Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)



October 19, 2021

October 18, 2021 (Bemidji, MN) – Two residents of Northwest Minnesota are among eight individuals throughout Minnesota who have been chosen as Fellows for the two-year Initiators Fellowship, which assists social entrepreneurs in fast-tracking their ideas, growing their social and professional networks, and further developing their business and community leadership skills.

The two Fellows for Northwest Minnesota are:

• Daniel Barrientez Jr., of Bemidji. Daniel will build felon-friendly employment opportunities as he develops a food truck business, creating jobs for former felons. Daniel, himself, struggled to find employment due to his record after he was released from incarceration in 2010. Faced with many roadblocks — from employment to housing — he ultimately earned a degree in the culinary arts.

• Brenna Rollie, of Fosston. Brenna will develop wellness and community-building opportunities with her yoga business by providing classes, events, and camps, with an emphasis on healing and culture. Her dream is to create a community where all residents live in harmony with the land, water, and each other.

The eight Fellows selected for the 2022-2023 cohort represent 53 counties and six sovereign tribal nations in Central, Northwest, Southwest and West Central Minnesota. They will receive an annual $30,000 stipend during the two-year program, which also includes comprehensive programming, executive-level mentoring and leadership training, ongoing education, and support from dedicated staff members to advance their mission-driven business or nonprofit endeavors.

The Initiators Fellowship is new to Northwest Minnesota. It originated with the Little Falls-based Initiative Foundation in 2017 and its first cohort of four Fellows graduated in December 2019. This December, seven Fellows will graduate from the 2020-2021 cohort.

The Initiators Fellowship expanded to include the Northwest Minnesota Foundation for this next cohort, offering the fellowship opportunity to social entrepreneurs throughout NMF's 12-county service area and two native nations, Red Lake and White Earth.

Visit for a map displaying all of the 2022-2021 Fellows’ locations and question-and-answer responses about their social enterprise ventures.

The Northwest Minnesota Foundation is a public, charitable foundation serving 12 counties of Northwest Minnesota by investing resources, facilitating collaboration and promoting philanthropy.


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