The U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) has awarded a total of $1.2 million to six federally recognized American Indian tribes to help them take control of and run their own school systems. Three of the tribes are located in Arizona and the remaining three are located in the Ninth Federal Reserve District. Each tribe will receive $200,000 for researching and developing an implementation plan for establishing tribal management of their local school systems, which are funded—and, historically, managed—by the DOI’s Bureau of Indian Education. According to the DOI, the planning funds are intended to help promote tribal self-determination and give tribes greater control over what their children learn.
The funds were allocated under the Sovereignty in Indian Education program, which was established to respond to recommendations made in 2013 by an education-oriented study group convened by the White House Council on Native American Affairs. The six awardees are: Gila River Indian Community, Sacaton, Ariz.; Navajo Nation, Window Rock, Ariz.; Oglala Sioux Tribe, Pine Ridge, S.D.; Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, Fort Yates, N.D.; Tohono O’Odham Nation, Sells, Ariz.; and Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa, Belcourt, N.D.