American Indian Education


Nell Barri
American Indian Liaison

Indian Education Aid

A school district, charter school, or American Indian-controlled tribal contract or grant school enrolling at least 20 American Indian students on October 1 of the previous school year is eligible for Indian Education Aid.

American Indian Education Program Public Hearing

As part of our annual application for federal funding of our American Indian Education Program, we will be holding a public hearing to review our plan. Everyone is welcome to attend to learn about the program and offer recommendations for the 2024-25 school year. If you are interested in learning about the program and offering recommendations, please join us on Thursday, April 25th from 6:30 to 7:00 p.m. in the District Office Board Room. Details about the American Indian Education Program are below.

For more information, contact Kevin Sheridan, Educational Equity Coordinator (, or Nell Barri, American Indian Cultural Liaison (

What is the American Indian Education Program? The American Indian Education Program enables districts and schools to scale up and enhance American Indian education programs and initiatives that are culturally and academically tailored to American Indian students. You can learn more about School District 197's American Indian Education Program here

How is the American Indian Education Program funded? Schools in Minnesota can apply for both state and federal funds on an annual basis. This Public Hearing is part of the required process for seeking the federal funded grant. 

Why is it important to fund our American Indian Education Program overall? Some of this funding is used to fund American Indian cultural events and provide support to our high school students to ensure they graduate on time and are college and career ready. They also fund a full-time American Indian Cultural Liaison that supports our students and the American Indian education plan. These funds are exclusively used to execute the American Indian Education plan which benefits our American Indian students.

The purpose of this program is to increase academic achievement, decrease the dropout rate, and improve the school climate of American Indian students in a culturally appropriate manner. This program provides districts with the opportunity to create comprehensive, sustainable Indian education programs that serve the needs of all American Indian students in the district from preschool through grade 12.

American Indian Parent Advisory Council (AIPAC)

Minnesota Statutes, section 124D.78, requires that all Minnesota districts and tribal schools with 10 or more American Indian students have an American Indian Parent Advisory Committee (AIPAC). These committees serve in an advisory role to the district and help ensure that American Indian students are receiving culturally relevant and equitable educational opportunities. If you are the parent or relative of an American Indian student in School District 197 and are interested in joining AIPAC, please contact Nell Barri, our American Indian Cultural Liaison.


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