Governor Kristi Noem, and the state’s Department of Education, have gotten behind a new set of K-12 social studies standards, that are being criticized by those who believe the standards overlook historical events deemed controversial. The methods for the new standards have their roots in a conservative educational movement, known as the ‘1776 Project.’ This was the Trump administration’s response to other educational movements that focused on historic societal ills like the genocide and assimilation of Native Americans. The ACLU of South Dakota is calling out the new standards for ignoring Tribal input in the teaching of indigenous history and culture.
Native American youth in the U.S. experience higher rates of depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease compared to their non-Indigenous counterparts. But a research team led by an Indigenous faculty member from the University of Missouri School of Medicine found Cherokee youth who participated in an educational program designed to connect them to their history, language and culture experienced statistically significant benefits to their health and well-being.
A new indigenous-led nonprofit mentoring program Friend of Children opens the first Native American “He Sapa” chapter in Rapid City. The mentoring program is in partnership with the Oglala Sioux Tribe. The executive director of Friends of the Children says this will help ensure that youth are supported from age 4 through high school graduation. “This is the first indigenous cultural specific site for friends of the children,” said Valeriah Big Eagle, the program’s executive director.