An excerpt: FORT YATES, NORTH DAKOTA—One evening a week, young and old gather in Michael Moore’s classroom in Fort Yates, North Dakota, to learn Lakota — the language of their Sioux tribal ancestors.

For many of the students here at Sitting Bull College, it’s a tongue their great grandparents spoke fluently at home.

But that changed in the early 1900’s, when thousands of Native American children were sent to boarding schools where they were told to assimilate, learn English and forget all aspects of their native culture.

Gabe Black Moon, who co-teaches Lakota with Moore, remembered his time at one such school.

“The government punished [us for speaking] our language, and I’ve seen that happen. It happened to me,” he said. “Day one, I went to school, I couldn’t speak English. I got punished pretty bad.”

Presidential recognition

Renewed efforts to preserve Lakota for future generations received national recognition earlier this year when President Barack Obama visited Standing Rock Native American Reservation, where he praised Sioux tribal leaders’ for revitalizing the endangered tongue.

To read the full article, click here.

The Assistant Secretary for Elementary and Secondary Education proposes priorities, requirements, definitions, and selection criteria for the State Tribal Education Partnership (STEP) program. The Assistant Secretary may use one or more of these priorities, requirements, definitions, and selection criteria for competitions in fiscal year (FY) 2015 and later years. We propose this action to enable tribal educational agencies (TEAs) to administer formula grant programs under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA), and to improve the partnership between TEAs and the State educational agencies (SEAs) and local educational agencies (LEAs) that educate students from the affected tribe.

Comments are due by December 1, 2014

Follow the link here for further information or contact Shahla Ortega, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., room 3E211, Washington, DC 20202-6450. Telephone: (202) 453-5602 or by email: shahla.ortega@ed.gov.

A Native American child was reportedly sent home early from his first day of Kindergarten last week because officials said his long hair conflicted with the school’s dress code.

Malachi Wilson, 5, does not receive haircuts because it is against his religion as a member of the Navajo Nation, the child’s mother told a local CBS affiliate. Apparently though, this religious rule conflicts with F.J. Young Elementary School’s dress code, which says that, “Boys’ hair shall be cut neatly and often enough to ensure good grooming.”

When the child showed up for his first day of Kindergarten at the Texas school he was sent away. The principal told April Wilson, Malachi’s mother, that he would not be able to attend class until his hair was cut, reports Native News Online.

To view the entire article and video, click here.

Interior Department Announces $2.5 million to Promote Tribal Control and Operation of BIE-Funded Schools

Funding Opportunity Part of Bureau of Indian Education’s implementation of American Indian Education Study Group’s “Blueprint for Reform;” Sovereignty in Indian Education grants will promote tribal self-determination in education through tribal control of BIE-funded schools

WASHINGTON, D.C.–As part of the Obama Administration’s historic commitment to ensurethat all students attending Bureau of Indian Education-funded schools receive an effectiveeducation 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 $2.5million 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 promotetribal control and operation of BIE-funded schools on their reservations.

To view the press release, click here.

Here.

Each year, ACT provides an analysis of the college and career readiness of US high school graduates based on ACT® college readiness assessment results from the high school graduating class.

 ACT is pleased to expand on this important research with an in-depth look at the academic readiness of American Indian students. Key report findings include:

*       A large percentage of American Indian students (86%) report that they aspire to earn a post-secondary degree.

*       52% of American Indian students met none of the four ACT College Readiness Benchmarks.

*       Only 18% of American Indian students met at least three of the ACT College Readiness Benchmarks.

*       Fewer American Indian students immediately enroll in post-secondary institutions (54%) compared to any other racial/ethnic group.

This report shines a light on the need to improve college and career readiness for American Indian students while also addressing policies to assist these students with the challenges they may face. Here is The Condition of College & Career Readiness 2013: American Indian Students, and here is ACT Profile Report for AI/AN Students 2013.

Graphics of Educational Aspirations