BEMIDJI (AP) -- More than 10 years after its inception, Bemidji State University's center for American Indian affairs opened its doors on Monday.
Just west of the football stadium, the $2.6 million American Indian Resource Center is hosting a week of activities to inaugurate the program and the 10,000-square-foot center. Events started Saturday with a community powwow and a thank-you feast for center supporters.
"The Native American Center exemplifies Bemidji State University's commitment to the citizens of our region and state," the late BSU President Leslie Duly said in 1993 in launching the current effort.
BSU has the largest percentage of its student population as American Indian than any other campus in the state, and center officials hope that BSU will be able to expand that population to 500 students with the center's opening.
The American Indian Resource Center house the college's Indian Studies Program, Ojibwe language minor, offices and conference rooms, exhibits and a cultural area. Long-range plans call for an archive repository.
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