Dr. Robert Powless Cultural Center Celebrates Indigenous Authors

Emily Ness
Updated: September 08, 2019 11:00 PM

Indigenous authors, Marcie Rendon and Vern Northrup celebrated the release of their latest books Sunday afternoon at the Dr. Robert Powless Cultural Center.


Rendon’s new book—Girl Gone Missing—tells the tale of a 19-year-old Ojibwe woman who begins having dreams about girls gone missing. The book, which has received positive reviews from Buzzfeed, The Circle News and Publishers Weekly is the second in a sequel following Rendon’s Murder on Red River

“I love writing,” Rendon said. It’s fun to create a character and watch the whole story develop and then end up with a book.”

Set in 1970, Rendon hopes Girl Gone Missing will shed light on human trafficking. Specifically, the trafficking of Native American women and how it remains a problem today.

“I think that every Native person has been impacted one way or another,” she said. At the same time, “the book is a book of resiliency,” she emphasized. “Everyone talks about our trauma, but really, we’re more resilient in my mind than we are traumatized.”

Rendon’s book will be available in Duluth at the Dr. Robert Powless Cultural Center gift shop and in the Twin Cities at Once Upon A Crime and Birchbark Books.

Vern Northrup too, had a story to tell in his new book, titled, Akinomage. Named after the Ojibwe word for ‘gaining knowledge from the earth,’ Akinomage showcases photography Northrup shot of Northern Minnesota.

“All these photographs in here are either food or medicine to us or both and it cycles around the four seasons,” he said.

As a retired fire fighter, Northrup spends a great deal of time in the outdoors. Remarkably, he shoots all of his photos on an iPhone and was recently recognized for his work.

“All these photos in here are hanging in the State Capitol now in the public art gallery on the third floor,” he said.

The photos will remain at the State Capitol till November and Northrup’s book will be available at the the Dr. Robert Powless Cultural Center gift shop, the Duluth Art Institute and Black Bear Casino.

Both Rendon and Northrup hope that people will enjoy their books and graciously thank everyone who helped them during their writing journey.


Emily Ness

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