Indigenous Peoples’ Day at UMD with Commissioner Dennis Olson

Indigenous Peoples’ Day, is an important holiday to remember tribal people in North America. UMD invited Commissioner Dennis Olson to learn how UMD provides resources and support to tribal students.

President Biden earlier this year made Indigenous People’s Day an officially recognized holiday

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Indigenous People’s Day recognizes American Indians’ resilience and strength as well as the immeasurable positive impact that they have made on every aspect of American society. Native Americans have campaigned for years for local and national days in recognition of the country’s American Indians.

Commissioner Dennis Olson of University of Minnesota’s Office of Higher Learning is visiting colleges and universities throughout Minnesota. There are plenty of historic tribal colleges in Minnesota such as Red Lake Nation or Fond du Lac community and tribal college.

Olson met with students of different tribes and observed how UMD provides both resources and support to tribal students enrolled. Olson himself is an enrolled member of the Fond du Luc Band of Lake Superior Chippewa.

“And the goal is for 70% of Minnesotans, age 25 to 44, to obtain some sort of post-secondary credential beyond high school. And whether that’s a certificate or a diploma or degree” Olson said.

Commissioner Olson met with students from different tribes enrolled at UMD’s American Indian Learning Research Center.

Commissioner Olson also said Minnesota is the second state in the nation with indigenous students applying to get a higher level education. However, state efforts are still needed to help with student retention.