Thursday, September 7, 2017

Mediation & Medicine

Gallery For > Broken HandAs a Mediator I am often asked by members of the press for updates about the sacred site dialogues and a formal Mediation process that I'm facilitating.  However it is not my place to speak for the parties, to finding solutions, nor to give updates unless they have given me permission to share.   In this role I am bound by trusted confidentiality and it's counter-productive and potentially disastrous for me to speak about specifics.  But I do feel free to share best practices, lessons learned in a general way. That's why I am excited about hosting a High Level Dialogue about Protecting the Sacred during the Nobel Peace Prize Forum next week.

At the end of the day, mediation feels much like medicine with a third party neutral serving as a facilitator for the dialogue that hopefully helps the parties move towards wellness. This work is hard and often a party just wants the initial problem to go away, symptoms to disappear and allow them to keep doing what they want to do.  But peace without justice and without being heard is not sustainable, it's like a wound that hasn't been cleaned or healed.


Thursday, June 8, 2017

6.8.17 Scaffold Update

June 8, 2017  12:00 PM
"SCAFFOLD" UPDATE:

Stephanie Hope Smith (Mediator)  shared an update regarding the "Scaffold" structure that was displayed at the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota USA.

 The deconstruction process is complete.


The main focus was to get the structure down.
Now the main focus will shift to what happens to the wood.
Recognizing that more people from the Dakota community wish to participate in this process and it takes time to call a meeting, there is no elder meeting this week regarding the next steps for the wood. They wish to take time, slow down and allow more voices.

Until the larger Dakota Oyate is able to meet, there will be no actions except to keep the wood stored in a safe, secure location owned by Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board.


Save the date:
DAKOTA OYATE ELDERS MEETING
9:00 AM start promptly.  Plan to meet all day.
Sunday June 25
Sisseton
All Dakota are welcome to listen
No press are invited to this meeting.

More details to follow...

Respectfully,

Stephanie Hope Smith (hopefulpeacemaker@gmail.com)
 

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

6.7.17 Invitation to the Sculpture Garden Grand Opening

This invitation is sent from the Walker Art Center and the MPRB regarding this weekend's sculpture garden opening ceremony should you wish you attend.

******************************


Dear Dakota Oyate Elders and Mediation Participants:

Writing with thanks for your leadership and support in our efforts to find a respectful place of resolution around Scaffold and to extend an invitation to you all—as well as friends and family---to join us  as we open the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden this Saturday, June 10, 2017:

From 10 am to 6 pm that day, there will be an array of free family-friendly events onsite across the newly renovated gardens, including hand-on art-making activities, DJs, Blue Bunny Ice Cream, and giveaways including free tree seedlings from the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board. Food trucks will also be on-site.

Event Highlights Include

Official Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony, 12 noon

Join the Walker and the Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board for the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden’s official opening.

Activity: Extrapolation Factory, 10 am–5 pm

Learn about the natural habitats in the Garden and discover how you can help protect those spaces. Extrapolation Factory’s project creates an experimental habitat that will be deployed around the Walker campus.

Art-Making: Mix Up, 10 am–3 pm

Design a new image of the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden. Create a one-of-a-kind drawing with crayons by mixing and matching metal stencils with artist Carolyn Swiszsz.

Free Gallery Admission: June 1–10

Visit the Walker between June 1 (from 5 pm) and 10 to enjoy free gallery admission.


It would be a pleasure to see you again.

With gratitude and utmost respect,



Olga Viso
Executive Director
Walker Art Center

Jayne Miller
Superintendent
Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board

6.7.17 Scaffold Update



June 7, 2017  12:00 PM
"SCAFFOLD" UPDATE:

Stephanie Hope Smith (Mediator)  shared an update regarding the "Scaffold" structure that was displayed at the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota USA.

All of the wood has been removed and is being stored off site in a safe, secure location owned by the Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board. The rest of the deconstruction work and landscape work is likely to be completed by the end of today.

The City of Minneapolis will be removing any remaining  messages  / "graffiti" on the sidewalk.

Now the main focus for the Dakota Oyate will shift to what happens to the wood.
The Walker Art Center is focusing on their Grand Opening June 10.


Recognizing that more people from the Dakota community wish to participate in this process and it takes time to call a meeting, there is no elder meeting this week regarding the next steps for the wood. They wish to take time, slow down and allow more voices.

The Dakota Oyate from Minnesota and those in exile seek an opportunity to weigh in and make decisions in an attempt to create participation first and to then build consensus.   

If you are interested in being on a confidential email list for updates or if you want to be removed from this list, please send an email to Stephanie Hope Smith. ( Some emails were returned and some names were not clear).      My email: hopefulpeacemaker@gmail.com 
Please also indicate if you are Dakota, interested community member, government staff, or press.

Monday, June 5, 2017

6.5.17 "Scaffold" Update



June 5, 2017  5:00 PM
"SCAFFOLD" UPDATE:

Stephanie Hope Smith (Mediator)  shared an update regarding the "Scaffold" structure that was displayed at the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota USA.

The wood has been taken off the "Scaffold" structure by Straightline Construction led by Dakota construction workers. who worked over the weekend. All of the wood has been removed, and placed in rolloff bins that will be taken off site to a safe, secure location owned by the Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board. The rest of the deconstruction work will be completed by a local company to take out the steel and the concrete. The steel will be recycled.

The process of taking the rolloff bins off site began this afternoon and is likely to be completed by the end of the day.

The signs are taken off the fences and those who made them can request them back. (American Indian Center)

The main focus was to get the structure down.
Now the main focus will shift to what happens to the wood.
Recognizing that more people from the Dakota community wish to participate in this process and it takes time to call a meeting, there is no elder meeting this week regarding the next steps for the wood. They wish to take time, slow down and allow more voices.

Until the larger Dakota Oyate is able to meet, there will be no actions except to keep the wood stored in a safe, secure location owned by Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board.

Therefore,
1) there is no formal ceremony at Fort Snelling this week.
2) there is no formal burning of the wood from the sculpture this week.

In the end, the elders may decide that the wood should not go to Fort Snelling, The elders may decide that the wood from the sculpture should not be burned and instead should be used/disposed in some other way. Or they may choose to proceed. But this decision will be made it their way and their time at the site of their choosing.

The Dakota Oyate from Minnesota and those in exile seek an opportunity to weigh in and make decisions in an attempt to create participation first and to then build consensus.   If you are interested in being on a confidential email list for updates or if you want to be removed from this list, please send an email to Stephanie Hope Smith. ( Some emails were returned and some names were not clear). hopefulpeacemaker@gmail.com  Please also indicate if you are Dakota, interested community member, government staff, or press.

Friday, June 2, 2017

6.2.17 Dakota Ceremony 2 PM

As a Mpls P&R site, the Mpls Sculpture Garden activities must follow all lawful regulations pertaining to public land.  Because many people have stated a desire to understand what is considered courteous and honorable when attending a ceremony,  the Dakota Elders have shared these protocols that are similar to other events where guests are invited.  The additional logistical details can help guests plan their visit accordingly.
 

SCHEDULE


11:45-1:15 Elder parking area is open next to garden.
1:00 Press staging area is open
1:15 No cars may enter parking area
1:20 Elder parking area is now open only to pedestrians
1:50 PM Announcements / Press Statement about the ceremony
2 PM Ceremony to pray for protection of the workers taking down the structure and for healing
          Formal deconstruction of the wood portion of the structure begins

 PROTOCOLS
  • Clear your mind, heart, and body of any negativity
  • Come prepared a positive intention to be part of ceremony, not a spectator or tourist.
  • Allow space for people to grieve and react in their own way.
  • No person may use photography/videography to make a profit or to benefit personally
  • Treat oneself and others with respect 
  • Do not bring pets.
  • No smoking and follow Minneapolis Park and Recreation rules
  • Please dress modestly and respectfully.  Dakota women will be wearing skirts and other women are invited to do the same
  • The press will have designated areas and times. 
  • Do not approach Dakota people for an interview.  (Those who are willing will come to the press area).
  • With the exception to the construction team and the press announcements at a microphone,
    do not photograph.  Guide: if a person did not come to the ceremony with you or are not related, please don't photograph the person nor ask for their photo.
  • Anyone who persists in not following protocol will be asked to leave.
  • This is not the time to ask Dakota people about their customs and history; there will plenty of time to learn; this is their time for ceremony.
  • Children who are familiar with cultural practice are welcome to accompany responsible parents/elders. 
  • Recording devices are not permitted during the speakers time or during any ceremonies.
    Please respect this and turn off devices at these times
  • No drones per city statute
  • If you see Elders or others needing help, offer to help them.
    THANK YOU.

    LOGISTICS
  • Free parking in the lots next to the sculpture garden and in the Walker parking ramp will be free. No on street parking will be available.
  • Dakota elder parking immediately next to garden.  Opens 11:45-1:15 then no cars can enter.
  • There are no shaded areas near the structure.  Umbrellas are encouraged
  • Very limited elder seating is available near the structure.  You may bring in lawn chairs
    but not blankets.
  • Pedestrian traffic can enter the parking lot area starting at 1:15.
  • The announcements and press moment will start promptly at 2 PM
  • Restrooms are available in the Walker
  • Drink plenty of water and stay rested.  Bring water bottle with you.
  • This is the beginning of ceremony and you may leave when you need to leave.
    The destruction of the complete structure may take several days and there is no formal "closing" that will be announced.
  • If you need first aid, go to the press area or see a security person
  • Thank you for following the onsite directions that are announced.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

5.31.17 "Scaffold" Mediation process update

The mediation process regarding the "Scaffold" sculpture located at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota USA,  began Friday 26, 2017 at the request of the Dakota Spiritual and Traditional Elders. Confidential mediation conversations via email and phone continued throughout the holiday weekend with elders, the artist Sam Durant, the Walker Arts Center staff.

Tuesday May 30, 2017
4:00-6:45 PM
Private meeting with the Walker Arts Center staff and board members, Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board, the artist Sam Durant.  The meeting also included the viewing of the film "Doctrine of Discovery" by Dakota38+2 Productions.

7:00-11:30 PM
Private meeting with Dakota traditional and spiritual elders and members from the larger Dakota Oyate.



Wednesday May 31, 2017

8:30 AM

Private meetings with individual parties

9:30 AM-1:45 PM
Mixture of dialogue with all parties included and individual caucus.
Agreements were made and a statement was drafted by the parties.

2:30 PM 
Press Conference at the Walker Art Center Skyline Room

3:30-8 PM
Logistics conversations with related parties to discuss the action items that were agreed upon earlier in the day.



Thursday June 1, 2017Today will be spend working details regarding:
1) De-construction details and work permits
2) June 2 Ceremony planning:
3) Transition of the wood to Fort Snelling area to be ceremonially burned at a later date
4) Fire Ceremony planning: date to be determined
5) Follow up on the agreements made
6) Together drafting media statements