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Image: BRCLP BF FdL GP Group Photo

Bois Forte, Fond du Lac and Grand Portage Reservation residents complete BRCLP


Grand Rapids, Minn. — Twenty-six residents of the Bois Forte, Fond du Lac and Grand Portage reservation communities returned October 28 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 an additional follow-up workshop.

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 sixth time these communities have participated together in the BRCLP leadership program.

Participants in this training were:

Heather Abrahamson, Mary Anderson, Jim Barney, Mitch Bercier, Mary Bowles, Maria Burnett, Janice Connor, Michael Connor, Carrie Connors, Quincey Davidson, Geraldine Deegan, Patti DuFault, Celeste Ekberg, Marcia Eiynck, Renee Gibbs, Adam Hein, Everett LaFromboise, Jennifer Manthey, Lance Northbird, Joyce LaPorte, Dani Pieratos, Eric Rilling, Nick Smith, Geo Strong, Darren Waha, Monica Walker-Morris,

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 Valerie Shangreaux, director of Blandin leadership programs. “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.



Photo caption:

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. Participants in BRCLP training October 24-28 included:

Back Row: (Left to Right)- Darren Waha, Janice Connor, Eric Rilling, Quincey Davidson, Dani Pieratos, Nehrwr Abdul-Wahid (Trainer), Mary Anderson, and Roxanne DeLille (Trainer)

Middle Row: (Left to Right)- Michael Connor, Patti DuFault, Joyce LaPorte, Monica Walker-Morris, Jennifer Manthey, Maria Burnett, Renee Gibbs, Mary Bowles, Marcia Eiynck, Heather Abrahamson, Rick Smith (Trainer), and Adam Hein

Front Row: (Left to Right)- Lance Northbird, Mitch Bercier, Jim Barney, Nick Smith, Geo Strong, Geraldine Deegan, Everett LaFromboise, Carrie Connors, and Celeste Ekberg

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