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Indigenous Educator from Shepherd Highlighted in #proudMIeducator Video

LANSING – The Michigan Department of Education (MDE) is pleased to announce the release of the latest #proudMIeducator video, featuring Steven Loonsfoot, an elementary/middle school educator in Shepherd Public School District, and proud tribal member of the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community.

While the video shows that he is a successful and popular educator among his peer educators and students, Mr. Loonsfoot adds that “it’s a huge thing for Indigenous people to have a presence in the schools.”

“For somebody that’s of Indigenous heritage who wants to be an educator, our Indigenous children who are in the schools are impressionable and they’re also experiencing different things outside of school that might be troubling and tough for them,” Mr. Loonsfoot said. “By [Indigenous children] coming to school and seeing us living the lifestyles that we live, and trying to stay educated, and also teaching them lessons and things of hope, you know it’s important for them to see because that might just give them the hope they need to carry on and to know that you know things are hard, but you’re tougher and you know you can get through those things and be successful.”

The video can be viewed at:

“It is important for us to continue highlighting the voices of educators,” said State Superintendent Dr. Michael Rice. “The #proudMIeducator campaign is one way that we honor the hard work of passionate educators such as Mr. Loonsfoot. It’s also a way that we promote the profession and work to expand the quantity, quality, and diversity of our teacher work force in Michigan.”
Increasing the number of certified teachers, especially in areas of shortage, is one of the eight goals of Michigan’s Top 10 Strategic Education Plan.

Since 2016, the #proudMIeducator series has featured educators and supporters of Michigan educators who share their passion for education. The full playlist can be found on the MDE YouTube page.

If you know a proud Michigan educator who should be considered for a future video feature, please email