The Elementary Education program at Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College (FDLTCC) hosted the inaugural Ed Fest for new and current educators on June 26, 2023. Ed Fest 2023 – Bringing Indigenous Teachings into the Classroom featured dynamic presentations and workshops for educators throughout the day including a keynote from James Vukelich and a lunch presentation by 2022 Teacher of the Year, Sarah Lancaster.

“We were very excited to offer the first annual Ed Fest at FDLTCC and it was a huge success with nearly 100 participants,” shared FDLTCC Dean of Education, Dr. Kim Spoor, “James Vukelich spoke on the Seven Grandfather Teachings. Session presenters were faculty, staff, and local Indigenous educators who did a wonderful job weaving cultural standards into their sessions. We are so grateful for their time and effort. We received wonderful feedback from participants. It is clear that we need to continue working with Native and non-Native educators on integrating Indigenous culture into the curriculum to meet the needs of the whole student. We look forward to next year’s Ed Fest.”

Vukelich’s presentation keynote presentation explored the Seven Grandfather Teachings and his special presentation during a free community event that evening discussed Mino-bimaadizi, which translates to s/he lives well, leads a good life, has good health.

James Vukelich Kaagegaabaw, a descendent of Turtle Mountain, is an international speaker, author & the creator of Ojibwe Word of the Day.​ His mission is to inspire people to live the good life by sharing ancient wisdom to influence modern solutions through an indigenous perspective. ​Vukelich is recognized as a leading voice on the interconnectedness of language & culture. His keen insights were developed through speaking with and recording elders and native language speakers (many of whom have since passed on) in Canada, Michigan and Minnesota as part of the Ojibwe Language Dictionary Project.

Ed Fest 2023 was sponsored by the 13 Moons FDLTCC Extension Program, American Indian College Fund, Minnesota Indian Teacher Training Program, and FDLTCC Elementary Education Program.

To learn more about the Elementary Education program at FDLTCC, please visit or contact FDLTCC’s Dean of Education, Kim Spoor, at kimberly.spoor*AT*


I chose FDLTCC because of its size and the curriculum. When I first came here in 2019, I was just looking for what I needed to volunteer, perhaps in a crisis shelter. I met with Don Jarvinen, and the rest is history.

My favorite thing about FDLTCC is the people. I’ve met fantastic students, faculty and staff who go above and beyond what I expected.

It is awesome here at the FDLTCC Education Program because it is like a family here, if you need help or are struggling with anything, you have quite a few people who will help you out.