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Resurgence: Restructuring Urban American Indian Education

This report – the first of its kind – highlights the challenges facing urban Native American youth in public schools and showcases seven alternative public education programs that are having a positive impact in addressing these challenges.

The report, Resurgence: Restructuring Urban American Indian Education, was released today by the National Urban Indian Family Coalition (NUIFC). It tracks the history of the U.S. public education system’s relationship with Native American communities and the on-going disparities that exist within academic achievement data for urban American Indian students, commonly referred to as “the achievement gap.” The report acknowledges that educators and administrators have worked tirelessly with policy officials and the philanthropic community to reform the system to close this achievement gap, but it still persists for all students of color and is especially bleak for urban American Indian students.

The report identifies six major urban centers that have high concentrations of American Indian students who attend local public schools and investigates seven alternative education programs being offered to these students in each place. These alternative education programs leverage traditional indigenous culture as a means of securing academic achievement and have earned respect and wide-spread support by the urban American Indian communities that they serve.

The six major urban centers included in the report: Denver, Colorado; Seattle, Washington; Albuquerque, New Mexico; Portland, Oregon; Minneapolis, Minnesota and Los Angeles, California.