Kathy Annette featured in Minnesota Native News: Bemidji, Rocking the Boat

It’s a different time, said Blandin Foundation president Dr. Kathy Annette during an interview with Ampers‘ Melissa Townsend on work happening in Bemidji around racial disparities. During the interview, Dr. Annette relived her experience walking into the Bemijigamaag Powwow, held at the Bemidji’s Sanford Center, with her 81-year-old aunt. Head in April, this first-of-its-kind event encouraged all community members to attend and learn about Native culture and traditions.

As we walked in, [my aunt] was looking all around. There were Natives and non-Natives sitting together in the audience listening to our tribal leaders, to our state leaders…she said, “Isn’t this something.”

As a member of the White Earth Nation who grew up on the Red Lake Reservation, Dr. Annette recognized and appreciated the historic milestone unfolding in front of her.

Looking back 30 years, would tribal flags be hanging in Bemidji? The answer is no for a number of reasons. Today you have tribal flags hanging in Bemidji. It means that our tribal nations are recognized. It means that people in Bemidji have said, “these are valued people.” It’s a different time.

Bemidji is at the forefront of change in race relations and is leading the way for others, she went on to say.

Learn more about work being done in Bemidji to address racial disparities by listening to the whole story at Public Radio Exchange.

Bemijigamaag Powwow

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