Audrey Thayer

Audrey Thayer

Arts and Humanities Instructor

(218) 335-4215

Tribal Affiliation:
Gaa-Waabaabiganikaag (White Earth Nation) Gull Lake Band

My spirit name is Ogimaamiigizikwe.  I am an enrolled member of the White Earth Tribal Nation in northwest Minnesota. For some years, I have worked for the U.S. Indian Health Service (Federally) and the American Civil Liberties Union of Minnesota (non-profit) as the Coordinator/Community Organizer of the Greater MN Racial Justice Project that served a seven-county area encircling Minnesota’s three most significant reservations. Beltrami County, Minnesota employed me as a family therapist and served as an adjunct faculty for Bemidji State University (19 years). Today, I instructed Leech Lake Tribal College and currently serve as the Councilor at Large on the Bemidji City Council. Audrey is the first Indigenous-American woman on the Bemidji City Council. I received the 2023 Women United Tribute Award. Leech Lake Tribal College presented as Faculty of the Year, 2013-14. Over my career, I received numerous awards for my commitment to community work.


Doctoral Student, Leadership in Organization and Educational Administration, University of St. Thomas, Minneapolis, MN, 2015 – present
M.ED., Counseling/Psychology, Cambridge College, MA, 1986.
A.A., Social Work, Mt. Senario College, Ladysmith, WI, 1979.
B.A., Native American Studies/Sociology, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, 1976.
A.A., Secretarial Science, West Bend Technical College, West Bend, WI, 1974.

Research & Experience :
“Building Community in the Twin Cities: Indigenous Women and Leadership, 1950-1980.” Northern Great Plains History Conference, September 2018.

Instructor, Leech Lake Tribal College, 2011 – present.
Visiting Instructor, White Earth Tribal College 2010-11.
Adjunct Faculty, Bemidji State University, 1990-2011.

Courses Taught:
U.S. and Indigenous-American History
Indigenous-American Philosophy
Indigenous-American Leadership
Speech and Communications
Professional Skills Development
Indigenous-American Women
Introduction to Anishinaabe Studies