Friday, August 21, 2009

DSGW Architects creates First American Design Studio

By Konnie LeMay
Indian Country Today correspondent

DULUTH, Minn. – For more than 40 years, DSGW Architects in Duluth has worked with 15 Indian communities in four states on projects ranging from community centers to
clinics to casinos.
But this year, the firm – with the mission of “enriching communities
through architecture” – expanded its commitment to serving tribal interests by creating its First American Design Studio, headed by an Ojibwe designer.
Michael Laverdure of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa in North Dakota joined the firm in 2008. Partner Randy Wagner is working with and mentoring Laverdure on projects designed by the studio.
Laverdure joined DSGW about a year after he had competed against the firm for a project at the Peter Christensen Health Clinic on the Lac du Flambeau Band of Ojibwe
Reservation, where his sister, Dr. Adrienne Laverdure, works. DSGW won the contract.
Laverdure chuckled as he recalled his sister recommending, “You should call those guys that kicked your butt.”
He did just that; turns out DSGW was looking for the kind of expertise Laverdure could bring, and for the opportunity to organize an American Indianfocused
A job with the firm gave Laverdure the chance to do culturally meaningful designs and
to advance professionally. “Most of the work has been
with community-based projects,” said John Scott, a DSGW partner, of its involvement
with tribes. “They know we are going to listen first as we plan the overall approach for a successful project.”
Before moving to DSGW, Laverdure said the firm where he had worked decided not to
pursue tribal contracts. “If you don’t know how to work with tribes, it’s hard to do,” he said of the complications when working on tribal/federal projects or
of taking the time to listen to all local parties involved.
Laverdure said working with tribes was “exactly what I wanted to do.” His career choice reflected the teachings of his mother, well-known tribal Judge Betty Laverdure. “She said, ‘You always have to think of others before you think of yourself.’”
Laverdure graduated in 1996 from North Dakota State University’s College of Architecture and also attended Turtle Mountain Tribal College.

For more on the article, goto

Monday, August 17, 2009

Jumpin' kid...

Outside of the Boston Public Library I saw this kid doing flips off the steps. Pretty cool.

Hancock Tower in Boston

The John Hancock Tower, is a 60-story skyscraper in Boston. The structure, the tallest in the city, was designed by I.M. Pei and was completed in 1976.

You can see this from the steps of Boston Public Library. Weird that a one story church is just across the street, Trinity Church.

Sunday, August 16, 2009


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Gabriel monster jams

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Big Bear Ben

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Ben Jammin'

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Friday, August 14, 2009

Gabriel and Momma


Gabriel Lee


9lbs 8 3/4 oz 22 inches

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Twins vs Royals

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Awesome Seats! Twins won this one!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Aunty Rachel's Birthday Video Compilation

'Ten years in the making' | Grand Forks Herald | Grand Forks, North Dakota

'Ten years in the making' | Grand Forks Herald | Grand Forks, North Dakota

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Casey McDougall completed a lengthy journey before he received his master’s degree in clinical psychology Friday afternoon at UND’s Summer Commencement.

“Ten years in the making,” McDougall said. “A hiccup in Iraq, but I hit the ground running.”

McDougall is from the White Earth Reservation in White Earth, Minn. After earning his bachelor’s degree from UND, he served 18 months of duty in Kirkuk, Iraq, during Operation Iraqi Freedom as a member of the 1-188th Defense Artillery out of Grand Forks.

“It was 120 degrees,” McDougall said. “I drank about five liters a day, minimum.”

He researched gambling behavior as part of his doctoral thesis through UND’s Indians into Psychology program and also under the Ronald E. McNair scholarship, a national program for lower-income students created in memory of the late Space Shuttle Challenger astronaut.

“Without their support, I couldn’t finish this at all,” McDougall said.

He interned at the University of New Mexico Children’s Hospital and says he will prepare for his license working with the Pueblo Indians in Acoma and Laguna, New Mexico.

“It’s my goal to provide mental health services to rural communities that really need it,” McDougall said.....

More at link above....

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Aunty Rachel & The Kids

Our Cousin!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Aunty Rachel's Birthday #01

Aunty Rachel's Birthday #02

Robert doing his thing... Love the "Laughing Song"

How many Laverdure's can you stuff in an Elevator?

A lot!

Dr. McDougall

Casey just got his Doctorate from UND! Way to go!

Aunty Rachel's Birthday #03

Aunty Rachel's Birthday #05

Me and Maya!

Aunty Rachel's Birthday #04

Me and Adrienne!

Aunty Rachel's Birthday #06

Baby Asher!

Monday, August 3, 2009

What do you get when you cross a....

Dara had no adhesion to her 'stache...

Ugly Betty says...He Heh He Heh He Heh....

I call this one - Blue Steel!

Kigger man had me rolling after this pose....

Mustache me!

Look at their expressions! Funny even without the mustaches!

Give a kid 50 cents and.....

Gotta laugh at these kids...


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Peter Christensen Health Center

Stopping by to help finish up the punch list at Peter Christensen Health Center in Lac du Flambeau. Nice project by DSGW!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Along Canal Park in Duluth

Me and Maya along Canal Park in Duluth. Beautiful evening.