American Indian/Alaska Native Education

Alaska landscape

The Northwest serves more than three times the number of American Indian and Alaska Native students than the national average. For NWCC and state education agencies (SEAs), a top priority is collaborating with schools, communities, and tribes to improve outcomes for Native students and build on their strengths. We create opportunities for state Indian education directors and other SEA staff members, tribal education staff members, and regional and national experts to connect and support one another’s work. We also provide support for state-specific priorities that promote culturally sustaining academic and community success for Native students and honor the Native 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 Indian education directors to discuss common needs and practices related to state mandates for implementing tribal history, culture, and sovereignty curricula.
  • Disseminating information on policies and legislation related to Native education, particularly in the area of tribal consultation, as required under the Every Student Succeeds Act.
  • Collaborating with other Comprehensive Centers in a larger network focused on increasing capacity and the stature of the work across the country. The network maintains a web-based repository of state-specific materials related to Native education, and it operates a mentorship program for new SEA staff members.

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

Examples of this work include:

  • Assisting with the redevelopment and implementation of Oregon’s Native education state plan.
  • Supporting the development of the first Washington state Native Education Advisory Board for the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction.
  • Increasing the capacity of the Montana Office of Public Instruction (OPI) to support implementation of Native language immersion programs. This project includes targeted support to Browning School District and Montana’s Title III coordinator.
  • Facilitating a cross-SEA task force at OPI focused on improving the depth of Indian education integration into the agency’s culture and work.

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