P.O. Box 202501 • Helena, MT 59620-2501
Putting Montana Students First
Montana’s constitutional requirement and duly enacted policy require recognition of the distinct and unique cultural heritage of American Indians and a commitment in our educational goals to preserve their cultural heritage. Every Montanan, whether Indian or non-Indian, should be encouraged to learn about the distinct and unique heritage of American Indians in a culturally responsive manner. The OPI Indian Education for All (IEFA) Unit works with districts, tribes, and other entities to ensure all schools have the knowledge, tools and resources necessary to honor the IEFA requirement and integrate it into their teaching materials and methods.
Meet the Team & Access IEFA Resources
In 2007, the Montana State Legislature passed Montana Code Annotated 20-9-330, appropriating $200 per American Indian child, totaling over $3 million dollars per year, to provide funding to school districts for the purpose of closing the educational achievement gap that exists between American Indian students and non-Indian students. According to MCA 20-9-330 (2) (a), funds are to be determined by “. . . using the number of American Indian students enrolled in the district based on the count of regularly enrolled students on the first Monday in October of the prior school year as reported to the office of public instruction,” and deposited into the district’s general fund.
The American Indian Student Achievement Unit provides guidance to districts regarding this funding. They have developed resources for districts to close the American Indian student achievement gap.
Meet the Indian Student Achievement Team & Access Resources
Tribal Relations & Resiliency
The Tribal Relations and Resiliency Unit (TRRU) was developed to build relationships and understandings within the Office of Public Instruction (OPI) and Montana school districts to incorporate Tribal voice, share resources and build connections through consultation on matters affecting American Indian students.
Within the TRRU, the Systems of Care Tribal Wraparound Director was absorbed and a new position has been developed state-wide. The School Mental Health Support Services Coordinator will help connect the services and support around Mental Health services while incorporating the experience from work centered in relationships, collaboration, and student services. Another addition is the Language and Culture Specialist. Working to seek guidance from our Communities, Elders, and Leaders to celebrate our tribal efforts around our Tribal identity.
Culture and Language