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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: Understand Federal Indian Education Funding Available to Educate American Indian Students on Tribal Lands or Urban/Reservation Schools

Guideline:  Beginning in the mid-1800s, the U.S. Department of the Interior assumed a trust responsibility, based upon treaties, for education policy and practice for American Indian children which later included other federal departments, which involved education policy and addressed the needs of American Indian children who began to attend public schools across the United States in the 1920s.  Today, most American Indian students attend public school, however, some American Indian students attend tribal-controlled schools and BIE schools.


American Indian Scholarships and Grants

This website offers information on requirements, amount of scholarship award, and how to apply for various Native American Indian Scholarships such as: Chickasaw Foundation Scholarships, AAAE Scholarship for Native Americans, Native American Education Grant, University of Colorado at Boulder White Antelope Memorial ScholarshipBureau of Indian Education Scholarships, Catching the Dream Native American Scholarship Fund, American Indian College Fund, Smithsonian Native American Awards Program, LITA/LSSI Minority Scholarship for Library and TechnologySpectrum ScholarshipYoung Native Writers, Holland & Knight Charitable Fund, Inc., Ford Motor Company Tribal ScholarshipAmerican Indian Science and Engineering Society Google Scholarships, and the Lockheed Martin Tribal Scholarship.

Cobell $5 Million Native Indian Education Scholarship Fund

This U.S. Department of the Interior, Indian Affairs, website provides information on the Cobell Scholarship which $4.8 million has been transferred to the Cobell Education Scholarship Fund (Scholarship Fund), bringing the total amount contributed so far to almost $39 million. The Scholarship Fund – funded in part by the Land Buy-Back Program for Tribal Nations (Buy-Back Program) and authorized by the Cobell Settlement – provides financial assistance through scholarships to American Indian and Alaska Native students wishing to pursue post-secondary and graduate education and training. $10 Million

NITRO 60+ Scholarships for Native American Students

This NITRO website provides Native American scholarship information.  With education in particular, government agencies have been navigating just how much support to provide citizens whose family tree spans generations in North America, while still allowing them to uphold their own individual rights and traditions.  The Bureau of Indian Education offers this interactive guide below to sort through resources and over 60 Native American scholarships available for the 2018-2019 academic year. Scholarships references are: Wah-Tiah-Kah Scholarship, Tyonek Native Corporation Scholarship and Grant Fund, Native American Seminary, Zuni Tribal Scholarship, Science Systems & Application, Inc. (SSAI) Underrepresented Student Scholarship, Cherokee Nation Scholarship, and the American Indian Law School Scholarship.



Grants to Native Americans and Alaska Natives for Career and Technical Education (NACTEP)

Native American Career and Technical Education Programs (NACTEP) provides grants to federally recognized Indian tribes, tribal organizations, Alaska Native entities and eligible BIE-funded schools to improve career and technical education programs that are consistent with the purposes of the Perkins Act and that benefit Native Americans and Alaskan Natives. NACTEP assists in the preparation of Native American students for the high-skill, high-wage, or high-demand occupations in emerging or established professions.

Indian Policies and Procedures - Section 7004

This Department of Education website featuring the Impact Aid Program FY2019 explains Section 7004 of Indian Policies and Procedures Relating to Children Residing on Indian Lands states any LEA that claims children residing on Indian lands for the purpose of receiving funds under Section 7003 must establish Indian Policies and Procedures (IPPs) to ensure that the LEA meets the 8 requirements listed on this website.

Office of Impact Aid Program

This Department of Education website follows The Impact Aid law (now Title VII of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA) provides millions of dollars for assistance to local school districts.  Impact Aid Application

Promise Neighborhoods Serving Tribal Communities

The Promise Neighborhoods Program is intended to significantly improve the educational and developmental outcomes of children in the nation's most distressed communities and, ultimately, to transform such communities. Notably, the program's fiscal year 2010 Notice Inviting Applications for New Awards, which was published in the Federal Register on May 5, contains an absolute priority for Tribal communities. 

U.S. Department of Education Announces $4 Million In Grants Available to Help Native Youth

The U.S. Department of Education announced on April 29th, 2015 the availability of an estimated $4 million in grants to help Native American youth become college and career ready. Funding for the new Native Youth Community Projects is a key step toward implementing President Obama’s commitment to improving the lives of American Indian and Alaskan Native children. The new grants will support the President’s Generation Indigenous “Gen I” Initiative launched in 2014 to help Native American youth.

Practical Tips

Financial Aid and College Preparation Resources for Native Americans

Research has found that American Indians and Alaska Natives have a much lower rate of college completion than the population as a whole.  This fact sheet recommends some places to find information about preparing for college and paying for college. This Federal Student Aid website offers Financial Aid and College Preparation Resources for Native American Indian students and their families.


2011 ED Programs American Indians and Alaska Natives

This Department of Education website provides a list of federal funding programs for American Indians and Alaskan Natives.

ESSA and Native American, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian Students

This is second in a series of posts on ESSA’s implications for student subgroups. Read the first in the series: What Will ESSA Mean for English Learners?  A large body of research supports the idea that Native American, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian students thrive in instructional environments that honor their unique cultural and linguistic heritages.  Federal education policy is catching on.  The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) promises unprecedented opportunities and funding for incorporating our nation’s many indigenous cultures and languages into public schools serving Native students.

Impact Aid Program

This document offers an overview of the Impact Aid Program.

Indian Education Funding

The Indian Education Act of 1972 provided funding for special programs for Indian students attending public schools on and off reservations. The current version of the Indian Education Act is Title VI of the Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015. This document provides an overview of the Title VI program.

Johnson O’Malley Program

This Bureau of Indian Education website features information about the Johnson O'Malley (JOM) program, which is authorized by the Johnson-O'Malley Act of 1934, and the implementing regulations are provided in Part 273 of Title 25 of the Code of Federal Regulations. As amended, this Act authorizes contracts for the education of eligible Indian students enrolled in public schools and previously private schools. This local program is operated under an educational plan, approved by the BIE, which contains educational objectives to address the needs of the eligible American Indian and Alaska Native students by providing supplementary financial assistance for the specialized educational needs of Indian children. (Minnesota) (California Fact Sheet)

Native American and Alaska Native Children in School Program

This link is to a U.S. Department of Education website providing information on the Native American and Alaska Native Children in School Program.

Office of Indian Education

This link is to the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Indian Education website.

Special Education Grants for Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Exceptional Students

This Northern Arizona University website showcases special education grants such as: Preparing Rural Inclusive Multicultural Exceptional-educators (PRIME) grant, Culturally Responsive ESL Special Education Training (CREST) grant for ELLs, Preparing Rural Inclusive Special Educators (PRISE) grant, Rural Inclusive Special Educators (RISE) grant, Bilingual Rural Inclusive Development for General and Exceptional-educators (BRIDGE) grant for Navajo, Hopi and Mexican-American students, Developing Rural Exceptional-educators to Address Multicultural Students (DREAM) grant, and the Limited-English-proficient-students Education for All Professionals (LEAP) grant.

What Will ESSA Mean for English Learners

This is the first in a series of posts via AIR (American Institute for Research) about ESSA’s implications for student subgroups. Over the past few decades, English learners (ELs) have become an increasingly significant student population, outpacing the demographic growth of non-EL students by more than 40 percent nationwide and growing by as much as 800 percent in some states.  ESSA’s Title III requires states to implement standardized, statewide procedures for identifying ELs (“entrance procedures”) and for determining when special language services are no longer needed (“reclassification procedures”). States must also dis-aggregate English learners with a disability from English learners without disabilities. Both measures are critical for monitoring EL progress.

White House Initiative: American Indian and Alaska Native Education

The White House Initiative on American Indian and Alaska Native Education leads the President’s Executive Order 13592, signed December 2, 2011, Improving American Indian and Alaska Native Educational Opportunities and Strengthening Tribal Colleges and Universities.  The Initiative, located within the Department of Education, seeks to support activities that will strengthen the Nation by expanding education opportunities and improving education outcomes for all American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) students. It is committed to furthering tribal self-determination and ensuring AI/AN students, at all levels of education, have an opportunity to learn their Native languages and histories, receive complete and competitive educations, preparing them for college, careers, and productive and satisfying lives.


Impact Aid Program: 2013 Funding Outlook & Indian Community Participation

This 2013 Impact Aid Program PowerPoint reviews Native Indian policies and procedures including local education agency requirements.  LEAs that receive Impact Aid payments for children living on Indian lands must consult with tribal officials and parents of Indian children about the education program of the school district.  Via the Impact Aid Program, the Department of Education disseminates the Impact Aid Program application to tribal officials and Indian education administration.


Indicator 20: Financial Aid (2016)

This 2016 National Center for Educational Statistics report states that while the cost of a post-secondary education is a potential burden for some students in their completion of an undergraduate degree, financial aid can help ease this burden. Grants and loans are the major forms of federal financial aid for degree/certificate-seeking undergraduate students.  Among full-time, full-year undergraduate students, 85% of Black and American Indian/Alaska Native students and 80% of Hispanic students received grants in 2011–12. These percentages were higher than the percentages of students of Two or more races (73 percent) and White (69 percent), Pacific Islander (67 percent), and Asian (63 percent) students who received grants.

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.

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.