"Robert Cook gave people at a multicultural education convention in Denver a patriotic history lesson that was different from any that most people had heard before.
Cook, president of the Oglala Lakota Indian Education Association, said Saturday that Article I Section 8 and Article VI of the U.S. Constitution ensure rights through treaties for American Indians. That includes the right for American Indian children to receive a good education that will prepare them for college and good careers.
Sadly, however, American Indian schools, with an average age of 60 years, are in horrible condition, and the dropout rate of Native people is disproportionately high.
"Our schools are literally falling apart," Cook told the 19th Annual International Conference of the National Association for Multicultural Education, which ends today. "They don't serve the needs of our students."
He said that more than a billion dollars is needed to fill the backlog of repairs and maintenance. The problem is schools nationwide don't teach the constitutional guarantees for American Indians, including the sovereignty rights of 564 federally recognized American Indian tribes."
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Lewis Diuguid: Education rights for American Indian children need protecting
(The Kansas City Star 11/1)