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Shaynowishkung Statue Dedicated in
(Story By Michael Meuers)
BEMIDJI, Minn. – An estimated 300
people gathered at Library Park on June 6 to dedicate a statue
honoring Shaynowishkung, (He Who Rattles), also known as Chief
Shaynowishkung who lived on the South
shore near the river inlet in the late 1800s, was nicknamed Chief
Bemidji by the settlers of the region. The city of Bemidji got its
name from the Ojibwe word Bemijigamaag which means "lake with
cross waters" referring to the Mississippi River crossing
through the lake.
The 9-foot, 3-inch, bronze-casted
sculpture is the third statue of Chief Bemidji built and displayed on
the shores of Lake Bemidji.
Carolyn Jacobs, co-chair of the
Shaynowishkung Statue Project shared the podium with co-chair Kathryn
"Jodie" Beaulieu of Red Lake.
“This is the culmination of over six
years of work,” said Jacobs. "This monument is dedicated to
the honoring and healing of our diverse and collective communities.
In a time when conflict was more common than peace, Chief Bemidji
brought people together."
"Shaynowishkung came to this
area, paddling up the Gichi-Ziibi (Mississippi River, literally Big
River) in 1882 with his children, being unable to bear the recent
death of his wife. He settled on the South shore of Lake Bemidji
along the Mississippi’s inlet," Jacobs said. "Here he
befriended the first settlers of European descent in the late 1800s.
We hope to emulate his good example and that this event will lead to
healing and understanding between cultures. A recognition that both
Indians and non-Indians have much in common yet much to learn about
Beaulieu said creation of a new statue
took the collaboration of both Native and non-Native members coming
together through “forthright conversations” for a common goal.
"The committee was impressed with
Gareth Curtiss during the interview process when he displayed a
3-foot high clay model of what he intended to create," Beaulieu
said. “The model brought tears to the eyes of the family of
“We hope that this dedication and
other initiatives will improve race relations and build further
respect between cultures,” she said. “It’s a beginning of
understanding of our culture, and the bringing together of people as
human beings and go forward in a good way that we can all be
respected when we come to Bemidji.”
A Flag Song and Honor Song were
rendered by Eyabay Drum Group of Red Lake, as the Leech Lake Honor
Guard posted the colors. The song was to honor all of those who have
gone on before us, those who are here now, and those who will be
coming in the future.
Larry Aitken, Spiritual leader from
the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe did a short prayer and pipe ceremony in
Ojibwemowin, and then spoke to the crowd in English.
PHOTO: “It is a good day today as peoples of
many nations come together to honor a good man,” community member
Larry Aiken said. (Photo by Michael Meuers)
Coalition Returns to Council to Say
(Story By Michael Meuers)
RED LAKE, Minn. – First up on the
agenda of the June 9 monthly meeting of the Red Lake Tribal Council
was the Nameless Coalition for the Homeless. Coalition members Mike
Bredon, Keni Johnson and Carolyn Jacobs had returned to the Council
to say thanks for kicking-off the fundraising efforts for the group.
Red Lake was first on the list when the
group began fundraising late last year. The Coalition visited Red
Lake at the November Council meeting. After a short presentation the
Council voted unanimously to support the effort with a $5000 grant.
"We wanted to return to Red Lake
to personally accept the $5,000 check promised, but more importantly
to thank the Council for having faith in our project, with the very
first large contribution. Getting that first donation is always the
hardest," said Coalition member Mike Bredon in opening remarks
to the Tribal Council.
Bredon told the Council how grateful he
was that the tribe was the first to give a major donation,
punctuating his thanks with a heart-felt personal story of how he had
experienced chronic inebriation in his own family which brought tears
to some in the near capacity Council Chambers.
"The donation from Red Lake was
the first large single donation that the Nameless Coalition
received," explained member Keni Johnson. "We had recently
opened our account at the Northwest Minnesota Foundation when we went
to the November council meeting to ask for their support for our
mission…'securing a safe, warm, overnight shelter for chronic
inebriate males in the Bemidji community.' Their generous donation
assisted us greatly in securing donations from Leech Lake, White
Earth, Mdewakanton Sioux, City of Bemidji, Beltrami County, local
churches, businesses and many, many private donations within the
"To date we have raised close to
$150,000 and are in the process of identifying and moving forward on
a site for this winter. We continue to fundraise, and are sincerely
grateful to everyone who has supported us and really appreciate Red
Lake Nation for their early support and commitment to the Nameless
Coalition," concluded Bredon.
Red Lake Tribal Treasurer Annette
Johnson then presented the group with a $5000 check while posing for
a requested photo.
Donations to the Nameless Coalition for
the Homeless can be made to the Northwest Minnesota Foundation,
Nameless Coalition for the Homeless Fund, 201 Third Street NW,
Bemidji, MN 56601. For more information, call 218-751-6201. Upcoming
events will be listed on the coalition's Facebook page,
Adobe DeSigns wins Award of Distinction
Adobe DeSigns, LLC, won the National
Association of Minority Contractors-Upper Midwest Chapter's Award of
Distinction for Small Contractor of the Year on June 13.
Adobe DeSigns is owned and operated by
Vivian Guerra (Tiwa) and Lisa Owen (Flandreau Santee) and specializes
in signs, banners, vinyl graphics, fleet and vehicle graphics.
The NAMC-UM is a Chapter of the
National Association of Minority Contractors, a nonprofit trade
association established in 1969 to address the needs and concerns of
minority contractors. NANC-UM was established in 1984; and services
Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and Iowa.
NAMC-UM's membership includes general
contractors, subcontractors, architects, engineers, manufacturers,
suppliers, associations, state and local governmental organizations,
bankers, attorneys accountants, and other professionals.