Dustin Burnette
Dustin BurnetteExecutive Director
Gimiwan is a former Ojibwe immersion teacher (grades k-5) at Niigaane and Waadookodaading. Gimiwan has been teaching since 2009, and has been assisting other Ojibwe immersion programs through curriculum/material development and staff development. He was a recipient of the 2021 Luce Indigenous Knowledge Fellowship, which has been a major contributor to the development of the Midwest Indigenous Immersion Network.

Gimiwan currently works with the Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, and for Rosetta Stone.

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Baabiitawigiizhigookwe Melissa Boyd
Baabiitawigiizhigookwe Melissa Boyd Board Member, Treasurer
Baabiitaw is an Anishinaabekwe from the Mille Lacs Indian Reservation located in central Minnesota. Her path of Ojibwe language revitalization began when she was afforded the opportunity to participate in a Master/ Apprentice program at Mille Lacs. It was there that she worked for more than a decade on her language proficiency and made strides to bridge gaps between knowledge of native fluent speakers and school-age children. In 2017, she was awarded the Bush Leadership Fellowship where she studied Behavior Design in effort to advance theories of self-evaluation and personal development to support the language revitalization community as a whole. Boyd currently serves as the Senior Advisor on Language Revitalization Initiatives for the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe and enjoys singing and making banana bread with her three children.

Aaniin!
Baabiitaw indizhi-gikenimigoo. Nisowag niniijaanisag eyaawagig. Mii omaa Misizaaga’iganiiing indaa noongom miinawaa omaa endananokiiyaan naadamaageyaan omaa Neyaashiing Gikinoo’amaadiiwigamigong. Niwenda-minwendaan-sa wiidookawagwaa niwiiji-gikinoo’amaaganimag ani-nitaa-ojibwemowaad, wenji-naadamaageyaan omaa MIIN.

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Migizi Michael Sullivan
Migizi Michael Sullivan Board Member, Vice Chair
Michael Migizi Sullivan is an Anishinaabe (Ojibwe) linguist from the Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwe reservation in northern Wisconsin. He is currently the Native American Studies Faculty Director at Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwe College and previously served as the resident linguist for the Waadookodaading Ojibwe Language Immersion School where he contributed to immersion teacher training, proficiency development and assessment, Ojibwe language arts instruction, as well as curriculum development and lexical exploration with the elders. Dr. Sullivan has traveled extensively across Ojibwe country exploring regional language variation and works closely with tribes in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan, and Ontario. He is a firm believer in an Anishinabe-centric self-determined pedagogy grounded in Anishinaabe language, worldview, and spiritual lifestyle. Sullivan currently resides with his family in the Skunawong community on the Lac Courte Oreilles reservation where he enjoys the outdoors. He and his children enjoy singing at powwows, round dances, and ceremonies throughout the year.
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Niizhwaasanangookwe Miigis Gonzalez
Niizhwaasanangookwe Miigis GonzalezBoard Member, Chair
Dr. Miigis Gonzalez (Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwe) is an Assistant Scientist for the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Center for American Indian Health, Great Lakes Hub. Her research is grounded in her values, beliefs, and personal experiences as an Anishinaabe woman, mother, and leader. Her research promotes Indigenous language and culture as the means to improve wellbeing among Indigenous peoples. Her work supports what is innately understood among Indigenous people – that language, culture, and spirituality are inseparable components of Indigenous wellbeing; and that we cannot deny contemporary experiences of loss and disconnection. As a new faculty member (2021), she hopes to utilize research and the resources of Johns Hopkins to create new opportunities to increase access to Indigenous language, culture, and wellbeing for Anishinaabe peoples. In addition, Miigis is a parent (with her three children) of Kokonaan Endaad (Grandma’s House), an Ojibwe language nest. Kokonaan Endaad brings together parents, babies, and elders in a cultural, immersion setting to revive the language, the culture, Anishinaabe parenting practices, and ultimately, to raise a new generation of first language speakers. Miigis is dedicated to engaging her young family in cultural and ceremonial spaces because it is within these spaces that Anishinaabe teachings are alive and transferable. As MIIN Board Chair, she is committed to supporting and understanding the needs of our community leaders who are actively reviving Ojibwe language in their programming. As a parent and second language learner, she is grateful for this continuous and collaborative work towards language revival.
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Naawakwe William Howes
Naawakwe William Howes Board Member, Secretary
Migizi wiin odoodeman. Bapashkominitigong gii-tazhi-nitaawigi miinawaa go gii-ondaadizi imaa. Ojibwe-Anishinaabe aawi. Ojibwemowin Gegaanzikiged (FDL Gegaanzongejig Ji-Aabadak Ojibwemowin) noongom anokii, mii maa minawaanigozid. Nawaj 20-biboon gaa-kino’amaaged anooj dinowa ezhi-anokiid. Awashime dash ozaagitoon iw zhooshkobagisagoonsibizowin, mii dash geyaabi go ini-jiikendam gaa-ako-maajiitaad 33-biboon!

Naawakwe is Eagle clan. He grew up in the place where he was born, the Bald-headed Island village (Fond du Lac Indian Reservation). He is Ojibwe and currently works for the Fond du Lac Band in the Language and Culture Program as the Ojibwemowin Project Manager where he is fully enjoying himself. He has served as an educator for over 20 years in several different capacities. Naawakwe’s first love is skateboarding, and it still brings him joy after 33 years!

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Jiigewegaabaw Joe Nayquonabe, Jr.
Jiigewegaabaw Joe Nayquonabe, Jr.Board Member
Joe Nayquonabe, Jr. – Jiigewegaabaw – is an American Indian business professional that has spent his career reimagining and reinventing how American Indian tribal economies grow and prosper.
He grew up on the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe reservation and spent his high school years with the Red Lake Warriors. He is the Commissioner of Corporate Affairs for the Mille Lacs Band, and the CEO of Mille Lacs Corporate Ventures, a tribal corporation which manages the entire business portfolio of the Mille Lacs Band including Grand Casino Mille Lacs, Grand Casino Hinckley, FoxTrot Marketing Group; Maadaadizi Holdings; Wewinabi Inc., Makwa Global, and SLOTCO.
In his spare time, Joe enjoys running marathons, studying the Ojibwe language, reading, and playing basketball.
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