Congress Passes the Native American Children’s Safety Act

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Senator John Barrasso (R-WY), chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, praised Congress’ passage of S. 184, the Native American Children’s Safety Act. The bill was sponsored by Sen. John Hoeven (R-ND), with bipartisan support.

S. 184 amends the Indian Child Protection and Family Violence Prevention Act to require background checks before foster care placements are ordered in tribal court proceedings. The bill passed out of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs on Feb. 2, 2015, and passed the full Senate on June 1, 2015. The bill passed the House of Representatives on May 23, 2016.

“Protecting Native children is paramount,” said Barrasso. “Requiring background checks for potential foster care parents of Indian children is just common sense. I want to thank Senator Hoeven for his leadership in introducing this important bill, and I call on the president to sign it into law as soon as possible.”

“Our bill ensures that Native American children living on reservations have all of the same protections when assigned to foster care that children living off the reservation have,” Hoeven said. “The measure requires background checks for all adults living in a foster home, which will help to protect children placed there at an already difficult time in their lives.”

ANNOUNCEMENT: 2016 Professional Development Program Application Now Open!

The Office of Indian Education Professional Development Program competition opened on May 17, 2016 and closes on July 1, 2016. The purposes of the Indian Education Professional Development Grants program are to:

  1. increase the number of qualified Indian individuals in professions that serve Indians;
  2. provide training to qualified Indian individuals to become teachers, administrators, teacher aides, social workers, and ancillary educational personnel; and
  3. improve the skills of qualified Indian individuals who serve in the education field.

The notice was published in the Federal Register at this link:

Interested applicants will need to use the website to apply at The Grants.Gov Opportunity Number is: ED-GRANTS-051716-001.

For more information you may click here:

Share Your Perspective for a Chance to Win Nike Gear Provided by CNAY!

From the Center for Native American Youth (CNAY):

The Center for Native American Youth (CNAY) is calling on Native youth across the country to join our first Generation Indigenous Online Roundtable.  Fill out this brief 5-10 minute survey, share your opinion, win cool stuff. It’s that simple.

Since its launch in 2011, CNAY has traveled to 23 states and connected with more than 5,000 Native youth to better understand their challenges, strengths, and priorities in urban and reservation communities. This is your chance to be part of that conversation.

The Gen-I Online Roundtable is open to Native youth under 25 until September. Everyone who participates will be entered to win one of two full Nike N7 gear packages. Additional prizes will be awarded monthly, including gift cards, t-shirts, and other cool stuff.

We’ll share the results of the survey widely so that Native youth, and those who serve them, can use the information to help raise money and educate their communities. Check out our blog to find more information.

Pull up a chair and join our online roundtable. We can’t wait to hear from you!

The CNAY Team

DOI Announces $2.5M to Promote Tribal Control & Operations of BIE-Funded Schools

WASHINGTON, D.C. – As part of the Obama Administration’s historic commitment to ensure that all students attending Bureau of Indian Education-funded schools receive an effective education delivered to them by tribes, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs Kevin K. Washburn today announced that the BIE will fund $2.5 million in Sovereignty in Indian Education competitive grants. The purpose of these grants is to provide funding to federally recognized tribes and their tribal education departments to promote tribal control and operation of BIE-funded schools on their reservations.

In 2013, Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan convened the American Indian Education Study Group to propose a comprehensive reform plan to ensure that all students attending BIE-funded schools receive a quality education. Based on listening sessions held throughout Indian Country, the Study Group issued a Blueprint for Reform on June 13, 2014.  The Blueprint recommends that BIE support tribal nations in their efforts to assume control over BIE-funded schools.

“We believe strongly that American Indian children deserve an academically rigorous, culturally appropriate education.  Beyond providing the skills to succeed economically, honoring tribal cultures and languages is vital to the longevity of tribal traditions, identity and self-confidence,” said Secretary Jewell. “Increasing tribal control over BIE schools recognizes the sovereign status of tribes, provides them with greater discretion in determining what their children should learn and helps increase accountability throughout the BIE-funded school system.  This grant program is one small step towards an important process of supporting more effective and relevant education for American Indian children, with more to come.”

“The American Indian Education Study Group made serious recommendations for improving how federal education services and resources are delivered in Indian Country, and the Sovereignty in Indian Education grant program responds to their concerns,” said Assistant Secretary Washburn.

“With greater tribal control of schools, tribes have more power to infuse schools with tribal cultural values and native languages, both of which can engage children better and help them to succeed.”

The purpose of the Sovereignty in Indian Education grants is to support tribal capacity to fully manage and operate tribally controlled, BIE-funded schools in their communities.  Grant funds will support development of a tribal school reform plan with the goals of improved educational outcomes for students and improved efficiencies and effectiveness in operating the schools.

Furthermore, by unifying a collective body of tribes, this initiative will build a collaborative network to support tribal control and stronger partnerships with BIE-funded schools.

Tribal control of federally funded government programs often improves local service delivery because tribal governments understand the needs of their communities and are more likely to be held accountable for results by their constituents.  The Department of the Interior fully supports tribes’ sovereign right to determine the structure of their own tribal governments and school systems, and seeks to strengthen that support by facilitating the sharing of information on efficient and successful school structures.

“As tribal control of education is a vital part of self-determination and self-governance, the Bureau of Indian Education is strongly committed to ensuring that tribal sovereignty over education is encouraged, supported and strengthened wherever and whenever possible,” said BIE Director Dr. Charles M. “Monty” Roessel.  “Sovereignty in Indian Education grants will assist those tribes seeking to assume operational control over the BIE-funded schools that serve them and those working to develop and build their tribal school systems around BIE schools.”

As part of the program, BIE will provide tribes with technical assistance in planning and implementing assessment and implementation plans and in strengthening tribally controlled school processes.  It also will provide a forum for tribes to work collaboratively with each other to gain insights and develop or share tribal and BIE problem-solving strategies.

  • Grant awards will range from $100,000 to $200,000 per fiscal year depending on the number of schools involved, number of students, complexity of creating a new tribally managed school system and a tribe’s technical approach.
  • Eligible applicants include tribal education departments that have three or more BIE-funded schools on their reservations.
  • Deadline for applications is Sept. 12, 2014.

In addition to today’s grant funding announcement, BIE will hold two pre-grant training workshops on Aug. 4 in Rapid City, S.D., and Aug. 6 in Phoenix, Ariz.  For details about Sovereignty in Indian Education grants, click HERE.

SAVE THE DATE – 7/30/14 – Support S. 1948 & H.R. 4214: The Native Language Immersion Student Achievement Act!

Brought to you by the National Indian Education Association:

Save the date — July 30, 2014 — to join NIEA and Native education stakeholders for an Advocacy Hill Day in Washington, DC. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs Chairman Jon Tester (D-MT), House of Representatives Native American Caucus Co-Chair Tom Cole (R-OK), and numerous bipartisan co-sponsors have answered the call of Indian nations and Native education stakeholders to support immersion schools by introducing S. 1948 and H.R. 4214 – The Native Language Immersion Student Achievement Act.

We call on our partners this summer to join us and meet with your members to request the incorporation of full-day language immersion learning within eligible institutions. The Native Language Immersion Student Achievement Act achieves this by modernizing Title VII to promote co-existence of immersion schools within the broader ESEA. S. 1948 and H.R. 4214 honor the congressional intent of addressing the unique educational and cultural academic needs of Native students through the Indian Education Act by including Native languages as the medium of instruction where communities have the capacity and desire to engage in immersion.

Request that your congressional members:

  1. Become a co-sponsor of S. 1948 and H.R. 4214 – the Native Language Immersion Student Achievement Act – to create a grant program for language immersion schools within the Title VII Indian Education Act of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA).
  2. Move quickly to pass S. 1948 and H.R. 4214, legislation that recognizes academic benefits of Native language immersion and Native communities’ need to advance such schools to create equal educational opportunities.
  3. Honor patriotic use of Native languages and affirm tribal sovereignty by developing educational venues and effectively managing federal resources consistent with self-determination policies.
  • DATE: Wednesday, July 30, 2014
  • TIME: 9:00 to 11:30AM (EST), Individual Hill Meetings to Follow
  • WHERE: Washington, DC; Capitol Hill, Congressional Room TBD
  • SCHEDULE A MEETING: Please click here for congressional office contact information.

Thank you for your support. NIEA will provide pertinent materials early next week to supplement your advocacy efforts. For more information, please contact Clint J. Bowers, NIEA Policy Associate, at 202-544-7290 or

JOB ANNOUNCEMENT: Tribal Liaison for the Department of Early Learning


The Washington State Department of Early Learning (DEL) helps ensure all children in Washington have high-quality early learning opportunities that prepare them for success in school and life. We work in partnership with parents, families, caregivers, and early learning professionals to offer information and resources that support healthy child development. Learn more about DEL at


Reporting to the Department of Early Learning Director, this position is responsible for all aspects of partnership and collaboration with the twenty-nine (29) federally recognized Indian Tribes in Washington State.  This position assists the Department of Early Learning fulfill its mission, commitment and obligation to provide quality early learning to all citizens of our state by emphasizing partnerships with an understanding of multicultural and Native American/Alaska Native citizens of our state.

  • Salary: $4,583.33 – $5,750.00 Monthly
  • Opening Date: 7/11/14
  • Closing Date: Continuous

For more information about the qualifications and its application and submission process, click here!