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How Northern Minnesota is celebrating Indigenous Peoples' Day

A dancer dons a jingle dress and moccasins at a past Leech Lake Tribal College powwow.
File photo
A dancer dons a jingle dress and moccasins at a past Leech Lake Tribal College powwow.

Celebrations all around the region, home to Ojibwe nations, honor Indigenous Peoples' Day with music, feasts, art and more.

There are community events and radio specials celebrating Indigenous Peoples' Day throughout Northern Minnesota.

Tune in noon-2 p.m. Saturday for American Routes with Nick Spitzer, he'll celebrate the talents of musicians like Dennis Banks, Buffy Sainte-Marie and more. Or find the show in our archives.

On Monday, Oct. 9, our Mixtape program is all Indigenous artists with your host Jennifer Barr. Expect new music from Annie Humphrey and more!


Sampaguita in Aitkin hosts Indigenous Peoples’ Week beginning Monday and lasting through Sunday. There will be live music most evenings, and artist Rita Fortunato will perform noon-3 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday.

Grand Rapids

Concert poster for record release tour for Annie Humphrey.
Honor the Earth
Annie Humphrey's tour across the region with featured artists David Huckfelt and Jeremy Ylvisaker.

There is a host of events in Grand Rapids and this year's theme is "Thriving Together: Grand Rapids Street Celebration of Indigenous People."

The celebration will be noon-9 p.m. on Northwest First Avenue, between Fourth and Fifth streets.

  • Noon — Welcome featuring Mayor Dale Christy, Councilwoman Tasha Connelly and Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe District 1 Representative Kyle Fairbanks. The event also features drumming from Leech Lake and honoring Native veterans with the Itasca County Veterans Service Administration, Itasca County Disabled Veterans Chapter 13 and VFW Post No. 1720.
  • Noon-5 p.m. — Vendors, exhibitors and music and announcements by Gil Applebee and crew. Native vendors recruited by Gizhiigin Arts Incubator and MacRostie Arts Center will be on site along with community exhibitors.
"Listen to the full KAXE interview above"

  • 2-5 p.m. — Family activities, including fabric painting, leather working and beading at the Giinawind Gallery in the MacRostie Art Center, rock painting with Ashley Mattson on Old Central School grounds, and bean bag toss on Northwest First Avenue.
  • 2 p.m. — Presentation titled "Pre-Settlement Place Names and Land Use Near Lake Pokegama," with Karen Noyce at Old Central School.
  • 3 p.m. — "Leech Lake’s homeland and perspective in regards to the Chippewa National Forest," with Doug Thompson at Old Central School.
  • 4 p.m. — "Water Walkers: Who We Are; What We Do and Why," with Noreen Hautala at Old Central School.
  • 4:30 p.m. — Community banquet, Northwest First Avenue.
  • 5 p.m. — Screening of the 1992 film Thunderheart. Directed by Michael Apted, starring Sam Shepard, Val Kilmer and Graham Greene, the film is a retelling of the 1973 Wounded Knee incident. At Old Central School.
  • 7 p.m. — Album release concert for The Light in My Bones, new music by Annie Humphrey with David Huckfelt and Jeremy Ylvisaker at MacRostie Art Center.

Listen to our conversation above with Bernadine Joselyn from the Human Rights Commission of the city of Grand Rapids.