Minnesota Native News Special Edition: Bemidji Welcomes New Chief Bemidji Statue
On June 6th in Bemidji Minnesota a new statue of Chief Bemidji is being dedicated. He is the Native American namesake of the town. He will stand on the shores of Lake Bemidji right next to the 18 foot tall statue of Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox. These statues represent the two cultures present in this small community in Minnesota’s north woods. Bemidji is a predominantly white town that borders three of the largest and most populous American Indian reservations in Minnesota: the Red Lake Nation, White Earth Nation and Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe. To the coalition of Native Americans and non-Natives behind the new Chief Bemidji statue — this is more than a bronze monument — it’s an opportunity for truth telling and reconciliation in this Minnesota border town.