- Associated Press - Friday, July 10, 2015

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - The Standing Rock Sioux is one of seven tribes nationwide sharing a nearly $1.5 million federal grant to improve education and school governance.

The announcement of the Bureau of Indian Education grant coincided with a first-of-its-kind Native American youth summit called by the White House this week. The event was part of Generation Indigenous, a White House initiative that grew from President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama’s visit last year to the Standing Rock Reservation, which straddles the North Dakota-South Dakota border.

The goal of the initiative is to remove barriers that keep young people from reaching their potential.

The Standing Rock tribe will use its portion of the grant money to implement a student data collection system for the 10 schools on the reservation and a new education code. The code includes such things as teacher qualification rules and standards for various academic subjects including Dakota and Lakota languages and culture.

“It’s going to provide us with some resources,” tribal Education Director Emma Jean Blue Earth told The Bismarck Tribune. “We need it.”

North Dakota’s U.S. senators, Republican John Hoeven and Democrat Heidi Heitkamp, said in statements that the grant program will help provide better opportunities for American Indian students.

“Education is a vital part of ensuring our children have a bright future,” said Hoeven, a member of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee.


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