Joe Bowen / Forum News Service
EAST GRAND FORKS, Minn. — As headline after headline points out the woes of rural America -- the fallout from a U.S./China trade war and more -- Sen. Tina Smith, D-Minn., is working to change the narrative. In East Grand Forks, Minn., on Monday, she announced the formation of a rural economic working group to “highlight what’s working in rural America and lift up the local ideas that are helping rural communities thrive in the face of a persistent slump in the farm economy,” Smith’s staff wrote in a press release. That meant Smith fielded questions about:
GRAND FORKS — Indigenous Peoples Day has replaced Columbus Day in Grand Forks. A Monday, July 15, vote by the Grand Forks City Council swapped the October holiday named after Columbus for one recognizing the indigenous people who lived here for millennia before the colonizer’s ships ever arrived in the Americas.
BEMIDJI — As graduation season gets underway, Minnesota’s commissioner of education urged school districts to recognize American Indian students’ ability to wear culturally significant regalia to their commencement ceremonies.
RED LAKE, Minn. — In a packed room in the Seven Clans Casino at Red Lake Nation, tribal leaders talked about problems facing the band — and plans in the works to improve members’ lives. Like the drug epidemic that’s “inundated” the Ojibwe band’s court system and prompted tribal leaders in 2017 to adopt a protocol to banish drug dealers. Chairman Darrell Seki Sr. said it’s difficult to banish a tribal member. “But it needs to be done because they’re poisoning you,” he said. Or children who only get regular meals at school or at the Boys and Girls Club there.
BEMIDJI, Minn. -- Sherry Lee’s husband, Douglas, used to leave a tray of her cupcakes in the break room at his construction job. Doug’s co-workers started to leave cash in the empty tray, and, from that came the germ for SimpLee Sweets, the couple’s bakery business. Douglas, whose knees were starting to falter, left the job and went back to school as he and Sherry worked to get the business off the ground.
BEMIDJI, Minn.—Sanford Health of Northern Minnesota employees, as well as hundreds of community members, joined three Lueken family members Wednesday, July 19, to commemorate the hospital's emerging cancer treatment wing and the man after whom it's named. The Sanford Joe Lueken Cancer Center represents a "new era of cancer care," hospital staff said, and will include a host of therapies, treatments and services for patients battling the disease.