December 2016 Newsletter

State News

Minnesota: Onamia schools are a model for creating the most inclusive and culturally relevant educational programs for all students. Mille Lacs Messenger

Montana: Educators are working to foster a respect for the cultures across Montana by incorporating American Indian culture into the classroom. Great Falls Tribune

Oklahoma: Oklahoma History Center's "traveling trunk" brings information on the 39 federally recognized tribes and tribal towns of Oklahoma to K–12 classrooms. The Oklahoman

Washington: The Since Time Immemorial curriculum initiative partners districts around the state with local tribes to teach with the tribes, as opposed to teaching about them. Tacoma Schools

Wyoming: A bill that would take the first steps toward establishing a statewide curriculum on the state's Native American tribes could go before the legislature in the coming session. Wyoming Tribune-Eagle

National News

The Bureau of Indian Education has joined the WIDA (World-Class Instructional Design and Assessment) Consortium (a group of education agencies that share Common Core–aligned proficiency standards and assessments for English language learners). Education Week

Tony Dearman, a member of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, will head the Bureau of Indian Education. Education Week

Native youth post the worst achievement scores and lowest graduation rates of any student subgroup. U.S. News & World Report

Yatibaey Evans was sworn in as the first Alaska Native President of the National Indian Education Association. Tanana Valley Television

The First Nations Development Institute released its Native American Children's Literature Recommended Reading List. First Nations Development Institute

Canada: A first in Indigenous Canada, the Cree Syllabics Virtual Reality project uses the latest 3D gaming technology to teach Native language in schools. CBC News

Canada: The Nunavut government is investigating prohibitions against students speaking Inuktitut in class. CBC News


Oklahoma Council for Indian Education Conference
December 12–13, 2016, in Catoosa, Oklahoma

From the brochure: “This is a chance to experience a true getaway with some great professional development workshops and inspiring keynote speakers.”

Study Circles Online Conversation: Little Hawk and the Lone Wolf: A Memoir by Raymond C. Kaquatosh (NEW!)
Session 1–February 13, 2017 | Online via Zoom; 4–6 p.m. CT
Session 2–March 7, 2017 | Online via Zoom; 4–6 p.m. CT
Session 3–April 4, 2017 | Online via Zoom; 4–6 p.m. CT

From the website: “The Disproportionality Technical Assistance Network is offering a unique opportunity for all participating school staff, equity teams and partners for continuing our personal and professional racial equity work with a focus on the American Indian student experience.... Each session will use Raymond Kaquatosh's book as a foundation for our conversation while exploring the impact of the opportunity gap for our American Indian students.”

Study Circles address racial and ethnic barriers to student achievement and parent involvement by engaging diverse staff, parents and partners in dialogue and problem solving."

2017 Wisconsin Indian Education Association Conference
May 12–13, 2017, in Minocqua, Wisconsin

From the save-the-date notice: “This year's theme: 'Let's Be Healthy Together.'”

NEH Summer Institute for Teachers: Native Americans of New England
July 16–28, 2017, in Amherst, Massachusetts
Conference website

From the website: “A wealth of exciting scholarship has appeared in the 21st century that has not found its way into K–12 or even post-secondary teaching about the histories, communities, and cultures of Native American peoples. Open to all K–12 teachers but particularly suited for history and social studies teachers.”


American Educational Research Association. (2016). Thirteenth annual AERA Brown Lecture in education research [Webcast]. Retrieved from (Click here to view the lecture slides.)

From the abstract: “Building on the premise that closing achievement gaps is an economic imperative both to regain international educational supremacy and to maintain global economic competitiveness, Marta Tienda asks whether it is possible to rewrite the social contract so that education is a fundamental right—a statutory guarantee—that is both uniform across states and federally enforceable.”

Indigenous Education (Special Issue). (2016). In Education, 22(1). Retrieved from

From the editorial: “In partnership with the Canadian Association for Studies in Indigenous Education, the academic work reflected in these articles is presented with the intention of informing the advancement and improvement of education for Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples in Canada.”

Montana Office of Public Instruction. (2016). Montana American Indian student achievement data report. Helena, MT: Montana Office of Public Instruction. Retrieved from

From the summary: “There is improvement shown in narrowing that gap but there is obviously still room for more improvement. Improvements in these areas will not happen overnight, but it is important for the future of Montana for the American Indian student achievement gap to continue to narrow.”

National Indian Education Association. (2016). Building relationships with tribes: A Native process for ESSA consultation. Retrieved from

From the press release: “The publication 'Building Relationships With Tribes: A Native Process for ESSA Consultation' is the first document to provide guidance to states on how to conduct consultation and will be distributed in conjunction with NIEA [National Indian Education Association] partner organizations.”

Rafa, A. (2016). State and federal policy: Native American youth. Denver, CO: Education Commission of the States. Retrieved from

From the website: “This policy analysis provides descriptive information about Native American youth populations, explores their educational challenges, reviews currently enacted state and federal policies designed to address their needs, and provides policy considerations for state governments.”

Smithsonian American Art Museum Renwick Gallery. (n.d.). Artful connections: American art: American Indians. Retrieved from

From the editorial: “In partnership with the Canadian Association for Studies in Indigenous Education, the academic work reflected in these articles is presented with the intention of informing the advancement and improvement of education for Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples in Canada.”

U.S. Department of Education, Office of Elementary and Secondary Education. (2016). Non-regulatory guidance on early learning in the Every Student Succeeds Act: Expanding opportunities to support our youngest learners. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Education. Retrieved from

From the conclusion: “Over the last several years, an impressive coalition of education, business, law enforcement, military, child advocacy, and faith-based leaders have joined together to support the expansion of high-quality early education. The new education law brings with it a fresh vision for how we may address the education gaps that continue to persist, especially for our most vulnerable children.” The report includes a specific table on supports for children who are Native American, Alaska Native, or Native Hawaiian.


Fuller, S. C., & Davis, C. R. (2016). The characteristics and education outcomes of American Indian students in grades 6–12 in North Carolina (REL 2017-202). Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance, Regional Educational Laboratory Southeast. Retrieved from

From the key findings: “American Indian students in grades 6–12 in North Carolina lag behind their peers of other races/ethnicities on most education outcomes, in large part because of differences in student demographics and school characteristics between American Indian students and students of other races/ethnicities across the state. American Indian students are much more similar in education outcomes and background characteristics to their peers of other races/ethnicities within the same schools when compared with students in the same school.”