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Bois Forte, Fond du Lac and Grand Portage Reservation residents complete Blandin Reservation Community Leadership Program

Grand Rapids, Minn. (May 30, 2018) — Twenty-eight residents of the Bois Forte, Fond du Lac and Grand Portage reservation communities returned May 11 from a five-day leadership retreat. This was the first segment of an intense seven-day training provided by the Blandin Reservation Community Leadership Program (BRCLP). The team also will participate in three follow-up workshops.

A program of the Grand Rapids-based Blandin Foundation, BRCLP has provided experiential leadership training for more than 500 community leaders from 11 Minnesota American Indian Reservations since 2001.  This is the seventh time these communities have participated together in the BRCLP leadership program.

Participants in this training were:

Patrick Battees, Jared Braveheart, Jason Burnett, Ellise Chinn, Sean Copeland, Joe Curran, Jane DeVerney, Ashley Diver, John Diver Jr., Alex Gokee, John Kennedy, Alicia Kozlowski Cyr, Velvet Linden, Brooke MacMillan, Sylvia Manthey, Taryn Manthey, John Morrin, Abby Otis, Jeremy Nevilles-Sorell, Denise Pieratos, Jody O’Connor, Amber Porter, River Spry, Deanna StandingCloud, Corey Strong, Chaz (Giniw Giizhig) Wagner, Jeremy Wilson and Christina Woods

The goal of the Blandin Reservation Community Leadership Program is to strengthen leadership capacity through cultural strengths and assets to build and sustain healthy tribal communities. Topics covered during the retreat included: acknowledging and drawing upon leadership strengths, recognizing and tapping into sources of personal and community resilience, framing community issues and opportunities, building social capital, and mobilizing community resources.

“A healthy community depends on leadership engagement of many community members,” said Kathy Annette, Blandin Foundation president and CEO. “The leadership demonstrated by these participants reflects their deep commitment to their communities, their reservations, and the people living there.”

BRCLP training programs are funded entirely by the Blandin Foundation, whose mission is to strengthen rural Minnesota communities, especially the Grand Rapids area.

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Blandin Reservation Community Leadership Program – Bois Forte, Fond du Lac, Grand Portage Reservation Communities

Members of the most recent BRCLP training group learned about the 9 dimensions of a healthy community, and how to use the 9 dimensions to create a holistic vision of healthy reservation communities. BRCLP uses a culturally-focused, asset-based approach to training community leaders. A total of 28 residents from the Bois Forte, Fond du Lac and Grand Portage reservation communities participated in the most recent training, which began with a retreat that concluded May 11.

Fourth Row: (left to right)– Chaz (Giniw Giizhig) Wagner, Joe Curran, River Spry, Bill Blackwell Jr. (Trainer), Jason Burnett, John Morrin, and Jeremy Nevilles-Sorell

Third Row: (left to right)– Abby Otis, Sean Copeland, Rick Smith (Trainer), Deanna StandingCloud, Jody O’Connor, Jared Braveheart, John Kennedy, Alex Gokee, and Patrick Battees

Second Row: (left to right)– Roxanne DeLille (Trainer), Taryn Manthey, Amber Porter, Christina Woods, Alicia Kozlowski Cyr, Velvet Linden, Sylvia Manthey, Ellise Chinn, and Jane DeVerney

First Row: (left to right)– Corey Strong, John Diver Jr., Brooke MacMillan, Jeremy Wilson, Ashley Diver, and Bill Mease (Trainer)

Not pictured: Denise Pieratos