Indian Education

Mission Statement:
The Office of Indian Education works to strengthen and promote positive experiences and educational outcomes for American Indian students statewide.

We work to accomplish this mission by:

  1. Building meaningful relationships
  2. Engaging in timely and courageous conversations
  3. Providing education and professional development
  4. Proposing and supporting policies
  5. Efficiently providing guidance and resources to districts and stakeholders
  6. Actualizing the Ten Minnesota Commitments to Equity

We value:

  1. Language, culture, and the significant and complex history of Indigenous peoples
  2. The input of Minnesota's tribal nations and communities
  3. The perspective of parents and students
  4. The gifts and unique cultural needs of American Indian students
  5. Effective and innovative programming options

Vision Statement:
American Indian students will reach their full potential within their school communities through meaningful, equitable, and targeted educational experiences that affirms and values their unique cultural identities. 

Tribal Consultation Under Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)
Tribal consultation creates opportunities for local educational agencies (LEAs) and tribal leaders to work together on behalf of American Indian students. Consultation allows affected LEAs to gather input from Tribal Nations, fostering the collaboration that is a critical part of improving academic outcomes for American Indian students. Tribal Consultation Guidance provides information on how LEAs can meaningfully consult with Tribal Nations.

Initial Tribal Consultation meetings should start taking place when meeting times and dates have been agreed upon by appropriate officials. The Consultation Foundations: Your First Meeting document outlines what might occur at your first Tribal Consultation meeting. It is suggested that you start with introductions, shared beliefs, and group norms. This foundation will allow for your group to agree on a process for meetings and decision-making. A sample ESSA Process Agreement is provided below, and is intended to help committees come to an agreement about the process the group will adhere to. We have also provided Effective Communication Tips and a sample of a decision-making strategy.

Please review all of the following materials in preparation for this process:
Meaningful Local Engagement Under ESSA: A Handbook for LEA and School Leaders
Consultation Foundations: Your First Meeting 
ESSA Process Agreement
Effective Communication Tips

American Indian Education Aid
Districts, charter and tribal schools that have been identified by the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) as having 20 or more American Indian students are eligible to participate in the American Indian Education Aid program. Administered by MDE, this program uses a per-pupil funding formula to generate aid, with 20 American Indian students generating a base amount of $20,000, and each American Indian student beyond that generating $358. Launched in 2016, the purpose of this program is to increase academic achievement, decrease the drop-out rate, and improve the school climate of American Indian students in an equitable and culturally responsive manner. District, charter and tribal schools will be notified annually of their eligibility, and provided with their American Indian student count and aid estimate.

Program Materials
American Indian Education Aid: Background and Guidance
Letter of Intent 
Indian Education Program Plan: Template 
Indian Education Program Plan Certification Statement
American Indian Parent Advisory Committee Representative Roster
Indian Education Program Plan: Sample Plan

Mail:  Minnesota Department of Education; ATTN: Office of Indian Education; 1500 Highway 36 West, Roseville, MN 55113

American Indian Parent Advisory Committees
Minnesota Statutes, section 124D.78, requires that all Minnesota districts and tribal schools with 10 or more American Indian students have an American Indian Parent Advisory Committee (AIPAC). These committees serve in an advisory role to their school/district and help ensure that American Indian students are receiving culturally relevant and equitable educational opportunities. They are critical to the achievement and success of American Indian students statewide.

Please review the  FY18 American Indian Education Aid Estimate spreadsheet to determine if your district, charter, or tribal school has been identified by MDE as having 10 or more American Indian students. If your district qualifies, you are required to submit formal compliance documentation that includes an AIPAC Resolution of Concurrence or Non-Concurrence as well as an up-to-date AIPAC Representative Roster. All items are due annually March 1. Please submit your items to the Office of Indian Education.

American Indian Parent Advisory Committee/District Compliance Documentation
American Indian Parent Advisory Committee Representative Roster
Submit all required items to Office of Indian Education. If you do not have an AIPAC or are new to this process, its expectations and requirements, please call 651-582-8280.

Ethel Curry American Indian Leadership Scholarship

The Ethel Curry American Indian Leadership Scholarship (ECS) is an annual award program that aids American Indian students in their pursuit of higher education opportunities. Awards generally range from $1,000-$4,000 per academic year, but may vary. Applications may be submitted annually from March 1 to May 31. Applications received outside of this time frame will not be accepted. Please carefully review the eligibility requirements found within the application packet.

Eligibility requirements and full details.

Download application packet.

If you have questions about this scholarship program, please call Kristen Aeikens at 651-582-8558.

American Indian Literature

A Youth and Young Adult Core Book Collection: Connecting to Minnesota English Language Arts Standards Created by the Minnesota American Indian Task Force and St. Catherine University Master of Library and Information Science Program's LIS 7190 Social Justice and Children/YA Literature course, this resource list provides titles and annotated bibliographies for American Indian-authored books connected to the Minnesota English Language Arts standards. This document will be revised on a yearly basis to reflect new books, out-of-print titles, or back-in-print titles. Visit Birchbark Books to view a list of books and prices.

District and School Self-Assessment for Implementing Indian Education

The Office of Indian Education is dedicated to supporting districts and schools to better serve the needs of American Indian students. As such, we are providing a Self-Assessment Rubric for your use. This voluntary rubric will increase the capacity of teachers, Indian educators, and district leaders to create culturally responsive and inclusive educational environments. It is designed to improve organizational, instructional and material capacity for practices that support American Indian students in the state of Minnesota.

Indian Education Curriculum