Staff Bios

Nate Taylor


Nathaniel Taylor is a proud member of the Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians from Northern Minnesota. He has committed his time and energy towards engaging communities in positive actions that contribute to the greater good of future generations of all people. He continues to promote language importance, culture relevance, and traditional knowledge significance. He received his Bachelor’s Degree in American Indian Studies from Haskell Indian Nations University and is upon completion of his Master’s Degree in Tribal Administration and Governance from University of Minnesota Duluth. He played an instrumental role in developing the Red Lake Elder Advisory Committee and Red Lake Early Education Immersion Classrooms, which began in fall 2014. He is currently the Director of the Waasabiik Ojibwemotaadiwin Immersion Program in Red Lake. His most recent work in Ojibwe Language and Culture revitalization and preservation initiatives include collaborating with the Red Lake School District in making the Ojibwe language a part of the core curriculum.

Joseph Spears


Joseph Waubojeeg Spears is a Red Lake band member. He went to school at Fond du Lac tribal and community college for American Indian studies. He also attended the University of Minnesota for Ojibwe language. He has taught Ojibwe language at the Little Earth youth development center, Division of Indian work and the Minneapolis American Indian center. He enjoys learning the Ojibwe language. He also enjoy developing new techniques and new ways of teaching the Ojibwe language. He is currently the lead teacher for our 4 year old room.

Marcus Tyler


Marcus was raised in Red Lake and is an active community member and has a strong love for the language and culture. He has been working on the language for over 16 years and is nearly a fluent speaker. He was the Ojibwe Language instructor for Red Lake College in 2011-2013, and currently shares his language expertise with Red Lake programs and Departments. He is currently attending Red Lake Nation College working towards his Associates Degree in Liberal Arts. He has his CPR training and certificate. He also currently conducts language tables during the evenings in the Red Lake communities.

Francis Miller


Anishinaabe wiinzowin Zhaawan Wewiidamok (making noise from the south). She got her GED in 1985 graduated in the top 10 out of 380. She worked in Grand Portage 1985 - 1992 when she came home to Ponemah where she still lives to this day. She worked at the Ponemah school 1997 - 2006. Then she worked at the Path of Life Project from 2006 - 2011. She also works at Healing Pathways 2006 to present. She has been with us at Waasabiik Immersion since 2014 where she acts as a Grandma to all our school children along with her friend of over 50 years Elizabeth (Pug) Kingbird. She is a first speaker of Ojibwemowin.

Elizabeth Kingbird


Elizabeth "Nitamigaabowig" (standing leader) (Pug) Kingbird, at the age of 84, she is a fluent speaker of the language and acts a Grandma to the kids in our 3 year old room. She has been working with the schools since 1968. First she worked part time helping with elementary school kids, she also worked with 7th-9th grade students while also driving school bus. She, along with her friend for over 50 years Zhaawan, have been with the program since it's beginning.

Clifford Hardy


Clifford "Mitigwaabiwinini" (bow & arrow man) Hardy started with our program in Feburary of 2017. At 73 years old this first language speaker acts as Grandpa to all the kids in our program.

Trudy Jourdain


Trudy Jourdain was raised in Red Lake and is an active community member who has 14 plus years in the Early Childhood Education field. She has her CPR training and certificates. She is currently attending Red Lake Nation College working towards her Associates Degree in Liberal Arts. She is very committed to Ojibwemowin Revitalization initiatives and is quickly learning to become a proficient speaker.

Daniel Jorgenson


Red Lake Member, Daniel Jorgenson, joined the program in the winter of 2016. Originally hired to be temporary on call help, he was quickly brought on full time due to his dedication, and skill set. He has since been an asset to the program, developing many of our media projects as well as helping in and out of the classroom.

Alyssa (Awaan ikwe) Webster


Is an enrolled Red Lake band Member. She has lived in Tuscon AZ, Minnesota, and New York. She Became interested in revitalizing the language because she has always had a desire to find who she is and where she comes from. She would like to learn as much as possible about the language so that she does not risk losing any aspect of her Ojibwe Culture. Awaan Ikwe Graduated in her Junior Year in High school, she is currently attending Red Lake Nation College to pursue her Liberal Arts Degree. In the past, Awaan Ikwe has represented the Native American Arts by modeling at a Native American Fashion Show in Ontario, Canada.

Native Americans Growing in School

NAM Grant Staff:

Naomi (Aanakwadookwe) Long


Is an enrolled Red Lake Band Member. She was raised and educated in Minneapolis. She obtained her A.A.S Degree in Child Development, Care, and Guidance. She currently holds 19+ additional certifications in relation to Child Development and advocating for families. She has worked for the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe on previous years working directly with children. She has worked with the Wewinabi Early Education Program (Mille Lacs) where she also completed her Internship. She also worked as Youth Program Mentor for at risk youth, that position led her into being the Youth Program Manager. Aanakwadookwe believes that the Ojibwemowin is important to us because it connects us to the earth, ourselves, our families, and our communities.

Marjorie (Ozhaawaashkogiizhigok) Skeie


Is an enrolled Red Lake band member. She has lived in Tucson, AZ. She is interested in revitalizing the Ojibwe Language because it is her identity. She is currently enrolled in the Red Lake Nation College pursuing her Degree in Liberal Arts. She has previous work experience in Tribal Development. The skills she brings with her to the program are being patient, listening and organizational skills.

Harvey (Zhaawani’bines)Jordan


Is from Gakijiwanoong (Lac La Croix,ON). He is a first language speaker and was raised with Traditional Ojibwe Knowledge. He is dedicated to revitalizing the Ojibwemowin before it is lost. Zhaawani’ binens has been working for the Red Lake Nation over the years in various departments applying his knowledge and skills. He received his eminence degree from Red Lake to teach Ojibwemowin in . He has worked previously at the Children’s Healing Center in Red Lake, He was with the Waasabiik Ojibwemotaadiwin Immersion Program in the past. Zhaawan’binens is a traditional drum carrier, pipe carrier, and grass dancer.


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