Indian Education


The Cass Lake-Bena Indian Education Program is designed to meet the unique educational and culturally relevant needs of our Indigenous students, which make up close to 90% of our student population. Our overall goal is to provide academic and culturally relevant support that may be necessary to ensure that each and every one of our students successfully progress toward graduation at all grade levels, as well as encourage and prepare them to seek post-secondary training and education.

Our CLB Indian Education Program is funded by two major programs, the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) American Indian Education Aid grant, and the Office of Indian Education (OIE) Federal Grant. Every year, the grant amount is determined by the number of eligible students in the school district, in the case of these grants, American Indian Students.

We use this funding to provide teachers in Ojibwe language and culture instruction for K-12, Indian Studies electives for high school students, Academic Advising in the High School, providing culturally relevant curriculum, books, and media to all students and staff. Other items include home/school liaison services, cultural activities, post-secondary planning and preparation, technical assistance for school staff, parent training/focus groups and more.

Contact Us!

Director of Indian Education: Sydney Novak

  • Phone: 218-335-2203 ext. 1322

  • Email:

Indian Education Secretary: Emmy Morgan

  • Phone: 218-335-2203 ext. 1206

  • Email:

Indian Education Forms


​This form serves as the official record of the eligibility determination for each individual child included in the student count for the Title VI Indian Education Formula Grant Program. The grantee (CLB Indian Education) receives the grant funds based on the number of eligible forms counted during the established count period. This form will be kept on file in the Indian Education Office and will not need to be completed every year.



The CLB Indian Education Department assists the JOM Committee that represents CLB by- 1) providing the student list to determine the JOM funding, 2) field questions from families regarding JOM, 3) and assists families to fill out JOM request forms we have created and send these requests to the JOM Committee. It is the JOM Committee's responsibility to meet and approve these requests, and once approved, these requests are sent to the Leech Lake JOM Program to be processed.

The Johnson O’Malley (JOM) Program provides financial assistance to eligible students in eight school districts on or near the Leech Lake Reservation. Each district’s respective Johnson O’Malley Parent Committee establishes policies and procedures regarding financial assistance for school related activities. The JOM committees are elected from parents or legal guardians of eligible Indian students. A student can qualify for JOM if: the student is a member of a federally recognized tribe, be able to provide proof of 1/4 combined blood to qualify (ex. if a student is 1/8 Red Lake and 1/8 Leech Lake, the student can qualify for JOM)

At our CLB Indian Education office, we need a copy of a JOM Student Certification Form for each student. Once we have this on file and it is verified that a student meets the qualifications, we are able to add the student to the CLB JOM list. Students must be a PreK-12 grade student at CLB Schools to be a CLB JOM Student.


The AIPAC Committee is comprised of a group of caregivers such as: parents, grandparents, and guardians of American Indian children. Our AIPAC also includes 2-3 elder representatives from the community, and one teacher representative from each CLB School Building. The committee meets monthly over the course of the school year including a meeting in August and June. The committee serves as a crucial communication link between our American Indian Community and the Cass Lake-Bena School District.

The AIPAC Committee meets on the second Wednesday of each month. Here are the meeting dates for the 2021-2022 school year:

  • Wednesday October 13, 2021

  • Wednesday November 10, 2021

  • Wednesday December 8, 2021

  • Wednesday January 12, 2021

  • Wednesday February 9, 2021

  • Wednesday March 9, 2021

  • Wednesday April 13, 2021

  • Wednesday May 11, 2021

  • Wednesday June 8, 2021

During this time, the AIPAC meetings will be held virtually until further notice. If you would like to know more about the Indian Education Committee, please click on the link above, or contact Sydney Novak, Director of Indian Education.