Statistics show Native American children in BIE schools are falling behind other minority children. MSNBC reports on one girl’s experience in Pine Ridge, SD. An excerpt:

Carleigh is a Native American sixth grader at the Wounded Knee School located on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, where a well-documented plague of poverty and violence has festered since the Oglala Sioux were forced onto the reservation more than a century ago. There is virtually no infrastructure, few jobs and no major economic engines. Families are destabilized by substance abuse and want. Children often go hungry and adults die young.

These realities wash onto the schoolyards here with little runoff or relief, trapping generations of young people in hopelessness and despair.

“We’re in an urgent situation, an emergency state,” said Alice Phelps, principal at the Wounded Knee School. “But underneath all the baggage is intelligence, potential, and these children all have that.”

. . . .

The government is starting to own up to its failures. In a startling new draft report released in April by the federal Bureau of Indian Education, which oversees 183 schools on 64 reservations in 23 states, the agency draws attention to its own inability to deliver a quality education to Native students. BIE-funded schools are chronically failing and “one of the lowest-performing set of schools in the country,” according to the report.

“BIE has never faced more urgent challenges,” the report said. “Each of these challenges has contributed to poor outcomes for BIE students.”

To view the entire article, click here


Dr. Martin Reinhardt interviews Dr. Heather Shotton, past president of the National Indian Education Association (NIEA), and she discusses the current and future relationship of NIEA and tribal education departments. The views and comments expressed herein are the speakers only and are not representative of any official organization or government.

This video can also be seen on TEDNA’s YouTube channel, here.

Nominations Due: June 26, 2014

The Obama Administration is seeking nominations for individuals to fill vacant seats and serve on the National Advisory Council on Indian Education (NACIE). NACIE is authorized by section 7141 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA), 20 U.S.C. 7471. NACIE advises the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education (Secretary) concerning the funding and administration (including the development of regulations and administrative policies and practices) of any program, including any program established under Title VII, Part A of the ESEA, with respect to which the Secretary has jurisdiction and (a) that includes Indian children or adults as participants; or (b) that may benefit Indian children or adults; makes recommendations to the Secretary for filling the position of the Director of Indian Education, U.S. Department of Education, whenever a vacancy occurs; submits to the Congress, not later than June 30 of each year, a report on the activities of NACIE, including any recommendations that NACIE considers appropriate for the improvement of Federal education programs that include Indian children or adults as participants or that may benefit Indian children or adults, and recommendations concerning the funding of any such program.

To view the complete notice, please click HERE.

Cynthia Young is the Director of the Rosebud Sioux Tribal Education Department.  Richard Lunderman is a member of the Rosebud Sioux Tribal Council, Vice Chairman of the Rosebud Sioux Tribal Education Committee, and representative from the tribal education committee to the St. Francis Indian School Board. More on the Rosebud Sioux Tribal Education Department can be seen here.  The views and comments expressed herein are the speakers only and are not representative of any official organization or government.

This video can also be seen on TEDNA’s YouTube channel, here.

Mr. LaFontaine is the Program Manager of the Title VII Indian Education Program for the Puget Sound Education Service District in Washington State. He discusses his Indian Education Program, and discusses the history of American Indian education getting pushed toward state education systems. More on the Puget Sound ESD Title VII program can be seen here. The views and comments expressed herein are the speakers only and are not representative of any official organization or government.

Graduation will be held today, and we’ll be there in spirit!

Here is the article (video included) and an excerpt is as follows:

SEMINOLE, Okla. – Native American seniors at Seminole High School say they are planning to wear eagle feathers on their graduation caps on Thursday night as a symbol of pride and tradition.

However, school officials say that would violate graduation ceremony guidelines that were conveyed to them in early May.

Kaden Tiger earned an eagle feather as an outstanding citizen of the Seminole Nation.

He has already tied it to his mortarboard, along with tribal beads.

“I wasn’t going to go by the rules anyway because it’s my right,” he said.  “The accomplishment of completing high school is pretty big for me.  That eagle feather represents what I’ve accomplished.”

Despite the school mascot being the Chieftains, school officials say cap decorations are not allowed for anyone.

“This is a way of expressing who we are.  I’m still going to wear it,” Tiger said.  “I can’t take it off.  Can’t make me.”

Nearly half the student population at Seminole High is Native American with some still fighting to wear feathers.

Superintendent Jeff Pritchard released a statement Wednesday, saying in part: “While we applaud the many accolades our students have received in their activities outside the school environment, our graduation ceremony is designed specifically to honor achievements attained under the district’s purview.”

Seminole’s graduation begins Thursday at 8 p.m. at the football stadium.