Indigenous Students and Guest Speakers Celebrate Native American Heritage Month
Native American Heritage Month Speakers

From left, Rebekah Fineday, Lenny Fineday, Avery Doran ’24, Bella Bigelow ’24, and River Schmidt-Eder ’23

In celebration of Native American Heritage Month, three indigenous students—Avery Doran ’24, Bella Bigelow ’24, and River Schmidt-Eder ’23—shared their personal stories during an All-School meeting on Nov. 14. Watch a recording of their presentations below.


Hotchkiss then welcomed Rebekah Fineday and Lenny Fineday, sibling members of the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe in northern Minnesota, to speak with students at an All-School meeting on Dec. 6.

Rebekah Fineday is a combat veteran of the United States Air Force with eight years of active duty and service. She has worked as a registered nurse in Indian Health Services for 13 years. She is currently the Native American Community Advocate for Sanford Health in Bemidji, MN, where she helps educate health care staff in cultural competency specific to Native American culture. 

Lenny Fineday has practiced law, exclusively representing tribes and tribal interests throughout his career. He was elected president of the Minnesota American Indian Bar Association in 2012 and re-elected in 2013. He served on the Minnesota Judicial Selection Commission from 2015-19, and he currently serves on the boards of the Minnesota Children's Justice Initiative and the Federal Reserve Bank's Center for Indian Country Development. This June, he was elected secretary/treasurer of the Leech Lake Reservation Business Community, the governing body that oversees the tribal government for the Leech Lake Band.

Watch a recording of their talk below.



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