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The Story Of Waasabiik Ojibwemotaadiwin

Fulfilling dreams for future generations

Waasabiik’s meaning is - The moonlight shimmering off the water woman. Our connection to Mother Earth is the umbilical cord to our existence. The idea of this program and its eventual creation came from a dream and a strong passion to strengthen the Red Lake Nation by providing children with an educational curriculum grounded in Ojibwe values.

Anna Gibbs, Waasabiik Ojibwemotaadiwin Immersion School

Our Ojibwe early education program is named in honor of one of our elder teachers and friend, Waasabiik (Anna Gibbs). Waasabiik has been an integral part of the development and implementation of the Immersion classrooms as well as many other Ojibwemowin and cultural teaching endeavors for our Anishinaabe people here in Red Lake and throughout Minnesota. She has continued to work alongside the Immersion Program team to build and sustain a thriving Immersion Program for our Red Lake Nation community. It is our honor to continue a vision of a lifelong way of life (language and culture); our Immersion Program, Waasabiik Ojibwemotaadiwin.


We continue to be dreamers and are committed as educators to providing a program that will give our children important skills while preserving the beautiful relationship with the land, air, water, plants and animals through our teachings.

Waasabiik (Anna Gibbs)

Waasabiik Ojibwemotaadiwin preschool children 3 and 4 years old

Our commitment to the Ojibwe language, culture and children.

The Ojibwe language is how our traditional values and beliefs are expressed. Our mission as a sovereign Red Lake Nation is to uphold those traditions, which makes us Anishinaabe, by including our sacred language.

We believe understanding Ojibwemowin relates to understanding one’s own core Anishinaabe identity. Knowing one's cultural identity increases positive self-image and helps Anishinaabe people deal with negative stereotypes. It creates a greater sense of community, positively affects student retention, and counteracts American colonization's devastating effects on Anishinaabe people. 

As Red Lake Anishinaabe, we are blessed to have many vital cultural resources, such as our fluent-speaking elders. But it is apparent that our younger generations need to learn the language at a rate that will sustain it for years to come. We aim to address this crisis with our Ojibwemowin Immersion School.

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