Indian Education in Montana



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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. 


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Indian Education for All Website Tour

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 to support American Indian students in their educational journey and work to close the statistical achievement gap.

The American Indian Student Achievement Specialists provide guidance to districts regarding this funding. They are evolving their efforts and emphasize the importance of relationship with a care first attitude needed by every student. Our youth are a model of this. They are highly intelligent and may have different views of success within their communities. We want to find those passions and support those goals of their achievement. We have resources, training and support for districts to lift our American Indian youth towards an exciting future.

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The Tribal Student Achievement, Relations, and Resiliency Unit or TSARR. We will always work 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. 

We hold important roles as a team and provide support and resources when called upon. The Tribal Consultation work bring our Sovereign leaders into a supportive roles as they further engaged in their youth population within education. We strive to unifying the strength of the Tribe and District to benefit the youth. Relationships and resiliency is important as we work with our Communities, Knowledge Keepers, Youth, and Leaders and celebrate our efforts around our Tribal identity and what each Tribe and individual member deem as success. One thing we know, is we know nothing but we will work diligently to support and lift our youth through the guidance of our leaders.