Annual American Indian Awards Banquet set for April 18

Bemidji State University’s 33rd Annual American Indian Awards Banquet is set for 6 p.m. Thursday, April 18.

The event will be held in the Beaux Arts Ballroom in Bemidji State’s upper Hobson Memorial Union. The public is invited and asked to provide a free-will donation at the door.

A variety of other events will be held in conjunction with the banquet, including on-campus presentations by University of Minnesota Ojibwe instructor Dennis Jones and an invitation-only unveiling of a vintage photography collection from the turn of the 20th century featuring members of the Red Lake and White Earth tribes.

American Indian Awards Banquet
For the 33rd year, Bemidji State will recognize the achievement of its Native students at the annual American Indian Awards Banquet. The event features a buffet dinner, and this year’s keynote address will be given by Dave Anderson, founder of the Famous Dave’s chain of barbecue restaurants.

At the banquet, 15 students will be recognized for making the President’s List for earning a 4.0 grade-point average, 50 students will be honored for earning positions on the BSU Dean’s List with GPAs above 3.25, and 13 students will receive academic achievement honors for earning GPAs of 3.0 or above. The AIRC will also name the 2012-13 Outstanding Student of the Year, Foundation Scholarship Recipients and recipients of the center’s 2012-13 Graduate Awards.

Dennis Jones presentation schedule
Dennis Jones, an enrolled member of the Nigigooniminikaaning First Nation in Ontario, Canada, is a teaching specialist in American Indian studies at the University of Minnesota. He teaches Ojibwe language courses and is a published author.

Jones will be giving two public lectures on Ojibwe language and culture at the AIRC on April 18; both are open to the public free of charge.

• 10 a.m. – “Ojibwe History and Culture in Motion,” AIRC room 128.
• 1 p.m. – “Revitalizing the Ojibwe Language,” AIRC room 128.

Jones also will perform the invocation for the awards banquet.

Cooper Collection unveiling
During an invitation-only ceremony on Thursday, Bemidji State and the American Indian Resource Center will unveil a permanent installation of Native American portraits taken by local photographer Neil Hakkerup at the dawn of the 20th century.

The installation will feature 22 large prints and several smaller prints of Native people from the Leech Lake and Red Lake nations, taken between 1900-1915, including photographs of the city’s namesake, Chief Bemidji. The collection, which also includes original glass photo reproduction plates, has been permanently donated to the BSU Foundation for permanent display in the American Indian Resource Center by David and Kathy Cooper.

The Cooper Collection unveiling ceremony is open by invitation only. The collection will be available for public viewing during the American Indian Resource Center’s regular business hours beginning Friday, April 19.

For more information about the American Indian Awards Banquet, contact the American Indian Resource Center, (218) 755-2032,,