From the Missoulian, here. An quote:
After five years in the U.S. Army, after being treated badly in the outside world because of the color of his skin, Cecil B. Crawford vowed to never again leave the Blackfeet Reservation.
Yet as time went on, the warrior-artist could not make peace with the fact that he might have a higher calling than withdrawing into himself and his tribal home.
Looking for direction all those years ago, Crawford turned to his love of art for guidance and began college courses in Missoula with the idea that he would someday teach art to youngsters.
Then, as he was starting down that new path in the late 1980s, he had a vision.
“I had a dream that I was in this room filled with Native American students and there were wooden shelves all around,” Crawford shared recently. “I had never seen such a room, and I didn’t know where it was, but I was there with young Native students.”
From Herald and News, here. An excerpt:
A study shows many tribal children do poorly in Oregon public schools, in part because they’re frequently absent, and their schools often show up at the bottom of state rankings. The study was paid for by the Spirit Mountain Community Fund, the philanthropic arm of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde.
The study was done by the research and consulting company ECONorthwest and overseen by the Chalkboard Project, an education reform organization. The Oregon Department of Education gave the research firm access to otherwise confidential student records to compile a database.
Among the findings reported:
■ Only about 40 percent of Oregon students who are official members of a federally recognized tribe can do math at grade level, and only about half read at grade level in elementary and middle school.
A picture of tribal education directors. I believe this was in Hawaii in 2007.
Here, and the law review article can be seen here.
There is a special kind of racism in this country against Native Americans, and it is the “last acceptable racism.” The author of that poignantly accurate description of most Americans’ attitudes towards Native Americans, who is both a Native American and a Jew, noted,
Not that long ago, white administrators of Indian boarding schools told our children that the “Indian in you shall die.” This kind of treatment and forced thinking has a lasting generational effect. It can be difficult to break through that type of programming. Many of our people, however, have shaken off these forced ideological shackles to speak the truth and demand long overdue respect. Our voice is getting louder.
Our words are being said with more frequency and emphasis. But people need to hear us. Societal racism should no longer be an ad hoc affair, which is routinely accepted when directed against a certain group. It should be universally condemned. Perpetuating past wrongs and dehumanizing concepts hurts everyone.
This last acceptable racism is rarely mentioned in the U.S. However, one day in a very small town in northern Minnesota, in an area that has been economically depressed ever since the decline of the taconite and iron ore mining industry several decades ago, I watched two Native American men park a pickup truck in front of the local pawn shop.
I could tell the young men were Native Americans only because of the Bois Forte Band license plate on their truck; other than that, they looked, sounded, and acted like most of the other men in that rural north woods town. Upon reflection, of course, I realized that their skin was slightly darker than most residents of the town; I also began to notice that I did not see dark-skinned people working or shopping in any of the town’s stores. My eye was untrained, a fact that I attribute to my upbringing in the Deep South,6 where I was in a small minority of white children who were raised by our parents to see and to protest (and refuse to accept) the prevailing racism toward African-Americans. The subtle differences in appearances between the Native Americans and the “whites” in Minnesota had gone unnoticed by my Southern eyes. But as we watched the young men take their chain saws into the pawnshop that day, my husband remarked that men in northern Minnesota who hock their chain saws must be in pretty bad shape, because how could they survive, let alone make a living, without such tools?
Here. The summary:
The bill requires a state-supported institution of higher education to classify as an in-state student for tuition purposes a student who is a member of a federally recognized American Indian tribe with historical ties to Colorado, as designated by the Colorado commission on Indian Affairs. A student classified as an in-state student pursuant to this tuition classification may be counted as a resident for any purpose and is eligible for state financial aid and the college opportunity fund stipend. The bill exempts Fort Lewis College from its provisions.
What is unique about this bill is that is would provide in state tuition to Native Students regardless if your tribe is currently located within the state, so long as your tribe has historical ties to Colorado. Several states have similar tuition statutes as shown here.