Wednesday, 18 July, 2018


“Where common memory is lacking, where people do not share in the same past, there can be no real community. Where community is to be formed, common memory must be created.”
Georges Erasmus, Dene Nation, Co-chair Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples (Canada)
You are cordially invited to make common memories at this year’s Indigenous People’s Day events, which explore local and Minnesota history that is largely unknown to most who live here. 
Saturday, September 16, Sandy Lake Tragedy of 1850 Essay Contest Opens for Grand Rapids students and residents. Click here for more information.
October - MacRostie Art Center – Features Gordon Coons, who paints in an Ojibwa woodland art style combining Ojibwa petroglyphs and images and stories from birch bark scrolls. Coons is an enrolled member of the Lac Courte Oreilles Tribe of northern Wisconsin.
Friday, October 6, 4 – 7 pm – The inaugural First Friday Art Walk at the YMCA features the award winning Why Treaties Matter Exhibition. Circle of Healing members will be on-hand to answer questions. Refreshments provided by the YMCA.
Monday, October 9, 7 pm - Indigenous People’s Day Celebration at the Grand Rapids Area Library. Refreshments provided by Friends of the Library  
Welcome – Human Rights Commission Chair Melissa Weidendorf
Reading of resolution – Mayor Dale Adams 
Sandy Lake Tragedy of 1850 Essay Contest – Commissioner Jess Hartshorn
Presentation – Pokegama, Gichiziibi, and Namegosi: retrieving a neglected history of place – Commissioner Karen Noyce. In reconstructing a map of the local landscape as it was in the mid-to-late 1800s, and tying historic events to the context of place, Commissioner Noyce stitches together some of these neglected historic threads.  Without them, our community's story is incomplete, like a hidden family history.
Tuesday, October 10, 6:30 – 7:30 pm – Itasca Area YMCA – Why Treaties Matter Presentation with Jim Jones, Cultural Resources Director, Minnesota Indian Affairs Council. 
Wednesday, October 11, 4:00 – 7:00 pm – Taking Care of Business Networking Event, Timberlake Lodge. Stop by the Circle of Healing booth to learn about the 1855 treaty that made way for the City of Grand Rapids to exist – and why this supreme law of the land is everyone’s treaty today.  
Friday, October 13, 5:30 - 8 pm – Central Square Mall - Screening of the award-winning film, Reel Injun: On the Trail of the Hollywood Indian. Cree Filmmaker Neil Diamond takes a look at the Hollywood Indian, exploring the portrayal of North American Natives through a century of cinema. Traveling through the heartland of America, and into the Canadian North, Reel Injun looks at how the myth of "the Injun" has influenced the world's understanding — and misunderstanding — of Natives. Pizza and refreshments served. 
Friday, October 20 – Sandy Lake Tragedy of 1850 Essay Contest submissions due. Email to ipdessaycontest@gmail.com or mailed/delivered to Grand Rapids City Hall C/O Michele Palkki, 420 North Pokegama Ave., Grand Rapids, MN, 55744
Monday, November 13, 5:00 pm, Grand Rapids City Hall – Sandy Lake Tragedy of 1850 Essay Contest winners announced at the City Council Meeting.
In 2014, the Grand Rapids City Council unanimously passed a resolution to recognize the second Monday in October as Indigenous People’s Day to “reflect on our history and to celebrate the thriving culture and value that the Anishinaabe (Chippewa and Ojibwe) the Dakota and other Indigenous Nations add to our city.
The City celebrated its first Indigenous People's Day in October 2015 in a big way with a mini powwow in downtown Grand Rapids. Student drum and dance groups from four area schools and Leech Lake and over 700 people of all ages attended. 
2016’s celebration focused on language, to acknowledge the policies used to intentionally subjugate and destroy Indigenous culture, language, and family structure, and the City’s support and respect for the revitalization of Indigenous languages, which to contemporary Indigenous people is key to cultural revitalization.