It’s hard to leave knowing there is so much work to be done in the area.

Stacy spoke about making partnerships. We love to talk about MARL and we’d love to share the program with potential new donors.

We’d also love to thank existing donors. We look forward to seeing the new website and blog post, maybe even pictures. And a new executive director soon!

See everyone in June.

Greatest Class Ever, VIII


A morning journey to the headwaters. A great presentation by Naturalist Connie Cox.  Best of all no one fell in, even with the layer of fresh snow.

First we went on the way to Potlatch, where balsam fir caused many to begin coughing. Plant manager Pete Aube warned the balsam could cause problems for some and it did. The plant technology was great, with the 3-D scanning and grading. Most of our group is familiar with cropland owner/tenant relationship, and Pete gave an explanation of landowner/logger/mill relationships.

Then we moved on to Red Lake and a delicious walleye and wild rice lunch. Father Jerry told his struggles and successes with the church and school. He shared some statistics of the area,  such as 80% poverty and single digit graduation notes.

Our tours included the hospital, nursing home, greenhouse, fishery, and Red Lake Nation foods. The hospital looked beautiful and the system was based on walk-in appointments.

The fishery was an adventure. They clean them fast and buy them for Red Lake residents. Fishing could be your job if you are a reservation member!

The greenhouse is state of the art and shaved the nation’s commitment to using lumber as a profit center. Trees can be a great sources of income for the reservation.

At Red Lake Nation Foods we had a chance to shop for wild rice, mixes, jellies, and soup mixes. They do ship as well…

A power-nap on the ride back to Itasca. The bus was silent as we drove back to the hostel. A beef meal at Lobos and we all enjoyed fellowship at the hostel.


Class VIII met in the Great White North at Itasca State Park for our 5th session together.

We started off with our EQI groups discussing our “three minds” – head, heart, and gut. We all need to be more conscious of balancing the three when making a decision.

The big event was a session fundraising by Reid Zimmerman. With our various roles on boards and organizations, and our future as MARL alums, this was hopefully very helpful.

We ate as a group at Lobos. It was fun reconnecting socially after getting to know each other better in D.C. We ended the night discussing interpersonal conflict before heading back to the hostel for socializing and resting. A different sleeping situation then most of us is used to, but it was fun!

-Amber Hanson