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To the Editor: Indian Ed committees voice support for Carlton referendum

To the Editor:

As parents, grandparents and caretakers of American Indian students enrolled in Carlton School District 93, we recognize and value the importance of our children's education. Carlton School District has had a Local Indian Education Committee (LIEC) and a Johnson O'Malley (JOM) program in place since 1972, in accordance with the passage of the JOM Act, which was passed in 1934. Although amended at various times, the main objective remains the same: To ensure that Indian children receive the educational opportunities that would not otherwise be provided. The JOM Act recognizes that American Indian and Alaskan Native children in public schools have special needs due to their unique social, economic and cultural environment. We, as the committee members of the Carlton LIEC and JOM, do appreciate your support in maintaining our Indian education program.

Likewise, committee members from this Carlton LIEC and JOM are in support of a new school facility at the current South Terrace site, both for elementary and secondary education. We do realize renovations for the South Terrace facility are necessary to proceed with a new building structure and we also stand in support of that.

At this time, we are opposing any consolidation plans associated or arising with Wrenshall School District 100 for our American Indian students. In previous consolidation plans, that school district has not reached out to the Native American community that such a consolidation would affect. Many of our American Indian students have expressed their unwillingness to travel to Wrenshall for schooling. We are listening to their voices as we made this decision with respect to their education.

Michael Diver,

LIEC chairman

Naomi Northrup,

JOM chairwoman