Julia "Bunny" Jaakola earned her BSW from the College of St. Scholastica and later completed her MSW at the University of Minnesota Duluth. Bunny is an enrolled member of the Fond du Lac Nation and has been employed by the Fond du Lac Reservation since April of 1987, where she has served in various administrative roles including Social Services Director and currently, oversees the mental health and outpatient chemical treatment programs. Bunny is recognized by her peers as an incredible leader and innovator, and exemplifies the commitment and dedication needed to improve the lives of American Indian children and families locally and nationally.
In 2006 Bunny presented at the first joint social work meeting between the U. S. and China in Beijing. In 1999, under her leadership, the Fond du Lac Foster Care Licensing and Placement Agency earned the Honoring Nations Award from Harvard University. She chaired the group that developed the first Tribal State Agreement for Indian Child Welfare that was signed by Minnesota and the eleven Tribes in 1998.
Bunny has received many honors, including the Indian Health Service Area Director's Award for Managerial Excellence, a nomination for Woman of the Year by the American business Women's Association, and the 1996 Honoring Nations Award from Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government. In 2001, Bunny was nominated by Social Work alumni and Masters of Social Work students to receive the outstanding Master of Social Work Field Supervisor and Civic Engagement Award.