“Know Before ‘U’ Go”

Know Before “U” Go is a college preparation program designed by the American Indian Graduate Center (AIGC). The program teaches about post-secondary education, financial aid, and scholarships for the upcoming fall of 2016. They will have two locations set up. The first location is in Seattle, Washington in October and the second location in Rapid City, South Dakota in December. Click the link below to find out more details.

American Indian Graduate Center

Via Indian Country Today: Couple in Murder-Suicide Linked to Alleged Scam Embezzling Native Education Money

An excerpt:

Six months after a South Dakota couple died in a murder-suicide, Attorney General Marty Jackley said they stole money meant to improve college readiness among Native American students.

“There has been a loss or a theft of over $1 million,” Jackley said during a March 16 press conference.

Scott Westerhuis allegedly killed his wife, Nicole, and their four children, Kailey, Jaeci, Connor and Michael, and then took his own life on September 17, 2015. Scott and Nicole both worked for Mid-Central Educational Cooperative, and the deaths happened only hours after the Department of Education informed Mid-Central that it would be losing a $4.3 million federal contract for GEAR UP, a program that helps prepare Native American students for college, due to financial problems and accounting issues.

Scott had served as the business manager at Mid-Central, and Nicole as assistant business manager, reports the Associated Press. Scott was also linked to nonprofits that received GEAR UP funding, including the American Indian Institute for Innovation.


To read the entire article, click here.


From The Rapid City Journal: Adding Native American Education Part of State Ed Plan

PIERRE | For the first time in South Dakota, courses about Native Americans will be among the required subjects schools must teach.

The state Board of Education adjusted the schedule for reviewing teaching standards Thursday and added Native American education for all as a subject for the first time.

The revised schedule still calls for the board to adopt any revisions in English language arts in 2018, but in the spring rather than the summer, and to adopt any revisions in math in 2019, again in the spring rather than the summer.

State law requires four public hearings before the board can adopt standards or changes in standards. The standards are used in grades three through eight and grade 11 for testing student achievement. Further details of the requirement for Native American coursework were not discussed Thursday.

Some opponents of the Common Core standards that are now in place have claimed the schedule changes are an attempt to work away from Common Core, but Schopp said after the board meeting Thursday that is not the case.

To read the entire article, click here.

Throwback Thursday

Today’s throwback is about a discrimination lawsuit against a South Dakota School District that was settled in 2007.  The case was Antoine v. Winner School District, which the ACLU and Rosebud Sioux Tribe prosecuted.  A snippet from the ACLU website:

In March of 2006, the ACLU’s Racial Justice Program, ACLU of the Dakotas and Attorney General of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe filed a complaint in federal district court on behalf of Native American families with children in South Dakota’s majority-white Winner School District. The class action lawsuit claimed that the schools discriminated against Native American students in disciplining them, were hostile toward Native American families, and took statements from students involved in disciplinary matters that were later used to prosecute them in juvenile and criminal courts.

The complaint, which was filed in federal district court, can be seen here. The complaint to the Office of Civil Rights within the Department of Education can be seen here.  Details on the Settlement can be seen here. Unfortunately, it seems as if this type of conduct from School Districts is far from uncommon. See, e.g., here and here.

ED Week – Education in Indian Country: Obstacles and Opportunity

Here is an in depth series on Native Education. An excerpt:

On most measures of educational success, Native American students trail every other racial and ethnic subgroup of students. To explore the reasons why, Education Week sent a writer, a photographer, and a videographer to American Indian reservations in South Dakota and California earlier this fall. Their work is featured in this special package of articles, photographs, and multimedia. Commentary essays offer additional perspectives.

There are stories from South Dakota, California, and on the sequestration effects on Native education, among others.

Language summit draws tribes from across Nation

Here, from Indianz and Native Sun News.  A quote:

 In the foothills of the sacred Black Hills, the Lakota/Dakota/Nakota language was not only examined and researched in an academic manner, but it was celebrated by the participants of the 6th Annual Tusweca Tiyospaye Language Summit.

Held at the Ramkota Hotel, the language summit drew people from across Indian Country to look at the history, the practical application and the preservation efforts of the language that binds the tribes of the Oceti Sakowin together.

The keynote speaker for the opening ceremonies was recording artist Keith Secola, Anishinabe who spoke about the need to not only preserve the language but to flourish the language through education and application beginning in childhood.