American Indian Initiative

Plymouth American Indian Initiative was started by David Good and Mariana Shulstad in about 2008 to explore current and historical issues dealing with American Indians, both locally and nationally, to bring those issues to Plymouth, and to involve Plymouth members in American Indian issues.  Several other Plymouth members, and the spouse of a member who is a Dakota, began meeting with the group the first year, and the group began to write articles for the Flame, bring speakers to Plymouth, and organize other events.

During the approximately 12 years until the pandemic, PAII sponsored at least one and occasionally two annual films covering a wide array of historical and current issues in connection with the Film Club, brought at least one and occasionally two speakers or panels during Sunday Forum, interacted with the annual march from the Lower Sioux Reservation commemorating the women and children who were removed to Ft. Snelling after the 1862 Dakota War by providing food and lodging, brought a panel of speakers from 4 Minnesota reservations to describe environmental efforts undertaken by tribes, sponsored a 2 month art exhibit in the gallery featuring American Indian artists from around the country, organized a panel of urban Indian leaders to explore current issues in Minneapolis and possible solutions, brought baskets, pottery and textiles each month to the chapel accompanying Dakota and Ojibwe presenters and music, twice sponsored Eric Jolly, now CEO of the Minneapolis and St. Paul Foundation and an American Indian, as a guest sermon presenter, and wrote at least a half dozen articles for the Flame during those years.   Right before closure due to the pandemic, there was contact with the White Earth Band, that had purchased the Semple Mansion, and proposed collaboration for its development would have been explored.

History

0ver the 12+ years probably a total of 2 dozen Plymouth members have participated in PAII.

As a Volunteer

Volunteers/participants are involved in organizing events like those described above, in arranging for speakers, films, etc.  In addition, PAII members routinely have moderated fairly extensive discussions after each film offering.