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American Indians/Alaska Natives


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.

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

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.


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! 

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