IMPROVING AMERICAN INDIAN, ALASKA NATIVE, AND NATIVE HAWAIIAN STUDENT IDENTIFICATION AT PUBLIC K-12 AND HIGHER EDUCATION INSTITUTIONS

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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;

WHEREAS, American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian populations are often identified by the various federal and states agencies as a minority and the smallest ethnic group in the United States; and

WHEREAS, steps have been taken by American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian leadership to educate federal and state agencies about the unique role of tribes and to promote Indian self-determination on a government-to-government basis and to be consulted on issues significant to Indian Country; and

WHEREAS, American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian students, families, and staff in the public K-12 and higher education levels are impacted by the student registration and identification processes which uses a variety of the federal and state registration forms for specific purposes; i.e., Title VI, Indian Education 506, Johnson O’Malley Certificate of Indian Blood, Migrant Education, Impact Aid, Higher Education and an array of other forms for services; and

WHEREAS, research suggests that Native students taught by Native educators who are grounded in language and culture experience increased student performance; and

WHEREAS, the range of state and federal registration forms and processes has caused some of the misidentification of Indian students who are then under-represented and ineligible for various educational services and opportunities; and

WHEREAS, steps have been or are being taken at state levels to improve the student registration and identification procedures of students from the tribes; however, the need exists for federal student registration forms to be consistently applied in the aforementioned institutions.

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the NIEA appeals to the various federal agencies including, but not limited to, the U.S. Department of Education, U.S. Department of Interior, Office of Management and Budget, U.S. Census Bureau, and state agencies to take the necessary steps to engage American Indians, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians to correct and improve the identification processes for American Indian, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian students to achieve equitable and optimal educational opportunities for students; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that NIEA does hereby support the current goal of American Indians, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians to address the misidentification and under-representation of Indian students through local and regional collaboration being conducted with state and federal agencies;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NIEA staff shall take action within two weeks of the approval of this resolution to express the priorities explained in this resolution; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that this resolution shall be the policy of NIEA until it is withdrawn or modified by subsequent resolution.

CERTIFICATION

I do hereby certify that the following resolution was dully considered and passed by the National Indian Education Association on October 7th, 2016 at which a quorum of the membership was present.

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