About the Project


Project Background

The Raising Healthy Anishinaabeg Children project was a three-year venture which brought together tribal elders to identify the key developmental assets necessary for raising healthy Anishinaabeg kids.  Participants came from the Bois Forte and Leech Lake Bands of Ojibwe, as well as the Red Lake Nation in northern Minnesota. Staff from the American Indian Projects in the UMD Department of Social Work conducted focus groups on the Bois Forte reservation and personal interviews on the Leech Lake and Red Lake reservations. 

The project utilized the Search Institute's framework for identifying developmental assets in children. Study findings have been presented at several local and national conferences, and a poster has been developed which summarizes participants’ responses to the question “what does it take to raise healthy Anishinaabeg children?” 

This website is intended for tribal agencies, social workers, educators, parents, and extended family of Anishinaabeg children interested in learning how to raise healthy children from the perspective of Anishinaabeg elders. This project was funded by a grant from the Otto Bremer Foundation, and was a collaborative effort between American Indian Projects and the Search Institute.


Description of a Healthy Anishinaabe Child

The elders who participated in the interviews and focus groups identified what the phrase “healthy Anishinaabe child” means, and discussed the parenting and outside support that enables an Indian child to be healthy.  They said healthy Anishinaabeg children make good decisions on their own and apply values to their own lives.  They have positive self identifications, are comfortable with who they are, are spiritually connected, and are part of an extended family unit and a cultural community.


Project Staff

Research Team

John Day, MSW

Priscilla Day, MSW, Ed.D.

Anne Tellett, MSW, Ed.D.

Project Support Team

Muskadee Montano, MSW

Erin Geary, MSW

Trevor Swoverland, MSW

Jackie Heytens

Cultural Advisor

Larry Jourdain