American Indian/Alaska Native Education

Alaska landscape

The Northwest region serves more than three times the national average of American Indian/Alaska Native students, and improving outcomes for those students is one of NWCC’s and the state education agencies’ (SEA) highest priorities. We create opportunities for state Indian Education directors, other SEA staff members, and regional and national experts to connect and support each other’s work. We also assist with state-specific priorities that promote academic and community success for American Indian/Alaska Native students and honor the indigenous culture and history of the Northwest.

Facilitating a community of practice for our region’s SEA Indian education directors to share resources and lessons learned

Examples of this work include:

  • Convening the Indian education directors to discuss common needs and practices around state mandates for implementing tribal history and sovereignty curricula
  • Disseminating information on policies and legislation related to AI/AN education, including a recent Northwest AI/AN education policy scan developed by NWCC
  • Forming an AI/AN Advisory Board comprising SEA, local education agency (LEA), tribal education agency (TEA), and community members who provide input and guidance on NWCC’s efforts to improve education outcomes for AI/AN students throughout the region
  • Collaborating with the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) and other Comprehensive Centers to co-sponsor a series of workshops on integrating AI/AN education into state ESSA plans

Building the capacity of individual SEA Indian education directors through state-level projects that have regional implications

Examples of this work include:

  • Cofacilitating the development and implementation of AI/AN education state plans for Oregon and Idaho. Recommendations and lessons learned from these states are being disseminated to the other Indian education directors in the region.
  • Increasing the capacity of the Montana SEA to support implementation of Native language immersion programs. This project includes targeted support to the Browning School District and to the Montana Title III coordinator.
  • Facilitating a cross-SEA AI/AN task force at Montana’s Office of Public Instruction. This project is focusing on improving the depth of Indian education integration into the agency’s culture and work.
  • Helping the Washington Indian Education Supervisor implement recent mandates that require public schools to teach tribal history. NWCC is also helping the SEA to support Tribal Compact schools.

For more information about NWCC’s support of Northwest states to improve education for AI/AN students, contact NWCC’s Mike Siebersma, 503.275.9642.

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