Native Lights is a weekly, half-hour radio program hosted by Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe members and siblings, Leah Lemm and Cole Premo. Native Lights is a space for people in Native communities around Mni Sota Mkoce — a.k.a. Minnesota — to tell their stories about finding their gifts and sharing them with the community.
On today’s show, part one of Leah and Cole’s rich conversation with the visionary leader Robert Lilligren (White Earth Ojibwe Nation) who is the President and CEO of the Native American Community Development Institute, and who serves the 7th District (South Minneapolis, downtown, North Minneapolis and Robbinsdale) on the Metropolitan Council.
Robert Lilligren shares stories and wisdom from his extensive experience in local government (he was the first tribal member to serve on the Minneapolis City Council), he has served on numerous boards for non-profit organizations, and his expertise and impact spans from housing, transportation, community development, and community engagement. Robert Lilligren is an avid reader, a classically trained singer, a year-round bike commuter, and he lives in south Minneapolis with his husband, Steve.
Please enjoy this deep conversation with this thoughtful public leader, who has done so much to bring Indigenous perspectives about leadership, community, and collaboration to everything he does.
Next week we will present part two of our conversation, and learn more about the elders and mentors who influenced Robert Lilligren’s early years, how he overcame his natural shyness and burst into politics, so he could fully embrace his life’s purpose of service.
Native Lights: Where Indigenous Voices Shine is produced by Minnesota Native News and Ampers, Diverse Radio for Minnesota’s Communities with support from the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage fund.
Subscribe to Native Lights wherever you get your podcasts
More from Native Lights
- Derek Nicholas: Indigenous Fare for Future GenerationsLeah and Cole have a conversation with Derek Nicholas (Red Cliff Band of Ojibwe) about food sovereignty and Indigenous cooking. Derek shares his experiences as the Nutrition Program Coordinator at the Division of Indian Work in Minneapolis; his views on culturally, seasonally appropriate foods; and about the growing, multi-faceted Indigenous food community.
- Heather Friedli: Revealing Nature’s AllureHeather creates vivid landscapes inspired by her family’s Native American and Mexican heritage and her time exploring the natural world. In addition to painting, Heather is also a professional snow sculptor and recently appeared in Disney’s Best In Snow sculpting competition.
- Rita Walaszek Arndt: Representation in HistoryRita is focused on Indigenous representation in the historical society and encourages people to think differently about the land now known as Minnesota.
- Susie Ballot and Lera Hephner’s Work to Preserve Culture Across GenerationsToday Leah shares her conversations with Susie Ballot and Lera Hephner from White Earth Nation’s cohort of Indigenous Parent Leadership Initiative (IPLI). As graduates of the initiative, they’ve begun projects to deepen connections between their communities and culture.
- Duane Goodwin: Expressing Culture Through SculptureNative Lights is a weekly, half-hour radio program hosted by Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe members and siblings, Leah Lemm and Cole Premo. Native Lights is a space for people in Native communities around Mni Sota Mkoce — a.k.a. Minnesota — to tell their stories about finding their gifts and sharing them with the community. …