NIEA Statement on Oklahoma Teacher Strike


Washington, DC: In response to the teacher strike unfolding in Oklahoma, NIEA President Dr. Jolene Bowman released the following statement:

“All students deserve a quality education regardless of what state they reside in. In the state of Oklahoma, over 100,000 Native students attend public schools. It is clear that the state government has failed to adequately fund the public education system for many years. Stop gap measures to cut funding have been implemented within the state, some districts have reduced the school week to four-days. These measures jeopardize the educational attainment of our students, increase pressure on resource strapped teachers, and place new hardships on families. Years of neglect have undermined education for students and teachers must now stand up for themselves and their students.

With their strike, Oklahoma educators are demanding the state fulfills its’ responsibility and fully fund public schools and provide raises to educators. Funding for textbooks, supplies, and professional development are critical and are necessary to create positive, culturally-responsive learning environments where students can be inspired and thrive.

When teachers do not have the resources and support they need, Native students and all students suffer.”

The National Indian Education Association (NIEA) stands with the teachers who are fighting, not only for themselves but also for the students they serve, by demanding the state of Oklahoma supports a high quality, rigorous, and fully-funded education system.

About The National Indian Education Association (NIEA):

NIEA is the Nation’s most inclusive advocacy organization advancing comprehensive culture-based educational opportunities for American Indians, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians. Formed by Native educators in 1969 to encourage a national discourse on education, NIEA adheres to the organization’s founding principles- to convene educators to explore ways to improve schools and the educational systems serving Native children; to promote the maintenance and continued development of language and cultural programs; and to develop and implement strategies for influencing local, state, and federal policy and decision makers. For more information visit

Friday Job Announcements

Job vacancies are posted on Friday. Some announcements might still appear throughout the week. If you would like your Indian law job posted on Turtle Talk, please email

Hualapai Nation

Associate Judge. NEW Closing date: 3/2/2017.

National Indian Education Association (NIEA)

Tribal Education Specialist, Washington D.C.

National Congress of American Indians (NCAI)

Staff Attorney, Washington D.C. First review 2/21/2017. Open until filled.

Heather Shotton on HuffPo: Indian Education in State of Emergency

Here. An excerpt:

The recent release of Adjusted Cohort Graduation Rate data from the U.S. Department of Education was certainly shocking to the nation. But for American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian communities, the data just confirms that education for our Native students is in a state of emergency.

In nine states — Arizona, Colorado, Minnesota, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, and Washington — the graduation rates for American Indian and Alaska Native students in 2010-2011 are lower than 60 percent. And just 61 percent of Native students served by the U.S. Bureau of Indian Education graduate from high school. Meanwhile in three states, one out of every two Native Hawaiian students graduates on time.

NYTs: Article on Arapaho Language Preservation

From the NYTs:

RIVERTON, Wyo. — At 69, her eyes soft and creased with age, Alvena Oldman remembers how the teachers at St. Stephens boarding school on the Wind River Reservation would strike students with rulers if they dared to talk in their native Arapaho language.

“We were afraid to speak it,” she said. “We knew we would be punished.”

More than a half-century later, only about 200 Arapaho speakers are still alive, and tribal leaders at Wind River, Wyoming’s only Indian reservation, fear their language will not survive. As part of an intensifying effort to save that language, this tribe of 8,791, known as the Northern Arapaho, recently opened a new school where students will be taught in Arapaho. Elders and educators say they hope it will create a new generation of native speakers.

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