UND Center for Community Engagement

Archive for March, 2011|Monthly archive page

Nathan-Day 5

In Students' Reflections on March 18, 2011 at 6:33 pm

Cankdeska Cikana Community College is a tribal college located in Fort Totten, North Dakota, which is in the Spirit Lake Reservation. Fort Totten is a unique community because it first served as a military outpost and then a boarding school for American Indian children.

Today we got to visit Cankdeska Cikana and received a tour of the college. We got to see the services that the college offers to not only its students but to its entire community as a whole. The college offers a daycare, you can check out different types of books from the library, and offers mentoring to members of the community as well as their students. It helps bring jobs, education, service learning projects, and other educational opportunities to the tribal communities.

While each of the communities were unique in their own way, I feel that Fort Totten was the most unique for our stops as it was a tribal community while the other communities (Hazen, Hettinger, Tioga & Rugby). The Stone Soup Bus Tour gave us the chance to see this outside of the classroom and with a “hands on” approach as well as showing us the benefits of rural communities. This made the tour a great experience for everyone involved, especially those of us who are graduating and trying to find our place in the world.


Larrie-Day 5

In Students' Reflections on March 18, 2011 at 6:19 pm

Like the fable of “Stone Soup,” seven traveling students started out five days ago with a kettle to make a nutritional “stew” of stories collected from seven rural communities.

Today on the return to UND, we had breakfast meeting in Rugby, concluding from yesterday a discussion on media and its message in building a community. More stories were collected from citizens and leaders that helped quench our appetite for learning.

A peek at the Pioneer Village Museum seemed like a natural place for a storytelling festival during the town’s 125th year celebration this summer.

On to Spirit Lake for a visit at the new facilities at Cankdeska Cikana Community College and an exchange with peer-learners and teachers. American Indians are the consummate carriers of oral history passed down through generations as stories with metaphoric meaning. The culture and heritage here is both a large lesson to be learned and the “spice” to learn more from the stories of our Native citizens.

I hope there are second helpings of a Stone’s Soup tour.

Laura-Day 5

In Students' Reflections on March 18, 2011 at 6:17 pm

Today is the last day of our trip. We are on our way back to Grand Forks after spending the week traveling around North Dakota and visiting various communities. Last night we stayed in Rugby, North Dakota, where we visited with residents working for the local radio station, the county newspaper, and the community Job Development Authority. It was interesting to hear about communication and development for the community of Rugby.

We left Rugby this morning and drove to Fort Totten on the Spirit Lake Reservation to visit Cankdeska Cikana Community College. A few of the CCCC students, including the Student Government President and two Nursing students, gave us a tour of the college. We were very impressed with how much the college has to offer. They have a really nice daycare center, which has been very helpful in allowing students with young children to attend college. Cankdeska Cikana Community College is probably one of the greatest assets of Fort Totten. The college benefits the community in many ways, including the way it works to preserve the Native American history and culture.

Overall, this trip has been a great experience. Even though I am from a small town in North Dakota, it was still interesting to visit these rural communities. They reminded me in so many ways of my own community back home. I learned a lot about how to consider what the assets of rural communities are, and how these assets can be used to benefit and promote these communities.

Kelly-Day 5

In Students' Reflections on March 18, 2011 at 6:15 pm

Being on the last miles of my trip I can now count 5 people I didn’t know as my friends, they learned more about me then they probably ever wanted to but we have all made a real connection. They have helped in my learning experience on the trip and I feel like we all really enjoyed each other’s company. Annie, Grace and I have been roommates and close friends all through college, and this trip had brought out a side of them I don’t get to see every day, I feel so blessed they are my closest friends and experiences like these help us grow in our friendship and makes me realize they are fabulous talented people as well as friends.

Larrie was such a wonderful asset to our group on this trip. He traveled as one of the students and challenged us to think about things, he is a wise educated well-traveled man who casually shared his wealth of knowledge with us. He kept up with us young students, and if I have half that much energy and drive to still want to be learning at that age I would be happy.

I have a new appreciation for road tripping, rural communities, the elderly, museums, and the state of North Dakota. I think there is no better way to get to know a group of people then being stuck with them in a black van with them for a week. We all got to know each other so well, and everyone seemed to love to laugh making for a fun ride. More importantly I think we all saw each other grow and learn on this trip, we told funny stories about living our college lives, but we also shared how the people we met along the way touched us.

The song that came on my IPod while writing this has the chorus of “I wish I knew what I know now”; this makes me know I made the right choice by going on this trip. I have learned so much about people and storytelling. It makes me want to live a life I would be proud to tell to college students when I am in my old years. This is probably the most beneficial class I have taken in college, usually I am the average student who does as little as possible to get by. This class made me hungry for knowledge from others and made me realize I want to be learning!

Grace-Day 5

In Students' Reflections on March 18, 2011 at 6:10 pm

It’s Friday! I am thoroughly exhausted after such a long and exciting week. We ended our trip at Cankdeska Cikana Community College. Here we met up with their student government and were able to tour the college and be served a fabulous lunch. The tour gave us the opportunity to view the environment of their school and what types of courses are offered.

One area, which, I was really impressed by, was their child care facility. Cankdeska Cikana Community College has an Early Childhood Education program with a preschool and daycare area located within the building. The child care classrooms had all been re-modeled and decorated in a modern fashion. Everything was clean and organized for the children; it would definitely be an environment I would be happy to work at.

Today was a bit shorter, but I was still able to see the connections the college made towards the community. Cankdeska had many classes focused on Native American culture, to keep the beliefs and practices alive within their town. By offering classes, which centralize around the people who attend the school, creates an environment where students feel wanted and promotes their initiative to learn.

I have learned more than I could have imagined on this trip. From the first day when I was apprehensive about going, to today, I have really had so much fun. If this trip is offered again next year, I encourage students to go. Of course, it does not sound too appealing at first, but once you are able to meet the people from these small towns and feel their warmth and appreciation for visiting, it becomes totally worthwhile.

Annie-Day 5

In Students' Reflections on March 18, 2011 at 6:09 pm

We are down to the last day of our adventure around North Dakota! The last destination on our fold out map was the Cankdeska Cikana Community College in Fort Totten. Where the people in the community are both tribal and American citizens, making them accustomed to different assets in their community. However, the difference is that their belief system is based on spirituality rather than science. Their culture believes in the concept of oral civilization, meaning that their beliefs are rooted down from their ancestors and the stories that are told to them.

The director of the community college expressed that their higher education system not only focuses on the students but their families as well because their culture puts family before anything else. Providing adequate daycare facilities, required courses on their language and culture, transportation, and nutrition supports students to succeed in the mainstream world. The people of Fort Totten rely on each other through respect and work together to help one another reach their full potential.

The road from Grand Forks to the west region of North Dakota was a trip worth taking. I do believe I have acquired a new motivation for life from meeting all these different people in North Dakota. It has made me want to explore my strengths to the fullest extent and use them to my advantage towards learning more and doing more. It is a humbling feeling that I now have seven people that I can call good friends because of this experience that we’ve all shared together. I know I will take home what I’ve learned to motivate myself to do better things and my admiration of community service has grown immensely. Thanks for reading along, this is Annie signing off!

Scott’s Tremendous Trip-Day 5

In Students' Reflections on March 18, 2011 at 4:37 pm

Last night the Stone Soup Bus Tour met up with Brenda, Terry, and Bruce in Rugby, ND. We almost recorded our entire meal with them on two of our handy, tiny digital recorders. The Rugby trio had a little different perspective on rural assets and they weren’t natives of Rugby. Most of the people we interviewed prior to Rugby were natives of their small communities. Rugby’s prison, wind turbines, newspaper, and radio station were listed as some of the main assets that help provide jobs and keep townsfolk informed about important issues.

A hot shower helped wake us up at 6:40 this morning before we headed for the Cankdeska Cikana Community College (CCCC) in the Spirit Lake Nation, Fort Totten, ND. Three students were kind enough to give us a tour when they could have been enjoying there spring break or preparing for upcoming tests. CCCC was unbelievably impressive and it’s not even finished yet! I ran into the father of Kyle Longie, (a Native American I went to U. S. Navy boot camp with) but could only meet him briefly before jaunting back to continue filming the guided tour. CCCC has some incredibly talented artists, a spectacular daycare facility more impressive than any I’ve seen in my life, state of the art computer labs, smart boards, an awesome carpentry shop and faculty/students anyone in the world would be proud of. I hope to run into a Dakota or Lakota Native American student from UND while I’m wearing the new, outstanding Cankdeska Cikana Community College t-shirt they gave to each of us.

Final Destination

In From the Instructor on March 18, 2011 at 4:34 pm

Physically tired, but culturally engaged into rural communities. Today we started out from Rugby, N.D. with a wonderful breakfast at the Hub cafe. We headed east towards Fort Totten, N.D. to have a cultural exchange from Cankdeska Cikana Community College students.

Driving through the reservations we noticed vast differences between the Three Affiliated Tribes, and Spirit Lake Nation. Both having significant assets students were able point out. The tribal college has been expanding, Cankdeska Cikana (Little Hoop) Community College is a beautiful campus with new additions and opportunities pouring out into the community. UND students took a tour with students from the college and were able to interact with each other and asking questions about the area.

A new daycare facility, a new gymnasium that will begin sports programming when completed, and state of the art technology. Each corner had more opportunities for students, Cankdeska Cikana is putting more back into its community wanting to bring more knowledge to the tribal community.

We had a wonderful week across this beautiful state, students having opportunities to learn about rural and tribal communities. Each day brought different experiences and different community members that have made a difference in our lives. I want to send a special thank you to all of those who have been following along the UND Stone Soup Bus Tour, and also all those communities that allowed us to come into their homes and communities and treated us like family: First Lady, Betsy Dalrymple, Hettinger, N.D., Enchanted Highway/Regent, N.D., Hazen, N.D., Knife River Indian Village Museum in Stanton, N.D., Three Affiliated Tribes in New Town, N.D., Tioga, N.D., Rugby, N.D., and Cankdeska Cikana Community College.

Annie-Day 4

In Students' Reflections on March 18, 2011 at 12:14 pm

We have made it to the fourth day of our journey! Today, we got to spend time with the people from the Senior Citizen’s Center of Tioga. After sleeping in an elementary school gymnasium on wrestling mats and playing some late night basketball to let off some energy, we were ready for a good breakfast with the senior members of the community.

Marlene Knutson, the owner of the craft store in town called Crafty Hands (her son calls it crappy hands and stinky feet), explained that the simple relationships and communication of the community members in the past have changed since she was growing up. The former daily knock-on-your-door visits have been replaced with text messages and emails. Although, the community of Tioga still seems to express their love for their neighbors and their community, the absence of technology really forces them to talk to one another and engage in face-to-face conversations. We then went to the Norsemen Museum where we helped tidy it up. My new friend Ronnie made the cleaning fun because he was so upbeat, had a great sense of humor, and makes the best chili I have ever had!

After Tioga, we traveled to Rugby, ND, the geological center of North America. We got a chance to have dinner with the editor of their local newspaper editor, the radio director, and the JDA, which was great because it was as if we were having a meal with friends. They each talked about their roles in Rugby and how they all have to work together to shape their community.

I have to admit, I have created a new appreciation for North Dakota. I never realized how much land is an asset and how much I appreciate open space until I experienced the hours in the back of the van driving through the beautiful prairie land. I cannot believe how much I‘ve learned and enjoyed these past few days. What wonderful people!

Scott’s North Dakota Excersion

In Students' Reflections on March 18, 2011 at 12:13 pm

UND’s Center for Community Engagement (CCE) Stone Soup Bus tour arrived in Tioga, ND Wednesday night. After unpacking the fifteen passenger van we shot hoops to relieve our van lag in the Tioga Central school gym/sleeping quarters. Even though all of us looked and smelled wonderful it was nice to have a shower in the locker rooms that night since we’d gone without for several days. Outstanding friendly Tioga citizens provided us with an unbelievably yummy breakfast on Thursday morning. With full bellies and renewed energy; Sarah, Kelly, Annie and I went to the newly acquired Tioga Norseman Museum to help clean it since it’s weatherization project. I thoroughly enjoyed looking at the abundant plethora of extremely cool Tioga memorabilia while we swept, dusted, vacuumed and moved incredible antique objects.

While some of us were at the museum, Nathan, Laura, Grace and Dr. Larrie chilled out at the Tioga Senior Citizens Center, interviewing Tioga natives with voice and video recorders. Our museum gang joined in on the interviews after a while and I got to help Grace interview the lovely Ms. Irene (the best hair stylist in Tioga). Ms. Irene told us how her husband helped greatly improve the water for Tioga and Ray (a town nearby). At lunchtime the Jubilant Tiogans served us Ronnie’s famous chilly (which may have caused some drooling), along with tasty garlic bread, Jell-O, and chocolate chip desert bars. Later on Laura and I had the honor of interviewing a WWII Navy veteran named Robert. Robert liked knowing that I was in the Navy too and he told us that his father served in WWI.