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Editorial: Indian education not just for students

"Article X, Chapter 1 of the Montana Constitution declares that the state "recognizes the distinct and unique cultural heritage of the American Indians and is committed in its educational goals to the preservation of their cultural integrity." That 34-year-old mandate finally is being put into action with support from many educators and tribal members. The Legislature and Gov. Brian Schweitzer last year gave Indian Education for All a significant boost with funding. Teaching children and youth about the diverse cultures represented in our community helps them to appreciate and understand differences.

For example, Billings Public Schools added an Indian history and culture unit to the seventh-grade curriculum. Reporter Laura Tode told readers on Wednesday how students and family members have become teachers themselves in this project. Riverside Middle School students will remember the stories behind making fry bread and performing traditional dances longer than they will recall most textbook readings.

Cultural education isn't just for kids. The intent of having Indian education in Montana public schools clearly is to promote understanding among the public. Check the information box for ideas on cultural and historical learning for the whole family."

Get the Story:
Gazette Opinion: A celebration of diverse local culture (The Billings Gazette 9/21)

Relevant Links:
Big Horn Teacher Projects -
Montana Indian Education Association -
Montana Office of Public Instruction -

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