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Larry Smallwood

248 opd 6 2011
Ojibwe Name: Amik O’Gaabaw
English Name: Larry Smallwood
Community: Lake Lena district of Mille Lacs
Region: Mille Lacs

Amik was born in Washington, D.C. and raised in Aazhoomoog (Lake Lena District of Mille Lacs) from the age of six months by his mother’s aunt and uncle. The family spoke only Ojibwe. He attended an all-white country school as the only native student. In 1968, he was drafted into the US Army, and after serving in the military, moved to Los Angeles, California after enrolling in the Urban Indian Relocation Program.

Amik returned home in 1971, and worked primarily as a language instructor for the Minneapolis Public Schools, Nay Ah Shing School, University of Minnesota - Duluth and Leech Lake Tribal College. Since 1999, he has served as the director of language and culture for the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe.

Amik passed away in April of 2017.