This video shows Part 1 of the State of Native Education Address delivered by National Indian Education Association President Mary Jane Oatman-Wak Wak February 7 in Washington, D.C. In it she discusses Native languages, how the colonial education system failed and Native educational statistics, and how organizations need to collaborate to help Native youth succeed.
“The Indian education policies have historically had two thrusts–isolation and assimilation. … Indians today are deeply concerned with getting effective and relevant education for our children,” Oatman-Wak Wak says in the address. “We want our educational systems to reflect the tribal values and our way of life and we rightfully feel we ought to have a greater influence and control over our children’s education and the policy that drives the systems.”
In Part 2 of her speech, Oatman-Wak Wak discusses collaboration between federal government organizations and tribal organizations when it comes to Native education, how to restore trust in Native education, and budget cuts that affect the education system.