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The American Indian Cancer Foundation holds a Powwow for Hope each year to raise money for cancer education, including smoking prevention efforts on May 3 at Fort Snelling in Minneapolis. Jennifer Simonson/MPR News

High risk for cancer: Minnesota’s American Indian population devastated

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MINNEAPOLIS — Inside the cavernous Base Camp facility at Fort Snelling, a long line of cancer survivors made a slow procession around the perimeter of the former cavalry drill hall where a century ago Army troops trained their horses. Their presence at a gathering of American Indians is solemn, supportive and startling.

“A lot of survivors,” an MC announced over a drumbeat. “So survivors come on out.”

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