By Tom Robertson
The problem with the 1950s-era statue is that some say it's not a respectful representation. At best, critics say it's a mediocre piece of folk art that's unflattering and short on artistic detail.
Members of Shared Vision, a group working to improve relations between Native Americans and whites, hope to replace it with a life-sized bronze sculpture.
For some Native Americans, a new statue would help unite people in Bemidji, where a study last year found that three-quarters of Indians, and 90 percent of those living on nearby reservations, think the Bemidji community is not welcoming to people of all races.
For more on the subject, see Racism in Bemidji and Best Indian Monuments to Topple.
Below: "Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe members, left to right, Nikki Headbird, Donnie Headbird, Bev Raish and Jody Bellanger stand in front of the Bemidji statue of Shay-now-ish-kung, better known as Chief Bemidji. They support an effort to replace the statue with a more dignified bronze sculpture." (MPR Photo/Tom Robertson)