Elizabeth "Lyz" Jaakola is an enrolled Tribal member of the Fond du Lac band of Lake Superior Ojibwe in Cloquet, MN. She is a musician, educator, and Native Nation Rebuilder. Lyz teaches Music, American Indian studies, and Media Production at Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College. As a musician, Lyz performs and composes across styles and genres, including traditional women's hand drum circles, blues, jazz, and opera. Her work as an artist and storyteller honors and preserves Anishinaabe cultural tradition through her collaborations, performances, and compositions. She has served locally through partnerships with Arrowhead Chorale, Echoes of Peace Choir, KBEM jazz radio, and with programs across many districts in Minnesota with an international musical relationship with Finland, including performances with YLE, WSOY, and a FINtango residency.
Her contributions as an artist and educator to her local community have earned her recognition by the Arrowhead Regional Arts Council George Morrison Artist Award, AICF Faculty of the Year Award, Ordway's Sally Award for Arts Educators, and the First People's Fund Community Spirit Award. Lyz's honors also include a 2009 Native American Music Award, the 2012 First Peoples’ Fund Community Spirit Award, Classical MPR’s Class Notes Artist, and the 2018 AICF Educator of the Year, in addition to the honor of performing at the Kennedy Center with "We The Peoples Before."
Lyz is a mother of three wonderful children and serves as a city council member for Cloquet City Council, representing Ward 5. Lyz will be the first to say that any honors and recognition belong to our ancestors for all they have endured and retained so that we may be Anishinaabe.