The American Indian Education KnowledgeBase is an online resource to aid education professionals in their efforts to serve American Indian students and close the achievement gap American Indian students have faced in public, Bureau of Indian Affairs, and other schools.
This KnowledgeBase is currently being updated to reflect recent changes under federal law. The current version is provided for your reference as much of the information may still be relevant.
Purpose: To ensure educators working with American Indian students are aware of past efforts at improving the academic achievement of these students, the limited success of these efforts, and current federally funded Indian education programs
Overview: The concept of sovereignty for Indian nations centers on the concept that they are self-governing nations. Historically, tribes controlled their own affairs before the U.S. Government assigned many of them to reservations overseen by appointed Indian Agents whose power was backed up by the U.S. Army. With the passage of the 1934 Indian Reorganization Act, the U.S. Government recognized the rights of Indian tribes to self-government, and President Richard Nixon reaffirmed this right with his 1970 message to Congress on Indian self-determination.
Based on the U.S. Constitution, treaties, and Supreme Court decisions, Indian nations have a government-to-government relationship with the U.S. Government, and are largely independent of state governments. The U.S. Department of Interior's Bureau of Indian Affairs represents the U.S. Government in its work with Indian nations.
This primer from the Indian Country Today web site summarizes the legal basis for tribal sovereignty. A person unfamiliar with the basis for tribal sovereignty will find it most helpful.
This link is to President Nixon's 1970 message to Congress. in this message, he set forth a "new direction of Indian policy aimed at Indian self-determination and condemned forced termination and proposed recommendations for specific action."
Dr. Vine Deloria Jr. in his keynote address at the May 26, 1995 Sovereignty Forum, sponsored by the American Indian Policy Center presented his viewpoint on tribal sovereignty. This summary presents his three part view on the subject.
Authored by Melody McCoy this resource reviews federal laws, policies, and reports related to tribal sovereignty over Indian education.
This NPR resource features a map of the Original Indian Tribal Lands written in Indian Nation locations and names superimposed over of the map of the United States of America. This map show where Indian Tribal lands of the Seminole, Choctaw, Cherokee, Shawnee, Blackfoot, Crow, Cheyenne, Sioux, Pawnee, Ute, Navajo, Apache, and Paiute were originally located before Europeans "discovered" America.
Click Here to View the NPR Article: "The Map of Native American Tribes You've Never Seen Before"