Oyate Network: Mary LaGarde

The Oyate Network is an opportunity for Tiwahe Foundation grantees to expand and apply their knowledge and energy toward their communities. After participating in quarterly network cohorts facilitated by Tiwahe Foundation, participants are eligible for project grants used to advance their communities.

Mary LaGarde (White Earth Ojibwe) participated in the second cohort of the Oyate Network. Mary is the Executive Director of the Minneapolis American Indian Center (MAIC), the epicenter of Native events in the Twin Cities area. She is currently working on the redesign of the Minneapolis American Indian Center as a central place for services to the Native community.

After completing the Oyate Network sessions, LaGarde submitted a small grant proposal to engage the MAIC Board of Directors and staff to assess the needs and develop goals around the MAIC building redesign.

When asked about her involvement with the Oyate Network, LaGarde shared, “Having worked within the south Minneapolis American Indian community for more than 25 years, I have had opportunities to develop programs, services and organizations that support urban Native youth, families and elders. Often times, I would find myself working independently to make changes. The Oyate Network has challenged my perception of collaboration, and has helped me to look beyond my immediate network of usual partners for my community work.”

To learn more about the Oyate Network, please contact Deanna StandingCloud, Program & Community Network Director by email at dstandingcloud@tiwahefoundation.org

Why I Give, by John Bobolink
Tiwahe Board of Directors

“I believe in the mission of the Tiwahe Foundation because it is in the business of helping Natives and their families, which makes for better communities. These grants are not handouts, it is Natives supporting Natives. When I donate, it makes me feel proud to share and that I am part of something helpful.”

“The Seventh Generation Endowment Campaign is working to support the future. When I think about the future, I dream of a healthy and safe community, which accepts and celebrates cultural diversity. Like many in the community, I would like to pass on the history of our people, the knowledge of the struggles our people have had to survive and the hope of imagining a better future for our children.”

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