News Release

NDN Collective

On Monday, September 13, NDN Collective’s Education Equity team, in partnership with the South Dakota Education Equity Coalition will lead Oceti Sakowin March for Our Children, an action in opposition of South Dakota Department of Education’s newly proposed social studies standards, of which contribute to the perpetuated erasure of Indigenous history, experience, and perspective.

Additionally, testimony from work group members, including and especially Oceti Sakowin Practitioners, state the proposed standards are not reflective of the consensus draft they worked on earlier this summer. To date, there has been no advocacy from the South Dakota Department of Tribal Relations, the state designated office representing the Office of Indian Education. The marchers are requesting the following actions: 

  • Make Oceti Sakowin Essential Understandings & Standards explicitly inclusive within state standards

  • Move the Office of Indian Education back under the Department of Education
  • Honor South Dakota law and the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), with regard to tribal consultation for the full inclusion of Tribal Chairmen & Tribal Education Departments in state decision-making impacting education
  • Hold study session to enable opportunities for school choice specific to Indigenous education

WHO: Members of NDN Collective’s Education Equity team and NDN Collective’s ecosystem, members of the South Dakota Education Equity Coalition, hundreds of Indigenous people and allies from across South Dakota

*Visuals will include dozens of intergenerational Indigenous people and allies holding banners, art, signs, and bullhorns

WHAT: Action to oppose the recently proposed updates to South Dakota’s social studies standards by Governor Noem and the South Dakota Department of Education and uplift demands for inclusive, historically accurate education for all students in South Dakota

WHERE: The March will begin at the Steamboat Park amphitheater, make its way through the heart of Pierre, including the Capitol, and then end at Hilger’s Gulch (330 E Church St, Pierre, South Dakota 57501), directly across from the Department of Education.

WHEN: Monday, September 13 at 1:00 CST

Last month, NDN Collective responded to the blatant erasure of Oceti Sakowin history in newly proposed standards, and called on supporters to call elected officials, the Secretary of Education, and their local school districts to advocate against this erasure.

Oceti Sakowin Community Academy -- the Indigenous-led school being opened by NDN Collective in partnership with the NACA Inspired Schools Network (NISN)-- will open for kindergarten students in fall 2022. 

About NDN Collective

NDN Collective is an Indigenous-led organization dedicated to building Indigenous power. Through organizing, activism, philanthropy, grantmaking, capacity-building, and narrative change, we are creating sustainable solutions on Indigenous terms.

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