Lakota Country Times: Rosebud Sioux Tribe updates education code

The Rosebud Sioux Tribe's education code was discussed at a forum during the annual Founder’s Day Celebration at Sinte Gleska University in January 2016. Photo by Vi Waln

Rosebud Sioux Tribe Seeks Assistance in Updating Education Code
By Vi Waln
Lakota Country Times Correspondent

ROSEBUD – Staff members from the Tribal Education Department attended a community meeting here to present plans to update the Education Code (Code), which was enacted in 1991.

A power point presentation provided an outline of the Code for community members to view. Tribal Education staff plans to schedule other meetings with tribal citizens over the next several months to seek input, as well as volunteers, to assist with the update process.

This work is made possible through a Bureau of Indian Education (BIE) Tribal Education Department (TED) Grant awarded to Rosebud. Other tribes who received funding are Standing Rock, Navajo Nation, Hopi, Santa Clara Pueblo and Acoma Pueblo. The 3-year grant will enable staff and tribal citizens to work on recommending changes to the Code. Deborah Bordeaux was recently hired as TED Grant Manager.

Drafted into law in 1991, the Code lists 3 purposes:
(1) Preserve, protect, and perpetuate the Tribe. Provide the necessary resources to preserve, protect, and perpetuate the Rosebud Sioux Tribe with its human and land resources;

(2) Promote intra-government understanding and coordination. Provide a means to promote understanding and coordination of branches, agencies, and entities of the Rosebud Sioux Tribal Government on the purposes, standards, and functions of education on the Rosebud Sioux Indian Reservation; and

(3) Make education a good experience and good preparation for life. Make education on the Rosebud Sioux Indian Reservation a good experience and provide a means to prepare tribal members for life on and off the Reservation.

The Code also established the Tribal Education Department. The purposes were used to develop a Mission Statement, which reads “It is the mission of the Education Department to protect and perpetuate the Rosebud Sioux Tribe; to promote intragovernmental understanding and coordination; and to make education a good experience and a good preparation for life.”

The funding will assist the Education Department in strengthening the code through further development with input from local citizens. Volunteers will meet to formulate recommendations in guiding the revision of the Code. This process will allow the tribal membership to actively participate in reforming the Code to better meet the needs of local students. In addition, this process will allow tribal citizens to gain more understanding of how they are affected by the Code.

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A major goal of the revision process is to empower local tribal control of the educational systems serving Lakota children on tribal land. That is, this process will empower the Education Department to further develop expanded control over tribal education. This will be accomplished through discussions with all tribal education entities. The Education Department hopes to establish an Education Consortium, which will include all public, private and tribal schools serving local students.

During the grant period, the Education Department will also provide opportunities to coordinate services with all education providers within the exterior boundaries of the Rosebud Reservation. Meetings will be held to provide educational entities with a better understanding of school governance, administrator mentoring, school finance, business management, human resources, strategic planning, facility planning and policy development as they pertain to the Code.

The Code can be accessed online by visiting the Tribal Education Department website

The public is welcome to leave comments about the Code on the website. For more information, or to sign up as a volunteer to work on the revision, please contact the Education Department at (605) 747-2833(605) 747-2833.

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