The student news of St. Paul Academy and Summit School

The Rubicon

The student news of St. Paul Academy and Summit School

The Rubicon

The student news of St. Paul Academy and Summit School

The Rubicon

Indigenous presenters advocate for food security, green power

Kathryn Campbell
INDIGENOUS INSPIRATION. Freshman Stella Hunter and junior Julia Taylor ask speakers Reverend Robert Two Bulls and Robert Blake questions collected before the assembly. The two spoke about people who influenced them and the action they’ve taken to build infrastructures that solve local issues, especially pertaining to Indigenous communities.

As students filed into Huss last Monday, a familiar land acknowledgment echoed through the auditorium. This statement has become customary at the annual Indigenous People’s Day assembly, hosted by Intercultural Club on Indigenous People’s Day Oct. 9.

We wanted to choose people who were successful, but also well connected within the indigenous community.

— Annie Bai

After a brief introduction from seniors Annie Bai and Madelyn Moser, three Indigenous-identifying students took to the podium. Freshman Bella Moet, a Puerto Rican Indigenous person, introduced the staff to a style of drumming and dancing called bomba, then asked the community to form one large circle around the auditorium and on stage. After brief instruction on a few dance moves, music started, and the circle clapped along to Moet’s solo, instead of joining in.

Students returned to their seats, applauding. Then freshman Stella Hunter and junior Julia Taylor introduced the two speakers of the assembly. IC chose the speakers because of their achievements in multiple fields. “We wanted to choose people who were successful, but also well connected within the indigenous community,” Bai said.

Initially, each speaker spoke for 10 minutes, then engaged in a panel discussion led by Hunter and Taylor. The first person to share their story was Reverend Robert Two Bulls, an episcopal priest once based in Los Angeles who also worked in housing in Washington D.C. Two Bulls now runs the First Nations Kitchen, a volunteer-based organization that provides organic, local foods to Indigenous communities.

He spoke about many different periods throughout his life when he experimented with different occupations. He had multiple sources of inspiration, including his dad who was also a priest. At one point, Two Bulls was close to becoming a history teacher, until he took the call in LA. As a priest, Two Bulls talked about the challenges of reconciling with the missionary past of the church, while also representing his own culture.

The second speaker was Robert Blake, a tribal citizen of Red Lake Nation, and founder and CEO of Solar Bear as well as the Native Son Community Power Development. Born and raised in St. Paul, Blake talked about his origins that led him to become an environmentalist. After his brother’s death, who was a police officer, he considered going into law enforcement. Ultimately he decided to go into clean energy because he wanted to create a better future for next generations.

Blake helped his nieces and nephews to get through college, but he wanted to ensure a brighter future for all children. One of his biggest accomplishments was helping pass legislation that ensured sovereignty over energy developments on Red Lake’s land. Blake encourages students to be more proactive about their own energy consumption. “If I can make it happen in a tribal country, then I can bring it to you,” he said.

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About the Contributors
Orion Kim
Orion Kim, co-Editor in Chief
My name is Orion Kim (he/him) and I’m the co-Editor in Chief of The Rubicon. At school, I’m captain of the soccer team and a member of the Asian Student Alliance. I also love to play the piano, watch movies, and eat good food. I can be reached at [email protected].
Kathryn Campbell
Kathryn Campbell, SPA Director of Publications
Kathryn Campbell is the Director of Publications at St. Paul Academy and Summit School.  She advises The Rubicon newspaper, RubicOnline website, Ibid yearbook, Aureus feature magazine, and Iris art and literature magazine.  Deadline is truly her happy place. Campbell considers herself a news junkie who loves discussing current events.  At the state level, she teaches journalism workshop sessions for the Minnesota High School Press Association (MHSPA) and serves on the board of the Journalism Educators of Minnesota (JEM).  Nationally, she is a member of the Columbia Board of Judges at Columbia University for the Columbia Scholastic Press Association (CSPA) and serves as a critique judge for the National Scholastic Press Association (NSPA).  She was the 2015 Minnesota Journalism Educator of the Year. She can be reached at [email protected].

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