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The MCTC News Blog

UNITE’s Night of Music and Poetry

Posted on: October 9th, 2015 by marketingworkstudy No Comments

Scatter Their Own, Scotti Clifford and Juliana Brown Eyes

On Tuesday, Nov. 17, the MCTC Native American student club UNITE is hosting its yearly event, Night of Poetry and Music. Join students in the Whitney Fine Arts Theater from 6–8 p.m. to see and listen to poetry and music from a Native perspective.

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Performing will be Scatter Their Own, an alternative rock duo from the Oglala Lakota nation in Pine Ridge, South Dakota who write songs about mother earth, social justice and Native American culture. Also performing is Mitch Walking Elk, singer, songwriter recording artist originally from Oklahoma, Austin Owen, hip hop recording artist from Prairie Island Dakota nation, and Anthony Ceballos, writer, poet, MCTC graduate and graduate of Hamline University.

Ah-Nung: Putting the “Community” in Community College

Posted on: September 17th, 2014 by marketingworkstudy No Comments

Ah-NungMatrious

Ah-Nung Matrious was looking for a fresh start when she came to MCTC last fall after a less-than-stellar experience at a previous college. In her short time at the College, she’s already made an impact in the student community by means of collaboration and conversation.

When she started at the College, Ah-Nung was encouraged to join the United Nations of Indian Tribes Education (UNITE) student club.

“They were beat when I joined,” she said. “We all took on responsibilities to make improvements happen.”

Ah-Nung and the other members worked together to turn the club around. They mended broken ties with other student groups and increased accountability.

“We all revamped UNITE’s outlook as a student organization,” she said. “There may have been some struggles, but we overcame them and now we are stronger and more involved than ever.”

A key component to the club’s turnaround included collaboration. Ah-Nung and UNITE began working together to host events with another MCTC student club, Xicanos Latinos Unidos (XLU). The collaboration started with a potluck that brought members of the two clubs together to share their cultural foods and get to know each other. Members of the clubs also played a Jeopardy-style game and answered questions about Native American and Latino culture. Both clubs learned about each other’s cultures in ways they never thought they would.

“We went out of our way to forget about cliques and interact with each other,” Ah-Nung said.

The collaboration spanned other student groups as well. UNITE, in collaboration with the Student Veteran Association (SVA), reached out to other clubs to collect funds for an all-College barbeque. Ah-Nung saw it as an opportunity to create the atmosphere that she felt at the potluck, except on a larger scale. Hundreds turned out for the barbeque and she has even bigger plans for the next one.

“I think our collaboration started a trend,” Ah-Nung said. “It created a bigger sense of community.”

Ah-Nung’s Native American values are tied into her aspirations for the campus. Included in those values are community, unity and contribution. She knows that she won’t accomplish her goals alone, but will be successful with the help of her peers.

“We are always working together to look out for the future of our loved ones,” she said. “If those other student organizations and individual students didn’t help me or contribute, nothing great would have been accomplished.”

Before she came to MCTC, Ah-Nung was living on a secluded reservation in Hinckley, Minn. Coming to the Twin Cities was a shock for her.

“People who live in the boondocks often don’t have much, if any, experience interacting with people of other cultures,” she said.

Ah-Nung, currently the president of the MCTC Student Senate, is hopeful by the time she’s graduated next spring that she’s created a better sense of campus community for current and future students.

“One of the best things I like about MCTC is regardless of race or background, I have a lot of support,” she said. “I’m very thankful that they have given me the opportunities to let me do what I’ve done.”

Learning Locally, Lucie Builds Her Skills and Her Community

Posted on: January 7th, 2014 by insidemctc No Comments

Lucie, MCTC studentThe MCTC campus was quiet during finals week before the fall semester ended. Most students had finished their exams and left campus, but Lucie Skjefte was studying late into finals week. “I have my last final on Friday, and then I’m going to take my son to see Santa,” said Lucie.

Lucie felt drawn to MCTC from a young age. “My sister attended college here before I started. Going to MCTC always seemed like the natural thing to do,” she said. One of the biggest draws to the College was United Nations of Indian Tribes for Education (UNITE), MCTC’s Native American student group, and the American Indian Success Program. “When I first started, seeing the success of UNITE students pushed me to work hard and be successful too,” said Lucie. “UNITE is there to inspire and encourage one another. It’s there for people to reach out to when they need it.” Lucie is now the president of UNITE.

Before returning to school, Lucie learned she was expecting a baby in 2009. “I knew if I was going to have a child, I’d need to make some changes.” Lucie was a single mother of a newborn, but after being offered housing by a family member, she was able to return to school at MCTC. “Having stable housing meant the world to me. It meant I could finally go back to and focus on school,” said Lucie.

“My son changed everything for me. He inspires me, and he grounds me. I always knew he’d be my rock.”

As soon as Lucie returned to school, she excelled academically. “I’ve always been one to build a foundation,” she said. “I took some great fundamental classes, and eventually determined my passion and skills intersected at Graphic Design. That’s where I excelled.” In 2011 Lucie joined the Phi Theta Kappa honors society, and this spring, she will graduate from MCTC with A.A.S degrees and certificates in both Graphic Design: Print Media and Graphic Design: Web and Interactive Media.

Lucie decided to finish her studies at MCTC and transfer. “My instructors and my advisor encouraged me to reach beyond my comfort level, and that encouragement was all I needed,” said Lucie. “I considered several out-of-state Ivy League schools, but Minneapolis has a great art community. I decided I really wanted to stay local.”

Shortly before the new year, Lucie received her acceptance letter to the Minneapolis College of Art and Design (MCAD), and a pleasant surprise. “Along with my acceptance letter I learned I’d be getting a $15,000 Presidential Merit Scholarship to MCAD.” Lucie’s ultimate goal is to teach the topics she loves and excels at. “I want to be able to give back everything I’ve learned about art and design, and to inspire my community.”