Red Lake Nation begins building new college, government center on reservation
The Red Lake Nation has secured more than $21 million in low-interest loans to start building a new tribal college and government center. The separate structures, designed to resemble a soaring eagle, will include 42,000 square feet for the college. About 90 percent of the 130 students who currently attend classes in an old building wouldn’t take college classes without the local option, according to the tribe. The college building will include an Ojibwe immersion Head Start program, a large library, an Ojibwe language center, a cafe, a fitness center, a tribal archive and a sweat lodge. The project, kick-started with loans from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development program, will create 120 construction jobs.
“We can build square boxes, but unless we incorporate [our] own Anishinaabe identity into that, then as people, over time, we will cease to exist,” tribal Chairman Floyd Jourdain Jr. said at a groundbreaking last week.