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.

http://www.aigcs.org/

      The Washington State Office of Public Instruction and its Superintendent Randy Dorn recently issued a letter to state schools regarding “tribal students wearing items of cultural significance such as eagle feathers during graduation ceremonies.”  The State concludes that a student wearing an eagle feather “should not be viewed as a violation of the graduation ceremony dress codes.”

Chief Leschi Schools -The school is funded primarily by the federal Bureau of Indian Education and also receives some funding from Washington state. It is one of the largest BIE schools in the nation. The current campus opened in 1996. Chief Leschi focuses on serving the educational needs of all Native Americans. Students come from nearly 60 tribes. The school is designed to honor Puyallup culture, from the staircase rails that resemble fishing nets to the hallways that replicate a longhouse design. Students study the Puyallup language, Twulshootseed, and have opportunities to participate in dance, drumming and other cultural activities.

Amy Eveskcige followed a winding road home.

As a rebellious teen growing up in Tacoma, she dropped out of school and landed in foster care. But she credits a rediscovery of her Puyallup Indian heritage and support from family and tribe for pulling her back from what could have been a disastrous path.

Today, armed with a doctoral degree in educational leadership from Washington State University, she is preparing to take the reins as superintendent at Chief Leschi Schools, operated by the Puyallup Tribe of Indians. She will be the first Puyallup tribal member to head the school, which educates nearly 1,000 students from preschool to high school.

“I truly could not have done it without the support of my community,” Eveskcige said. In her culture, she added, “the honor of one is the honor of all.”

Eveskcige, who moves to her new post full-time on June 1, is currently an administrator in Tacoma Public Schools, where she has led staff recruitment and worked on implementing a new teacher evaluation system.

She has broad experience in South Sound education circles, having held leadership positions in the Vashon Island, Puyallup and Tacoma school districts. She was also an administrator of the Muckleshoot Tribal School in Auburn and previously worked as a secretary, teacher and elementary principal at Chief Leschi.

As Eveskcige prepared to begin her new work, she talked with The News Tribune about her personal and career path.

To read the her full interview, click here.

The report, entitled “From Where the Sun Rises: Addressing the Educational Achievement of Native Americans in Washington State,” while from 2008, might be of interest to TEDNA Members. The report can be seen here:

If those links do not work . . . it is available at the Governor’s Office of Indian Affairs:

http://goia.wa.gov/Links-Resources/Links-Resources.htm

This Bill can be seen here, with the Senate’s amendment.  The Bill can be monitored here.  An excerpt:

The legislature recognizes the need to reaffirm the state’s commitment to educating the citizens of our state, particularly the youth who are our future leaders, about tribal history, culture, treaty rights, contemporary tribal and state government institutions and relations and the contribution of Indian nations to the state of Washington. The legislature recognizes that this goal has yet to be achieved in most of our state’s schools and districts. As a result, Indian students may not find the school curriculum, especially Washington state history curriculum, relevant to their lives or experiences. In addition, many students may remain uninformed about the experiences, contributions, and perspectives of their tribal neighbors, fellow citizens, and classmates. The legislature finds that more widespread use of the Since Time Immemorial curriculum developed by the office of the superintendent of public instruction and available free of charge to schools would contribute greatly towards helping improve school’s history curriculum and improve the experiences Indian students have in our schools. Accordingly, the legislature finds that merely encouraging education regarding Washington’s tribal history, culture, and government is not sufficient, and hereby declares its intent that such education be mandatory in Washington’s common schools.

This report addresses the accomplishments and recommendations of the Office of Native Education (ONE), a department of the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI). These accomplishments include:

  • Refined the Since Time Immemorial: Tribal Sovereignty in Washington State web-based curriculum, and expanded professional development in utilization of the resource.
  • Strengthened partnership efforts with the OSPI Environment and Sustainability Office focusing on the inclusion of indigenous knowledge in science instruction.
  • As a result of Engrossed Second Substitute House Bill (E2 SHB) 1134 (authorizing OSPI to enter into State-Tribal Education Compacts to establish tribally controlled schools), negotiated and approved three Tribal Compact Schools: Muckleshoot Tribal School, Lummi Nation Schools, and Chief Kitsap Academy (Suquamish Tribe).
  • Continued ongoing efforts to extend partnerships with Tribes and tribal organizations.

Authorizing bill/law: RCW 28A.300.105

http://k12.wa.us/LegisGov/2015documents/NativeEducationJan2015.pdf