Blog #3 – Commonwealth of Fargo, ND

Since moving to Fargo in 2015, I have had plenty of opportunities to explore my community. There are many amazing assets in this community, and I am still learning about new resources every month. Being a current student at North Dakota State University has been by far my most valuable Commonwealth asset. While it is only one of the “education” of the 12 total key Commonwealth assets, to me it has served to be the most valuable. I have made so many connections with people who have provided me with education on all of the key assets available in the Commonwealth of Fargo. The people I interact with on a regular basis have connected me into the local Native communities providing me access to the spirituality asset of Fargo that aligns with my own spirituality. In our community, we have a sweatlodge that is for the community and taken care of by the City of Fargo. One unique key asset to the Native community of Fargo is the City’s Native American Commission, this commission is run by Native people and designed to help create awareness and support for the Native American community residing in Fargo. The Native American Commission to me is a part of the city government that helps create a sense of place for Native people here. In addition to education, spirituality, and sense of place, we have a really well-developed food shed and the water cycle. One of North Dakota’s primary industries is Agriculture, and here in the Red River Valley, we produce some of the most sugar beets in the world. On a more local scale, there is a strong network of community-based gardens where people can rent a small chunk of land to grow their own personal garden. Additionally, we have a local farmers market that occurs every weekend throughout the growing season and just recently we gained a new food co-op that my wife and I are proud owners of and excited for healthy foods from there. Fargo has, to me, one of the most unique water cycles in the world as the river that the city sits on is one of only a few rivers in the world that flows North. The Red River of the North flows into Canada and is the primary source of water for the cities of Fargo and Grand Forks, ND, as well as other municipalities located in near the river. One last asset that I am very proud of is the Art and Culture asset. Here in Fargo, we have a very populous Native American population and we put on multiple pow wows here locally between Fargo, ND, and Moorehead, MN. In addition to pow-wows, we have the Plains Art Museum that showcases artists from all walks of life and makes a special emphasis on Native artists during certain times throughout the year. Things like this really help strengthen the sense of place for me and my family.

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