Oklahoma American Indian Students Lead Nation in Math/Reading Scores

OKLAHOMA CITY – Oklahoma’s American Indian students continue to lead the nation in math and reading scores. The 2015 National Indian Education Study (NIES) released today shows significant gains in reading for Oklahoma fourth-graders, who scored 19 points above the national average.

To read the entire article, courtesy of Ponca City Now, click here.

Visiting Indigenous Scholarship Fellowship

The University of Victoria in Canada is establishing a fellowship for a Visiting Indigenous Scholar to be appointed to the faculty. The fellowship is valued at $10,000 for the semester.

The application deadline is September 19, 2016. To apply: please submit a cover letter and resume to Dr. Margaret Cameron, Associate Dean Research, Faculty of Humanities at margaret@uvic.ca.

For more information please see the flyer below.

Visiting Indigenous Scholar Fellowship – 2016-17

 

 

DOE Releases Civil Rights Data Collection Report

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                      

June 9, 2016

Washington, D.C.– Earlier this week, the Department of Education (ED) released a first look at the data collected in the 2013-2014 Civil Rights Data Collection (CRDC) Report. The CRDC is a survey of all public schools and school districts in the United States. The survey measures student access to resources, as well as information on factors like school discipline and bullying. As other reports have shown, Native students continue to face obstacles that impact their academic success. Highlights from the report show the harsh realities our students experience in public schools including:

  • Native students are disproportionately suspended from school.
  • Native high school students are also retained disproportionately.
  • American Indian or Alaska Native (26%), Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander (25%) high school students are chronically absent.
  • American Indian or Alaska Native boys represent 0.6% of all students, but 2% of students expelled without educational services.
  • More than one out of five American Indian or Alaska Native (22%) and Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander (23%) boys with disabilities served by IDEA received one or more out-of-school suspensions, compared to one out of ten white (10%) boys with disabilities served by IDEA.

Secretary of Education, John King, said of the report, “The Obama Administration has always stressed how data can empower parents, educators and policy makers to make informed decisions about how to better serve students. The stories the CRDC data tell us create the imperative for a continued call to action to do better and close achievement and opportunity gaps.”

NIEA Executive Director Ahniwake Rose agreed saying, “This report confirms what Native education advocates have always known-gaps persist that impact the success of our students. However, it only provides one chapter of a larger story. When looking at reports that assess the innovative solutions tribes have started to implement:  culture-based education, language immersion programs, community input, and support work, we know tribal communities have the ability to reverse these statistics. NIEA hopes the CRDC report provides an opportunity to begin a national discussion on how to expand these solutions and provide the flexibility and support to make them work.”

Throughout 2016, the ED will continue to release data highlights that relay information about issues that impact student success.

To view the CRDC report, please click here.

Click here to learn more about NIEA.

NNALSA Writing Competition Results

The National Native American Law Students Association has announced its writing competition results.  Congrats to Katie Jones, who won First Prize.  First Prize is: $1,000, sponsored by Sonosky, Chambers & Publication in the Columbia Journal of Race and Law. Katie, who attends Yale Law School, won for her piece Bringing Tribal Self-Determination and Self Governance to Public Schools in Indian Country.  

2016-NNALSA-Writing-Competition-Winners

The Common Core Initiative, Educational Outcomes and American Indian/Alaska Native Students: Observations and Recommendations

This monograph explores the ways in which large-scale school reform efforts play out in American Indian/Alaska Native communities and schools, starting from a historical and cultural perspective, and focusing on the translation of research into concrete steps leading to American Indian/Alaska Native student academic success and personal well-being.

For more information, click here.

White House Initiative American Indian and Alaska Native Education School Environment Listening Sessions Report

Here. An excerpt from the Executive Summary:

To improve education for American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) students, tribal leaders, educators, and Native youth called upon WHIAIANE to collect information on school environment experiences — from teachers, parents, community members, and the students themselves. Tribal leaders and tribal communities wanted members of the initiative to hear about the challenges these students face in gaining high-quality education, with a focus on the quality of their school environments.

To meet this need, WHIAIANE, in collaboration with OCR, worked with tribal leaders and communities to design and execute a series of nationwide listening sessions regarding the school environments of AI/AN students. In October and November 2014, nine gatherings were held in seven states from New York to California to Alaska.

These sessions drew over 1,000 attendees in total and allowed WHIAIANE and OCR to gather information from all stakeholders in AI/AN education. WHIAIANE acted as a listener, allowing students and others to speak openly about their school environments.

“You just have to be you, and you just have to be real. The only way to change things is to hear from real people,” said Valerie Davidson, trustee of the First Alaskans Institute, who served as the moderator for the listening session in Anchorage, Alaska. WHIAIANE imparted similar instructions at each session in an effort to encourage a safe environment for participants to share their stories.

Throughout the sessions, the initiative collected information about the challenges related to school climate, including bullying, student discipline, potentially harmful Native imagery and symbolism, and the implications of all of these school climate issues. With regard to Native school mascots and symbols, the initiative is aware that some people strongly favor retaining their school mascots. During the listening sessions, however, initiative staff members did not hear this viewpoint; thus it is not reflected in this report.

WHIAIANE found feedback from these sessions invaluable in forming its recommended next steps. The initiative further expects that information from these sessions will guide its future work and goals — to address the unique and culturally related academic needs of AI/AN students and to ensure that they receive an excellent education.

 

Changing Arctic: Land of Pickled Whale and $10 Milk

From NBC News, here. An excerpt:

BARROW, Alaska — America’s northernmost city, home to nearly 5,000 people above the Arctic Circle, is at the crossroads of change.

For generations, the native villagers have lived off the land, storing whale meat and blubber in underground ice cellars and sending children on their first hunts before they even hit their teens.

But a warmer climate threatens traditions in a community that retired Adm. Robert Papp, the U.S. envoy to the Arctic, calls “America’s refrigerator.”

“I don’t see the ice anymore,” Papp said during a summer visit — his sixth since a first attempt to get to the Arctic in 1976 was aborted because his ship couldn’t get through the ice.

The Great Quake and the Great Drowning: Indigenous people’s terrifying tsunami stories are a history and a warning.

Here, from Slate. An interesting article about Native oral history.  An excerpt:

In the year 1700, on Jan. 26 at 9 at night, in what is now Northern California, Earthquake was running up and down the coast. His feet were heavy, and when he ran, he shook the ground so much it sank down and the ocean poured in. “The earth would quake and quake again and quake again,” said the Yurok people. “And the water was flowing all over.” The people went to the top of a hill, wearing headbands of woodpecker feathers, so they could dance a jumping dance that would keep the earthquake away and return them to their normal lives. But then they looked down and saw the water covering their village and the whole coast; they knew they could never make the world right again.

That same night, farther up the coast in what is now Washington, Thunderbird and Whale had a terrible fight, making the mountains shake and uprooting the trees, said the Quileute and the Hoh people; they said the ocean rose up and covered the whole land. Farther north still, on Vancouver Island, dwarfs who lived in a mountain invited a person to dance around their drum; the person accidentally kicked the drum and got earthquake-foot, said the Nuu-chah-nulth people, and after that every step he took caused an earthquake. The land shook and the ocean flooded in, said the Huu-ay-aht people who are part of the Nuu-chah-nulth, and people didn’t even have time to wake up and get into their canoes, and “everything then drifted away, everything was lost and gone.”

. . . .

What the indigenous people knew all along, geologists have known only since 1984. Thomas Heaton was still in college in 1970 when geologists, who knew that the world’s largest earthquakes occurred where one tectonic plate descended under another one, first recognized that one of these subduction zones ran between the Juan de Fuca and North American plates. But the so-called Cascadia subduction zone had no record of ever producing large earthquakes. So, says Heaton, “they thought it was aseismic, just creeping.”