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Letter to the editor: Thanks to school for honoring Native past

I am writing to acknowledge the positive reports I heard about how Cloquet middle and high schools recognized “Orange Shirt Day” on Sept. 30. I heard many staff wore orange shirts and there were some classes where they discussed the history of Indian boarding schools and their impact on people, then and now.

It is encouraging to know that Cloquet school administrators are applying the Minnesota K-12 standards, to include authentic and meaningful learning opportunities for all about our shared histories in this place.

The experiences of all those who attended the boarding schools has had an impact on every Native student in [the] district. Acknowledging what happened is an important part of creating a welcoming environment for approximately 25 percent of the students in Cloquet schools, as well as their families. It is equally important that all Cloquet students learn and understand our shared history in education as well as culture in general. Thank you for your part in encouraging these learning opportunities for all this week.

Lyz Jaakola, Cloquet

Editor’s note: Ward 5 Cloquet city councilor Lyz Jaakola wanted to share a letter she wrote to the Cloquet school administrators last week with Pine Knot News readers, as a public thank-you to the school district.

The annual Sept. 30 Orange Shirt Day was started in Canada with an intent to open “the door to global conversation on all aspects of residential schools. It is an opportunity to create meaningful discussion about the effects of residential schools and the legacy they have left behind.”

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