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.
For more information please email Lowana Greensky or call 1-218-749-8130 x1110
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 https://vimeo.com/162998559
Hear Carl Gawboy retell the story of “Shigebiss and the Wintermaker”
Hear Carl Gawboy retell the “Creation Story (The Great Flood)”
Hear Carl Gawboy retell the story of “How Fisher Went to Skyland and Freed the Birds”
ISD #2142 Indian Education Programs
Open Public Meeting
Title VII – JOM – MN State Indian Ed. Revenue
Friday, May 6, 2016
10:00 AM – Noon
ISD #2142 Administrative Office
1701 North 9th Avenue
Virginia, MN 55792
This American Indian Parental Advisory Board meeting includes parents from:
Cherry-Northeast Range-North Woods-South Ridge-Tower Schools
and the Consortium Districts of:
Eveleth-Gilbert/Mesebi East/Mountain Iron Buhl/Northland Learning Center
Can’t make the meeting?
Please send any comments or concerns to:
218 749-8130 ext. 1110
or email at:
When: February 18, 2016
Time: 10:00 AM to 12:00 (noon)
Where: St. Louis County School District Office-1701 North 9th Ave.-Virginia
Parents/Guardians of American Indian children in the School districts of St. Louis County, Eveleth-Gilbert, Mesabi East, Mountain Iron/Buhl, and the Northland Learning Center are invited to attend.
Topics to be covered for all districts are:
The State of Minnesota American Indian World’s Best Work Force plans,
The Stae of Minnesota , Concurrence/non-concurrence Resolution
Funded 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.
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.
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
Cultural standards/suppliers – Rick Anderson
Visual and Media Art standards & critique/suppliers – Carolyn Olson
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).
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)
We had a busy week…traveled a lot! One day we went all the way to Odanah, WI to visit GLIFWC’s headquarters. There we learned about invasive species and efforts by Scientists and Natural Resources folks to control the spread of invasive species like Asian Carp and Sea Lamprey into Lake Superior. We also saw leaders in our community providing knowledge and support for Ojibwe people as they participate in hunting and fishing on ceded territories, as agreed to through the Treaty of 1854.
Students also participated in a geology study. Wherever we traveled the rocks on the area were looked and and studied to better understand the history of our area. We looked at sandstone, basalt, granite among a few others.
We also collected water samples wherever we went. Tests were conducted to see the health of the watersheds. Tests included ph, dissolved oxygen, phosphate levels, sulfate levels and nitrates. We are especially interested in the sulfide mining proposal in northern Minnesota. We are conducting water testing along the St. Louis River watershed and collecting our own data to better understand the affect of the mining on the future. We believe that if the mining is allowed to proceed it would forever change the water-scape as well as the growth of wild rice growth. Please see http://manoomin.net for more information by students.
Time was spent at the Bear Center in Ely and swimming at the Lake nearby. Students visited the Bois Forte Museum where the history of Ojibwe people was demonstrated through historical displays as well as current work.
Students studied the work of artist Wing Young Huie through a “chalk talk”. Students practiced their interview skills and photographed each other with informative written statements.
It was a great time for students to be together and learn. We hope to gather again in the Fall during ricing season. See see more images from the Summer camp click here
Teachers spent a week on the Bois Forte reservation learning about Ojibwe and Dakota culture and arts. Through the Culture Based Arts Integration (CBAI) grant teachers are writing curriculum integrating seasonal culture and arts into current and new units of study. Activities during the week included many informative lecture on language, history and culture, demonstration on wild rice harvesting and preparation, demonstration of pow wow organization and participation as well as a number of videos on current and historical topics including the Dakota 38+2, artists and traditional values.
It was a well planned and intensive study time of learning, discussion and reflection.