Renee Van Nett Becomes Duluth’s First Indigenous Council President

DULUTH, Minn. – The Duluth City Council is making history by electing the first Indigenous woman to serve as council president.

Councilor Renee Van Nett was unanimously elected during Monday’s meeting.

She says this achievement shows young girls of color that anything is possible.

“I didn’t believe that native people, women especially, belonged in society like this because I never saw it,” said Van Nett. “My daughters think they are little city councilors. I’m like, yeah, you need to stay thinking that. I didn’t have that thought.”

Under the new title, she plans to work on recovering the city, including in the fight against COVID-19.

Van Nett replaces Councilor Gary Anderson as president.

Councilor Arik Forsman was elected vice president of the council.

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