Mino-ayaawigamig ~ Wellness Center

Matt Hanson

Matt Hanson
Wellness Center Director
(218) 335-4254

Valerie Smith

Valerie Smith
Student Parent Support Initiative Coordinator
(218) 335-4278

Aaniin giinawaa,

Welcome to Mino-ayaawigamig (the Wellness Center) at LLTC. In following the seven grandfather teachings and supporting the vision of the college, the mission of Mino-ayaawigamig is to improve the overall health of our students while providing a safe and confidential place to be heard, ask questions, and seek advice.

Wellness is not just about being physically healthy; it is your overall well-being, which includes every part of your daily life. Helping each student find a balance that encourages and supports them in maintaining their mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical health is our goal. Knowing that no two paths are quite the same, we respect and honor our opportunity to walk alongside students as they seek to live their life in a good way.

In addition to providing an open door and a listening ear for students, the Wellness Center offers basic hygiene supplies, donated clothing, and referrals to tribal and local services, etc. We also have various additional resources available for parenting students, so stop by and check us out.

The Wellness Center is happy to offer private rooms available for study, counseling, and for parents (lactation/diaper changing) if needed.


Matt Hanson – Wellness Center Director

Valerie Smith – Student Parent Support Initiative Coordinator

Come see us anytime!

We have an open door for students to drop in anytime to ask question about local resources, use of our private rooms, including a private lactation (breastfeeding) room counseling room, quiet study room. We also offer free personal hygiene items, diapers, infant snacks, and clothing. Come in and say hi. We're happy to help.

Wellness Programming

Lunch and Learn

Mino-ayaawigaming hosts a series of Lunch and Learns throughout the school year. Come get a free healthy lunch and listen to a variety of guest speakers. Topics range from: student-led presentations, chemical dependency, elders teaching about traditional tobacco uses, healthy relationships, AIDS/HIV rapid testing, tobacco facts bingo, financial aid, academic advising, and indigenous foods.

Traditional Tobacco Education

Mino-ayaawigaming is committed to promoting and focusing on the traditional Anishinaabeg use of Asemaa on campus. Mino-ayaawigaming has sponsored elder speakers to come on campus and talk about the respect and care that is to be given to aseema. We have also offered fun events such as tobacco facts bingo, we are running ads on KOJB 90.1 The Eagle, we are also planning a traditional garden. In addition we are a sponsor of the Anwebiwin Niimi’iding (Spring Pow-Wow), and are running an exciting Quit and Win challenge.

Talking Circles

Mino-ayaawigaming sponsors a weekly Talking Circle led by Leech Lake elder Nancy Kingbird. Students and Community members are encouraged to come share a meal and then talk in a safe, confident environment about school, parenting, grief, addictions, or anything you need guidance on.

Parent Study Group

Mino-ayaawigaming hosts Parent Study Group night. LLTC students are encouraged to bring their children and structured child care is provided lead by LLTC Early Child Hood students. A free meal is provided and students can go and study on campus. Get your studies done while getting to know the other parents on campus.

Parenting Classes

Mino-ayaawigaming presents Toddler Time parenting classes: Do you have a toddler? Come to a fun and supportive parenting class that will assist you in answering those tough questions, help you keep your cool, and enjoy life. The class focuses on the needs and development of toddlers.

Snow Shoeing

Mino-ayaawigaming sponsors Snow Shoeing on Thursdays November thru March. Come at noon and learn to snow shoe around the LLTC campus with Annette Drews. Snow Shoes are provided.

Commercial Tobacco Free Compaign

The Leech Lake Tribal College campus will become Commercial Tobacco Free starting Fall Semester 2014. At the Leech lake Tribal College, the commitment to students and community members extends beyond the classroom; it also encompasses education to promote wellness in all areas of life. This policy will not in any way prohibit the use of traditional/ceremonial/sacred use of tobacco on campus grounds, or infringe in any manner on tobacco cultivation or harvesting for spiritual or ceremonial use. We hope that this initiative will be an important step in helping students not only achieve their educational goals, but also help them have both immediate and long term health benefits.

Programs Sponsored by

Grant Number 1 SP1AH000022-01-00 from the Department of Health and Human Services, with support from the Minnesota Department of Health.


Resource Guide



    Suicide Prevention

    Counseling Crisis Line-Beltrami, Hubbard, Red Lake counties: (800) 422-0045
    National Suicide Prevention Hotline: (800) 273-8255
    MN Crisis Hotline: (866) 379-6363

    Cass Lake

    Leech Lake Behavioral Health: (218) 335-3050
    Lake Crisis Center for domestic violence: (877) 754-9683
    IHS Clinic Emergency Room: (218) 335-3200


    Upper Mississippi Mental Health Center: (218) 751-3280

Additional Resources

Wellness Center News

See Full List of News

As an institution that seeks to honor and embrace their culture, Leech Lake Tribal College (LLTC) works diligently to model Anishinaabe values. In August 2014, LLTC officially became commercial tobacco-free, prohibiting use of all commercial tobacco products on campus other than for ceremonial use.
Leech Lake Tribal College is first Tribal College in the Nation to be a partner with The Partnership for a Healthier America's Healthy Campus Eating Initiative.
Join us for our Aabitaa-Biboon Round Dance which will be held on February 16th from 2PM-8PM at the Cass Lake Boys & Girls Club. Dinner provided at 5PM. Hand Drum Contest & Dance Specials! Contact Matt Hanson - LLTC Wellness Center Director at 335-4254 or matt.hanson@lltc.edu.