Native News Network Staff in Native Currents. Discussion »
Quinton Roman Nose
WASHINGTON - Now, more than ever, Native communities should now have the choice of "excellent education" for their students, declared National Indian Education Association President Quinton Roman Nose during today's State of Native Education Address at the 15th Annual National Indian Education Association Legislative Summit. The speech is the rallying call for all American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian nations, tribes, and communities to improve and reform education, at the leading advocacy and thought-leadership event for improving educational excellence, opportunity, quality, and cultural relevance for native children.
The State of Native Education Address comes at a critical time for Native communities and for the United States as a whole. Just half of American Indian and Alaska Native high-school freshmen will graduate on time. Native tribes, bands, and nations are struggling with the lack of high-quality, culturally-based school opportunities. And Native communities are concerned with the prospects of reductions in federal spending - highlighted by the unveiling this week of the Obama administration's budget proposals for the coming fiscal year.
At the same time, President Barack Obama's move last year to improve education for American Indian and Alaska Native students provides new opportunities to help Native students succeed. Through Executive Order 13592, the US Department of Education and the Department of the Interior are working together to expand the capacity of tribal colleges and universities, and stem the impact of America's high school dropout crisis on American Indian and Alaska Native students.
During his speech, Roman Nose touched upon the need for the federal government to meet its Trust responsibility to American Indian communities as outlined in the Constitution and in treaties the United States has with tribes and nations. This includes making strong investments in Indian Education Programs that can help Native communities improve education for their children and reverse centuries of damage done by past federal Indian education policies.
Roman Nose also shared NIEA's 2012 Legislative Agenda, which focuses on bolstering Tribal control of schools on reservations, investing in revitalizing Native cultures and languages, developing and retaining effective Native teachers, administrators, and leaders, helping Native students in every part of the country, and assuring stronger federal support of Indian education. This includes advocating for the passage of the Native Culture, Language and Access for Success in Schools (Native CLASS) Act, which, if passed, would be part of Title VII of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act/No Child Left Behind Act, and would support partnerships between State Education Agencies and Tribal Education Departments.
Passing the Native CLASS Act, along with other advocacy efforts, would help all Native students, no matter if they are on the reservation or living in urban communities. More than half of American Indian and Alaska Native students live in urban, suburban, and rural communities outside of reservations. Declared Roman Nose: "We do not forget our people, no matter where they're at. The whole United States is Indian Country."
Finally, Roman Nose made clear that it is time for Native communities to control the direction of education for their students and ensure that they get high-quality teaching and culturally-based curriculum they need for lifelong success. Said Roman Nose: "Now it's time for us to choose education that is excellent and is based on our traditions. And this is especially important in an age in which the success of our communities - and the preservation of our languages - will be based on what we know and how we use the technologies of the future."
posted February 14, 2012 6:00 am est
Thank you for visiting. We are loading the new Native News Network website. Visitors always come first, so if you click on a link only to find the corresponding page is unavailable, please use this link to contact us here ».
Then, tell us how we can help you.
I will contact you personally.