Minnesota Public Radio’s Conversations on the Creative Economy will visit Bemidji Sept. 26.

Host Chris Farrell, senior economics contributor at Marketplace, will lead a panel discussion with prominent Native entrepreneurs about how they are building their businesses, and how tribal ties, culture and tradition play into their work.

The event will be held at the Northwest Indian Community Development Center, 1819 Bemidji Ave North. A pre-reception and taco bar is from 5:30 to 6 p.m. followed by a program. A post-reception and networking starts at 7.

Native American entrepreneurship is growing. The Small Business Administration reports that firms owned by Native Americans and Alaska Natives grew by 15 percent from 2007 to 2012. Indigenous businesses in Minnesota are diverse, ranging from telecommunications to architecture to athletics.

Conversations on the Creative Economy is Minnesota Public Radio’s showcase event to highlight the region’s most intriguing and inspiring stories of entrepreneurship, innovation and creativity.  Chris Farrell will hold an in-depth conversation with the guests in front of a live audience. The discussion will be broadcast on MPR News shortly afterwards.  


Panel guests

Sarah Agaton Howes is an Anishinaabe artist, teacher, community organizer, and owner of House of Howes, a business for custom-made beadwork and regalia. She is from the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa in Minnesota.

Michael Laverdure is a registered architect, a partner at DSGW Architects and President of the Native American owned planning firm, the First American Design Studio. He is a citizen of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians.

Veronica Veaux is an assistant professor of Business Administration Entrepreneurship at Bemidji State University and is co-owner of DomiNative Development, a company devoted to advancing multi-sport competitiveness, especially among diverse, underrepresented populations. She is citizen of the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe.

Madonna Yawakie co-founded Ticom to provide telecommunication engineering and consulting services to Tribal Nations. She is a citizen of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians.

 The event is free, with pre-registration requested at www.mprnews.org/creativeeconomy


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