The South Dakota Department of Education (SD DOE) and the South Dakota Department of Tribal Relations, Office of Indian Education (SD DTR-OIE) are working to examine and improve the systemic supports available to Native American students and communities. This work is guided by the following opportunity statement:
Traditional Western educational systems perpetuate, and in some cases exacerbate, inequities in opportunities for Native American students and communities. Systems are fragmented, with educators who serve Native American students at the intersection of different requirements, regulations, funding opportunities, and constraints. These factors inhibit the capacity of educators to pursue evidence-based educational practices and approaches. However, they also present an opportunity to examine the “bright spots,” where despite these conditions educators embrace the intelligence of Native American children, use educational practices that draw from and build on Indigenous knowledge, and reduce inequities.
R11CC will collaborate with the SD DOE and the SD DTR-OIE to identify existing practices associated with positive Native American student outcomes in South Dakota schools. R11CC, the SD DOE, and the SD DTR-OIE will work with stakeholders such as tribal education agencies, the Indian Education Advisory Council, the Bureau of Indian Education, districts, and schools to improve their capacity to define, implement, and share practices and interventions that are culturally responsive and improve Native American student achievement and success. Long-term outcomes associated with this project include increased kinship, harmony, and cultural empathy between Native American and non-Native American South Dakotans; a scaled implementation of the Oceti Sakowin Essential Understandings and Standards and other evidence-based practices for teaching Indigenous knowledge; increased reciprocity and reduced institutional barriers to collaboration among agencies; and increased Native American student academic achievement scores.
This resource is intended to support state education agency (SEA) staff members as they build partnerships with tribal leaders to improve educational outcomes for Native students.
A Survey and Assessment of Culturally Based Education Programs for Native American Students in the United States
A review of the programs in the survey indicated that there were five types of culturally based education programs and four types of programs that were not culturally based.
R11CC recently welcomed a new South Dakota Lead for the Bright Spots Project. Dr. Dorothy Aguilera-Black Bear brings a wealth of research and practitioner knowledge in culturally responsive education for preK–12 schools, and nonprofit sector experience in youth and community
This brief defines the variables a state or district leadership team might consider as they determine if they are “ready” to invest in the scaling‐up of an innovation in education.
AARs can assist schools and districts in identifying the lessons learned from previous summer and extended learning programs, as well as from current attempts at hybrid and remote learning.
This research brief highlights the need for, and the importance of, implementing TI approaches in rural school communities, and shares recommendations for planning and implementation by schools and districts.