Niigaandiwin Education Department

Providing a variety of services to LTBB Citizens, descendants, and the greater community.

Mission Statement

Passionately supporting the growth of our Nation by weaving Ancestral & Contemporary knowledge
through community collaboration

Vision Statement

Life success for the Odawa Nation and the next 7 Generations

Learning Services

Cultural Services - Cultural services works with LTBB citizens, descendants, and community partners to provide cultural education for the benefit of both tribal and non-tribal community members and educators.

WOCTEP - Career & Technical Education

Nitaazhitoojik Industrial Training (NIT) Program - The NIT Program is designed to provide direct assistance to students pursuing training in high demand STEM-related fields.

Data Services

Cultural Library - Special Collection of Native American Media

Related Information
Which public health professions exist in my state? - An outline of the professions, internships, and fellowships available to Michigan students
How do I pay for school? - A list of scholarships for Michigan students pursuing public health degrees
Where should I work? - Employment data for each major metropolitan area in the state, and statewide resources for area professionals
Education's Youtube Page

Contact Information

Located at 7500 Odawa Circle Harbor Springs, Michigan


(231) 242-1480


(231) 242-1490

Jordan E. Shananaquet


(231) 242-1481

Tammy Gasco

Admin Assistant

(231) 242-1480

Aanii, my name is Tammy Gasco, I’m the youngest daughter of Vernon and Mary Gasco. Shortly after graduating from Harbor Springs High School, I moved downstate where I jumped straight into the retail working field. After 4 years, I decided I had enough of the city life and moved back to the area. I have worked with the LTBB Government Center for the last 12 years, mostly as the Administration Department’s Receptionist to the LTBB Government. But as of August 2011, I have been working as the Administrative Assistant in the GBD/Education Department. I enjoy spending time with my family (and I am part of a big family), watching my family members play sports and traveling. I live by my Dad’s quote “Work smart, not hard”.

Dorothy Perry

Academic Services Coordinator

(231) 242-1482

Coming from a long line of Educators, Dorothy Perry has continued to follow in this direction with passion and commitment. The culmination of 25 years in the field of Education includes, Early Childhood Education with a focus on the whole child through self-led discovery and learning. Continuing as a Family/School Liaison and supporting parents with infant/ toddler development. For the past 15 years, Dorothy has concentrated on building Indigenous Education programs for youth and community, including developing Land-based curriculum. She is an LTBB Odawa Citizen from Boyne City, Michigan. She currently serves as the Academic Service Coordinator and provides support to the WIOA Outreach Worker, Higher Education Specialist, and Curriculum Specialist. She has a Bachelor’s Degree from Western Michigan University including concentrations in Art Education, Women’s Studies, and Early Childhood Education. She enjoys weaving and spending time on the water.  Dorothy feels passionate about helping to develop a strong, healthy, Odawa Community.

Rachael Koepp

Employment and Training Specialist

(231) 242-1488

Rachael Koepp grew up in Marquette, Michigan and attended Northern Michigan University. Rachael worked several years in customer services and has additional management and in the area of mental health service experience. Rachael completed her Bachelor of Social Work with a minor in the Human Behavior Cluster and also Native American Studies in May of 2018. For six months out of the year Rachael misses her husband who works out west as a Wildland Forest Firefighter and keeps company with her two very lovable and loud little dogs at home.

Kim Gabrick

Higher Education Specialist

(231) 242-1492

My name is Kim Gabrick and I have worked as the WOCTEP Administrative Assistant for 8 years. I previously worked for the Petoskey News-Review for 25 years as the Assistant Circulation Manager. I have an Associate’s Degree in Criminal Justice from North Central Michigan College in Petoskey. I am a member of the Sault Ste Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians. I like spending time with my husband Brian, my son Dalton, and my miniature Schnauzer Tucker. I also enjoy watching NASCAR.

Kerstine Bennington

NIT Project Director

(231) 242-1485

Aanii, my name is Kerstine Bennington. I am Waganakising Odawa. I serve as the Higher Education Specialist. I spent a short time dual-enrolled at Baker College and North Central Michigan College before going on to attend Michigan State University where I received a BA in Political Science. I am currently pursuing my graduate studies at MSU. I am a proud mother of two sweet boys, Roman and Gannon. I began my position with the Education Department in December of 2016 working to encourage and foster interest in postsecondary education. Having experienced firsthand how daunting college can be, I strive to support our students and their families in a number of capacities to ensure their smooth transition and success. It is a gift to be able to work with our tribal citizens, one that I am deeply grateful for.

Curriculum Specialist

Amanda Weinert

(231) 242-1483

Boozhoo/Aanii! Gitigaaneyaashikaaniing indoonjibaa, Anishinaabe ndaaw, mukwa ndoodem, waabishkamakwakwe miinwa Amanda Weinert ndishnikaaz.
Greetings! I grew up in Garden, MI (a peninsula in the Upper Peninsula merging southwestward into michigami/Lake Michigan). I identify as Anishinaabe (Citizen of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa, with ancestral connection to Waganakising). My clan/doodem is bear/mukwa. My Anishinaabemowin name translates to White Bear Woman and my common name is Amanda Weinert. I view our work here at the LTBB Education Department as part of an expansive network of active Anishinaabek resiliency.  My position as the Ishkakimikwe Kinomaagewinan (Mother Earth Teachings) Curriculum Specialist is exciting because we are working with educators to integrate decolonizing, land-based pedagogies and perspectives into curricula. I studied Art and Design (focusing on jewelry/metalsmithing) and Native American Studies at Northern Michigan University (Bachelor of Science, 2014). And I still have the occasional problems of finding metal shavings in my socks and accidently burning my fingerprints off.

Cultural Services Specialist

Theresa Chingwa

(231) 242-1486

Aanii (Hello), my name is Theresa Chingwa; I was born in Flint, MI and was primarily raised there. I have also lived in New Mexico, Georgia and Lansing, MI. I moved to northern Michigan after graduating high school and have been in northern Michigan ever since. My tribes are Cheyenne, Arapaho, Choctaw, Odawa and Ojibwa. I have four children my oldest son Kunu, twin sons Nizu and Haga and my youngest a daughter, Suzi. I have an Associate’s Degree in Business Management from North Central Michigan. I’m a member of and started working for Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians Human Services Department from 1999 then transferred over to Cultural Services since 2011. In my current position, I’m the Education Departments Cultural Services Specialist.

Cultural Library Specialist

Celestine Petoskey

(231) 242-1487

Aanii. My name is Celestine “Nagamowin-Bineshii” Petoskey. I am Waganakising Odawa, daughter of Bubba & Candace Worthington. I grew up in Harbor Springs, MI and graduated from Harbor Springs High School. I earned a Business & Office Technology Certificate from Bay Mills Community College through WOCTEP in May 2007. I attended Central Michigan University online and graduated Cum Laude with a bachelor’s degree in Community Development in May 2013. I’m married to William Petoskey and have three wonderfully inquisitive children. Libraries have always been a special haven for me, and reading and literature have been equally near and dear to my heart. I also believe in lifelong learning, so I’m excited to be a part of LTBB’s Cultural Library and its reach to the community.

WOCTEP Project Director

Christopher Polasky

(231) 242-1489

I’m an Anthabascan Indian and Native Alaskan, also a member of the Sitka Tribe of Alaska. I’m a father of 6 adult children. I have 9 years of Tribal Social Services experience. I also have 4 years of Informational Technology experience, 4 years of Tribal Behavioral Health Program experience. With 13 years combined grant management experience.

WOCTEP Student Advisor

Jon Anthony

(231) 242-1484

Jon Anthony has a background in Art, graduating with a Painting MFA in 2012 from MSU. While in school, he had the opportunity to teach classes for three years. Education continues to be an important aspect of Jon’s career and personal life. He’s interested in all forms of art, was recently involved with a dance group, is an avid music fan, and has a passion for fashion! In his downtime he enjoys running, kung-fu movies, and reading. Serving and being part of the community, building relationships, and learning traditions has been a transformative experience for him.

Full Website