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Twenty Seventh Annual Conference & Workshops Keynote Information
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Thursday October 5, 2017 - 8:45 am - Opening Drumming Ceremony

Ogidaaki Singers, Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians

Bemidji is centrally located among three of the largest reservations in Minnesota (Red Lake, Leech Lake, and White Earth Bands of Ojibwe Indians). Today, many tribes celebrate together their Native American culture and history with pow wow events involving feasting, singing, and honoring their culture around the Dewe’iganag (Drum). The drum is the heartbeat of the indigenous people. It carries the heartbeat of Mother Earth and calls the spirits and nations together. The drum is referred to as both the instrument and the group of people gathered around it to play and sing. Native Americans believe the drum often helps bring the physical and mental side of a person back in touch with his or her spiritual side. Different tribes have different traditions about the drum and how to use it, but the basic construction is very similar in most tribes: a wooden frame or a carved and hollowed-out log, with finely tanned buckskin or elk skin for the cover.

Thursday October 5, 2017 - 9 am - Keynote

Carol Zoff & Anne Lewis, MN Mississippi Parkway Commission

The Mississippi River is central to Minnesota’s sense of place and the Great River Road is our connector. As it cascades from the north to the south, the Mississippi – and the Great River Road beside it – embody our collective history, culture, economy and ecology. We’ll take you on Minnesota’s “sense of place” journey, complete with pioneers, picturesque vistas, economic dynamos, recreation smorgasbord and Native American celebrations. The Mississippi River holds the stories of Minnesota’s heritage and future. The Great River Road is its pathway to those narratives; GIS is our compass for your journey.
Carol Zoff is a Senior Landscape Architect at the Minnesota Department of Transportation in the Office of Environmental Stewardship. She is the Coordinator of the Great River Road Program and technical liaison to the Minnesota’s Mississippi River Parkway Commission (MN-MRPC). She has managed 12 historic roadside property restoration projects along the Great River Road, as well as development of 26 interpretive panels and 14 Mississippi River Trail Host Community panels, and roadside landscape designs. Carol has also been a technical advisor for bridge, road, research and partner projects; including the Environmental Quality Board’s “Tool to Assist Local Governments in Planning for and Regulating Silica Sand Projects,” and the National Advisory Committee on Travel and Tourism Infrastructure.

Anne Lewis has a bachelor’s degree in political science from Macalester College in St. Paul, MN and a master’s degree in communication from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY and is accredited by the Public Relations Society of America. She serves MN-MRPC as its at-large commissioner. The MN-MRPC is the state’s statutory-based overseer and coordinator of the Great River Road, the network of roadways and trails besides the Mississippi River. Anne also guides America’s Waterway, a nonprofit she founded to advocate for on-line civic engagement to unify approaches to the Mississippi River. Before starting America’s Waterway, she worked in the marketing communications and public relations fields, in Minnesota, New York and Maryland. She has served as a volunteer leader for numerous nonprofit organizations throughout her professional career.

Friday October 6, 2017 - 12:00 pm - Keynote

History of the Red Lake-Leech Lake Trail - Leo Soukup, Andy Mack & Margaret Carlson, Beltrami County Historical Society

The historic Red Lake – Leech Lake Trail runs from the northern edge of Leech Lake to the southern shore of Red Lake and has existed for hundreds of years. The Red Lake/ Pembina Treaty of 1863 initiated its expansion and upgrade from a foot trail to a wagon road and was necessary to ship supplies from the Leech Lake Agency to the Red Lake Agency. The road was finished by the time the surveying was completed in the 1870s and is recorded in most of the original Government Land Office survey notes and displayed on the corresponding original maps. 
The trail was still in use up until the early 1900s when roads and railroads became the dominant travel routes. Remnants of this trail’s historic existence can still be seen across the countryside today.
Leo Soukup retired from teaching English at Red Lake, MN in 2005. Since then he has become involved in local history as a board member of the Beltrami County Historical Society. His main interest has been Minnesota and the Native American history in our state. He has edited a book for the Beltrami County Historical Society entitled “Ojibwe Imprints on Northern Minnesota.”
Andy Mack was born and raised in Central North Dakota on a small diversified farm. He always had an profound interest in history, especially railroading. He has been a resident of Beltrami County, MN for 50 years and has an engineering and licensed land surveyor background. For the last 10 years of employment he worked for the City of Bemidji Public Works Department. He is a former board member for Habitat for Humanity and has served on the Beltrami County Historical Society for the past 12 years.
Dr. Margaret Carlson, taught in grades kindergarten-second grade for twenty-five years and at Bemidji State University for eleven years. She received her EdD from the University of North Dakota with a focus on experiential education. Her interest in the Red Lake Leech Lake Trail is inspired by her desire to teach children in northern MN about our history and natural resources. Currently she is working with the 4H club of Turtle River, exploring the trail and the history of Turtle River as an early logging town.


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