K-12 Services

Dorothy Perry – Academic Services Coordinator
Amanda Weinert – Ishkakimikwe (IK) Curriculum Specialist

K-12 Services
In response to COVID-19 and school closures, the Education Department has developed this suggested Online/Remote Learning Resource List to provide information and guidance to assist students, families and our local school districts.
You can access the Online Learning Resource List at: tinyurl.com/ltbb-edu-online-learning.


K-12 Education Assistance Scholarship 
The purpose of the K-12th Grade Education Assistance Scholarship is to supplement, assist, and enhance the educational opportunities for all LTBB students in Preschool and in grades kindergarten through 12th grade. The program is Tribally funded and available once per academic year per student; the academic year is defined as August 1st- July 31st.


Shirley Naganashe Oldman Secondary Education Honorarium
The purpose of the Shirley Naganashe Oldman Secondary Education Completion Honorarium is to promote the completion of secondary education program by offering a $100 monetary award for all LTBB Tribal Citizens who complete a secondary education program.


K-12 staff serve as a school liaison for the LTBB Tribal Community advocating on behalf of students and families around obtaining special education services, IEPs, 504 plans, and retention.


Academic Support

Brainfuse On Demand Online Tutoring

We are happy to announce our ISTEAM Niibin/Summer Camp registration is now open!

Please complete this form to register your children!


K-12 Tutoring Subsidy Program
The purpose of this program is to provide a subsidy to off-set the cost of hiring  a private tutor for Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians’ (LTBB) tribal citizens who are enrolled  in an eligible K-12 education program, and who are struggling to meet grade level proficiency in one or more core academic subject area.


Ishkaakimikwe Kinoomaagewinan (IK)- Teachings of the Earth Curriculum Design for Schools and Teachers
Through several unique school partnerships, Ishkaakimikwe Kinomaagewinan (IK), Teachings of the Earth, provides curricular support to educators in 4 school districts in the Char-Em Intermediate School District. This curriculum and instructional material design program that focuses on building cross-disciplinary curricula that support educators in meeting current content standards.  IK uses a land-based education framework. The framework uses locally-relevant instruction and hands-on experiences to invite learners to engage with content from multiple perspectives. Odawa perspectives are integrated throughout the cross-disciplinary curricula including Science, Social Studies/History, English/Language Arts, etc.

IK curricular support consists of:

  • Land-based units
  • Coaching/Professional development on unit implementation
  • Co-development of curricular enhancements
  • Lesson plans
  • Evaluation of instructional materials for sensitivity and bias


The Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa develops these products as an important way to reach several of our educational goals including: increasing resources for teachers, expanding opportunities for learners to engage with content from multiple perspectives, shifting longstanding historical practices that have omitted Indigenous people from decision making power over education, and increasing representations of Indigenous people, communities, languages, stories, and perspectives at the classroom level in ways that are effective and appropriate.


Current Projects:

  • Nme (Lake Sturgeon) Teachings:

This culturally-responsive science unit is currently being implemented in Pellston High School, Petoskey Middle School, Harbor Spring Middle School, and Mackinaw City High School, where students are raising a fall-fingerling Lake Sturgeon. The unit emphasizes experiential learning through an Indigenous land-based pedagogy. All lessons align with Common Core and Next Generation Science Standards. Emphasis is placed on critical thinking activities, field methodology, and native species management, all through an Indigenous perspective.


As part of the program’s experiential activities, all students directly engage with and observe the sturgeon living in the tribally-sponsored classroom take daily. This is done through regular feedings and tank cleaning throughout the school year.


Students engage in a direct experience with tribal fish hatchery operations through a tour of the LTBB Hatchery Facility. Students learn about LTBB’s hatchery systems and current stocking projects.


Finally, students participate in a ceremonial release of the classroom Nme into the Black River each May. We believe that closing out the unit with ceremony is an important aspect of the program that foregrounds a traditional cultural perspective and makes it unique among other similar fish-in-the-classroom programs. When students, Native and non-Native, participate, they learn to see and think from another cultural perspective and begin to appreciate that perspective as important and relevant.


Following the release, the students walked a short distance to view a sturgeon collection where trained fish biologists temporarily trapped Lake Sturgeon and harvested their eggs to be used in the fish hatchery sturgeon program. Students also received a Black River Hatchery Tour and learned about the roles of fish hatcheries in supporting fish populations.



  • Increased K-12 student academic achievement by providing support to students and partner schools through provision of instructional materials and culturally appropriate methodologies, teaching, learning strategies.
  • Increased teacher knowledge of Odawa perspectives and traditional relationships with land, water, air, and Nme.
  • Student engagement with multiple texts, perspectives, and ideas around the topic of Nme.
  • Student engagement with locally meaningful and relevant topics.

Additionally, students in all school districts implementing Nme Teachings complete a pre and post assessment evaluating their understanding of the material presented in the unit. The posttest average demonstrates in increase of 19 percentage points. The most significant increases were in knowledge and understanding around the tribal perspective on and reciprocal relationship with Nme (lake sturgeon); understanding of dams and fish passages; and practices in tribal fisheries.


STEAM Programming:

Our STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics) programs engage and support the identities of our Native students through culturally responsive education activities that weave academic and cultural knowledge. Activities are hands-on, field-based activities rooted in Odawa perspectives. They engage students in meaningful and rigorous ways both to promote learning and engagement in STEAM-related domains.


Several critical issues in education motivated our decision to move to a focus on science or STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics) programming.

  • First, there is simultaneously a great need for Indigenous STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) professionals at the tribe and significant underrepresentation of Indigenous people in STEM fields. This underrepresentation is linked with historically low student achievement with Native learners, particularly at the K-12 level.
  • Science education fails to engage Native students and their identities and thus there needs to be culturally responsive instruction. Science education is a critical site of identity development and cultural vitality – or unfortunately sites in which identity and cultural vitality is often undermined unnecessarily. Science classrooms typically are places in which children are directly or indirectly taught that our traditions and ways of knowing are wrong (e.g. water and rocks are non-living things) and European-American ways of knowing are privileged. Typically, national test scores in science tend to be strong for Native students through 4th grade with a significant drop-off at the 5th grade level.
  • Observation and learning to see the world as a set of complex, interrelated systems is a critical skill for science practitioners. The integration of arts into science learning is being used as a way to discipline perception and observation.


Participants engage in activities such as:

  • Plant identification (edible and medicinal)
  • medicine harvesting and processing
  • Comparison of modern diet and traditional diet
  • Investigating environmental impacts caused by consuming food not locally produced
  • Feasts, fasting and connections to Odawa-Anishinaabe spirituality
  • Promoting water fowl biodiversity through wild rice enhancement on inland lakes and rivers
  • Traditional harvesting and processing of wild rice
  • Using GIS technology to map resources on tribal land base
  • Receiving cultural water teachings
  • Watershed education
  • Investigating eco-system health
  • Investigating impacts of invasive species like Emerald Ash Borer on traditional cultural arts
  • Facilitated observation
  • Peer teaching
  • Civic action around environmental issues