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6 Tribes Receive Funds to Take Control of BIE-Funded Schools

Six federally recognized tribes were awarded $1.2 million to promote tribal control and operation of BIE-funded schools on their reservations.
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On October 23, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs Kevin K. Washburn announced that six federally recognized tribes were awarded $1.2 million in Sovereignty in Indian Education (SIE) enhancement funds to promote tribal control and operation of BIE-funded schools on their reservations.

“Increasing tribal control over BIE-funded schools not only promotes tribal self-determination, but also provides greater tribal discretion in determining what American Indian children should learn, increasing accountability throughout the school system,” Jewell said. “With school management authority, these communities will have more power to create lessons with tribal cultural values and Native languages, both of which can ensure their children stay connected to their heritage and help them to succeed in the future. These enhancement funds can make the difference in an effective, relevant and rigorous education for American Indian children.”

The following six tribes each will receive $200,000 to implement a plan to establish a tribally managed school system:

Gila River Indian Community, Sacaton, Arizona

Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, Fort Yates, North Dakota

Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa, Belcourt, North Dakota

Tohono O’Odham Nation, Sells, Arizona

Navajo Nation, Window Rock, Arizona

Oglala Sioux Tribe, Pine Ridge, South Dakota

According to a press release from Indian Affairs, the Sovereignty in Indian Education enhancement funds respond to the findings and recommendations of the American Indian Education Study Group for improving how federal education services and resources are delivered in Indian Country.