April 10, 2023

MCF Member March 2023 Briefing: Indigenous Education for All


Tribal Nations and their citizens in Minnesota are invisible to many Minnesotans. Eighty seven (87) percent of U.S. state history standards do not mention Native American history after 1900* — excluding the contemporary lives of Indian Nations who have survived atrocities and are STILL HERE.

During this briefing hosted in collaboration with WASH-MN, we will:

  • Discuss Minnesota’s schools and educational institutions, with a focus on Indigenous people and Tribes. We will focus on why it is necessary to include an authentic educational curriculum, written by the people of the 11 Tribal Nations.
  • Examine the lived experience of one Native American growing up in a community where she did not see her thousands-year-old history reflected in school. Hear the heartwarming reflections of award-winning artist Marlena Myles. Begin to understand how her work is destined to make a change in Minnesota.
  • Learn what is happening at the national level to support Minnesota Native Nations and ensure that a full and accurate historic representation is taught in every school. Waquin Preston, Dine, Navajo Nation and Policy Associate from the National Indian Education Association will share national research on which states currently have a solid foundation and policies in place to support Indigenous Education for All.
  • Hear from Jane Harstad, D.Ed., Director of Minnesota’s Office of American Indian Education about exceptional efforts happening to aid the State of Minnesota’s Department of Education, Indian Education to provide culturally relevant historical content in all disciplines. What are the challenges and barriers presented by those who may not understand the importance of telling all the history of place?
  • Contemplate the roles philanthropy can take to support and promote Indigenous education for all.

Consider viewing these additional resources:

*Source: Reclaiming Native Truth national research, see this report, page 8.
**We Are Still Here – Minnesota (WASH-MN) is a project of Native Governance Center that supports a network of people and organizations committed to the Reclaiming Native Truth research and its findings. Task Force members include experts and leaders in Native Governance, K-12 Education, Pop-Culture & Media, and Philanthropy.

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