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John Bobolink, St. Paul Public Schools' Indian Education Supervisor, dies

St. Paul educator John Bobolink dies
St. Paul educator John Bobolink dies 00:28

ST. PAUL, Minn. — St. Paul Public Schools is mourning the loss of a beloved educator and Indigenous education advocate.

John Bobolink, the district's Indian Education Supervisor, died last Tuesday, according to a post from SPPS's Facebook page.

District officials called Bobolink, 56, "an incredible advocate for the Indigenous community" in St. Paul and beyond. 

John Bobolink WCCO

Bobolink was instrumental in installing the healing pole outside of the district's headquarters and led the effort for the board to approve traditional smudging in schools.

"I think for so long, as Native people, we've been invisible," Bobolink told WCCO during the pole's unveiling in 2021. "So to have a visible structure that's gonna be seen every day, that's what it screams — we are still here."

A memorial service for Bobolink was held Saturday at the American Indian Magnet School.

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