Education in Indian Country

Education Week looks at Education in Indian Country, specifically the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, home to the Oglala Lakota Nation. Alcoholism is common. Even those who finish high school find few jobs on the reservation.

In California’s San Bernardino Mountains, the Morongo Band of Mission Indians is spending millions of casino revenue to build and run a K-9 school with small classes and up-to-date technology.

Twice a week, tribal elders teach native languages through traditional “bird songs,” which “tell stories, often from the perspectives of birds, of journeys that the Cahuilla people would take from their desert and mountain homes and about the creation of the natural world.”

Each tribe member gets a share of casino profits. (Adults must earn a high school diploma or GED to qualify.) Nobody is poor. The tribe hopes to reverse ” decades of low academic achievement, high dropout rates, and low rates of college attendance and graduation for its children.”

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