Alan’s Story

I grew up in White Earth, Minnesota. My parents, Leonard and Laura, raised my brother, sister and I. My father was a carpenter. We didn’t have everything we wanted, but my parents always made sure we had everything we needed.

It wasn’t perfect, but it was mino-biimaadiziwin (a good life). Even my own grandparents led humble lives, with each grandfather serving in the Army. The key to my own future was education and national service.

I met my wife Henny, a college graduate, in 2007. I got to know her because of our shared love for sushi. We married in 2008 and now have three children, Christian, Sean and Ashley. Henny has worked as a paraprofessional for special needs students, helping youth and families with their schoolwork and other activities.

In our own home, in between campaign literature and Tribal Council resolutions, the kitchen table is often covered with homework assignments.

When she is not working Henny enjoys cooking and taking our children to events. She makes an often-requested Indonesian sponge cake; if we’re lucky, we might enjoy some at home.

I come from an Ojibwe and Irish family and we are very proud of our heritage. My family and I often attend powwows and family gatherings where the beat of a drum can be heard, and the feathers of a dress proudly worn. Whenever the children attend a gathering, they dance during Veteran songs. Sean enjoys listening to the drum very much. Ashley visits vendors and asks her mom to buy her candy. Our children are polite, sweet-hearted, and passionate. They all attend local schools.

Running for State Senate

My family has always been involved with community advocacy. My parents would often bring my siblings and I to public hearings, Tribal Council meetings, and protests. The advocacy was focused on Tribal rights, equal protections and more representation in government.

My experience as a child is a major reason why I decided to run for the White Earth Tribal Council in 2018. With the support of the recently passed Chairman Terry Tibbetts and my father, I understood that people with a passion need to fight for change and run for office.

I learned that people like to know who their public officials are and they want their ideas heard. I also learned about their hopes and their concerns for their children and their families. Based upon their feedback, I put together a winning platform and became a member of the White Earth Tribal Council as the Secretary/Treasurer.

Military and government experience has prepared me for the important work of representing people locally and nationally. Supporters approached me to consider running for State Senate District 2 because I understand the social, environmental and economic challenges of the region and state. Over the past few years, I’ve learned that we can organize and solve problems that affect everyone living here. I will take this problem-solving approach to the State Senate.

Miigwech (Thank you).

White Earth saying that guides Alan:

“Lead a good life, live a good life.”