What is a Tribal Education Advocate?

The Tribal Education Advocate (TEA) attends each Indian Education Committee (IEC) meeting. Within these parent-ran committees, the TEA assists the IEC in parent rights and responsibilities of guiding and running the IEC. The TEA also keep parents informed of issues facing Indian families in the local schools along with referencing resources to parents. 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 Department at (406) 675-2700. 

Parent and Student Advocacy

The TEA also works as an advocate for families when there are educational issues that arise. The TEA combines their advocacy role and works as a liaison between the parents, students and the school. The TEA 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 and parent that may occur.

Staff Contact:

Alfred DeRoche works with the Arlee, Nkwusm and St. Ignatius communities/schools. Phone: (406)675-2700 ext. 1070     Email: Alfred.DeRoche@cskt.org 

Sarah BigSam works with the Charlo, Dixon Early Childhood Services/Head Start and Ronan communities/schools. Phone: (406)675-2700 ext. 1072     Email: Sarah.BigSam@cskt.org

Karissa Trahan will work with the Dayton, Hot Springs, Polson and Valley View communities/schools. Phone: (046)675-2700 ext. 1405     Email: Karissa.Trahan@cskt.org 

What is an IEC?

The Indian Education Committee (IEC) consists of parents who have children in the school district who are verified as Johnson O'Malley (JOM) eligible. JOM students are those whose blood quantum equals at least 1/4 degree or more from a Federally Recognized Tribe who are age three to grade twelve. A selected number of parents are elected to sit on the IEC and is based off their By-Laws. Any parent or interested person can attend these meetings as they are open to the public. This parent committee holds the voting rights and oversees how the monies for JOM are expended each year. Each expenditure must meet with the top priorities from the Parent Needs Assessment (survey) that is conducted annually of only eligible parents of JOM verified students. The Tribal Education Advocates (TEAs) attend each IEC meeting regularly but are not voting member of this committee. Go to IEC Meetings page for meeting dates and times.

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.
  • If you would like to learn more about NJOMA visit: www.njoma.com