TEDNA sponsored two resolutions that passed at NCAI’s Annual Convention in San Diego last month.  The first was a resolution calling on the Department of Education to utilize its authority under 20 U.S.C. § 1232g(b)(1)(C) and 34 C.F.R. § 99.31(a)(3)(iii) to exempt tribes and TEAs from FERPA’s advance consent requirement by designating TEAs as the Secretary of Education’s authorized representatives.

The second was a resolution that supports the right of American Indian and Alaska Native high school students to practice and express their traditional religious and spiritual beliefs and honor their academic and other achievements by wearing an eagle feather at their commencement ceremonies.

You can see those and all of the other resolutions that passed NCAI’s Annual Convention here.

You can see the four education resolutions that passed at NCAI’s mid-year conference last week here.  An excerpt from the  Support for Equal Treatment of Tribal and State Education Departments by the U.S. Department of Education:

WHEREAS, the U.S. Department of Education has many competitive grant programs available to State Education Agencies (SEAs) but do not include Tribal Education Departments (TEDs) as eligible grant applicants; and

WHEREAS, several competitive grant applications explicitly exclude TEDs as eligible applicants; and

WHEREAS, these exclusions prohibit TEDs from being treated equally as SEAs to effectively serve their tribal students by administering title programs and funding; and

WHEREAS, parity between TEDs and SEAs levels the playing field for tribal communities to compete for and administer all competitive, discretionary grants available from the United States Department of Education.

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that NCAI supports and calls upon Congress to expand eligibility of all competitive, discretionary funding from the U.S. Department of Education to explicitly include Tribal Education Departments as eligible grant applicants and recipients; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NCAI hereby calls upon Congress to enact legislation that establishes parity between State Education Agencies and Tribal Education Departments; and

What are the Problems?  What are the Solutions?

March 27, 2015
7:30 AM – 5:15 PM

Arizona State University
Armstrong Hall – The Great Hall
1100 S. McAllister Ave.
Tempe, AZ 85281

PDF Event Flyer

The “School-To-Prison Pipeline” has been a crucial concern of parents, educators, tribal leaders, ministers, civil rights activists, lawyers and youth advocates for a number of years. Recently, it has become a major concern of the general public across our country due in large part to the spiraling statistics and the negative impact on children of color. Some advocates have defined the problem as a systematic way of syphoning children out of public schools and funneling them into the juvenile and criminal justice system. In fact, many civil rights lawyers regard the journey from “School-To-Prison Pipeline,” as the most critical civil rights issue facing our country today.

The one day event will feature panel discussions, a keynote speaker, and a town hall. The symposium and town hall will bring together individuals to discuss pipeline concerns, experts who have developed successful programs and projects across the country to address pipeline issues, and individuals and organizations from diverse backgrounds who are working toward solutions to this issue.  This symposium and town hall is currently the only American Bar Association sponsored event to focus exclusively on the “School-To-Prison Pipeline” in Indian Country.

To register, click here.

For more information, contact Jennifer Williams at jennifer.h.williams@asu.edu or call (480) 727-0420.

NCAI is committed to investing in the next generation of leaders to protect and advance tribal sovereignty for generations to come. Young Native leaders are invited to apply for either our internship or the Wilma Mankiller Fellowship. The application can be downloaded for initial review here and completed online at this link: http://tinyurl.com/NCAIapp.

Deadlines for 2015 applications are as follows:

  • Wilma Mankiller Fellowship – Applications due March 15 with decisions made no later than April 15.
  • Summer 2015 Internship – Applications will be accepted until March 31 with decisions made no later than April 30.
  • Fall 2015 Internship – Applications will be accepted until June 22 with decisions made no later than July 20.

More details regarding fellowships and internships at NCAI can be found on our website.

  NCAI Contact Information: Jamie Gomez, Director of External Affairs – jgomez@ncai.org


 NCAI Native Graduate Health Fellowship – Applications Due March 23, 2015

 The NCAI Native Graduate Health Fellowship aims to address the stark disparities in Native health by building a pipeline of Native health professionals who are prepared to lead in formulating and promoting health policies and practices that address the unique needs of American Indians and Alaska Natives. While the current challenges of Native health are great, some of the most promising developments are from Native nations who are exercising considerable control over health care delivery and workforce development. Building the capacity of individuals and communities is critical to empowering tribes to assert this right to self-governance and self-determination in the public health domain. By supporting graduate students in various health-related fields, NCAI seeks to increase the number of Native health leaders and equip them with the tools necessary to achieve our vision of strong, healthy Native communities.

Download Application 
Download Reference & Evaluation Form

NCAI Contact Information: Laura Bird, Legislative Associate – lbird@ncai.org

Due to consistent demand from our membership for more information, NIEA will hold a second Bureau of Indian Education (BIE) informational webinar on Tuesday, September 16, 2014 at 4:00 pm (eastern). For those who missed the initial session, we are providing this opportunity for additional dialogue and new information so our stakeholders can decide the best pathways for local schools and communities. Registration is open TODAY, so if you are an educator, parent, tribal leader, or stakeholder who is curious for what this reform means for your student, school, or community, this is the perfect opportunity to get more information.

Facilitators
• Dr. Charles “Monty” Roessel, BIE Director
• Ahniwake Rose, NIEA Executive Director
Important Information
• Date: Tuesday, September 16, 2014 (Date change)
• Time:  4:00 pm (eastern)
• Additional Details: Please visit http://www.niea.org

Background
Tribal leaders and Native education stakeholders have long requested that the federal government uphold its trust responsibility to Indian education. While there has been some cause for concern regarding the bureaucratic reform, the President’s summer announcement on Indian education increased momentum for ensuring tribal authority in education. The proposal to redesign the BIE under the June 12, 2014 Secretarial Order is based on recommendations from the Indian Education Study Group (Study Group), which DOI Secretary Jewell and Secretary of Education Duncan convened to diagnose the systemic issues within BIE schools.

Material for the Event
• White House Fact Sheet
• June 12, 2014 DOI Secretarial Order
• BIE Transformation Blueprint
• Indian Education Study Group Information
• NIEA/NCAI Joint Comments
• NIEA Senate Testimony on the BIE
For more information or questions, please contact Clint J. Bowers, NIEA Policy Associate, at cbowers@niea.org

At the NCAI Mid-Year Meeting, TEDNA & the First Alaskans Institute will host an education roundtable/think tank session on June 8 from 2:00pm-4:00pm in Anchorage, Alaska at room Tikahtnu AC in the Dena’ina Convention Center. The education session will focus on self-determination in American Indian/Alaska Native education generally, with an emphasis on what direction self-determination in Alaska Native education may take in the future. The conversation will help Alaska Native education stakeholders understand what role American Indian Tribal Education departments play in education and provide a forum for developing a vision to empower Alaska Native education in every community. The Agenda is here. There will be free food and drink at this unique think tank discussion.