Teacher Workshop

Summer Teacher Institute 2024

This year’s free Summer Teacher Institute workshop, “History and Healing: From Assimilation to Reclamation at Fort Totten Boarding School,” is set for July 24-27 at Fort Totten State Historic Site. Initially built as a military post in the late 1800s, the site has also served as a Native American boarding school and tuberculosis preventorium. This workshop will equip teachers with the knowledge and skills necessary to meet the requirements detailed in the North Dakota Native American Essential Understandings (NDNAEU). The NDNAEU standards are required by the state effective fall 2024. Native American scholars and experts will lead much of the workshop, which includes visiting historic sites on the Spirit Lake Reservation, talks by former boarding school students, and learning about the Dakota people, cultural reclamation, and other related topics. Our goal is to tell the history of the boarding school era, specifically at Fort Totten, to help educators understand how tribal nations today are working to revive communities and culture that boarding schools aimed to strip away.

Graduate credits are available for a fee through the University of North Dakota, Minot State University, and North Dakota State University.

For more information, contact Laura Forde, education and engagement manager, ljforde@nd.gov.

Capacity is limited. Register at teacher-institute.eventbrite.com through July 14, 2024. 


  • Teachers will be prepared to help students meet the Native American Essential Understandings standards.
  • Teachers will understand boarding schools and their impact on tribal nations.
  • Teachers will learn about Dakota culture, past and present.
  • Teachers will learn about various tribal nations’ efforts to reclaim their culture.


  • Laura Forde, education and engagement manager, State Historical Society of North Dakota
  • Madison Milbrath, education outreach supervisor, State Historical Society of North Dakota


  • Louis Garcia, author and Dakota Studies faculty and cultural advisor at Cankdeska Cikana Community College
  • Ramona Klein, former Fort Totten boarding school student
  • Christy Goulet, enrolled member of Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa, Métis medicine woman, and teacher of Métis traditional medicines, songs, and healing techniques in the modern world


  • Bring your own device (tablet or laptop).


  • Workshop attendance is free.
  • Application deadline is July 14, 2024.
  • Two credits are available for a $100 fee through the University of North Dakota, Minot State University, and North Dakota State University.


  • The Totten Trail Inn, located on the state historic site within walking distance of the workshop, features 10 rooms with access to the kitchen available. These rooms have been set aside for participating teachers until July 10.
  • The Spirit Lake Casino & Resort is the nearest hotel-style lodging. 
  • A variety of hotels and resorts around the nearby town of Devils Lake also offer accommodation.
  • Please note that the workshop takes place during Fort Totten Days and its annual powwow, so room availability will become limited closer to the event (July 26-28).


  • July 24 (1-6:30 p.m.): The History of the Dakota People. 
  • July 25 (8 a.m.-6 p.m.): The Boarding School Movement.
  • July 26 (8 a.m.-10 p.m.): Cultural Reclamation. Attend the Fort Totten Days Powwow at 6 p.m.
  • July 27 (8 a.m.-12:30 p.m.): Cultural Reclamation. Practical applications in the classroom.

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