The United States continues to operate many schools for Indian children. According to reports, the condition of these schools and the educational results are disappointing.
Following up on the Tribal Conference held at the Department of the Interior in November, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan met Jan. 11 with prominent American Indian educators to discuss the educational challenges and opportunities facing tribal communities and to share strategies that have helped to advance opportunities for American Indian students around the Nation.
Improving Indian education was also a major topic during President Obama’s historic meeting with tribal leaders at the Interior Department in November 2009. More than 400 citizens of federally recognized tribes participated in that event. “Following the White House Tribal Nations Conference, it was clear to me that we must do more to ensure that American Indian students receive an academically rigorous, culturally appropriate education that will prepare them to be productive citizens and leaders in their communities and help to build safer, stronger, healthier, and more prosperous Indian communities,” Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar said.
The government educates more than 44,000 Indian students in 183 schools and two tribal colleges and the Obama Administration has made educational reform and improvements a focus of its assistance efforts in Indian Country. The goal of the Administration’s overall efforts, including the President’s $3 billion investment in Indian Country through the Recovery and reinvestment Act, is to help empower American Indian nations so they can build a future of their choosing.