Photo by Mark Tessier

It Happens Here: The Roots of Racial Inequity on the North Shore

WTIP is taking a deeper look at who we are as a community. Part of the effort is our commitment to learn more about the history of where we live here on the North Shore—from a time long before the first towns were established and the first European settlers arrived. We’ll be digging into land history, the background of our early school systems and talking to a number of people who can help us answer some of the many questions we have about how we fit into the “big” picture when it comes to the various forms of racism and the roots of racial inequity. And so, we’re excited to introduce a new, ongoing series called, It Happens Here: The Roots of Racial Inequity on the North Shore. Your hosts are Leah Lemm, member of the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe and host of the Native Lights podcast, and Staci Drouillard a Grand Portage Band of Ojibwe tribal descendant and WTIP producer. There will be new Episodes monthly.

WTIP would like to thank the project Advisory Board–John Morrin, Tyler Howell, Marisa Anywaush, Beth Drost and Amira Anderson. Miigwech to all of you for your help with the series.

October 18, 2022
It Happens Here Episode 9 – Day One

Featuring the insights of John Morrin and Anton Treuer, this episode explores how “day one” of colonization took shape for the people of Omiimii Ziibing–the Pigeon River.
“It Happens Here” is hosted by Leah Lemm, produced and written by Staci Drouillard.

May 3, 2022
It Happens Here Episode 8 – Meso

In this episode of It Happens Here WTIP continues to take a hard look at the three levels of racism: Micro (individual acts), Meso (institutionally constructed) and Macro (a wide lens), specifically the Meso level where the patterns, policies and procedures that uphold the tenants of racism are constructed and supported on an organizational or institutional level. Featuring community voices and the insight of Bemidji State University Professor and anti-racism trainer Anton Treuer.

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It Happens Here Episode 7 – Micro and Macro

It Happens Here is an ongoing series that explores the roots of racial inequity on the North Shore of Minnesota. In this episode, Bemidji State University Ojibwe Language Professor, and anti-racism trainer Anton Treuer explains the three different levels of racism: Micro, Meso and Macro, and shares his insight about why even the word “racism” can cause confusion, when the focus is on racist acts at the Micro or Macro level.

March 25, 2022
It Happens Here Episode 6 – Conversion

In this episode, Tim Cochrane, Christina Woods and John Morrin contribute to the history of religious conversion on the North Shore, as it relates to the Lake Superior Ojibwe at Grand Portage and Ft. William. We learn how the arrival of the Jesuits on the North Shore helped to shape and enforce the newly defined International Border, divide Anishinaabe people and even change the names of some very well-known landmarks on the North Shore.

February 18, 2022
It Happens Here Episode 5 – [email protected]

It Happens Here is an ongoing series that explores the roots of racial inequity on the North Shore. In this segment, John Morrin and Christina Woods discuss how the negative words of history contribute to modern stereotypes and the development of implicit bias.

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It Happens Here Episode 4 – Asterisks

It Happens Here Ep. 4 – Asterisks. This segment looks at the history and modern implications of checking boxes and what Christina Woods calls the “gatekeeping” of our history. Christina is a citizen of the Bois Forte Nation, executive director of the Duluth Art Institute and trainer for the Diversity Institute. This segment also includes the insights of John Morrin, Grand Portage band member and trainer for the People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond.

It Happens Here is a production of WTIP North Shore Community Radio and is funded by the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.

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It Happens Here Episode 3 – Other People’s Rules

It Happens Here is an ongoing series that explores the history of racial inequality in the communities that live in far, northeastern Minnesota. In this segment, we continue to explore the cultural and land history of Minong—or Isle Royale, which was recognized as the “Traditional Cultural Property” of the Grand Portage Ojibwe in July of 2019.

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It Happens Here Episode 2 – Forever

Episode 2: Forever is about historical connection that the Grand Portage Ojibwe have to Minong–Isle Royale. We learn about the ancient history of the Ojibwe people and discover when Anishinaabe people first arrived on the North Shore. Features interviews with John Morrin, Anton Treuer and Tim Cochrane.

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It Happens Here Episode 1 – Insulated

WTIP asks, “who are WE, anyway?” In the first episode of this ongoing series, hosts Leah Lemm and Staci Drouillard explore how Cook County fits into the bigger picture when it comes to racial inequity on the North Shore.