Potter Trial Continues; Minnesotans Want More Education on Native Americans

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Tiffany Bui reports:

Thursday marked the second day of the trial of former Brooklyn Center police officer Kim Potter.

The jury viewed footage of Wright’s car crashing into another civilian’s car after he was shot. Alayna Albrecht-Payton, the passenger in Daunte Wright’s car, testified about her attempts to stop Wright’s bleeding after Potter shot him.

At the end of the day, the defense asked the judge to declare a mistrial, arguing the evidence and testimony presented was meant to invoke sympathy from the jury. Judge Regina Chu denied the motion.

In other news: according to a recent survey, a majority of Minnesotans support more lessons on Native American studies for K-12 students.

The study was commissioned by the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux, through the tribe’s Understand Native Minnesota campaign to change the narrative about Native Americans in the state.

Rebecca Crooks-Stratton, secretary and treasurer of Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community, says the results put real data behind the organization’s efforts to create a more nuanced understanding of Native Americans and tribes in Minnesota.

“When people think about Native education, they think of history and social studies,” said Crooks-Strattom. “But I think there's room for Native education in civics courses, in science courses.”

Brenda Child, a professor of American Indian Studies at the University of Minnesota, says state standards on teaching Native American history and culture in schools have developed significantly. The problem, she says, is teachers often don’t feel prepared to teach it.

Her solution? Aspiring teachers should consider taking American Indian Studies classes.

“I teach courses not just on history, but federal Indian policy,” Child said. “I'm teaching a class on Indians in Minnesota, specifically next semester. So those things are all here. They're not missing, right? We're one of the best departments of its kind in the country. And so people have to find their way there.”

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