Denise Lajimodiere
Published July 7, 2022

Denise Lajimodiere is a founder of the National Native American Boarding School Healing Coalition, a nonprofit focused on supporting boarding school survivors. She is an enrolled citizen of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa (Ojibwe). 

Lajimodiere’s book Stringing Rosaries: the History, the Unforgivable, and the Healing of North American Indian Boarding School Survivors (2019) features interviews from boarding school survivors. The book includes her experiences being raised by her parents, who are boarding school survivors. Now retired, she spent more than 44 years in education as a teacher at Edwin Loe Elementary School, an instructor at Turtle Mountain Middle School, a principal for Turtle Mountain Elementary School and an assistant professor in educational leadership at North Dakota State University. 

Lajimodiere is author of the poetry collections Dragonfly Dances, Thunderbird, Bitter Tears and His Feathers Were Chains, and of the children’s book Josie Dances. She is a traditional Jingle Dress dancer and Ojibwe birchbark biting artist.

An Ojibwe woman dressed in turquoise with her hand pressed against a tree.

Courtesy of Angela Erdrich

Pronouns: she/her

Expertise: Elementary and middle school education, Indian boarding schools, boarding school survivors 

Location: Turtle Mountain Indian Reservation, Belcourt, N.D.


Phone: (701) 793-8375 

Twitter: @dlajimodiere   

Facebook: Denise Lajimodiere

Heard on MPR News: “‘I’ve never told anyone’: Stories of life in Indian boarding schools”

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