Grand Portage community hosts Oct. 8 event to celebrate racial equity and Indigenous Peoples Day weekend
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Grand Portage community hosts Oct. 8 event to celebrate racial equity and Indigenous Peoples Day weekend

On Saturday, Oct. 8, the Grand Portage community is hosting a series of activities to celebrate the kick-off of “Opening Doors: A Year of Learning” and Indigenous Peoples Day weekend in Cook County.

The weekend event is being hosted in collaboration with the Committee Addressing Racial Equity (CARE). 

The committee, formerly known as the Community Leadership Group was started in 2020 and included representatives from Cook County Higher Education, North Shore Health, ISD 166, City of Grand Marais, Cook County, Grand Portage, and private citizens to address housing and racial equity. 

Following the formation of the Housing and Redevelopment Authority, the CARE committee transitioned its efforts to racial equity in Cook County. The committee now focuses on breaking down systemic and structural racial inequality barriers.

Nina McCune, a CARE member, said the committee wanted to “advance equity specifically to end disparities in education, health care, housing, and to create a better understanding of our complete local history, along with an ingrained respect for tribal sovereignty.”

The Oct. 8 event is the first step in raising awareness in the community. It will start a year-long process of featuring local artists, hosting book readings and speakers, and learning about Indigenous culture and music. 

“This Saturday is a great example of what that means,” McCune said. The event will take place from 10 am to 3 pm and begin at the Grand Portage National Monument. In addition, visitors are welcome to visit the Grand Portage Museum, the Veterans Memorial, and the Grand Portage Community Center.  

McCune said the committee is excited to be a part of this event. “I think it’s an expression of recognizing we can actually do this. We can build bridges and open doors to bigger and broader collaboration.”

She added, “It’s just really exciting to see and hear the commitment and the passion now really coming to fruition. So it’s a combination of a lot of dedicated attention and work.”

The event will start at 10 am at the Grand Portage National Monument, where drummers and singers will welcome visitors. A discovery guide is available at the Heritage Center with a complete outline of the day’s activities and further information about the community, its history, and people. In addition, the Grand Portage Community Center will offer free frybread tacos between noon and 3 pm.

WTIP’s Kalli Hawkins spoke with McCune, a CARE member, to learn more about the upcoming Oct. 8 Grand Portage event. Audio from the interview is below.