Perpich News

Connect and Respond to the Arts of Dakota and Ojibwe People in Mankato

October 27, 2021

As part of the Professional Development on Location Series, the Perpich Center’s Professional Development and Resource (PDR) team led three tracks of professional learning opportunities in Mankato on October 26, 2021. The day centered around the theme of Connect and Respond to the Arts of the Dakota and Ojibwe People. The three tracks concentrated on Music with Dr. Wendy Barden, Dance/Theater with Mary Harding and Dr. Stephanie Lein Walseth, and Visual/Media Arts with Jeremy Holien. Over 50 participants earned continuing education units (CEU) and spent the day collaborating with other educators and connecting to the material.

The workshops were organized into three parts:

  • Part 1: Visit to Reconciliation Park with a guest presenter, Todd Papabear Finney, singer/songwriter. This park, near the site of the 1862 hanging of 38 Dakota men, is dedicated to promoting healing between Dakota and non-Dakota peoples.
  • Part 2:
    • Music: Experience K-12 lessons and resources available from Perpich Center for teaching music of Dakota and Ojibwe People.
    • Dance/Theater & Visual/Media Arts: Document the history of the site, alongside exploration and documentation of the public artwork in and near Reconciliation Park to include the exterior of the library and the Ardent Mills silos by Guido van Helten.
  • Part 3:
    • Music: Watch party! View Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked the World
    • Dance/Theater: Return to the South Central Service Cooperative site to explore MN Arts Standard #10 (“Understand that artistic works influence and are influenced by personal, societal, cultural, and historical contexts, including the contributions of Minnesota American Indian tribes and communities.”) Spend time with Mary and Stephanie, learning about K-12 lessons and resources available from Perpich Center, and begin planning a lesson or unit you can use with your students, incorporating the tools of theater and dance.
    • Visual/Media Arts: Experience K-12 lessons and resources available from Perpich Center for teaching visual/media arts of Dakota and Ojibwe People, and have time sketching a lesson or unit you can prepare for use with your students.

Participants shared these thoughts about the experience:

“My heart and mind are overwhelmed with feelings and ideas and I’m anxious to bring it all into my teaching. Honestly one of the best PD days I’ve ever been a part of!” – Tiffany Erie (Rochester Public Schools)

“I look forward to sharing truth with my students who need to know the history of MN and also be introduced to contemporary indigenous voices through the arts. I’m forever a fan of the Perpich Center! Nothing (truly!!) beats training for teachers of the arts than the training we receive through Perpich. It’s always a beautiful experience. Always.” – Brook Santjer (Kasson Mantorville Public Schools)