|Left to right: Jeff Sarro and Victor Walter (Bois Forte Ojibwe) are foster parents to Native children. Photo courtesy of The Circle.|
“It’s really a difficult task to figure out what they know and how you can support it,” said Victor Walter (Bois Fort Ojibwe), foster parent. “Whether it’s going to powwows, putting out a spirit plate at meals, smudging or sweat lodges…you really have to find out what the kids are used to and at least support that. If you can, surpass it.”
Read more at The Circle.
Native parents vote on efficacy of American Indian Education in schools
In 2015, the state of Minnesota established an American Indian Education Aid program in order to provide more culturally informed teaching to Native students. The program includes an American Indian Parent Advisory Committee in each district comprised of Native parents and students who cast a yearly vote on whether or not the program is meeting cultural needs. Many Native parents have expressed enthusiasm for having a vote on the educational programming for their children, especially around Native representation in American history and sufficient cultural trainings for teachers.
“What it amounts to is there’s a mistrust of the education system by Native Americans because it’s been used as a weapon of assimilation. So when parents are distrustful of a system that in the past has not treated their students well, it’s hard for them to advocate and be proponents of educational change,” said Jane Harstad, director of the Office of Indian Education at the state Department of Education.
Read more on this story at MinnPost.