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The unique historical relationship between Tribal Nations and the United States government is a special federal-Indian relationship. This federal-Indian relationship was shaped by the United States Constitution and treaties, and as living documents, the United States Constitution and treaties between tribal Nations is the foundation for the special federal “fiduciary” responsibility for the education of Native learners. 

Under various pieces of federal legislation, the United States Congress has stipulated that its responsibility is to ensure that educational programs for all American Indian students and adults meet specific criteria. These programs should (a) focus on high-quality, internationally competitive content and performance standards and (b) reinforce the Indian culture and the Indian community.

To provide the kinds of programs needed to address the educational needs of native learners, school districts need to explore systemic ways of effectively meeting the linguistic and cultural needs of Native American learners. 

The Office of Indian Education in Washington directly offers a number of programs. These programs may be offered to schools through Formula Grants, Demonstration Grants and Professional Development Grants. The Office of Indian Education directly funds these programs to schools. No funds are administered through the Department of Public Instruction.

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North Dakota Department of Public Instruction
Kirsten Baesler, State Superintendent
600 E. Boulevard Avenue, Dept. 201
Bismarck, North Dakota 58505-0440
701/328-2260

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