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Image: Image for News Item: Leech Lake, Red Lake, White Earth complete Blandin Reservation Community Leadership Program

Leech Lake, Red Lake, White Earth complete Blandin Reservation Community Leadership Program

Grand Rapids, Minn. — Twenty residents of the Leech Lake, Red Lake and White Earth communities returned November 20 from a five-day leadership retreat, the first segment of an intense eight-day training provided by the Blandin Community Leadership Program (BCLP). The team also will participate in two 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 all 11  Minnesota reservation communities since it began in 2000. This is the fifth time these communities have participated together in the BRCLP leadership program.

Participating in this training were:

Ann Aitken, Susan Beaulieu, Ben Benoit, Nate Dorr, Kent Estey, Loreen Estey, Sarah Fairbanks, Becky Graves, Matt Hanson, Leslie Harper, Vikki Howard, Betty Kimbrell, Emma King, Jodi Lunde, Jordan May, Linsey McMurrin, Lew Murray, Margaret Rousu, Martin Seeger and Robert Thompson.

The goal of the Blandin Reservation Community Leadership Program is to develop and train a broad base of local leaders to build healthy communities. Topics covered during the retreat included: acknowledging gifts and resilience, identifying and describing community issues and opportunities, effective interpersonal communication, building social capital, appreciating personality differences, managing interpersonal conflict, understanding community power, mobilizing community resources, and goal setting.

“A healthy community depends on leadership engagement of community members,” said Valerie Shangreaux, director of Blandin leadership programs. “The leadership demonstrated by these participants reflects their commitment to their community, as well as to the region and to rural Minnesota.”

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 – Leech Lake, Red Lake, White Earth


Participants in BRCLP training November 16-20 included:

Back Row: (Left to Right)- Vikki Howard, Ann Aitken, Susan Beaulieu, Martin Seeger, Linsey McMurrin, and Leslie Harper

Middle Row: (Left to Right)- Rick Smith (Trainer), Kent Estey, Emma King, Sarah Fairbanks, Jodi Lunde, Margaret Rousu, Jordan May, Becky Graves, and Roxanne DeLille (Trainer)

Front Row: (Left to Right)- Lew Murray, Nate Dorr, Matt Hanson, Betty Kimbrell,

Ben Benoit, Bill Mease (Trainer), Loreen Estey, and Robert Thompson


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