RAPID CITY, SD – The Journey Museum and Learning Center is hosting a public forum on the 150th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Fort Laramie Sunday, April 29th. Starting at 2 p.m., Dr. Craig Howe, director of the Center for American Indian Research and Studies (CAIRNS) will lead a discussion on the treaty and its impact. No admission fee will be charged to attend this event. All are welcome, but seating is limited and will be awarded on a first come, first serve basis beginning at 1 p.m.
CAIRNS is an Indian-controlled nonprofit research and education center that is committed to advancing knowledge and understanding of American Indian communities and issues important to them by developing quality educational resources and innovative projects that acknowledge and incorporate tribal perspectives, and by serving as a meeting ground for peoples and ideas that support these perspectives. For more information visit http://www.nativecairns.org or email email@example.com.
Learning Forums are wide-ranging, thought-provoking presentations. Each program features a forty-five minute presentation, followed by an open forum with questions and discussion about the topic.
For more information and details about this event or other items, be sure to call (605) 394-6923 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Journey Museum and Learning Center was established in 1997 and is conveniently located in downtown Rapid City at 222 New York St, 2 blocks east of the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center right across from the Club for Boys.
PIERRE, S.D. – All South Dakota state driver exam stations will be closed for two days later this week for annual employee training.
Director Jane Schrank says the stations will be closed this Friday, April 27, and Saturday, April 28. The only station usually open on Saturdays is in Sioux Falls.
“Unless it is a holiday or inclement weather, like we had earlier this month, we rarely close the driver exam stations,” says Schrank. “But training for employees is also important. We wanted to get this word out now so people can visit the exam station at another time.”
Schrank reminds people that they have 180 days prior to the expiration date of their license to renew. For information about online renewal or what documents are needed for a license renewal and a list of exam stations, click on to: http://dps.sd.gov/licensing/driver_licensing/.
The Driver Licensing program is part of the South Dakota Department of Public Safety.
We are all temporary residents of Planet Earth and none of us knows when our visa will expire. Despite the fact that this is the one certain fact of our existence, we spend our lives either resisting or, mostly, ignoring it. Hoping it will just go away. Or maybe somehow we will miraculously be exempt. Of course, no one wants to dwell on the fact of his/her own demise even though it is inevitable. Our society has an uncomfortable relationship with this concept. Some of us have beliefs about what happens after death that subdue negative thinking on the subject. But mostly what we think of when we reflect on the impermanence of life is it’s loss. And it’s not just people but every living thing on the planet that will undergo the transformation from life to not-life, whatever that entails. Those left behind lose someone or something, creating a void where that living being once was. Those about to move into the transition will lose everything that is familiar, the perceptions that a lifetime of consciousness has provided. They think of all the events they will miss. So it’s not really death that we worry about. Of course, we may fear the potential pain that might accompany death. But what we really fear is loss. And change.
No one likes change. Yet change is as inevitable as death. Everything is changing all the time, and despite our best efforts, there is nothing we can do to stop it. Even when we think we’ve managed to head off certain changes, other changes will still occur that may not have been anticipated. This is not to say that we shouldn’t work to make changes that could improve our lives. But outcomes will most likely be different from what we expected when we began this work. Unexpected things happen all the time. This is why many thinkers on these subjects recommend focussing on the process, rather than the outcome. There’s an old Yiddish saying, “Man plans and God laughs”. Life is unpredictable. Pay attention to the journey, but let the chips fall where they may.
Loss comes in many forms, not just the ultimate. Often we fail to acknowledge the significance of other losses in our lives. Sometimes we know they are coming, other times we don’t. Either way, we don’t always have a choice in how things work out. We lose jobs, homes, money, youth, independence, etc., etc. Even when we think we’ve chosen well, there are many factors beyond our control. Sometimes things work out the way we want, sometimes they don’t. It’s so easy to judge the actions of others. Or to beat up on ourselves when we think we’ve made some huge blunder. Hindsight is 20-20. But most of us do the best we can with what we have to work with at the time. And time only moves in one direction. There is no going back. What exists right now is what we have to work with. We can’t change other people. Circumstances beyond our control create situations that can’t be changed. Sometimes we can change parts and pieces or maybe work toward a change. But for the most part the only thing we can change is our attitude and perception.
In an article in Yoga Journal author Sally Kempton talks about navigating through change. She cites “the Buddhist Doctrine of Impermanence, annica, [which] tells us that change is inevitable, continuous, and unavoidable.” There is also a way of viewing this as the constantly shifting nature of energy:
“the intrinsic, dynamic power at the heart of life. . . . Every moment, every enterprise, every cell, is part of this flow of creation, sustenance, and dissolution. This flow is happening on a macrocosmic level—as the flow of seasons, tides, and cultures—and on a microcosmic level, through the various shifts in your physical states, the ups and downs of your life, and the flow of thoughts and emotions in your mind.”
When seen this way, even the most determined control freak must acknowledge that these changes are happening right before our eyes in every moment of every day. Like it or not.
Perhaps instead of thinking of “endings” and “beginnings”, we can think of change as heralding transformation. Part of our fear of loss is fear of the unknown. What will be on the other side of this loss? We know what life was like before the change. How will we deal with what comes next? Even if the current state of affairs is not optimal, at least it’s familiar – the “devil you know “. In the article cited above, Ms. Kempton also talks about ritual. She writes, “In traditional societies, every phase of life was regarded as an initiation into a new way of being and was marked with a ceremony. . . Nowadays, we don’t always do a ceremony, but we still undergo initiations.” All life changes require us to “step outside your habits, test your skills, and, for a time, inhabit the unknown. . . Each of these changes will subtly or even dramatically redefine you. You won’t be quite the same person after you step out of the old situation and into the new.” Furthermore, “the change itself . . is the doorway into the next stage of growth—one that propels you into a deeper relationship with yourself and the world.”
The article goes on to provide some ideas for moving through change gracefully. These, of course, require practice. Practice implies that success is not guaranteed, but there will always be another opportunity to try. There are many articles and numerous suggestions from all kinds of authors on what to include in such a practice. Everyone needs to find what works for them. Still when change is sudden and catastrophic, it can be difficult to remember how to practice, let alone recognize that you are embarking on a new way of life. Mourning is also a ritual. Recognizing loss and the need to mourn is just as important as accepting change. But all suggestions seem to boil down to the same concept: leave the past behind, let the future take care of itself and simply be here now. In this moment. Hear your breath. Count your blessings. If you’re still a resident on the planet with an unexpired visa there will always be something to be grateful for. Loss hurts. It’s OK to hurt. It’s part of being human. Allow it. Be kind to yourself.
PIERRE, S.D. – It’s a party in Rapid City with authors, refreshments and the opportunity to meet people interested in South Dakota’s history.
The social and author signing party will take place from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. MDT on Thursday, April 26, at Arrowhead Country Club, 3675 Sheridan Lake Road. The event is sponsored by Arrowhead Country Club and is a fundraiser for the South Dakota Historical Society Foundation, the nonprofit fundraising partner of the South Dakota State Historical Society at the Cultural Heritage Center in Pierre.
Virginia Driving Hawk Sneve of Rapid City, author of “Sioux Women: Traditionally Sacred,” and Michael Casler of Williston, N.D., an editor of “Fort Tecumseh and Fort Pierre Chouteau: Journal and Letter Books 1830-1850” will be present to sign copies of their books.
Sneve was born and raised on the Rosebud Reservation. Many of her more than 20 book focus on American Indians. Sneve is the first South Dakotan to receive the National Humanities Medal. She drew on winter counts and oral records of her ancestors to discover their past for “Sioux Woman: Traditionally Sacred.” The book explores the struggles and joys of women in Lakota culture.
Casler is a former park ranger with the National Park Service who has written numerous articles on the Upper Missouri fur trade. Fort Tecumseh and Fort Pierre Chouteau were important fur trading posts located near what came to be the city of Fort Pierre. Letter books consisted of copies of outgoing letters written by the managers of the posts to their company officers and subordinates in the field. Company employees recorded daily activities in journals. “Fort Tecumseh and Fort Pierre Chouteau” reveals day-to-day details of the business transacted at the fur trading posts and a glimpse into the lives of the men who staffed them.
Both books were published by the South Dakota Historical Society Press.
In addition to meeting the authors, those attending will be able to meet staff and members of the foundation’s board of directors and trustees of the South Dakota State Historical Society. Hors d’oeuvres and beverages will be provided.
The Thursday social precedes the annual South Dakota State Historical Society History Conference, taking place April 27-28 at the Best Western Ramkota in Rapid City. For more information about the conference, visit www.history.sd.gov or call 605-773-6000.
A Starbucks manager in Philadelphia called the police on two black men on April 13, leading to their arrest. The two men, who had been waiting for a friend at the store, were released without being charged.
Starbucks has since apologized and announced it will close more than 8,000 of its stores in the United States to provide “racial bias” training for its 175,000 employees. Starbucks’ COO Roz Brewer said the sessions would focus on “unconscious bias training,” a form of diversity education that focuses on the hidden causes of everyday racial discrimination.
Unconscious bias training has become a popular approach to diversity education. The trainings often begin with demonstrations of how the mind operates in ways that are outside of conscious awareness or control. These demonstrations show that people make, and sometimes act on, snap judgments based on the other person’s race, without any conscious intention.
Research shows that this source of racial discrimination can be reduced in a number of ways. For example, setting objective criteria for decision-making could have made a difference in the Starbucks incident. As Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson described, the manager used personal judgment in calling the police. Formal rules that prevent the influence of racial bias in calling the police could have prevented the incident altogether.
Some unconscious bias trainings incorporate discussions of solutions such as these. But there is no standard format for trainings. Some involve little more than a series of narrated PowerPoint slides. Others involve expert instructors who hold small, intensive workshops that can last for days.
The novelty of unconscious bias training means there is little direct evidence about whether it works. To determine its potential, researchers have turned to clues from other types of training.
One study looked at older types of diversity trainings that focused on the negative legal consequences of discrimination. It found that such trainings can backfire when managers resent the possibility that they could be singled out for punishment.
By contrast, employees may be more open to unconscious bias training because it focuses on how bias is universal, rather than singling out a few “bad apples.”
However, other research shows that highlighting the prevalence of bias makes people more likely to express their bias.
Unconscious bias training will not solve the whole problem. Discrimination has other causes that aren’t fully dealt with in this kind of training, such as explicit prejudice or policies that have disparate impacts on people of different races. Effective solutions will require multiple approaches to addressing discrimination, not just one.
On behalf of the President of the United States and the American people, We offer best wishes and congratulations to all Israelis as you mark the 70th anniversary of Israel’s independence on April 19.
The State of Israel has prevailed over every challenge it has faced over the past 70 years. In just a short time, the people of Israel have created a successful nation that has flourished and continues to thrive. The United States established our diplomatic presence in Jerusalem well before the State of Israel was born, over 170 years ago. This year, we look forward to opening the new Embassy of the United States in Jerusalem on May 14 which coincides with the 70th anniversary of President Truman recognizing the nascent State of Israel.
Israel and the United States have an unshakeable bond that has endured and grown even stronger over the past seven decades. As the President said in Jerusalem last May, “…let us never forget that the bond between our two nations is woven together in the hearts of our people – and their love of freedom, hope, and dignity for all.” The United States will continue to be a steadfast ally of Israel and will stand together with you today, and always.