we have a good response from the community we could actually do a powwow, set up tepees ... and the student groups could come in and go sit in the tepees."

According to the organization's website, The Keepers of The Sacred Tradition of Pipemakers is a nonprofit tribal spiritual organization with members all over the world and from more than 35 tribal nations. It was formed in 1996 to protect the Pipestone Quarries in Pipestone for all Tribal People.

Contact Lucht at (507) 372-3423 or, for more information.

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