Gaawitaasiban – Benny Tonce
Benny Tonce Drum Room
Leech lake Tribal College holds Monday Drum Feasts every Monday in the Benny Tonce Drum Room for the students. This is where the staff and faculty come together to provide a meal for our students which allows us to get to know them as well as provide the community-based, family-orientated atmosphere the Leech Lake Tribal College is known for.
The Drum Room was named after the passing of our good friend, mentor, and teacher Benny Tonce who passed away in 2009. Benny was a huge asset to the college, not only for his knowledge of the language and culture, but for the way he carried himself and spoke of others in such a manner where he did so with all seven values in mind. Benny was with the College since its humble beginnings in 1990 and was a dedicated mentor and teacher until the day he left us in physical form. He was the drum keeper for the college and wanted to make sure we continued to provide Monday Drum feasts and kept our powwow going every spring. He loved our powwows so much he named it the, “Anwebiwin Powwow” because he was able to rest and visit, and enjoy the company of community. In his 20 year tenure here at the college, he touched many by sharing so much of all he knew about being Anishinaabe, language, the drum, and life. His picture is hanging up in the Drum Room as a reminder of the good hearted person he was. Naming the drum room after Benny is only a small way of honoring him and remembering all that he did for us here and his help and dedication in carrying on our traditions of the Monday Drum Feasts and our Spring “Anwebiwin Powwow.”