Archive | Indian Education

American Indian Education

Boozhoo!  Aaniin!  — 2 ways to say Hello in Ojibwe / Anishinaabe

Welcome to Indian Education of the Virginia Public Schools!

We are here to meet the special academic and cultural needs of American Indian students.  That’s not all!  We are also here to share American Indian cultures, history and Ojibwe language with all students in the Virginia schools.

Our Staff:

Director:    Dorothy Oie     749-KIDS,   ext. 1949

High School Academic Advisor:   Emily Jankila   749-KIDS,   ext. 1914

Elementary Academic Advisor:   Duane Huisentruit   749-KIDS,   ext.  4115  (PLC)  & ext. 1947  (Roos)

On our new webpage we will be sharing our many activities throughout the year, plus upcoming announcements and updates.  Please check us out regularly for upcoming news!

Learning about Culture through the Powwow

Learning about Culture through the Powwow.

All Roosevelt 6th grade classes participated in a presentation sponsored by Indian Education to learn about Native American traditions and the powwow. Students were taught that veterans, retired soldiers, or other synonyms for veterans are held in highest respect in Native communities and one of the first dances of every powwow is to honor veterans. Children can also learn topics like then vs than to enrich their English skills.

 All students  enjoyed dancing to intertribal songs.grand entry

Every powwow starts with a Grand Entry.  Donald & Karlene Chosa from Nett Lake led this Grand Entry.  Dancers explained the significance of their regalia and the sacredness of the eagle feather. Dance styles included traditional male, jingle dress, and fancy shawl.


Shane Drift, Nett Lake, brought a non-traditional drum and singers for the presentation.  Students learned that the drum is the center of the powwow and respected as the heartbeat of Mother Earth.

powwow group

Students (L-R) Grant, Aiesah, and Kira enjoyed being part of the powwow.

Virginia Indian Education Ensures Cultural Programs in District

Indian Education at the Virginia schools promotes cultural learning and language as the foundation for a successful student.  Culture is integrated into classroom curriculum through Native resource speakers and demonstrations.  After school elementary and high school Anishinaabe Clubs are held once per week for culture, language and assorted activities .  During the summer, high school students return to school one day per week for Ojibwemowin Revitalization Camp (ORC), formerly know as Language & Lunch. With 9% of the student population American Indian, the Virginia Parent Committee and staff ensure implementation of cultural programs into the district.

Boys animoons wiisinwin

Jonas, Shawn and Charlie are anxious to eat their Animoons Wiisiniwin.


Heritage ctr

Virginia elementary Anishinaabe Club visits the Bois Forte Heritage Center.

Carmela and Maraea enjoy beading in Anishinaabe Club.

Carmela and Maraea enjoy beading in Anishinaabe Club.

Biindigen! Come in…Welcome to American Indian Education of the Virginia Public Schools

The goal of the Virginia Indian Education program is to close the achievement gap between American Indian students and the general student population.  To accomplish this, we have four primary objectives:

1.  Increase academic performance through a strong tutoring and support system in the high school and elementary schools.

2.  Implement cultural learning experiences for the personal well-being of American Indian students and to educate all students and staff.

3.  Expose students to the reality of post-secondary education through college visits and post-secondary guidance.

4.  Recognize the importance of parent involvement by providing involvement opportunities and family activities.

Your Indian Education staff:

Dorothy Oie,   program director,   Contact information:  218-749-KIDS  ext. 1949   Email:

Michele Maki,   high school academic advisor,  ext. 1914   Email:

Sarah Strong,   elementary academic advisor,    exts. Roosevelt 1947 / Parkview 4153   Email:


  • Virginia Minnesota Public Schools
  • ISD 706
  • 411 South 5th Ave.
  • Virginia, MN 55792
  • Phone: 218-749-5437
  • Fax: 218-741-8522