SPPS's Native American Cultural Liaison

Charmayne Klah recently began her official part-time duties as Saint Peter Public Schools’ Native American Cultural Liaison, and she is excited about the possibilities this new position has for this school district and the families she works with during the school year. 

“I am an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation located in the northeastern part of Arizona,” Klah said. “I moved to Minnesota in 2016, and recently called Nicollet home. I have a Bachelor of Science degree in Early Childhood Education and love teaching in the Preschool setting.  Being a Native American alone I believe is a resource to share our Native American culture, knowledge, and traditions.”

In addition to being SPPS’s Native American Cultural Liaison, Klah currently serves as the 2022-2023 Native American Parent Advisory Committee (NAPAC) Chairperson, and is also employed as a Paraprofessional at the Early Childhood Center. “This position is fully funded through our American Indian Education Aid,” Saint Peter Middle School Principal Jon Graff, who is the SPPS representative for NAPAC. “This is money given to schools by the state based on the number of Native American students within the district. Aid Money is used exclusively to help support a district's Native American students.”

The following is a Q&A profile of Char Klah: 

Q - What are your main job responsibilities?
A - My role as a Native American Liaison is to strengthen the support of our Native American families by providing a culturally appropriate educational environment. Therefore, it is my job to promote and enhance the communication between schools and the Native American Students. I will help guide each student through strengthening self identity, cultural perseverance, and tackling their future endeavors.  I will work closely with Saint Peter Equity Education, the Native American Indian Education Coordinator and the Native American Parent Advisory Committee. 

Q - Have you worked in an educational setting prior to this position?
A - Yes! Prior to this position I have been in the classroom as a paraprofessional with the Saint Peter School District, and have prior experience in the school setting since 2010.

Q - What are your goals for this position?
A - My goal is to establish a strong community that supports the educational needs of Native American students, and help improve positive cultural identity, and to provide cultural knowledge, awareness and resources for our staff. 

Q - How has the experience been so far working with our district's families and staff? 
A - At this time my experience has been eye opening! With planning and coordinating the cultural activities thus far it has given me an insight of all sides of the audience. I love hearing the feedback from students, parents, staff and community members who attend our cultural events. An educational experience with an outcome of cultural knowledge. Having the support from staff and community makes it a positive movement towards diversity, equity, and inclusion in the school district.