Dr. Brenda Child ‘81
Brenda Child was born and raised on the Red Lake Reservation. From a young age, Child developed a strong interest for the history, culture and well-being of her people. She finds her passion in telling American Indian history, working to improve Native American opportunity throughout the United States and supporting her students’ education interests and careers.
She graduated from Bemidji State University in 1981 with a bachelor’s degree in history and American Indian studies. She continued her education at the University of Iowa, where she earned both her master’s and doctorate degrees in history.
Her long-standing contributions to Ojibwe history were recognized in 2016 when she received an honorary degree from Knox College in Galesburg, Ill.
She is an award-winning author of numerous books, articles and essays about the proud history and culture of American Indian peoples. Child takes an active role in tribal governance by serving on a committee tasked with writing a new Red Lake constitution, and she is the past president of the Native American and Indigenous Studies Association.
Child and her husband, Steve, reside in St. Paul, Minn., and have two children, Frankie and Benay.
Dr. Brenda J. Child ‘81