Lower Sioux, Mille Lacs, Prairie Island, Shakopee, and Upper Sioux Area area residents complete Blandin Reservation Community Leadership Program

Grand Rapids, Minn. (November 15, 2017) — Twenty-six residents of the Lower Sioux, Mille Lacs, Prairie Island, Shakopee, and Upper Sioux Area reservation communities completed a five-day leadership retreat November 3. 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 sixth time these communities have participated together in the BRCLP leadership program.

Participants who completed the retreat were:

Craig Beaulieu, Taylor Bolinger, Li Boyd, Govinda Budrow, Virgina Buck, Gilda Burr, Colin Cash, Elliot Christensen, Maria Costello, Jayme Davis, Jason Deterling, Shelly Diaz, Jeremiah Houser, Hannah Johnson, Shena Matrious, Dar Melin, Pete (Askitsoh) Nez, Amy Opager, Dean Reynolds, Arlyn Sam, Deanna StandingCloud, Terre Taylor, Kaitlin Thompson, Antonia Watterson, Noah White III, and Virgil Wind.

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.

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Photo caption: Blandin Reservation Community Leadership Program – Lower Sioux, Mille Lacs, Prairie Island, Shakopee, and Upper Sioux Area communities

Participants in BRCLP training October 30 – November 3 included:

Back Row: (Left to Right)- Bill Blackwell Jr. (Trainer), Dean Reynolds, Shena Matrious, Gilda Burr, Amy Opager, Hannah Johnson, Pete (Askitsoh) Nez, Jason Deterling, and Dar Melin

Middle Row: (Left to Right)- Roxanne DeLille (Trainer), Taylor Bolinger, Shelly Diaz, Jeremiah Houser, Govinda Budrow, Jayme Davis, Kaitlin Thompson, Deanna StandingCloud, Virgina Buck, Terre Taylor, Li Boyd, Rick Smith (Trainer), and Vic Klimoski (Trainer)

Front Row: (Left to Right)- Colin Cash, Craig Beaulieu, Antonia Watterson, Virgil Wind, Elliot Christensen, Maria Costello, Noah White III, and Arlyn Sam