Karen Good was a member of the last high school class to graduate from the Northwest School of Agriculture (NWSA) in 1968. She was an enrolled member of the Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians and lived too far from the public school in the area to ride the school bus. To resolve this, the Red Lake School Board paid the tuition for Good to attend the NWSA. Since her time in Crookston, she graduated from college and spent many years working in Native schools as an educator. She wore many hats as an administrator, dean, teacher, and counselor while also working on the Red Lake and White Earth Reservations and helping with curriculum for the Minneapolis Science Department.
During her time at UMN Crookston, Good was prepared academically and became more independent. Although she admits she often rebelled, she had to accept the consequences and now considers herself a very disciplined and mature person because of it. She had study hours and kept up with her school work, which helped her graduate third among her class of 43. She has fond memories of her time in Crookston, including the many weekends she and her sister, Patricia, would spend at school. Ma Brown and their dorm mother, Mrs. Braaten, would take them to church on Sundays. They went to town once a week to get pizza with the girls including Paula, Deanna, Barbara, Julie, and Pat, who still keep in touch to this day.
Today, Good is retired but continues to stay busy. She is a musician and has formerly played in various musical groups over the span of 10 years, including America’s Landlords. Good is also the founder and director of Red Lake Rosie's Rescue. Through this, she provides low-cost neuter/spay clinics, rescue, sheltering, and rehoming of companion animals on the Red Lake Chippewa Reservation, which she is a member. Good works diligently to end overpopulation of companion animals on Native Reservations in the state and region.
Good has received many awards for her work including Shelter Hero by The Bark magazine (National Contest 2016), Courage Award by Eagle Rare Life (Contest 2015), Minnesota Snap Angel Award (2013), Eleven Who Care Award by Kare 11 (2011), NWSA Top Aggie (2008), and the Kodiak Award by Friends of Flicka (2007). She is proud of her accomplishments and lives with the mindset that nothing will be handed to you, so you need to work hard and rely on yourself. Good says, “We all need to follow our hearts and dreams. Set goals and every day do something toward that goal you set. Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do something. Just do it.”
Written for the Fall 2020 Torchlight e-Newsletter.