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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 1: Understand Major Federal Legislation Affecting American Indian Education

Guideline: Educators will understand the Bureau of Indian Education's role in education and in the operation of tribal schools derived from generations of treaty obligations by the U.S. Government in return for land cessions by tribal nations.




Indian Child Welfare Act

This February 2016 video is about the Indian Child Welfare Act, which is part of the Self-Determination and Indian Civil Rights Act, and features video footage obtained from the 'Into the West-Carlisle Indian School' film documentary.



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.

Indian Education Act of 1972

This article from the Journal of Indian Education offers an overview of the Indian Education Act of 1972. The passage of this Act was a major milestone in the history of Indian education.

Missing Threads: The Story of the Wisconsin Indian Child Welfare Act

This April 2016 video features a film that examines the impact of the phenomenon of the drafting, enacting and implementation of the Wisconsin Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA). A culture deprived of its children will not survive. Yet, at one point in our nation's history, an alarming number of Native American children were removed from their homes and placed with non-Native foster and adoptive homes, damaging the thread connecting the child to their family, their language, and their culture. 

Tribal Nations: The Story of Federal Indian Law (2006 Documentary)

This 2006 documentary video, narrated by Jimmy Fall, tells the story of Federal Indian Law, and was also the Winner of a 2006 Telly Award!


Reclaiming Our Children (2013 Documentary)

The Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) requires that Indian children be placed in Indian homes for foster care or adoption and gives the children's tribe certain rights to participate in the placement procedure. This 2013 documentary is an examination of the Child Welfare System, the Indian Child Welfare Act and the laws that work against it. Prior to 1978, Indian children were being placed in foster care at a nationwide rate 10-20 times higher than non-Native children. These children often lost all connections with their families, extended families, tribes, and cultural heritage. Public Law 95-608, the Federal Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978 was passed to remedy the problem of disproportionately large numbers of Indian children being placed in foster care.

Why the Sioux Are Refusing $1.3 Billion

This 2011 PBS News Hour video claims how members of the Great Sioux Nation could pocket a large sum set aside by the government for taking the resource-rich Black Hills away from the tribes in 1877. But Tribal Leaders say the sacred land was never, and still isn't, for sale.


The Heart of ICWA: Becky

The Indian Child Welfare Act was born out of the forced removal of one out of every three children from their homes in the late 1970’s. This issue is far from ancient history, as we continue to see the devastating effects of non-compliance with ICWA. This 2016 video features Rebecca's Story.

The Heart of ICWA: Fawn

This 2016 video is Fawn's Indian Child Welfare Act story.  Data, history, and countless heartbreaking personal stories show that Native families in crisis need ICWA to protect vulnerable children from the harm of being taken from their homes and communities. NICWA will continue to ensure that the Indian Child Welfare Act is followed to keep Native children safe.

The Heart of ICWA: Lukas

ICWA (Indian Child Welfare Act) is considered the gold standard of child welfare practice. This 2016 video shares Lukas' story and proves keeping any child from their loving extended family that have the ability to care for them is not in their best interest. Children thrive when they know their culture.

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.