The school's mission is:
1. To function as a bridge to the wisdom and lifeway skills of our native ancestors (which we call the Old Way), that we may reconnect with our intrinsic selves and relearn how to live honorably and respectfully with each other and the earth. In order to do this, we
2. Guide and support our healing, primarily in working through the blockages that numb and isolate us and keep us from knowing our reason for being, by
3. Fostering personal growth with truthspeaking, awareness and attunement, circle consciousness, inner guidance (dreams, intuition, ancestral memories), and other qualitative skills training
The Teaching Drum learning community consists of three circles of people interrelated by intention and shared activities:
- The Wilderness Guide Program at Nishnajida is a year-long wilderness immersion intensive.
- The Wild Moon Program at Mashkodens is a 1-3 month sojourn at a functioning primitive camp.
- Nadmadewining is the staff community that supports the Wilderness Guide and Wild Moon programs, distributes founder Tamarack Song's writings, and watches over the Children's Culture.
Each circle offers a distinct experience within the community, while at the same time the circles share a common culture and come together for ceremony and healing work, and for major seasonal foraging events such as wild rice and fish camps.