Native American Education Analysis

1290 Words 6 Pages
The relationship between the government and the Native American population has experienced problems since America was first settled. There has been a long history of destructive federal policies and actions that have hurt Native communities, increased inequality, and accelerated the loss of tribal cultural traditions (Karaim). The United States has promised Native American tribes the right to self-government and to exist as distinct peoples; the government is also supposed to provide adequate resources to aid the needs of Native citizens and strengthen the inherent sovereignty of tribal nations (Keel). The relationship has experienced troubles, especially in educating young Native Americans. The Native American education system is failing to …show more content…
It is an agency within the U.S. Department of the Interior that directly runs 57 schools for Native American students and supervises 126 tribally controlled schools (Klien). Bureau funded schools serve approximately 42,000 Indian students (“BIA Website”). The Bureau of Indian Affairs states on its website that the BIE’s “mission is to provide quality education opportunities from early childhood through life in accordance with a tribe’s needs for cultural and economic well-being, in keeping with the wide diversity of Indian tribes and Alaska Native villages as distinct cultural and governmental entities” (“BIA Website”). The bureau has the right idea; however, it has “been plagued by ineffective leadership, financial mismanagement and lack of expertise among staff in dealing with tribal schools” (Camera). It has had 33 directors in the last 36 years, and BIE school graduation rates are at just 53 percent (Camera). The BIE website is a government which provides credible information, but might not represent the severity of the conditions of Native American education. The BIE, however, does recognize some of the issues with Native American education and has attempted to enact …show more content…
One proposal is by turning over more authority for the schools to tribes therefore shrinking BIE's role in direct management. It would allow the agency to focus primarily on funding tribal schools and providing assistance on other matters (Karaim). BIE Director Charles Roessel even says that “when tribes take over these programs, they run them better because they have a vested interest because it's their kids, their future, their tribe's future” (Karaim). Incorporating trustworthy people such as family in the education experience provides “the opportunity to bridge gaps, heal wounds, and build trust” (Guillory and Wolverton). Turing over direct control of the schools to tribal leadership would also have enhanced results because they better understand the students (“Can the U.S.”). The tribe can hire a director that will report back to the tribal council and tribe chief (“Can the U.S.”). In order to keep them accountable for the education, the tribe can then report back to the Bureau of Indian Education rather than being managed and put together by various government organizations. While one solution can make a big difference it might take multiple attempts and alternatives to bridge the education gap with native

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