| Program: || Indian Education Office-Minnesota Department of Children, Families and Learning, St. Paul, MN |
| Contact(s): || Yvonne Novack, Manager: (612) 296-9756 |
| Purpose: || To provide all Minnesota citizens with accurate information about tribes in the state |
In 1996, the Ojibway tribes of Wisconsin and Minnesota asserted their hunting, fishing and gathering rights on ceded territory, resulting in backlash and a growth of hostilities in the area. To restore calm, the Minnesota Department of Children, Families and Learning developed two new initiatives: the American Indian Curricular Frameworks and a new licensing procedure for teachers in the state.
Under the guidance of the American Indian Education Committee (which had been created by the Minnesota Indian Education Act of 1988), a team of educators was formed who could develop a curriculum to be used in conjunction with the Minnesota Graduation Standards/Profile of Learning. (The Minnesota Graduation Standards/Profile of Learning is the set of criteria students much achieve before receiving their diplomas.) Besides having a basic knowledge of science, government, physical health and safety, and geography, students must also demonstrate that they are able to analyze the effect that past and current treaties, agreements and congressional acts have had on Minnesota-based American Indians. In the second initiative, teacher licensure legislation was enacted, requiring beginning elementary and social science teachers to have knowledge of Minnesota Tribal government, history and culture. Teachers are required to take courses in these issues and show competency in the subject.
Outcomes and Significant Accomplishments
Both the American Indian Curricular Frameworks and the new licensing procedure support already-existing programs in the state: the Minnesota Indian Teacher Training Program, a collaborative program between public school districts and higher education institutions to provide scholarships for American Indians who are in teacher training programs, and the American Indian Language and Culture Grants, a program that provides public and tribal schools with activity funds for American Indian and non-Indian students. All of the programs have produced long-term systematic change and diminished misinformation. The American Indian Education Committee has conducted two workshops for teachers and has trained over 100 educators.