Charles Grolla's Ojibwe name is Ogimaagiizhig (Boss of the Sky) and he is of the Adik (Caribou) clan or totem. He is an enrolled member of the Bois Forte reservation in Minnesota and was raised mainly on the Red Lake reservation in Minnesota. While growing up in the Bikwaakwaang (West End) area of the Red Lake reservation, Charles became a contending player of Ojibwe style moccasin game before the age of 14. Charles graduated from Red Lake High School and completed his Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice with a minor in Ojibwe Language at Bemidji State University. Retiring after 17 years of service from the Red Lake Police Department, first as a police officer then as a conservation officer, he started a new career and is currently a teacher at Cass Lake – Bena High School where he teaches Ojibwe language, culture, and moccasin game.
Charles is a lifetime hunter, trapper, fisherman, and moccasin game player. As a child, besides moccasin game, growing up his favorite activities were snaring rabbits and helping his family with commercial fishing activities while living a traditional Ojibwe life style. He participated in one of the last Oshki-Ogichidaa (Young Warrior) societies in Red Lake in his youth; this society was founded on living the Seven Sacred Teachings, and used moccasin game as a teaching environment for men, to teach young men how to be positive Native American men. Currently, in addition to teaching high school classes, Charles volunteers once a week to teach moccasin game to the community.
In 2016 Minnesota Indian Education awarded him “Ojibwe Teacher of the Year” for his many accomplishments during his six years of teaching high school Ojibwe language classes.
Charles currently lives in Bemidji Minnesota. You can reach him by email: email@example.com