TUCSON, AZ – Congressman Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ) released the following statement today after the U.S. Department of Interior announced $1.2 million in Sovereignty in Indian Education (SIE) enhancement funds will be awarded to six federally recognized tribes to promote tribal control and operation of Bureau of Indian Education (BIE)-funded schools on their reservations. Three of the six recipients – Gila River Indian Community, Tohono O’Odham Nation and Navajo Nation – are located in Arizona.
“Native American tribes know best when it comes to promoting and preserving the values, traditions and languages that are unique to their heritage,” said Rep. Grijalva. “The funds announced today will increase tribal control over curriculum taught to Native American children, ensuring their distinct cultures and tribal identities are passed down to the next generation.”
Originally recommended in June, 2014 by the American Indian Education Stud Group convened by Secretary of Interior Sally Jewell and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, the funds are intended to empower native populations in preserving tribal identities.
“I commend the Department of Interior and their Bureau of Indian Education for following through on the recommendations of the American Indian Education Study Group,” Grijalva continued. “The $200,000 given to each recipient to create tribally managed school systems will do more than educate young Native Americans – it will ensure the proud history and norms of their ancestors remain intact for future generations.
Funds announced today will be provided to the following six tribes: