Unique Families: The Indianheadband

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In part three of our special series on unique families, you’ll meet a family from Cloquet who spends most of their time together playing in a band and lacing up their running shoes.
If you’re in a band, the lead singer probably isn’t your mom.

But for the Ripley family, mom is not only on the mic, she’s leader of the pack.

The Indianheadband is a family group staying true to their Native American roots.

“It’s establishing a nice foundation for them as far as who they’re going to be as they grow older,” said Jackson Ripley, the father in the group.

The band was formed once the kids learned how to play.

“I was just beside myself. I was like, ‘Yes! Here we go!’ because then I can enjoy those things with them instead of away from them,” said Lyz Jaakola, the mother in the group.

Their latest gig was Duluth’s Homegrown Music Festival.

“We had about 80 people come and it was really cool,” said Lyz, whose passion in life is music.

“Everybody is musical. Just some people are taught they shouldn’t be or whatever, that other things are more important, but with my kids I’m glad that I’m bringing them along,” she said.

For Jackson, running is his jam, involving the family in races across Minnesota.

He’s also taken on the role of Mr. Mom.

“I’ve been a stay at home dad for like six years now,” Jackson said.
He said it’s a chance to establish beliefs within his children himself.

“It’s nice. I’ve really come to appreciate how nice it is to be with the kids,” he said.

For kids Xander, 8, and Hunter, 15, spending time together is the best part about being in the band

“My mom and dad. That’s mostly my favorite part because I get to do it with my family,” said Xander.

“Togetherness, having somewhere to be,” said Hunter.

They lead a pretty simple life.

“Our biggest worry is like a bee in the backyard,” laughed Lyz.

But they are always on the go together.

“Sometimes I feel like we’re really out of touch with what’s going on because we’re so involved in everything that’s happening at home,” said Jackson.

Whether they’re running or playing music, it’s always a family affair.

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