American Indian Student Services

Posted by | Filed under b i i n d i g e n | Jun 23, 2012 | No Comments

American Indian Student Services provides quality educational program in a positive and challenging learning environment for American Indian students of all ages and to maximize their individual potential to compete in a global society while enriching, respecting, and honoring their cultural heritage.


Posted by | Filed under b i i n d i g e n | Jan 31, 2019 | No Comments

Historically public art, whether murals or mosaics, empowers folks. Often public art is the voice piece for those often unheard. South Ridge 8th grade created hand painted tiles for this 30′ long mosaic mural of the Ojibwe word giminaadimaadizikenin meaning we all work together for good.

Students studied and redrew flowering vegetables, wild flowers and fruits in the Ojibwe floral design style. These botanicals, which are based on flowering plants from our area in northern Minnesota surround the text.

In these days we need something to remind us of each other – how much we need each other. Good work benefits all of us. These days it’s a great reminder that we need to do our best – for all of us.

miigwech to Lowana Greensky and Sonny Greensky for sharing their knowledge and language with us.

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bimaadiziwin – a healthy and balanced life

Posted by | Filed under b i i n d i g e n | Jan 31, 2019 | No Comments

The phrase “The Good Road” is a term used by many different Native American tribal communities to represent “one who is walking the road of balance”. Gaining knowledge to part of this journey. The two figures in the painting are adding positive forces onto the path. The hope is that we all walk this path together and contribute to building a strong environment for all people and every living thing on earth.
bimaadiziwin – healthy and balanced life

This mural by Karen Savage-Blue was completed Summer 2018. The image supports the good and healthy life found through traditional ways . It is in the American Indian Student Services room and will encourage students each day gently reminding each one of their personal choices and strength found through traditional ways. 
The mural was generously paid for through a grant from the Fond du Lac Reservation – Statewide Health Improvement Partnership (SHIP).

Quillwork on Birch Bark

Posted by | Filed under b i i n d i g e n | Jan 31, 2019 | No Comments

HS Sculpture students worked with guest artists, Juanita Blackhawk and Kim Bollig, to create a piece of quill work. Porcupine quills were sorted by dismeter (not length). Then each quill was warmed in water and attached to birch bark using an awl and tweezers. Designs were chosen to go on either earrings, medallions, pins or barrettes.
Special thank to ISD 2142 American Indian Student Services – JOM parents, South Ridge Art Club and Essentia Health for the their support.

Applique Beading and the Colony Collapse Disorder

Posted by | Filed under South Ridge | May 5, 2017 | No Comments

MSAB Art’s Learning grant Tells Ojibwe Star Stories

Posted by | Filed under South Ridge | May 24, 2016 | No Comments

Perfoamnce2Perfoamnce3 Perfoamnce5Perfoamnce4 South Ridge 3rd-4th and 7th  grade students worked with teaching artists from Frank Theatre (Mpls.) Wendy Knox and Emily Zimmer in retelling Ojibwe Star Stories. Artist and storyteller Carl Gawboy met with the students and retold the stories told to him as a young person by his father. These stories are based in our understanding of the seasonal changes we live by in northern Minnesota.

“Shigebiss and the Winter Maker”, “Fisher Freeing the Birds from Skyland”, “Creation Story” and  “How the Bat Came to Be” all were retold by students using the theatrical freeze frame.One performance in the Fall and Spring brought families and community members out.

Simple narration by students carried the actors through their plays. Backdrops were painted by the students in art class creating scenery and tone. As always the students did a beautiful job! The stories have come back to our lives and teach us of the seasonal changes, how to prepare for the future seasons and weather and how to care for each other.

Teaching artists Wendy Knox and Emily Zimmer again were amazing to work with. They brought life skills to the students along with theatre experience. Skills learned include learning to speak in front of others, focus and clarity in speaking – being present in the moment – being comfortable with your self enough to be courageous to do something needed that may be challenging – like standing in front of 300 people!

Musician Marya Hart wrote original musical scores withe the students which they performed in their plays. Students wrote, worked in small groups, critiqued and reworked their stories until they were satisfied and prepares to share them with family and friends.

To see the Fall performance go to

To see the Spring performance go to

Hear Carl Gawboy retell the story of “Shigebiss and the Wintermaker”, “Creation Story (The Great Flood)”, “How Fisher Went to Skyland and Freed the Birds”.

VTS_03_1 Carl Gawboy Shingebis and the Wintermaker from SouthRidgeART on Vimeo.

VTS_02_1 The Great Flood from SouthRidgeART on Vimeo.

VTS_04_1 Carl Gawboy Fisher Saves the Birds from Skyland from Media Art on Vimeo.

 Special thanks to those who have supported us throughout the work. They include the Minnesota State Arts Board, Land and Legacy Trust Fund of Minnesota, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Northland Foundation, Northland Learning center, Minnesota Power, the Fond du Lac Reservation, ISD 2142 American Indian Student Services, ISD 2142 South Ridge School – teachers and staff.

Nett Lake Government Building Murals by Carl Gawboy

Posted by | Filed under CBAI grant, Ojibwe artists | May 18, 2015 | No Comments

Gawboy murals_Nett LakeFunded by the Cultural Based Art Integration Program (CBAI), Northland high school students had the incredibly opportunity to meet local Ojibwe artist and legend, Carl Gawboy. Carl Gawboy’s murals capture the beautiful essence of Minnesota Ojibwe myths, legends, stories and narratives in the form of visual art. Gawboy brought students along a narrative journey, sharing some traditional Ojibwe lessons and teachings. Combined with Gawboy’s moving images, his personal storytelling captured the true essence and spirit of the local culture in Nett Lake. Carl Gawboy is a local Minnesota artist with a legend worth of history, creative talent and cultural knowledge. He is very well respected and a visual artist that has made incredible strives in capturing his relatives’ past in the form of art. Supporting more local Minnesota artists is just one way students can support diversity and culture within our state. By going beyond state capital walls and supporting narratives, such as artwork like Carl Gawboy, they  can also learn to be inspired by their very own hometown, seeing the beauty of what our state truly can offer us.

Select this link to take a virtual tour of Carl Gawboy’s murals in the Nett Lake Government Center.

gidakiimanaaniwigamig’s manoomin project completed

Posted by | Filed under gidakiimanaaniwigamig, manoomin, South Ridge | Jul 21, 2014 | No Comments

Over the past five years students from the South St. Louis county area, including South Ridge students and teachers, have worked with the University of Minnesota/LacCore and NCED as well as the Fond du Lac Reservation’s Natural Resources to better understand the past, present and future for wild rice growth on the reservation lakes. Students have worked together in small multi-aged groups with mentors, scientists and teachers to core and analyze the cores to see the history of the land. They spent time with elders to better understand how oral history and scientific data connect. It is our hope that students have found their voice in their community as far as how the land and water are cared for and used.

Fall CBAI Workshop with Sara Montgomery

Posted by | Filed under CBAI grant | Oct 11, 2013 | No Comments

IMG_9450Knowing and Understanding Cultural Standards is based in communication and relationships between the school/teachers and their student/community.

Five standards that were developed through the experienced lens of Native Alaska educators to guide culturally-responsive teaching in Alaska’s classrooms. Cultural responsive teachers….

1. Incorporate local ways of knowing and teaching in their work. Such as implement the 4 seasons and storytelling to give background information.

2. Use the local environments and community resources on a regular basis to link what they are teaching to the everyday life of our students.

3. Participate in community events and activities in appropriate and supportive ways.

4. Work closely with parents to achieve a high level of complementary educational expectations between home and school.

5. Recognize the full educational potential of each student and provide the challenges necessary for them to achieve that potential.

CBAI teachers are developing and re-writing lesson plans to better meet cultural standards for their classrooms. Each CBAI teacher is asked to choose a current lesson standard based plan and/or thematic unit to re-design and implement that builds in cultural standards. CBAI will advise, assist development of the work throughout the school year. Montgomery suggests that lessons are best developed using backward design

Guide to Implementing the Alaska Cultural Standards for Educators Prepared in collaboration with  Alaska’s Department of Education & Early Development by the Alaska Comprehensive Center, Alaska Native Educators, and Education Northwest, May 2012

Summer CBAI Teachers Workshop

Posted by | Filed under CBAI grant, Featured Content Gallery | Jun 26, 2013 | No Comments


Twenty ISD 2142 Teachers and Staff members attended the American Indian Student Services Summer workshop at Fortune Bay. The  week long gathering provided those attending with a better understanding of what a successful learning environment includes. Teachers were challenged to design and implement a culturally responsive classroom.

Speakers spoke to the importance of family and community support in each student’s life. Age appropriate lessons that teach empathy as well as math; sharing as well as drawing; putting others ahead of yourself as well as science. Teachers participated in activities to better understand the affects of poverty.

Book discussions were informally held discussing Louis Erdrich’s Birchbark House series for upper elementary students as well as her current best seller “The Round House”. Anton Treuer “Everything you wanted to know about Indians but were afraid to ask” and Sherman Alexie  “The Absolute True Story of a Part Time Indian” were also on the suggested book list for educators.

Keynote speakers included Runninghorse Livingston (Scholar and founder of  CGI), Val Tanner and Sarah Montgomery (Directors of the Native Teachers Program/College of St. Scholastica and Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College), Crystal Redgrave (Scholar and Curriculum Writer currently working at the bug-o-nay-ge-shig School) and Carl Gawboy (Scholar and Visual Artist).

Teaching Artists included Kristine Sorenson (Video, Photo, Technology/iMovie on iPad) Faith Morrison (Sculpture/Birchbark Baskets), Karen Savage-Blue(Painting and Drawing) and Liz Jakola(Vocal Music).

Images from workshop taken by Kristine Sorenson of in progress, a program based in the Twin Cities that focuses on assisting young people in developing their skills as digital storytellers.

For more information on Kristine Sorenson and in progress.

manoomin Project Finishes Up It’s Fourth Year

Students study Native and Invasive species at the Lake Superior Aquarium

Students study Native and Invasive species at the Lake Superior Aquarium

American Indian student involved with the gidakiimanaaniwigamig’s manoomin study have now completed year four of a five year grant through the National Science Foundation. The purpose of the grant was to provide opportunities for young people to better understand the past, present and future of wild rice in northern Minnesota. Student presented their findings at 13 Moons nibi Forum. 13 Moons co-hosted the nibi Forum along with the FDLTCC Environmental Institute, Fond du Lac Resource Management, and the manoomin Project. This forum addressed one of our most important resources, Nibi (water)