Rhonda Silence

Learning more about the work of the Local Indian Education Committee

At the January 8 meeting of the School District 166 board, the school reviewed and adopted the IPP–the school’s Indian Policies and Procedures for 2021.

School District 166 must complete an IPP under state and federal laws, including the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act of 1975. And although the school district has always worked to include members of the Grand Portage Band of Lake Superior Chippewa in the development of the policies, it has sometimes seemed to be something driven more by the school district than parents of American Indian students.

The current Local Indian Education Committee, which develops the IPP, includes some very active community members who hope to strengthen the school/community partnership. The LIEC members are Anna Deschampe, Erik Redix, Desi Likiaksa, Joe Johnson, and Jackie Kozloski. John Morrin is the Grand Portage Tribal Council member and the ISD 166 board member on the LIEC is Deb White.

Anna Deschampe and Erik Redix attended the last ISD 166 school board meeting (via Zoom) to answer any questions of the school board about the latest revision. After a brief discussion, the school board unanimously adopted the IPP and agreed to the recommendation that the IPP be reviewed more frequently.

WTIP’s Rhonda Silence sat down with Anna Deschampe and Erik Redix to learn more about the IPP.

One thing they stressed is the need for participation by parents of Indian students. The next LIEC meeting is January 27 at 5 p.m. Each meeting starts with a time for public comment. For more information, watch for flyers in the Grand Portage community. Families who live outside of Grand Portage can find information on upcoming meetings on two Facebook pages: Grand Portage Band of Lake Superior Chippewa or Grand Portage Anishinaabe Academic Center.
More information is also available from Grand Portage Education Director Maria Burnett at the Tribal Council offices at 218-475-2277.

The latest version of School District 166’s Indian Policies and Procedures can be seen here.

Local Indian Education Committee members Anna Deschampe and Erik Redix join us now via Zoom.