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2019-2020 Annual Report
Northeastern Minnesota is home to over 325,000 people. Each person’s experiences, ideas, and points of view are unique only to them.
This summer, we asked individuals in our region to share their perspectives in this annual report. They were given no guidelines for what to write aboutonly to choose a topic about which they are passionate. Look at our region through their eyes, here.
There is value in our stories. There is strength in our diversity. What can we learn by listening with open minds?
— LeAnn Littlewolf’s Story
Indigenous Perspective on Economic Development
This past year, I have often thought about when I started out as a community organizer in 1992. I was 19 years old and my daughter Teague was almost a year old. We lived in a small town, Virginia, in Northern St. Louis County in a subsidized housing project.
— Ward Merrill’s Story
A Place Where All Things are Possible
Twenty years ago, two historic landmark buildings were the center of a divisive community debate. Would the Alexander Baker School (1914) and the E.W. Backus Jr. High School (1937) be adapted for reuse or become merely rubble in a landfill? Thanks to a passionate group of citizens the buildings were saved.
— Molly Harney’s Story
Weathering a Storm and Nurturing Resilience
Throughout history, children have endured catastrophic events that brew like storms and sweep through entire communities, defining their childhood and an entire generation. Children affected by the Great Depression and WWII are still alive today to talk about the experiences that impacted their life’s journey.
— Ann and Tom Rider’s Story
Shining a Spotlight on Leadership and Community
There is no sugar-coating it: these are difficult times. But as with all crises, there are blessings that will bubble up from today’s COVID cauldron, among them are leadership and community.