Rural Leadership North Dakota


Website banner

| Share

RLND Class VII Seminar Ten — Leading in a Changing World

RLND Class VII began its 10th and final seminar in the beautiful Turtle Mountains on June 28, 2017. The site chosen for the start of seminar ten was Annie’s House located at the Bottineau Winter Park. The beautiful facility was built in 2012 on the 11th anniversary of the 911 World Trade Center attacks. The facility is named after Ann Nelson who was North Dakota’s only resident killed on that tragic day.

Brad Knutson, Bottineau Winter Park CEO, and Rachael Buss, Annie’s House Adaptive Program Director, spoke to us about the history of the Bottineau Winter Park whose legacy and existence are due to community participation, partnership and the wonderful adaptive programs Annie’s House offers to those in the upper Midwest. 

Our keynote speaker was Robin Thorstenson, corporate trainer for Starion Bank.  Robin’s theme and message of the day was “Leading in a Changing World” with a focus on recognizing cultural differences based on when you were born – Generations.   

From Annie’s House, Class VII participants transferred to the International Peace Garden (IPG).  At the Garden we took in a walking tour of the formal garden area and spent time visiting with IPG CEO Gary Enns.

Our final speaker of the evening was Dr. Jerry Migler, Dean and CEO of Dakota College of Bottineau.  Dr. Migler talked about the challenges of running a successful college in a state where so many have experienced budget cuts.

Thursday morning we traveled to Turtle Mountain Community College (TMCC). A traditional prayer was shared and Dr. Jim Davis, President TMCC, welcomed RLND Class VII participants to the college and the Turtle Mountain Reservation. Les LaFountain, TMCC Instructor, shared the history of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians with participants.

Scott Davis, Executive Director North Dakota Indian Affairs Commission, spoke next. Mr. Davis talked about leading in a changing world and how that required grit and understanding who you are. After lunch participants heard from Wes Davis, TMCC Facilities Manager, about how TMCC’s initiative on sustainable energy.

RLND Class VII participants visited the Thirsty Dance Sundance in Dunseith where they learned how the Thunderbird Lodge is constructed by supporters and dancers during the first day of Sundance. Participants observed the inside of the lodge and were told stories of the Sundance and reasons why the Anishinabe people dance in the lodge without food and water for one to four days.

 Participants visited a sacred site that had tipi rings and medicine wheel rings. Participants were shown how the Anishinabe people used buffalo pounds to capture and kill buffalo for survival and food.

RLND Class VII participants visited the home of Jt Shiningone Side and Waylon Black Crow to learn about the sweat lodge and American Indian Spirituality from Waylon Black Crow Sr. Jt lead participants on the afternoon tour and shared cultural stories of the Anishinabe culture.

The evening ended with the RLND Leadership Dinner held at the Sky Dancer Casino near Belcourt. Chairman Wayne Keplin, Chairman Turtle Mountain Reservation, shared a welcome. Twila Martin Kekahbah, guest speaker, spoke about rural and urban leadership: empowerment factors.

Friday morning participants gathered at the TMCC to hear from Dave Lehman, RLND Alumni Association President, about the alumni association and how participants can get involved.

Participants shared information with each other about what they learned about themselves over the past 18 months as well as how they have changed as a result of the RLND Program. Participants also shared what the value of the program was to them, their communities, organizations and state as the seminar concluded.



Creative Commons License
Feel free to use and share this content, but please do so under the conditions of our Creative Commons license and our Rules for Use. Thanks.