Native Voices and Visions

Scroll to read

As the University of Minnesota celebrates Native American Heritage Month, we share the stories of six individuals—students, staff, faculty, and alumni—who are making a difference in their communities.

Kate Beane: Returning home, restoring a name

The epitome of a lifelong learner, Kate Beane has worked tirelessly to understand the links between the historic and contemporary experiences of her Native community.

Kate Bean, wading in a lake
Sisokaduta Joe Bendisckson

Šišókaduta: A keeper of the language

Curious about his Native language as a teenager, Šišókaduta Joe Bendickson learned Dakota at the U of M and now teaches the language to the next generation. He feels he’s in a race against time.

Korina Barry: creating ‘the community we deserve’

As U of M alumna Korina Barry transitions from a career in child welfare to a new position in Indigenous advocacy, she reflects on her own personal journey.

Korina Barry
Dr. Mary Owen

Mary Owen: Dedicated to her ‘critically important work’

Physician and program director Mary Owen returned to the Duluth campus to help train Native American physicians and other healthcare workers to better serve Indigenous communities.

Tadd Johnson: Building relationships from the ground up

Since becoming the senior director of American Indian Tribal Nations Relations, Tadd Johnson has opened a meaningful dialogue between the U of M and Minnesota’s tribes.

Tadd Johnson
Nerissa Dolney

Nerissa Dolney: ‘I hope to be able to aid in healing’

University of Minnesota Morris graduate Nerissa Dolney is pursuing a doctoral degree, and she plans to increase access to mental health care in Native American communities.

A new tuition assistance program for Native American students

The University of Minnesota has announced a new initiative to provide free or reduced tuition on any of its five system campuses to first-year undergraduate students and tribal college transfer students who are enrolled citizens in any of the state’s 11 federally recognized Tribal Nations.

Learn more about the program

Impact Leaders Event: A Conversation in Celebration of Native American Heritage Month

Celebrate Native American Heritage Month and join your University of Minnesota community for a virtual conversation on November 11 between President Joan Gabel and Karen Diver, the U of M first Senior Advisor to the President for Native American Affairs.