Laurelle Myhra

School Board
District 5

My Christian faith and Ojibwe culture have provided me life-long guidance both personally and professionally. Integrity, compassion, and servant-life are key values that are essential to the work of racial equity and decreasing disparities in education. We all have gifts and knowledge to contribute to this work and we must humble ourselves and learn from one another. It's for this reason that the diversity of the student body is so important and my favorite thing about Minneapolis Public Schools. Unfortunately students do not see enough administration, staff and teachers that look like them or represent their communities. This, and access to culturally-relevant and trauma-informed education and curriculum is a top priority for me. 

About me

I am an Anishinabe woman from the Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians in Northern Minnesota. I’m also of Swedish, Finnish, and Norwegian descent from my father’s side. My greatest joy is being a mother and raising my two children, Eloise age 8 and Daniel age 5, to be proud of their heritage, and to love and look out for others.

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My qualifications

I work for my tribe as the Director of Mino Bimaadiziwin ("Good Life"; Mino-B) Wellness Clinic in Minneapolis. I'm a licensed marriage and family therapist and have a doctorate in family social science. My research has focused on racial and health disparities experienced by Native American people, integration of behavioral health and cultural healing practices into healthcare, and healing and resiliency.

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My time as a member and vice chairperson on the American Indian Parent Advisory Committee (AIPAC) for Minneapolis Public Schools solidified my commitment to addressing the systemic issues that plague our schools and maintain racial disparities in education.
My top priority is to increase access to culturally responsive education, with curriculum that accurately depicts history and experience of Black, Indigenous, people of color (BIPOC) including the strengths and resiliency of these communities. Here are some strategies to get there: 
  • Increase the number of racially diverse or BIPOC administration, staff and teachers
  • Increase professional development that prepares administration, staff and teachers to competently teach and serve BIPOC children and families 
  • Implement accountability measures for administration, staff and teachers to work toward racial equity and decrease personal biases
  • Ensure more support staff in the classroom for the benefit of children and teachers 
  • Enhanced resources and funding for special education programs, teachers, and students
  • Increase access to culturally responsive mental health support available to all children and families
  • Expand and enhance collaboration with community partners who provide services, resources, mentoring, and post-graduation opportunities
  • Address the negative impact of district decisions made without input from BIPOC communities and implement a process to regularly gather community input to inform future decision making
Although these strategies will also lead to better student engagement, performance, and graduation rates, more attention is needed to improve the reading levels of MPS students. The following strategies have been found to be effective in improving reading:
  • Provide teachers with literacy training and coaching to increase their knowledge and skill in teaching reading 
  • Collect data on reading level and report out to parents and community on reading improvements 
  • Identification of reading issues is not enough, more support and accountability is needed to get students connected with testing and assessments to accurately diagnosis the issues; and work with families to ensure they receive the appropriate level of support, especially when financial and educational barriers exist
Thank you for your donation and support! Together we can create a safe, equitable and healthy learning environment for all children attending Minneapolis Public Schools.

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map of District 5

Share your priorities with me. Ask a question. Would you like to volunteer? Would you like a yard sign? Email me at Miigwech/Thank you!