Element 1: Foundations and Current Status of American Indian Education
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
- Understand past efforts to assimilate Indians through English-only assimilationist schooling and the opposition Indians may show to efforts at forced assimilation.
- Know the lasting effects of the Indian New Deal of the 1930s on American Indian education.
- Understand the effects of the Indian Self-Determination and Civil Rights movements on American Indian education.
- Understand the relationship between Indian tribes, states, and the federal government's Bureau of Indian Education.
Activity 1: Understand the History of American Indian Education
Activity 2: Understand the Current Status of American Indian Education
Task 1: Understand Federal and State Tribal Recognition
Guideline: Many Americans are seeking to connect with an American Indian tribal heritage or background to participate in tribal programs and/or benefits of an enrolled tribal member. It is important for school districts seeking federal funding based on American Indian student enrollment to be aware of the formal process for enrolling in a tribal group.
Frequently Asked Questions About Indians
The Bureau of Indian Affairs offers a series of frequently asked questions on how United States federal law addresses Indian tribal status, tribal membership, reservations, and other issues impacting Indians. This question and answer format can be a good orientation tool for teachers.
Criteria for Federal Acknowledgment
This link is to Part 83 of Title 25 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Procedures for Establishing that an American Indian Group Exists as an Indian Tribe.
Indian Affairs: Laws and Treaties
As noted in the website's introduction, "Indian Affairs: Laws and Treaties, compiled and edited by Charles J. Kappler, is an historically significant, seven volume compilation of U.S. treaties, laws and executive orders pertaining to Native American Indian tribes. The volumes cover U.S. Government treaties with Native Americans from 1778-1883 (Volume II) and U.S. laws and executive orders concerning Native Americans from 1871-1970 (Volumes I, III-VII)." The resource is available through the Oklahoma State University digital library.
Element 2: American Indian CulturesPurpose:
Educators will understand the great cultural diversity among American Indians, as well as some of their commonalities. Educators will understand:
- What makes someone an American Indian, and what is a tribe today?
- What is an extended family?
- What is the significance of traditional American Indian values, such as humility, interconnectedness, and reciprocity?
- What should all Americans know about American Indians?
Activity 1: Be Aware of Tribal and Family Structures
Activity 2: Understand American Indian Traditional Tribal Values
Element 3: Understanding Your School and CommunityPurpose:
Assessing American Indian students' academic performance and working with local tribes and other Indian organizations are necessary to develop culturally responsive teaching methods. Educators should:
- Examine current American Indian student test scores, attendance rates, and dropout rates;
- Work with tribes and community organizations; and
- Work with national American Indian organizations and the National Indian Education Association.
Activity 1: Take a Snapshot of Your School and Community
Activity 2: Work With and Involve Community and Parents
Element 4: Use Culturally Responsive Teaching MethodologiesPurpose:
Some research suggests one reason for the achievement gap faced by American Indian students is cultural conflicts between American Indian homes and schools. Accordingly, culturally responsive teaching methodologies should address:
- American Indian learning styles;
- Indianizing curriculum;
- Ethnomathematics and ethnoscience;
- American Indian charter and magnet schools; and
- Language revitalization.
Activity 1: Helping American Indian Children to Learn
Activity 2: Integrate American Indian History and Culture into School Curriculum
Activity 3: The Role of American Indian Charter and Magnet Schools
Activity 4: Teaching Indigenous Languages