WHEREAS, the National Indian Education Association (NIEA) was established in 1970 for the purpose of advocating, planning, and promoting the unique and special educational needs of American Indians, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians; and
WHEREAS, NIEA, as the largest national Indian organization of American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian educators, administrators, parents, and students in the United States, provides a forum to discuss and act upon issues affecting the education of Indian and Native people; and
WHEREAS, through its unique relationship with Indian nations and tribes, the federal government has established programs and resources to meet the educational needs of American Indians, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians, residing on and off their reserved or non-reserved homelands; and
WHEREAS, NIEA has a long standing policy of supporting Native American immersion schools, Native language instruction and overall integration of culturally responsive education, and this support is reflective of NIEA briefing papers, resolutions, congressional testimony, Administration transition papers, member resolutions, and board actions; and
WHEREAS, there is a need for a comprehensive White House policy statement clarifying the right of Native learners to receive an education in which their heritage language is utilized as the medium of instruction; and
WHEREAS, President Obama has, through Executive Order 13592, committed to providing American Indian and Alaska Native learners an opportunity to learn their Native languages, and President Obama supported immersion efforts in his historic Standing Rock speech as well as provide support for immersion within the Department of Education Blue Print for Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) Reauthorization and Administration officials have submitted congressional testimony to various committees supporting immersion; and
WHEREAS, despite this support there is a need to develop programs and strategies that create more opportunities for immersion educational venues;
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the National Indian Education Association Board members will form a working group comprised of NIEA board members and immersion stakeholders to draft a proposal for White House consideration addressing a comprehensive White House Native language policy statement; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the National Indian Education Association and the working group will identify barriers to full implementation of existing federal statutes that support Native language immersion instruction and offer recommendations to the White House addressing statutory conflicts; and
BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that NIEA will ensure this working group will meet monthly via phone conference/webinar and email and will complete its work within 90 days of October 18, 2014.
I do hereby certify that the following resolution was dully considered and passed by the National Indian Education Association on October 18, 2014 at which a quorum of the membership was present.