Big Fire Law and Policy Group
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Opinion
Editorial: Indian education will benefit all students


"The 2005 Legislature and Gov. Brian Schweitzer made the first substantial state appropriations toward fulfilling the Indian education goal stated in the Montana Constitution 30 years ago.

Over the next two years, $4.4 million will be available to develop educational materials, provide teacher training and promote the inclusion of Indian history, language and culture in Montana public school curricula. State Superintendent of Public Instruction Linda McCulloch said the Legislature gave directions on how the appropriations are to be used: One will fund book-length histories of each of Montana's 12 Indian tribes to be written by tribal colleges. Another appropriation authorizes grants to Montana public schools that already have Indian history and culture components in their curricula to demonstrate the "best practices" of their programs. The Office of Public Instruction will be responsible for using the rest of the money for model curriculum development, teacher education and educational materials.

The infusion of funding should produce a substantial array of educational materials appropriate for K-12 classes. We encourage local school leaders and educators to embrace this new opportunity to enrich student knowledge of our state and its people. Students will soon be voters and leaders themselves. They need to understand our state's story, including the integral role of Montana Indians."

Get the Story:
Gazette opinion: Indian ed will enrich all students (The Billings Gazette 5/9)

Relevant Links:
Montana Indian Education Association - http://www.mtiea.org
Montana Office of Public Instruction - http://www.opi.state.mt.us

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