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"Postcards in the Classroom" on Pioneer Public Television

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Event Phone Number: 800-726-3178

A gallery of videos and accompanying lesson plans featuring Native American and Scandinavian American artists has been posted online for classroom use by Pioneer PBS. The lesson plans are primarily directed at art educators in Minnesota with the intent to further student interest in traditional art forms. However, the videos will be available to every teacher and student across the country through the PBS LearningMedia platform. For more information and to view the videos visit:

The videos and lesson plans feature local artists such as Gene Tokheim and Jon Rosien of rural Dawson describing how to make traditional Norwegian knives, Karen Jenson of Milan describing her rosemåling technique and Talon Wilson of the Upper Sioux Community near Granite Falls talking about blending of cultures through blacksmithing. Walter “Super” LaBatte Jr. of the Upper Sioux Community talks about how his beadwork and drum making helped him heal. Other videos feature Hope TwoHearts, Mat Pendleton and Georgina Drapeau of the Lower Sioux Indian Community demonstrating traditional quill work and Joyce Pendleton showing how traditional Native pottery is made. Finally, Norma Refsal of Decorah, Iowa describes the steps to making Sámi-inspired bracelets and Roger Abrahamson of Minneapolis demonstrates the tools and processes involved in turning traditional Scandinavian bowls.

The lesson plans accompanying the videos were developed in consultation with Karen Odden, former art teacher with the ROCORI school district; Nathan and Jodee Lund of the Minnewaska Area School District; and with Iyekiyapiwin Darlene St. Clair, a Native American educator who is affiliated with St. Cloud State University. St. Clair recently led a team of Dakota scholars in the development of the Mni Sota Makoce Curriculum which is designed to help Minnesota learners understand the significant Dakota relationship to Mni Sóta Maḳoce (the Dakota word for Minnesota) and explore how certain Dakota worldviews and values can help create more balance and respect among the different communities who call Mni Sóta Maḳoce home.

“This represents a new chapter for Pioneer PBS,” stated President and General Manager Les Heen. “It is the first time we have been able to upload content through the PBS LearningMedia platform -- which is the world’s largest classroom,” he added. “It is only fitting that we would begin this next chapter of our development as a premier, rural-based PBS station with stories about art and culture of the Dakota people and Scandinavian American folk art traditions.”