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American Indian Education

American Indian students celebrated during a graduation event.
The mission of the American Indian Education program is to meet the unique cultural and academic needs of our American Indian learners. We work to accomplish these goals by facilitating culturally responsive learning opportunities in order to make positive impacts on educational outcomes. Our programming connects culture and language to what our students are learning in the classroom. These connections help our students access curriculum and develop higher level academic skills. 
Funding for the program comes from the Federal Government’s Title VI Indian Education Grant, MDE's American Indian Education Aid in addition to District 196's Achievement & Integration, IDEA Special Education and the General Operating Funding. 

The following FREE services are offered to District 196 students enrolled in the American Indian Education Program:

  • Cultural enrichment classes & events for students and their families
  • Literacy Enrichment & Ojibwe Language Learning for elementary students
  • Middle School & High School Leadership Groups
  • Academic Coaching for 6th - 12th Graders (see below for more details)
  • ACT Prep Courses (see below for more details)
  • College and Career Readiness
  • Progress Monitoring & Academic Advocacy
  • Field trips and other experiential learning opportunities


Enrolling in the Program

Who is eligible to participate?

Any student who self identifies as American Indian and is coded North American Indian on Infinite Campus is eligible to participate in District 196’s American Indian Education Program. There is no cost to participate and all services are free of charge. The services provided by the American Indian Education Program are optional.

Title VI Indian Education Program

In order to apply for a formula grant under the Office of Indian Education/Title VI, our program asks for each student to have a 506 form on file with our program. The 506 form must be filled out by the legal guardian. All information is confidential. These forms generate program funding for your child and all the Native American students attending District 196. Title VI funding provides academic support and cultural enrichment opportunities for all District 196’s American Indian students.

Any student who fits one of the following qualifications is eligible to fill out a 506 form:

  • Student is an enrolled member of a recognized tribe
    • OR parent is an enrolled member of a recognized tribe
    • OR grandparent is an enrolled member of a recognized tribe

Forms can be sent to any American Indian Education staff.


Contact us

Silver Bell Learning Center: 2120 Silver Bell Rd; Eagan, MN 55122
Phone: 651-423-7890

Native American Parent Advisory Committee

Join the Native American Parent Advisory Committee (NAPAC)! The purpose of this group is to serve in an advisory capacity for planning and implementing programs and events that will support District 196 American Indian students and their families. NAPAC membership consists of parents and/or guardians of identified American Indian students attending District 196 schools, secondary student representatives and teacher representatives. Learn more about NAPAC. 

2023-2024 Indian Education Newsletters

Newsletter Archives

Educational Supports

Teacher Resources

Ojibwe and Dakota Culture Trunk Check Out: SY2024 link will be emailed to teachers in August 2023

Native American Authored – Lending Library: Located at the District Service Center in the Curriculum Room. Please arrange a time to stop by and view the book collection. Online Destiny Quest access will be available soon. 

Questions? Call 651-423-7890 or email Lisa Turgeon at

Our Team

Lisa Turgeon

Lisa Turgeon

American Indian Education Program Specialist
Office: 651-423-7890
Cell: 612-991-2741

Assigned schools:

  • Eagan High School
  • Dakota Hills Middle School
  • Red Pine Elementary School
  • Northview Elementary
Lifetouch headshot of Francisca El-Zeenny, cultural family advocate

Francisca Stand Strong

Cultural Family Advocate
Office: 651-423-7935
Cell: 612-244-0974

Assigned schools:

  • School of Environmental Studies
  • Scott Highlands Middle School
  • Westview Elementary School
  • East Lake Elementary School
  • Highland Elementary School
  • Parkview Elementary School
  • Cedar Park Elementary School
  • Glacier Hills Elementary
Joseph Mousseau

Joseph Mousseau

Cultural Family Advocate 
Office: 651-423-7818
Cell:  612-358-3272


Assigned Schools:

  • Area Learning Center
  • Rosemount High School
  • Rosemount Middle School
  • Black Hawk Middle School
  • Pinewood Elementary School
  • Woodland Elementary School
  • Deerwood Elementary School
  • Rosemount Elementary
Portrait of Fonda Smith.

Fonda Smith

Cultural Family Advocate
Office: 651-423-7882
Cell: 612-244-7197

Assigned schools:

  • Eastview High School
  • Falcon Ridge Middle School
  • Diamond Path Elementary School
  • Shannon Park Elementary
  • Thomas Lake Elementary
Jorja Valandra

Jorja Valandra

Cultural Family Advocate
Office: 651-423-7912
Cell: 651-200-8327 

Assigned schools:

  • Dakota Ridge/Tran+/ABE/ALC
  • Apple Valley High School
  • Eastview High School
  • Falcon Ridge Middle School
  • Valley Middle School of STEM
  • Greenleaf Elementary School
  • Oak Ridge Elementary School
  • Southview Elementary
  • Echo Park Elementary 
Megan Bard-Pankow

Megan Bard-Pankow  

Academic Coach and American Indian Education ACT Prep Instructor