How Caring Plays a Key Role in Successful Aging

Successful aging can mean different things to people in other communities. And what works well in one community can often be beneficial in another. That’s why it’s key not only to understand what successful aging looks like in your community but to see it through a diverse perspective that’s different from your own.

To further explore what aging means to one of our local Native American community members, we spoke with Dawn LaPrairie from the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa. To hear the entire Community Conversation, check out our YouTube channel or read more below.

From Dawn, we learned that members of the Fond du Lac tribe view caring for one another as a shared responsibility across their family structure and tribe alike. That means younger generations not only help out with physical tasks like groceries and snow removal as needed, but they also spend time with elders to listen (bizindan in Ojibwe) and learn (gikendan in Ojibwe) from them. Similarly, elders also take on a responsibility to honor and pass down their traditions by sharing (maada’ ookii in Ojibwe) their knowledge, wisdom, and stories.

Dawn elaborates that caring for someone as they age in their culture is never seen as an obligation or a burden, but rather as a tradition that everyone honors and respects no matter the age.  

We are grateful to Dawn for sharing her wisdom with us and Amy Berstrom, Chief Diversity Officer, College of St. Scholastica, for joining us in this important conversation.

For more conversations, visit our Community Conversations page or email us at for additional topics you’d love for us to discuss.