Dr. Anton “Tony” Treuer, professor of languages and ethnic studies at Bemidji State University, has been named director of Bemidji State’s American Indian Resource Center (AIRC).
“I am pleased that Dr. Treuer will serve in this crucial leadership role,” said Dr. Richard A. Hanson, president of Bemidji State University and Northwest Technical College. “Indian education is a vitally important issue for northern Minnesota, and I have stressed the center’s importance to our mission as a regional state university during my entire tenure at Bemidji State.
“Dr. Treuer is ideally suited to direct and expand our efforts not only to provide services to the three bands in our region, but also to develop the AIRC into a national beacon for Native education, research and language preservation.”
Treuer said he is eager to tackle the challenges of his new position, both with short-term and long-term strategies.
“Bemidji State University has a great track record for service to Native people,” Treuer said. “This is a critical time for both the University and for Indian country. With the financial realities at the state level, the University and the AIRC need dynamic leadership that can come up with some new, innovative approaches to growth and to the services we provide.
“We are in the midst of embarking on an historic capital campaign, and I have high hopes that it will enable us to do new and innovative things for our students and for the people we serve.”
Treuer has been a member of Bemidji State’s Department of Languages and Ethnic Studies since 2000, where he has taught Ojibwe language courses and classes on Ojibwe culture, history and literature.
Prior to joining the BSU faculty, Treuer was an assistant professor of history at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee for four years.
In addition to his role on the Bemidji State faculty, Treuer is editor of the “Oshkaabewis Native Journal,” the only academic journal of the Ojibwe language, and author or editor of nine books.
Treuer’s book, “Ojibwe in Minnesota” was named Minnesota’s Best Read by the Center for the Book at the Library of Congress in 2010. He edited “Awesiinyensag: Dibaajimowinan Ji-gikinoo’amaageng,” an Ojibwe-language children’s book that was named Minnesota’s Best Read for 2011. This summer, he won the Award of Merit from the American Association of State and Local History for his book, “The Assassination of Hole in the Day.”
Treuer’s other books include “Everything You Wanted to Know About Indians But Were Afraid to Ask,” “Ezhichigeyang: Ojibwe Word List,” “Living Our Language: Ojibwe Tales and Oral Histories,” “Aaniin Ekidong: Ojibwe Vocabulary Project,” “Indian Nations of North America” and “Omaa Akiing.”
Treuer is on the boards for the White Earth Land Recovery Project, the Sanford/MeritCare health system and the Minnesota State Arts Board. He has received more than 40 awards and fellowships from organizations including the American Philosophical Society, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Science Foundation, the MacArthur Foundation, the Bush Foundation and the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation.
Treuer has a bachelor’s degree from Princeton University and holds master’s and doctorate degrees from the University of Minnesota.
Treuer’s duties as AIRC director begin Nov. 15.
Dr. Don Day, former director of the AIRC, assumed the presidency at Leech Lake Tribal College in July. Day had been AIRC director for four years.