Skip to Content

American Indian / Alaska Native


Read NEA President Lily Eskelsen Garcia’s statement on the protests at Standing Rock and see below for ways you can help. A message from our partner National Indian Education Association (

Defenders of the Sacred Water School Needs Your Help

The Defenders of the Water School has been set up for the youth water protectors at the Sacred Stone Camp. Certified teachers, artists, musicians, and other volunteers are sharing their expertise in western and traditional subjects. To ensure the school has the supplies necessary to sustain the camp, they are in need of the following materials:

  • Curricular materials in 'core subject' areas (such as worksheets and lesson plans);
  • Art supplies;
  • Drum Materials;
  • Activity supplies (basketballs, soccer balls, kickballs);
  • Pencils/sharpeners and writing supplies;
  • Storage containers/shelving.
  • All donations should be sent to:
    Standing Rock Sioux Tribe
    Attention: Donations
    PO Box D
    Building #1
    North Standing Rock Avenue
    Fort Yates, ND 58538

    Native Nations and American Schools

    The History of Natives in the American Education System shares information about the historical context and current status of Native Education. This document serves as a guide for educators to utilize responsive education strategies and understand their Native students.
    This publication provides:

    • An Essential Understanding of Native Education
    • Promising Practices in Native Education
    • Key Native Education Legislation and Executive Orders
    • Current State of Native Education
    • Resources

    Bullying Emerges As a Contributing Factor: The Scourge of Suicides among American Indian and Alaska Native Youth

    The suicide of a child or teenager is sad beyond words for any people. And multiple youth suicides send ripples of hopelessness and despair throughout the community inwhich it occurs. Read the full report here. (PDF)

    US reviewing UN declaration on native rights

    The United States has said it is reviewing its opposition to a 2007 UN declaration enshrining the land, resource and human rights of the world's 370 million indigenous peoples.

    NEA shines light on ‘invisibility factor’ experienced by AI/AN students

    Provides resources for National American Indian Heritage Month

    Celebrating American Indian Heritage Boosts Achievement

    Learning and preserving their history and culture is key to Native American student success

    Law Inhibits Growth of Indigenous Teachers

    Learn more about the loss of indigenous teachers.

    Native Trailblazers

    Highlighting the lives of contemporary Native Americans.

    NEA President Discusses American Indian/Alaska Native Education Issues

    NEA President Dennis Van Roekel delivered a message of hope, collaboration and cultural preservation during the American Indian/Alaska Native Issues Conference.

    A PBS provocative five-part mini-series and multi-media project that establishes Native history as an essential part of American history.

American Indians/Alaska Natives (AIANs) are the indigenous people of this land. While many native people have migrated to different locations, there is archeological evidence of inhabitants on the North American continent for over 10,000 years. Because of this AIANs have a strong attachment to place.

American Indians maintain a unique status as soverign nations within a nation due to the treaties signed with the U.S. government.

The United States recognizes tribal rights as sovereign in Article 6 of the U.S. Constitution. Treaties guarantee tribes their lands and certain rights including hunting and fishing in usual and accustomed places and economic development on their lands. This also explains why a few tribes have established gaming casinos as one means of economic development.

There is tremendous diversity within the AIAN population. Though AIANs comprise 1 percent of the total U.S. population, they represent 50 percent of the nation's languages and cultures. There are 562 tribes in the United States.

American Indian and Alaska Native languages and cultures exist nowhere else on the face of the Earth, and too many are in jeopardy of disappearing altogether. Policy and resources are needed to restore and preserve native languages and cultures.

Over 93 percent of AIAN students attend public schools. Less than 10 percent of AIAN students attend Bureau of Indian Affairs schools, which is a system of 184 schools spread over 23 states.

The AIAN community faces educational issues similar to other minority groups, including the need for adequate funding for schools serving minority and disadvantaged students
Regaining and maintaining the right of self-determination and governance
There are 4 million U.S. citizens who identified themselves as having AIAN ancestry
The schools receiving the first grants as Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander Serving Institutions


Native Nations and American Schools: The History of Natives in the American Education System

Native Education 101: Basic facts about the education of American Indians, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians. (1st ed.) Authored and copyrighted by the National Indian Education Association (2016).

This document serves as a guide for educators to utilize responsive education strategies and understand their Native students



NEW: Lessons of Our Land,  a curriculum developed to offer quality Indian land tenure educational opportunities for Head Start, K-12, college, adult and community education, tribal leaders and Indian landowners. Find out more! 

  • This is Why We Are
  • anc_dyn_linksNative Americans with Disabilities Don't Get Services