The NJOMA Purpose

The National Johnson-O'Malley Association, Inc. was formed as a nonprofit, educational organization for the following purposes:

  • To create an effective forum for discussion of educational and related matters of mutual concern among the members of the educational community.
  • To mutually develop standards of educational excellence for Indian students served by the educational programs within the United States.
  • To maintain appropriate lines of communication and collaborative efforts with other public, private, tribal and federal educators and educational programs.
  • To maintain formal liaisons with Tribal, State and Federal governmental agencies and other educational organizations, including but not limited to National Congress of American Indians, National Indian Education Association and other alliance organizations.
  • To advocate for Johnson-O'Malley (JOM) Programs and the rights of Indian children from 3 years old through twelfth grade.

What is IEC?

The Indian Education Committee (IEC) consists of parents who have children in the school district, who are eligible for Johnson O’Malley.  JOM eligible students are students whose blood quantum equals ¼ degree or more of Indian blood from a federally recognized Tribe.  Any parent or interested person can attend these meetings. Each committee should include a Chairman, Vice-Chairman and a Secretary and/or Treasurer; if possible.  This number will determine the committee size.  This committee of parents holds the voting rights and oversees how the monies for JOM are spent.  They determine the parent needs off of the Needs Assessment (Parent Survey) that is done at least every two years.  Only parents of JOM eligible students are able to vote on the spending of JOM funds.  Go to IEC Meetings page for meeting dates and times.

What is a Community Specialist?

The Community Development Specialist (CDS) attends each school district’s Indian Education Committee (IEC) meetings. Within these parent-ran committees, the CDS assist the IEC in parent rights and responsibilities of guiding and running the IEC. The CDS can also keep parents informed of issues facing Indian families in the local schools. Resourcing and delivering results to the IEC is a source of pride for every CDS employed by Tribal Education. Although the CDS attends the IEC meetings, they are not a voting member of the groups. Any parent who has children attending the schools are always encouraged to be involved and join the IEC meetings. If you have any questions regarding the IEC's, please contact the Tribal Education at (406) 275-2715. 

Parent and Student Advocacy

The CDS also works as an advocate for families when there are educational issues that arise. The CDS combines their advocacy role and works as a liaison between the parents, students and the school. The CDS can attend any meetings with the school upon parental request. These meetings can include IEP’s (Individualized Education Plans), 504 Plans regarding a child's disability as identified by the law, the discussion and implementation of a Behavior Plan, expulsion hearings, or any other meetings with the school that may occur.

Alexandra Plant works with families in the Arlee, Dayton, Nkwusm, and Polson School Districts. She can be contacted at (406)675-2700 ext. 1072 or emailing

Phylicia McDonald works with families in the Charlo, Dixon, Hot Springs, Ronan, and St. Ignatius School Districts. She can be contacted at (406)675-2700 ext. 1070 or emailing