Kent Smith

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An Ojibwe college professor retired from Bemidji State University. He was director and teacher for the Indian Studies Program and responsible for the Center being built and for it not being dropped. He encouraged students to return to reservations in leadership positions. He started the first all-American Indian Art Show - the Ojibway Art Expo. The Indian Studies Program may have been one out of two in the country at the time.

He gave up a career in sculpture to teach primarily young Native-Americans from not only the three reservations but also from Canada and elsewhere. He is humble but had far-reaching influence in the state. Without him, things would have been far different in the North Country. Without his devotion to educating students, without politics, based upon fact and nurturing understanding of cultures.

There are now many art shows, many American-Indian Studies educational programs, many good chairpersons, lawyers, and others because of his work. He gave students hope and the earliest solid footing that is from local roots in this state. Many people know this about him.

Kent would never beat his own drum and his history, influence and effort in this state is amazing. There is so much that I could tell you about him and what he has done selflessly. Although he is my husband, I feel very deeply that the reason I care for him is out of respect of what he has given to others.
~Mary Smith, Bemidji, MN


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