Laurie Harper of Leech Lake elected chair of Tribal Nations Education Committee

February 6—CASS LAKE — Leech Lake Nation

Laurie Harper was recently elected chair of the Tribal Nations Education Committee on January 17.

Harper has served as the TNEC representative for the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe since 2018 and was elected in a special election to fill the recently vacated seat of Jennifer Murray, who served as chair for four years representing the Fond du Lac Band of the Lake Superior. Chippewa.

According to a release, TNEC was created to address the lack of government-to-government communication, cooperation and consultation between the State of Minnesota and tribal nations regarding education.

The TNEC consists of representatives from each of Minnesota’s eleven tribal nations as well as one representative from the Chippewa Tribe of Minnesota, one from greater Minnesota, and two from the Twin Cities metropolitan area.

“It is an honor and privilege to be able to serve all eleven tribal nations as chair of the Tribal Nations Education Committee,” Harper said in the release. “I thank those who have held this position before me and I take this responsibility to heart, because our children and young people deserve the best possible outcome in a system that was not designed for us. I will continue to advocate for equity and access for all. our Native American students, in a way that has been deemed a priority by our tribal nations.

Harper currently works as the Director of Education for the Leech Lake Band, providing leadership for its early childhood, Gaa-Niigaaniziwaad and scholarship programs as well as workforce development. At the national level, Harper serves as Chairman of the National Tribal Education Department.

Beth Tepper, who will serve as vice chair to represent metro area families, will join Harper and committee secretary Billie Annette on the TNEC executive leadership team.

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