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American Indian Education Knowledgbase

This KnowledgeBase archive includes content and external links that were accurate and relevant as of September 30, 2019.

The American Indian Education KnowledgeBase is an online resource to aid education professionals in their efforts to improve the education of American Indian students and close the achievement gap American Indian students have faced in public, Bureau of Indian Education, and other schools.

Task 3: Be Familiar with Tribal Immersion Schools

Guideline: Tribal language and culture immersion schools provide an important way to make real the goals of the 1990 Native American Languages Act and the 2007 United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. They affirm the identities of American Indian students and traditional values and increase their academic achievement.



Cultivating Native Hawaiian Learning: Hawaiian-focused Charter Schools

In this first of a three-part article series by Kamehameha Schools, Hawaiian-focused charter school (HFCS) founders, leaders, teachers, and Ohana who recognize that culture-based education is a pathway to improve Native Hawaiian well-being. In the early 2000s, Hawaiian-focused charter schools were created to provide teaching and learning environments grounded in Hawaiian language and culture.“We learned early on that the deepest learning and strongest engagement happens when learners find relevancy in their learning,” said Charlene Hoe, founder of the Hakipu Learning Center (HLC). The Kneohe school is one of 17 Hawaiian-focused public charter and conversion schools supported by Kamehameha Schools (KS).



*NEW video* Rising Voices: Revitalizing the Lakota Language

This 2013 film features language immersion teachers and administrators whose goals are to revitalize the Lakota language and promote positive thoughts by their students about being Lakota.



Akwesasne (Mohawk) Freedom School (New York)

In Roosevelt, New York (upstate), the Akwesasne Mohawk Freedom School was established in 1979 to help revive the traditional Rotinoshón:ni culture and to preserve a rich and diverse language, the Akwesasne Freedom School has proven to be a unique cultural experience for people from Akwesasne and around the world.

ABQ Charter School Set to Expand ‘Culturally Relevant Education’ to Other Grades

This 2015 Indian Country Today article introduces the Native American Community Academy, in Albuquerque, New Mexico, a small public charter school offering grades 6 through 12, celebrated its fourth class of high school graduates in 2015. The school, which opened in 2006 with 85 students in grades 6 and 7, next fall will welcome its first-ever incoming kindergarten class.

Charter Schools Helping Tribes Revive Fading Native Languages

Preserving indigenous languages and repairing decades of cultural loss is critical to most, if not all, of the nation's tribal communities, and charter schools seem to be playing a notable role in that endeavor.  This 2014 Education Week article introduces a group of tribal leaders and educators In Massachusetts are seeking to open a charter school by fall 2015 on Cape Cod, as part of broader effort to resurrect Wôpanâak, an all-but-dead language that had been spoken by a collective of tribes known as the Wampanoag Nation.

First Nation Languages: Why We Need Them

This Manitoba First Nations Resource booklet for students and families explains why language based education requires support.

How Hawaiian Came Back From the Dead

This June 2016 SLATE article by Alexandria Neason, explores how a legacy of colonialism nearly wiped out the Hawaiian language, and its culture. Efforts to revitalize the language began in the mid-1980s when a network of private Hawaiian immersion preschools called ‘Aha P?nana Leo (the language nest) successfully lobbied the state to reverse the colonial-era ban on the language. In 1987, the Hawai‘i Department of Education began its own network of public Hawaiian language-immersion schools, called Ka Papahana Kaiapuni. Today, 15 traditional public schools and six charter schools educate some 2,000 of the state’s public school students in Hawaiian.

Mashpee Wampanoag School Looks To Revive Teachings Of Native Language

This 2017 ED Edify article from explores the Wampanoag Language Immersion School, "Mukayuhsak Weekuw", or, "the children's house", in Mashpee, Massachusettes opened in September of 2016.  A Wampanoag class for the Mashpee Public Schools is under development.

Mohawk Students Must Leave Their Nation to Attend High School

This June 2019 Indian Country Today article details how students on the Mohawk territory that spans across two countries, a state, and two provinces must travel to Canada or the U.S. to attend high school. The article also feature the Akwesasne Freedom School, one of five immersion schools for Mohawk youth living in Akwesasne, a territory that straddles the U.S.-Canada border. These schools were created to revive Mohawk language and culture after previous generations were forced to attend residential schools, a system that made Native people eradicate their own culture and assimilate into Western ways of living.

Tsunade Loquasdi Charter Immersion School

In 2012, the Cherokee Nation became the first Native American tribe to authorized a charter school. The tribe is the authorizer of the Tsunade Loquasdi Immersion School in Oklahoma, which in 2011 served 112 pre-kindergarten through 8th grade students. This website offers testimony from former Tsunade Loquasdi students.

The contents of this website were developed under a grant from the U.S. Department of Education and are intended for general reference purposes only. However, those contents do not necessarily represent the policy of the U.S. Department of Education or the Center, and you should not assume endorsement by the Federal Government. Some resources on this site require Adobe Acrobat Reader. This website archive includes content and external links that were accurate and relevant as of September 30, 2019.