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Ferris Saad felt an undeniable call to pursue medicine as a way to address health disparities, particularly in Native American communities. Thanks to a unique mentoring program, Saad spent the summer at the University of Arizona Health Sciences immersed in cancer research as he prepares to apply for medical school.

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Indigenous communities in the U.S. experience a disproportionately higher burden of disease and lower life expectancy than most Americans. Studies cite higher poverty rates, challenging social conditions, mistrust in the delivery of health services and a history of exclusion from clinical research as factors that contribute to these disparities.
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PIERRE, S.D. — Officials from the South Dakota Department of Education this week scrubbed more than a dozen Indigenous-centered learning objectives from the department’s new social studies standards before releasing the document to the public.

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TEMPE, Ariz. — Arizona State University has been awarded two new grants to support education among Arizona’s tribal communities. The Arizona Department of Education is allocating $1 million to the Preparing Educators for Arizona's Indigenous Communities Project. The U.S. Department of Education has allocated $1.4 million to the same project through its Indian Educational Professional Development Program. Both grants reflect the Arizona Board of Regents’ commitment to increase access to higher education and educational attainment throughout Arizona. 

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The lawsuit, filed on behalf of tribes, parents and students, alleges Montana education officials have failed to meet their constitutional mandate to provide Indian Education for All.

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TAHLEQUAH, Okla. — The Cherokee Nation announced on Friday it is providing $150 in clothing assistance for every qualifying Cherokee student regardless of residency or income, with applications accepted beginning Tuesday, July 20.

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DENVER, Colo. — Hundreds of Native American students whose ancestors were forcibly relocated from their homelands throughout the 1800s by the U.S. government will be allowed in-state tuition to Colorado public colleges and universities beginning next June, after a new bill was signed into law earlier this week. 

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TORONTO, Canada — When Indigenous students and professors last week heard that the head of a statue had come down—depicting their school’s namesake, and simultaneously the genocide of Indigenous people in Canada’s residential school system—they felt relief.

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For years, federal law has required all school systems to publicly report how well they help children learn. But the federal government’s own Bureau of Indian Education has failed to do so, despite repeated warnings about the quality of education Native American children receive in its schools.

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LAWRENCE, Kan. — Dr. Ronald Graham, president of Haskell Indian Nations University, was removed by the Bureau of Indian Education last Friday after an internal investigation was revealed he was stifling the free speech rights of students and faculty.