Bellanger Family Fund

The Bellanger family at July 2019 ceremony dedicating marker honoring Patricia Bellanger, Leech Lake, MN

The Bellanger family at July 2019 ceremony dedicating marker honoring Patricia Bellanger, Leech Lake, MN

We ask for your support and contributions to the family of Binaishee Quence Bellanger-Rook, who departed this earth on September 17, 2019 as her tiny newborn son arrived.  In addition to her son, she leaves behind her husband, Darrin Cobenais, her daughter Sammie, her siblings Makwa, Jake and Barbie, nieces and nephews, and her mother, Lisa Bellanger. Lisa is a Rural Coalition Board member and daughter of our founding mother Patricia Bellanger. Her beautiful daughter Binaishee forever holds a special place in our hearts. With Pat, we watched her grow, and we named the “Binaishee Quence Building the Future Award” in her honor in 1994.  Her name means “young bird woman,” and the award recognizes outstanding efforts of leaders, who inspire young people to protect the earth, which nurtures them. 

Binaishee had a gentle way of sharing her heart with everyone she met. Over the years, she and her family have welcomed and nurtured and educated and fed and transported and uplifted thousands of people as they protected the Ojibwe culture and lifeways they loved. With deep thanks for the many blessings Binaishee and her famly have shared in their work for environmental justice and tribal and cultural sovereignty for Indigenous people, Rural Coalition has established the Bellanger Family Fund, with approval of the family. All tax-deductible contributions received for this Fund will be given to the family to sustain them through this difficult part of their journey and so that they may carry on their work in the future, with the love and support of us all.

Your support in any amount is appreciated, as are your messages of support which can also be left using the button below.

The Rural Coalition / Coalición Rural is…

…an alliance of farmers, farmworkers, indigenous, migrant, and working people from the United States, Mexico, Canada, and beyond, working together toward a new society that values unity, hope, people, and the land.

The Rural Coalition amplifies the voices of our 50 grassroots member organizations, representing African American, American Indian, Asian American, Euro-American, Latino, and women farmers, ranchers, farmworkers, and rural communities.

Together, we have power. Through our combined strength, we’ve secured dozens of federal policy changes and assured their implementation to improve our livelihoods, our communities, and our prospects for a just future. The Rural Coalition is a seat at the table in agriculture — for the producers, farmworkers, and rural communities we serve.


Our Mission

Together, we seek:

  • Just and sustainable food systems that bring fair returns to our diverse small farmers and ranchers, tribal and other small communities

  • Fair working conditions and dignity for farmworkers and food chain workers

  • Protection of mother earth now and for our children’s children

  • Safe, adequate and healthy food for all, especially the elders, youth, and most vulnerable of us


Our Roots


Born of the civil rights and anti-poverty rural movements, Rural Coalition has worked for 40 years to assure that diverse organizations from all regions, ethnic and racial groups and genders have the opportunity to work in solidarity on the issues that affect us all. The foundation of this work is strong local, regional, and national organizations that work to assure the representation and involvement of every sector of this diverse fabric of rural peoples.


What We Do

The Rural Coalition’s charter members joined together in 1978 to bring their combined experience and skills to bear on national policies affecting rural people and communities, mapping an ambitious course in the guiding principles to which all Rural Coalition member organizations past and present subscribe:

  • Justice and equal opportunity are the right of all people regardless of race, gender, or place of residence.

  • All rural people are entitled to the goods and services essential to a decent quality of life, including education, health and employment services, housing, and basic community facilities. They are also entitled to democratic community institutions dedicated to serving their interests.

  • The long-term viability of rural communities rests on effective control and use of resources by the people living in rural areas, including family farmers, local business people and working people of all walks of life.

  • Community-based organizations are instrumental in the development of rural communities. Public policy should encourage their growth and strength.

  • The federal government has responsibility to ensure the rights of all citizens and to help secure the fulfillment of these rights.

Consistent with its commitment to these guiding principles, the Rural Coalition continues work toward two, long-range goals:

  • The development and implementation of progressive policies responsive to rural needs.

  • The development of the capacities of rural organizations and people to work effectively for and sustain institutional and systematic change.

Our long-term efforts with our members focus on the creation and implementation of policies to support these goals and economic development efforts to strengthen communities, bridge the digital divide, and access better markets for their products. In addition to our policy work to ensure equitable access to federal programs, RC conducts participatory research, community planning, and technical assistance that strengthen the capacities of our members to secure dignity, equity, and justice for all farmers, ranchers, and workers as well as to protect and care for their land, market their products, and build new systems of exchange among communities dedicated to assuring a future for their children and children’s children.