Native Americans Anticipate Educational Impact with Haaland at Helm
Thursday, March 11, 2021
SANTA FE, N.M. -- Native American educators say tribal representation at the highest levels of government will likely encourage more civic engagement and trust in the government.
If Rep. Deb Haaland, D-N.M., is approved for the position of Interior Secretary, she would become the nation's first Native American Cabinet secretary and oversee the Bureau of Indian Education.
Cheryl Crazy Bull, president of the Denver-based American Indian College Fund, said only about 20% of 18- to 24-year-old Native American students are enrolled in college compared with 41% of the overall U.S. population.
She argued it's time they see themselves more broadly represented.
"So I view having a Native person in that Secretary of Interior role as just vital to being able to develop better education," Crazy Bull contended.
On Tuesday, Sen. Steve Daines, R-Mont., and Sen. Cynthia Lummis, R-Wyo., put holds on Haaland's nomination for the job, saying they want more debate on her positions on oil and gas development.
Despite the holds, Haaland is expected to be confirmed.
The latest data show only 16% of Native Americans attain a bachelor's degree or higher and only 9% attain associate degrees.
Crazy Bull pointed out the case can be made for a system that is more responsive to the specific needs of Native students.
"Education in tribal communities is really about upholding identity," Crazy Bull explained. "So, her policies and practices around land and resource use, sacred sites; all those things will impact the education environment for our communities."
In addition to the Bureau of Indian Education, Indian Affairs and the Trust Funds Administration, the Department of Interior under Haaland would oversee about 500 million acres of public land and federal policies affecting the 574 federally recognized tribal governments.
get more stories like this via email
The Nevada primary election is June 14, and early voting starts tomorrow and runs through June 10. Mail balloting is now permanent, so every active …
Democrats in the Florida Legislature are reviving calls for stricter gun-control laws, following the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas. Florida's …
This week, in honor of World Otter Day, conservation groups are looking to raise awareness about efforts to restore sea otters along more areas of …
Health and Wellness
With the unofficial start to summer, pools around Ohio are opening this Memorial Day weekend, and when it comes to swim time, experts encourage …
Memorial Day weekend marks the beginning of water recreation season, and before putting on a swimsuit, Iowa environmental experts say being mindful …
As the nation processes the horrific shooting in Uvalde, where 19 children and two teachers were killed, teachers' unions across Illinois and America …
The cost of heading out of town this Memorial Day weekend will be higher than past years, with higher gas prices and inflation hitting travelers…
Health and Wellness
One of Connecticut's largest health systems launched a new resource in Hartford this month, aimed at helping patients access healthy and nutritious …