Extension & Community Ed Coordinator
Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe
Esther strives to walk a good path that brings pride to her Anishinaabe ancestors and community, her children included. She takes pride in continually learning and is a strong advocate for promoting a deeper understanding of the importance of revitalizing and preserving the Anishinaabe way of life and language.
She enjoys the outdoors, and taking part in hunting, gathering plants and roots for medicinal uses,
harvesting wild rice, star gazing, and gardening. Her other pastimes include beading, painting, making moccasins, attending gatherings that build community and strengthen Anishinaabe ways of life and learning to cook with what the land provides. Her newest learning adventure is skinning and tanning Buffalo hides.
Esther opens her home for ceremonial gatherings, Anishinaabe song gatherings and family gatherings that hold Anishinaabe traditions and spirituality to pass teachings onto younger family members and community members.
Esther is an alumni of the Blandin Foundation’s Reservation Community Leadership and has attended several other Blandin sponsored training on Community Wellness, Diversity, and Leadership. She completed the Bush Foundations Native Nation Rebuilder’s Program (cohort 3). She has participated in Wellstone Action and The White House Project’s Go! Run! Women’s Leadership training.
In 2011 she traveled and walked 640+ miles during the Mother Earth Water Walk, she has been helping to carry Nibi since. She has enlisted her 5-year-old daughter (since she was in utero) in this work and all it entails. She and her daughter have walked over 4000 km in other water walks in Canada and they continue to journey, pray and honor our precious Nibi.
Esther has 3 sons ages 28, 18, and 16 and a daughter who was brought into the world in a traditional Anishinaabe way. Esther lends support to other childbearing women and encourages them to trust their bodies in childbirth. Esther is a Certified Outreach Perinatal Educator. Nigigoonsikwe often accompanies her mom when her birth story is being shared.
B.S., Social Work, College of St. Scholastica
A.A.S., Human Services, Fond Du Lac Tribal Community College
A.A., Elementary Education, Sinte Gleska University, South Dakota.
A.A., Liberal Arts, Leech Lake Tribal College