January 9th marked the first Governor’s American Indian Education summit hosted by Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton. He started the daylong meeting between the state and several tribes by saying “something is missing,” reports the Star Tribune. “Something is either not there that should be there or is there and is being misdirected, and that’s the purpose of this summit.”
The summit featured two keynote speakers: Dr. Denise Juneau, state superintendent of Montana’s Office of Public Instruction, and Commissioner Kevin Lindsey, of the Minnesota Department of Human Rights.
The Tribune reported that while many Minnesota officials have tried to tackle the problem of Native Americans underperforming their white peers in the past, this is the first time they have tried working side by side with the 11 tribes in the state.
While Dayton doesn’t think he will be able to resolve anything in his remaining three years in office, the wheels toward improvement have been set in motion.
The state education department will hire an Indian education director and has agreed to keep the tribes up to speed on all developments relating to Native American students.
According to the Tribune, a detailed plan is expected in the coming weeks.
Read the full story at StarTribune.com.