U.S. Department of Education Announces Upcoming Cities on its First-Ever School Environment Listening Tour for American Indian Students
William Mendoza, executive director, The White House Initiative on American Indian and Alaska Native Education
WASHINGTON — The White House Initiative on American Indian and Alaska Native Education has announced additional locations it will visit during its first-ever School Environment Listening Tour. The White House Initiative on American Indian and Alaska Native Education will hear from schools and communities on ways to better meet the unique educational and culturally-related academic needs of American Indian students.
These cities and dates are:
La Crosse, Wisconsin – October 26
Troy, New York – November 5
Seattle, Washington – November 7
Los Angeles, California – November 13
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma – November 18
East Lansing, Michigan – November 19
Tulsa, Oklahoma – November 21
The listening sessions are focusing on school environment issues — bullying, student discipline and offensive imagery and symbolism. The White House Initiative on American Indian and Alaska Native Education is gathering feedback during the tour and will consider how it can inform future action to ensure Native American students receive a high quality education.
The first listening session was held October 10, in Franklin, Wisconsin, at the Indian Community School of Milwaukee, and a second session was held October 21, in Anchorage, Alaska at the Dena’ina Civic and Convention Center.
“We hope these sessions will serve as a meaningful resource to the Native community as my office and the Administration work to ensure that American Indian and Alaska Native students have equitable educational opportunities in healthy learning environments,” said William Mendoza, executive director of the White House Initiative on American Indian and Alaska Native Education. “Indian students have unique education challenges as they strive to preserve their native cultures and languages, while ensuring that they are college and career ready.”
In his June 13, 2014 visit to Standing Rock Indian Reservation in North Dakota, President Obama affirmed the Administration’s commitment to strengthen Native American communities through education and economic development. His initiative, “My Brother’s Keeper,” ensures that schools can provide the social, emotional, and behavioral supports for all youth—including boys and young men of color—that will enable all students to graduate from high school ready for college and careers.
The White House Initiative on American Indian and Alaska Native Education and the Department’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) are committed to supporting school districts, states, tribes and other organizations as they seek to better serve Native American students and ensure that all students have equal opportunities and resources in order to learn and succeed in school, careers and in life. OCR recently released guidance to educators on Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964to ensure that all students have equitable access to the resources that they deserve – and that are their right – such as academic and extracurricular programs, strong teaching, facilities, and instructional materials. Administration officials and U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan have engaged directly with tribal officials on a range of educational issues important to Indian Country.
More information about the listening tour and tribal consultations can be found at www.edtribalconsultations.org.