Indian Country 52 #43 – School Supplies (BIA)
“Federally owned schools for Native Americans on reservations are marked by remoteness, extreme poverty and a lack of construction dollars. They also are among the nation’s lowest performing.
The Obama administration is pushing ahead with an improvement plan that gives tribes more control. But the effort is complicated by the disrepair of so many buildings, not to mention the federal legacy of forcing American Indian children from their homes to attend boarding schools.
Consider Little Singer Community School, with 81 students on a remote desert outpost. The vision for the school came in the 1970s from a medicine man who wanted area children to attend school locally. Here’s the reality today: a cluster of rundown classroom buildings containing asbestos, radon, mice and mold.
Students often come from families struggling with domestic violence, alcoholism and a lack of running water at home, so nurturing is emphasized. The school provides showers, along with shampoo and washing machines.
Teachers have no housing, so they commute together about 90 minutes each morning on barely passable dirt roads.”
– Yahoo News, Indian schools face decayed buildings, poverty.
“The 183 schools are spread across 23 states and fall under the jurisdiction of the Interior Department’s Bureau of Indian Education.
They are in some of the most out-of-the-way places in America; one is at the bottom of the Grand Canyon, reachable by donkey or helicopter. Most are small, with fewer than 150 students.
Native Americans perform better in schools that are not overseen by the federal bureau than in schools that are, national and state assessments show. Overall, they trail their peers in an important national assessment and struggle with a graduation rate of 68 per cent.
President Barack Obama visited Standing Rock Reservation in North Dakota in June, where he announced the school improvement plan.
Already, tribes manage about 120 schools, and the plan will turn the rest over as Washington shifts to more of a support role.
The plan also calls for more board-certified teachers, better Internet access and less red tape, making it easier to buy books and hire teachers. The Interior Department wants to help schools accelerate the use of Native American languages and culture.
But the rundown state of many schools cannot be ignored.”
– Nation Talk, Federally run Indian schools can’t escape tainted legacy; schools among nation’s lowest.
Download the 18″x24″ poster (.pdf), Indian Country 52 #43 – School Supplies (BIA).
Indian Country 52
Indian Country 52 is a weekly project by David Bernie that uses the medium of graphic design by creating posters that promote issues and stories in Indian Country.
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