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Understanding Indigenous Culture in North Dakota Series: Dr. Anton Treuer

Updated: Feb 20

Dr. Anton Treuer (pronounced troy-er) is Professor of Ojibwe at Bemidji State University and author of many books. He has a B.A. from Princeton University and a M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota. He is Editor of the Oshkaabewis (pronounced o-shkaah-baywis) Native Journal, the only academic journal of the Ojibwe language. Dr. Treuer has presented all over the U.S. and Canada and in several foreign countries on Everything You Wanted to Know About Indians But Were Afraid to Ask, Cultural Competency, Racial Equity, Strategies for Addressing the “Achievement” Gap, and Tribal Sovereignty, History, Language, and Culture.

On January 17 and 18, 2023, Dr. Treuer presented on the Standing Rock reservation to students and staff of Standing Rock school. Standing Rock School student’s interviewed Dr. Treuer and that interview was broadcast on The Warrior Radio Show on 89.5 on January 26 at 11 am. Here is the link to that interview: 2023_0112_2157.WAV

Red Basket, Dr. Kathy Froelich, an MHA elder and CREA Indigenous Culture Coordinator suggests this classroom activity to educators: “We are more alike than we are different.”

Goal: Students will identify how unbalanced information can lead to stereotyping groups of people.

*Teacher – Prior to this lesson please share ground rules for group interactions. Discuss the importance of acknowledging that other people may have different views than you. Respect and tolerance are important skills that important in today's diverse world.

Step 1 – Prior to the lesson the teacher will post a sign on two opposite sides of the classroom, one sign will read “Agree,” the other “Disagree”. Next a sign will be placed on the back of the room reading “Not Sure”.

Step 2 – The teacher will create a list of questions using the book “Everything You Wanted to Know About Indians But Were Afraid to Ask” by Anton Treuer.

Step 3 – Students will listen to questions posed by the teacher and choose to stand under one of the signs. Each group will share with each other in their group then share with the whole group why they made that choice.

Step 4 - Debrief. What did you learn about others? What was most important about this activity?

· Anton Treuer

· Anton Treuer: The Ojibwe Language Warrior | Center for Religion and Civic Culture (

· Anton Treuer's Quest to Revive the Ojibwe Language - Mpls.St.Paul Magazine (

· Meet the Bemidji professor on a quest to keep the Ojibwe language alive (

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