Department of Education

The Department of Education’s mission is to provide learners of all ages access to a variety of high-quality educational opportunities. The department hopes to enhance the pride, culture and expectations of all Band members. Commissioner Suzanne Wise, who was appointed by Chief Executive Melanie Benjamin and ratified by the Band Assembly, oversees the department.

Suzanne Wise, CommissionerofEducation: 320-532-7550,

Joycelyn Shingobe, Executive Director:

Julie Benjamin, Administrative Financial Manager: 320-532-7851,

The Band helps provide its members of all ages with a variety of educational opportunities through Head Start/Early Head Start, academics, extracurricular activities, scholarships, library services, and Ojibwe language and cultural programming.

Nay Ah Shing Schools

The Mille Lacs Band operates the K-12 Nay Ah Shing Schools in District I of the reservation. Pine Grove Leadership Academy in the Aazhoomog community of District III is a satellite of Nay Ah Shing.

Noah Johnson, Upper School Principal: 320-532-4695, ext. 2104,

Jane Harstad, Lower School/Pine Grove Principal; 320-532-4690, ext. 2208,

Minisinaakwaang Leadership Academy

The Minisinaakwaang Leadership Academy is an Ojibwe charter school located in McGregor to serve District II of the reservation. The school is operated independently from the Mille Lacs Band.

Anishinaabe College

Anishinaabe College (formerly Mille Lacs Tribal College) is located at Nay Ah Shing Upper School – 43651 Oodena Drive in Onamia. The college offers post-secondary classes through collaborative partnerships with both Central Lakes College and Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College. Please contact the MLBO Higher Education Office at 320-532-4695 to register.


Camille Naslund, Director of Higher Education: 320-495-3702, ext. 28,


The Mille Lacs Band Higher Education Office (MLBHEO) is established to assist enrolled members of the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe and their children as they pursue their educational goals. A financial award may also be given to those members who successfully obtain their degree, diploma or certificate.

The Non-Removables

Nay Ah Shing students produced a documentary in 2010 that explores the problems of violence and drug and alcohol abuse on the reservation. The video, which features interviews with both students and Elders, is a part of a project sponsored by the Bureau of Indian Education. It will be combined into one documentary with videos from 20 other Native American schools.

Educational Programs to Consider

Native American Artist-in-Residence Program

The Minnesota Historical Society is seeking applications for the 2015/16 Native American Artist-in-Residence Program. In 2015/16, the program will award 2 residencies for Native artists engaged in traditional artmaking and provide them stipends to connect with museum collections, peer artists, and/or other knowledgeable community members. Artists must currently reside in Minnesota, Wisconsin,  North Dakota, or South Dakota. For more information, please visit and .

Questions can be directed to Ben Gessner at 651-259-3281 or

To view the full informational flyer click here

Augsburg College Partnership Grant Program Augsburg College offers a tuition discount of roughly 10% (in the form of a grant) and an application fee waiver to employees of the Mille Lacs Band Government Center using a simple form and recent pay stub as proof of employment.  To receive the discount, one form is filled out yearly throughout a student’s studies, usually in the fall term. Education programs include: initiation or completion of a bachelor’s degree in the adult undergraduate program, master’s degrees in business (MBA), leadership (MAL), nursing (MAN), education (MAE), social work (MSW), creative writing (MFA) and a doctorate of nursing practice (DNP).  The Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies is not included in the Augsburg Partnership Grant program. Augsburg College combines a top quality faculty, personal attention, small class size, and a convenient Minneapolis location to support the academic success of students of all ages. Classes are designed for working professionals with busy lifestyles.  With over 24,000 alumni, the college is known for its academic reputation and diverse student body.  Augsburg has strong connections to its urban community and is committed to serving its neighbors. For more information, visit 

Egghart Certified Public Accountants Scholarship Chairman Ernie Stevens of the National Indian Gaming Association (NIGA) has endorsed the Egghart Certified Public Accountants Scholarship for Native American Accounting Students, a new scholarship offered by the Reno, Nevada-based accounting firm. “I’m thrilled to announce that Egghart is investing in a new generation of Native accountants and auditors,” said Chairman Stevens. “This is a wonderful opportunity for Native youth to pursue higher education and help protect tribal sovereignty.” The Egghart Certified Public Accountants Scholarship for Native American Accounting Students provides three awards of up to $5,000 each for the 2014 academic year. A competitive, merit-based scholarship, it was established to assist Native American students who plan to enter the accounting profession. Chairman Stevens will serve on the scholarship committee and help select awardees. The inaugural scholarship from the Reno, Nevada-based accounting firm was awarded toIda Williams, a 26-year-old graduate student at Gonzaga University majoring in American Indian Entrepreneurship. Williams is a member of the Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe but also identifies herself as Oglala Lakota, Cheyenne and Lac du Flambeau Ojibwe. Ms. Williams has set the bar in what the scholarship committee is looking for in applicants. “We were simply floored by her track record, leadership and dedication to growing the American Indian business community and improving the lives of Native Americans,” said Burns. “She has really set the bar high, and we hope to support more students in the future who demonstrate her level of passion and commitment to their communities.” “Ultimately, we hope this scholarship helps build infrastructure and human capacity in Indian Country,” said Egghart Partner and Director of Audit and Assurance Ryan Burns. “It’s our way of giving back to the communities we work so closely with.” To apply for the Egghart Certified Public Accountants Scholarship for Native American Accounting Students, download an application at

The American Indian College Fund Full Circle Scholarships The online application is available January 1– May 31 each year for the following school year. For example, online applications are that are accepted January 1–May 31 are considered for the school year starting in the fall of that year. Applications may be submitted for a limited time period after May 31, but will only be considered if additional funds become available at a later date. Apply here:

Cobell Education Scholarships Fund The Department of the Interior announced April 2, 2015 that it had transferred more than $2 million to the Cobell Education Scholarship Fund, bringing the total amount transferred so far to $7 million. The Scholarship Fund was authorized by the historic Cobell Settlement and provides financial assistance through annual scholarships to American Indian and Alaska Native students wishing to pursue post-secondary education and training. Apply here:

Native American Finance Officers  Association (NAFOA) Scholarship Assists Native American and Alaska Native students working towards a degree within a financially related field.

Gates Millennium Scholars (GMS) The GMS is open to U.S. citizens or legal residents who have earned a 3.3 cumulative GPA in high school are planning to enroll at an accredited higher learning institute as first time students.  The GMS is designed to help support students with cost related to “unmet need and self help aid.”  Scholarship awards vary by monetary amount;between 2001 and 2012,  the average recipient has been awarded $12,227 per academic year. Online programs are eligible.

Minnesota scholarships & grants programs Residents of Minnesota are eligible for a number of scholarships and grants to finance their education.

Click here to learn more Microsoft Technical Scholarships for Minorities and Women Anyone who is enrolled full-time in a four-year Bachelor of Arts program at an accredited university in the U.S. Canada, or Mexico may apply for these scholarships; however, preference will be given to applicants who are female, belong to a minority group, or have a disability. Recipients will be awarded either full or partial tuition for the entire academic year; full tuition amounts are determined by the financial aid office at the recipient’s higher learning institution. Funds are not transferable to other colleges or universities, and must be exclusively used for tuition payments. Online programs are eligible.

Lagrant Foundation Scholarships This scholarship is open to any citizen or legal resident who meets the following criteria: Is a member of one of the following ethnic groups: African American/Black, Asian American/Pacific  Islander, Hispanic/Latino, or Native American/American Indian. Is enrolled full-time at a four year, accredited institution, and earns at least 12 credits per semester/quarter. Has a minimum 2.75 cumulative GPA. The scholarship is valued at $2,500.  Online programs are eligible.

The Generation Google Scholarship This scholarship is open to high school seniors and enrolled college students. High school seniors must: Plan to enroll as full-time students at an accredited university in the U.S. or Canada during the 2014-15 academic year. Intend to earn a degree and pursue a career in computer science, computer engineering, or another related field. Be able to attend Google’s Computer Science Summer Institute (CSSI) in the summer of 2014. Selected students enrolled at U,S. schools will receive $10,000 for the 2014-15 school year; those enrolled at schools in Canada will receive $5,000 Canadian dollars. Online programs are eligible.

Xerox Minority Scholarship This scholarship is open to all U.S. citizens or legal residents who belong to at least  one of the following minority groups: African American/Black, Asian American/pacific Islander, Hispanic/Latino, or Native American/American Indian. Additionally, each recipient must be enrolled full-time in an accredited under-graduate or graduate program, earn a minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA (for outgoing high school seniors, high school GPA will be considered in lieu of a college GPA). The scholarship will award between $1,000 and $10,000 per student for each academic year. Online programs are eligible.

American Indian College Fund: Full Circle Scholarship for Undergraduates Attending Non-Tribal Colleges These scholarships are open to U.S. citizens who are enrolled full-time at a public or private , non-tribal-affiliated school, and are registered as members of a recognized tribe or with at least one grandparent or parent who was registered. Applicants must earn a minimum 2.0 cumulative GPA to be considered. All Full Circle scholarships are designed to exclusively cover college-related expenses, such as tuition, room and board, books and supplies, and administrative fees. The amounts vary for one-time scholarships as listed below: Anthony A. Weimas Scholarship: $1,000 (for associate or bachelor’s students only) Morgan Stanley Tribal Scholars Program: $5,000 (all undergraduate grade levels are eligible) Nissan North American, Inc. Scholarship: $3,000 (all undergraduate grade levels are eligible) San Manuel Band of Mission Indians Tribal Scholarship: $1,000 (all undergraduate grade levels are eligible) Sovereign Nations Scholarship; $2,000 (all undergraduate grade levels are eligible) Women’s Self Worth Foundation Scholarship: $8,000 (females at all undergraduate grade levels are eligible) Full Circle also offers several scholarships reserved for students who are residents of specific U.S. states or regions Online programs are eligible.

NativeVision Scholarship This award is available to all U.S. citizens or legal residents who are currently enrolled as members in a recognized tribe. Additionally, applicants must; Be accepted and plan to enroll in an accredited two-or four year U.S. college or university. Provide transcripts showing a minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA. Demonstrate a background in both community service and extracurricular activities The amount of this scholarship award will vary; the money is to be used solely to cover college-related expenses. Online programs are eligible.

Society for American Archaeology Native American Undergraduate Archaeology Scholarship This scholarship is open to any U.S. citizen or legal resident who is currently enrolled in a recognized tribal group. Applicants must  be enrolled at an accredited college or university, and pursuing a degree related to the field of archaeology. This $5,000, one-time award may be used to cover a number of college-related expenses. Online programs are eligible.

Morris K. Udall Scholarship Any U.S. citizen or legal resident who is registered with a recognized tribal group may apply for this scholarship. Additionally, candidates must be enrolled as full-time, junior-or senior-level undergraduates who are currently pursuing a degree in tribal public policy or health care at an accredited four-year university. Recipients will be given a scholarship award of up to $5,000 that is to be used to cover tuition costs, books and supplies, room and board, and other educational expenses.  Online programs are eligible.

The Native American Leadership in Education (NALE) program is for Native students who are paraprofessionals in Indian schools, and who plan to complete their degrees in education, counseling, or school administration. The Tribal

Business Management program (TBM) is for students in business, finance, management, banking, hotel management, economics, and related fields who plan to work in economic development for tribes. Local Ironworkers Union Apprenticeship program available: Twin Cities Union Ironworker Program

Urban Scholars Future leaders are currently being sought for employment in a leadership development summer internship program for college students from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds called Urban Scholars. The 12-week program is a partnership between the City of Minneapolis, Minneapolis Public Schools, Metropolitan Council, Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board, State of Minnesota, PCL Construction, and Greater Twin Cities United Way. For more information and a link to the online application, visit: If you have specific questions or need additional information, please contact: or (612) 673-2516.

American Indian Education Foundation The Undergraduate Scholarship from AIEF supports educational opportunities for American Indian and Alaska Native students by awarding more than 200 scholarships annually. We also offer a free guide to help Native Americans pursue higher education: Tools for Success — A Guide for High School Seniors, Families, Counselors and others…. The AIEF program also offers competitive graduate scholarships to eligible American Indian/Alaska Native/Native Hawaiian students pursuing a Masters or Doctoral degree.

Public Media Internships – Vision Maker Media Vision Maker Media is pleased to offer Public Media Internships to undergraduate or graduate students. With major funding from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), the purpose of the paid internships is to increase the opportunities for American Indian and Alaska Native youth in Public Broadcasting. For more information and to apply: 2015 ILTF Summer Internship

The All Native American High School Academic Team “Build, promote, and honor self-sustaining American Indian and Alaska Native communities through education and leadership.” The American Indian Graduate Center is a national organization headquartered in Albuquerque, New Mexico providing educational assistance to American Indian and Alaska Native graduate and undergraduate students throughout the United States. Since the founding in 1969, AIGC has awarded more than 16,000 scholarships totaling over $44 million to graduate students in all fields of study.