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Culture and Language

Drum and Dance

Every Friday from 2:15-2:45, AIMS holds a Drum & Dance session. It's a wonderful way to end the week with singing and dancing.

Drum and Dance Schedule 2023-24

Elementary: Group A

  • Ms. Kia
  • Vang
  • T. Yang
  • DeCory
  • Rose
  • Yates
  • Scheele
  • Sykora
  • Canto (ASD)


  • Oct. 6
  • Nov. 3
  • Dec. 1
  • Dec. 15
  • Jan. 19
  • Feb. 9
  • Feb. 23
  • Mar. 15
  • Apr. 5
  • Apr. 26
  • May 10
  • May 24

Elementary: Group B

  • Ms. Michelle
  • Kodesh
  • Berney
  • Goggleye
  • K. Yang
  • Boone
  • Olson
  • Westrum (ASD)


  • Oct. 13
  • Nov. 17
  • Dec. 8
  • Jan. 12
  • Feb. 2
  • Feb. 16
  • Mar. 1
  • Mar. 22
  • Apr. 19
  • May 3
  • May 17
  • May 31

Middle: Group A

  • Oien
  • Fosse
  • Kurtti
  • Holmlund
  • Bresette


  • Oct. 6 A
  • Nov. 3 A
  • Dec. 1 A
  • Dec. 15 A
  • Jan. 19 A
  • Feb. 9 A
  • Feb. 23 B
  • Mar. 15 A
  • Apr. 5 A
  • Apr. 26 A
  • May 10 A
  • May 24 A

Middle: Group A

  • Anderson
  • Bonnin
  • Johnson
  • Singer


  • Oct. 13 B
  • Nov. 17 A
  • Dec. 8 B
  • Jan. 12 A
  • Feb. 2 B
  • Feb. 16 B
  • Mar. 1 A
  • Mar. 22 B
  • Apr. 19 B
  • May 3 B
  • May 17 B
  • May 31 A

2023-24 Book of the Month

Book of the Month is a schoolwide literacy program, begun in 2001. All AIMS students read the same book during the month.  This program is aimed at getting everyone excited about reading culturally responsive Indigenous-authored books. Here are the 2023-24 Book of the Month selections: 

We Are All Related

by Jessie Taken Alive-Recountre
Year Published: 2020

There is a belief that a Native American tribe, the Lakota believe in. That is, there is one Creator and that everything that is living in the Universe is our relative. This children's book reminds children of the knowledge that we are all born with. Meant for primary grade children, this is a message that is universal to all ages.

Dawn Flight

by Kevin Locke
Year Published: 2016

Long ago, when a great flood cleansed the land of unhappiness, the Grandfather sent Wanjblí the eagle to save one virtuous member of the human race and teach her how to live a good life. The eagle is a powerful symbol of courage, wisdom, and strength. In Kevin’s book he shares an inspiring vision of unity and hope for a new generation teaching children to recognize the eagle in themselves and others and always to soar above the darkness into the light.

Finding My Dance

by Ria Thundercloud
Year Published: 2022

At four years old, Ria Thundercloud was brought into the powwow circle, ready to dance in the special jingle dress her mother made for her. As she grew up, she danced with her brothers all over Indian country. Then Ria learned more styles--tap, jazz, ballet--but still loved the expressiveness of Indigenous dance. And despite feeling different as one of the only Native American kids in her school, she always knew she could turn to dance to cheer herself up.    
Follow along as Ria shares her dance journey--from dreaming of her future to performing as a professional--accompanied by striking illustrations that depict it while bringing her graceful movements to life.

The Day the Earth Rose Up

by Alfreda Beartrack-Algeo
Year Published: 2022

When seven Lakota sisters venture deep into the forest to gather chokecherries, they are surprised and chased by a giant bear. As they huddle together on a rock ledge and pray for help, the earth rises up, taking them out of reach of the bear. A great eagle rescues the Seven Sisters by taking them to the Star Nation, where they become the Pleiades star formation we see in the night sky.

Forever Cousins

by Lauren Goodluck and Jonathan Nelson
Year Published: 2022

In this Native American story, Kara and Amanda are best-friend cousins. Then Kara leaves the city to move back to the Rez. Will their friendship stay the same?

Kara and Amanda hate not being together. Then it's time for the family reunion on the Rez. Each girl worries that the other hasn't missed her. But once they reconnect, they realize that they are still forever cousins. This story highlights the ongoing impact of the 1950s Indian Relocation Act on Native families, even today.

This tender story about navigating change reminds readers that the power of friendship and family can bridge any distance.

Runs With the Stars

by Darcy Whitecrow and Heather O'Connor
Year Published: 2022

“Elders say they were always here. The horses were small, but strong.”
“Like me?”
“Like you.”

As they await the birth of a new foal, a man teaches his grandchild about the Ojibwe Horses that used to roam the forests of northwestern Ontario. The horses once ran wild and free, but when Grandfather was a boy, they almost disappeared. Now he is the caretaker of his own small herd, keeping the breed alive for future generations and teaching his grandchild about the loving bond between human and animals.

Where We Come From

by Diane Wilson and 3 othersYear Published: 2022

In this unique collaboration, four authors lyrically explore where they each come from―literally and metaphorically―as well as what unites all of us as humans.

Richly layered illustrations connect past and present, making for an accessible and visually striking look at history, family, and identity.

We come from stardust / our bodies made of ancient elements. / We come from single cells / evolving over billions of years. / We come from place, language, and spirit. / And each of us comes from story.

Be a Good Ancestor

by Leona Price
Year Published: 2022

Rooted in Indigenous teachings, this stunning picture book encourages readers of all ages to consider the ways in which they live in connection to the world around them and to think deeply about their behaviors.

Addressing environmental issues, animal welfare, self-esteem and self-respect, and the importance of community, the authors deliver a poignant and universal message in an accessible way: Be a good ancestor to the world around you. Thought-provoking stanzas offer a call to action for each one of us to consider how we affect future generations. Every decision we make ripples out, and we can affect the world around us by thinking deeply about those decisions.

Pow wow Day

by Traci Sorell
Year Published: 2022

In this uplifting, contemporary Native American story, River is recovering from illness and can't dance at the powwow this year. Will she ever dance again?

River wants so badly to dance at powwow day as she does every year. In this uplifting and contemporary picture book perfect for beginning readers, follow River's journey from feeling isolated after an illness to learning the healing power of community.