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Letter: Remember Amos Owen, support human rights, honor a current resident

Nominations are now open for this year's recipient of the Amos Owen Award. The award has been presented since 2001 by the Red Wing Human Rights Commission.

This year, the award will be presented in the Red Wing City Council Chambers at the beginning of the regular council meeting on Nov. 13.

Amos Owen was a Prairie Island Mdewakanton elder and spiritual leader who worked tirelessly to preserve the Dakota language and culture. Because of his dedication to these causes, he is a renowned role model to those who value the preservation of the history of all cultures and heritages, as well as cherish human rights and dignity.

We who live in America, aside from the Native Americans, all have a history and culture that originated somewhere other than in this country — we are all immigrants! Each of us — Native American or not — who live in America have rights which only can be found here. Amos Owen has a message for all ethnic groups. "Be proud of what you are. When your ancestors came to this country, they spoke a language of their own. Don't forget it!" Most of us have.

The Amos Owen award recognizes an individual in the Red Wing community for his/her work in promoting and ensuring others' human rights. We are asking the community to nominate persons whom they feel actively promote justice and equality for others. This person will have performed human rights works differentiated from humanitarian work. Previous award recipients are Dean Preheim Bartell, Dan Guida, Paul Dressen, David Harris, Noah White Jr., Denise Drews Fosado, Regina Nicolosi, Winfred Red Cloud, John Nordgaard, Donna Dummer, Heather Marx, Audra Quandt, Marilyn Olson, Lois Burnes, Carol Duff, Arthur and Raymond Owen and Lucy Richardson.

Application forms for the nomination can be printed out by going to the city of Red Wing website, the Boards & Commissions area, Human Rights Commission page or stop in to Red Wing City Hall. Application deadline is 4 p.m. Nov. 6. Completed applications may be delivered to City Hall front desk as well.

If you know of anyone who fits this description, and there are many in Red Wing, please nominate them for this honor.

Marilyn Olson

Red Wing

Marilyn Olson is chair of the Red Wing Human Rights Commission.

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