Thursday, October 8, 2009

Indian Education

Firstly, let's examine the term, "Indian Education." 

I have been working for a public school funded directly by a Title VII, "Indian Education Grant."  After researching through the many 506 student verification forms, one form sparks my memory with the image of an angry scrawl on the top of this form... "WE ARE NOT INDIANS.  WE ARE NOT FROM INDIA."

By no means am I going to openly criticize the name of a grant that funds so many great programs and services to Native American students across the nation, but it does bring that synonymous term, "Indian Education," with "Native Education," into view.

This leads me to think of all the protests going on about changing mascot names of teams due to the derogatory connotations that can arise from being called, "Cleveland Indians," and waving tomahawks or what have you... that the Native community has been in a huge uproar about these mascots for a number of years.. yet the government itself in its education of the Native American population has remained the Bureau of INDIAN Affairs and schools are funded through INDIAN Education.

Anyway, I have only one comment really on Native American Education... that it is alive.  That Native American people are not some black and white picture in a dusty old book.  Native American people are the colorful people in the school yearbooks across the United States.  Native American children are everywhere... whether they have the paperwork to prove it or not.