Senior Madeline Treuer repeated as Outstanding American Indian Student of the Year and a record 51 graduating native students were honored at Bemidji State University’s 38th Annual American Indian Students Recognition Banquet.
In addition, 135 students were recognized for outstanding academic achievement, including 22 President’s List honorees who posted perfect 4.0 grade-point averages during the spring, summer or fall semesters in 2017, at the April 19 event held in BSU’s American Indian Resource Center.
Treuer, a senior indigenous studies major from Bemidji, became only the second student in the 38-year history of the award to win a second Outstanding American Indian Student of the Year honor. She was joined by three other individual award winners, including:
- John Daniel, a senior indigenous studies major from Duluth, Minn., who won the Earl Nyholm Culture and Language Award,
- Sage Miletich, a senior nursing major from Barnham, Minn., who won the AIRC Community Leadership Award, and
- Sterling Knox, a senior humanities major from Minneapolis, Minn., who received the Roger Aitken Leadership Award.
The Nyholm award recognizes a BSU student who provides outstanding contribution and leadership for the AIRC’s language and cultural programs, the Aitken award recognizes outstanding on-campus leadership and the Community Leadership Award recognizes contributions to the Bemidji community.
In addition to 22 President’s List honorees, the banquet recognized 76 Dean’s List honorees who posted GPAs of 3.25–3.99, and 37 Academic Achievement Award winners with GPAs between 3.00–3.24.
Stoles were presented to BSU’s record 51 American Indian undergraduates, who will receive diplomas at the university’s 99th Commencement ceremony on May 4, by Harvey Roy III, president of BSU’s American Indian Alumni Association, Dr. Faith C. Hensrud, president of BSU and Northwest Technical College, and other BSU administrators and faculty. Three students who will receive master’s degrees on May 4 also were recognized.
Ursula Knoki-Wilson, community relations liaison officer, Office of the CEO, with Indian Health Service in Chinle, Ariz., provided the keynote address. Knoki-Wilson has worked in various roles at the Chinle Comprehensive Health Care Facility, a 60-bed hospital which serves as a regional health care hub, since 1996.
The Ogidaaki Singers provided the banquet’s welcome song and performed the honor song for presentation of the 2017-18 graduating students. The evening’s dinner of Red Lake walleye was provided by Ogaakaaning Enterprises,