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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 2: Explore the Relationship Between Tribal Immersion Charter Schools and Other Charter Schools

Guideline: American Indian students, as a group, continue to have test scores below national averages in the United States. American Indian charter and language immersion schools are providing alternative ways to educate American Indian students that show promise of improving the quality of their education.



State and Federal Policy: Native American Youth

This 2016 policy report states only 8 percent of native students attend federally run schools through the Bureau of Indian Education, while the remaining 92 percent attend public schools. The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) provides new opportunities for states to consider when enacting legislation affecting Native students. This report provides an overview of the major education issues the Native student population faces and the current policies that exist to address those issues at the state and federal levels.



Choice Innvation in Native Education

This 2017 NIEA website states despite limited resources, tribal governments and Native communities are innovating to create Native education programs that fulfill the unique needs of American Indian, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian students. This NIEA site also offers the current landscape of Native American schools, including public, BIE-funded, tribally-controlled, BIE-operated, Native charter and Native Language Immersion schools. A 2017 map shows the location of each type of school choice in Native Communities. Additional topics include funding opportunities for school choice, challenges to choice in rural education and opportunities for school choice.

Details From the Dashboard Report: Public Charter Schools on Bureau of Indian Affairs Land

In this 2013 Details from the Dashboard report, the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools examine public schools that serve students on Native American lands. Public charter schools provide promising opportunities for Native American tribes to create new public school options that directly meet the unique needs of children living in and around Bureau of Indian Affairs land. The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools (NAPCS) compiled data on public charter and traditional public schools for this report, and we present this data as a helpful foundation for additional research and advocacy work in the area of Native American charter schooling.

Native American Language Immersion: Innovative Native Education

This report is a project of the American Indian College Fund and written by Janine Pease-Pretty On Top, with the introduction by Richard Littlebear, with research supported by the W.K.Kellogg Foundation of Battle Creek, Michigan. The focus of this study is of a people’s initiative, Native American language immersion encompasses educational practices and social development that lie outside the mainstream language teaching, education and socializing methods of American children.

Partnerships Between Tribal Education Deparments and Local Education Agencies (LEAs)

This 2012 study examines nine voluntary working relationships or partnerships between tribal education departments and local education agencies supporting American Indian students. Individual profiles describe how each partnership works, focusing primarily on collaborative activities intended to improve education outcomes for American Indian students.

Public Charter Schools Growing on Native American Reservations

In this 2013 National Alliance for public charter schools article, new data from the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools shows that public charter schools are growing on Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) lands across the country. Between 2005 and 2010, the number of public charter schools on reservations increased from 19 to 31, accounting for 15 percent of all public schools on reservations. Public charter schools are on reservations located in Arizona, California, Florida, Michigan, Minnesota, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah and Wyoming. Most Native American charter schools (61 percent) are on reservations geographically located in Arizona and California. Between the 2009-2010 and 2010-2011 school years, there was a 100 percent increase in the number of public charter schools and charter school enrollment on Native lands geographically located in California.



First Nation Languages and Improving Student Outcomes

This 2014 paper reviews current language research to examine whether being taught language immersion or Indigenous languages facilitates the development and cognitive abilities, including mental flexibility, abstract thinking and problem solving.




This 2009 NIEA document states nationally American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) populations are in the midst of a type 2 diabetes epidemic. Once considered an adult disease, type 2 diabetes is being diagnosed more and more often among AI/AN children. Collaborative partners developed DETS Curriculum: Health Is Life in Balance for K-12 students with the goal of: (1) Increasing the understanding of health, diabetes and maintaining life in balance among AI/AN students, (2) Increasing AI/AN parents' understanding application of scientific, traditional and community knowledge and (3) Increase interest in science and health professions among AI/AN youth.

Native American History Is Often Overlooked In Schools. One State Is Trying To Change That

This 2017 Huffington Post article focuses Christine Ayers, a non-native American teacher in Montana who teaches her fourth-grade class about numbers and math. She uses examples involving beadwork from the Northern Cheyenne Tribe. When she talks to her classroom about poetry and character education, she reads traditional native stories, which she says generally “teach a lesson.”

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.