Indigenous students have the right to a quality education that meets their cultural needs.
For far too long, policies from both the federal and state governments have given way to policies that have resulted in Indigenous students facing immense systemic barriers. Undoing these barriers means investing in tribal education now and for future generations to come.
This legislative session, New Mexico has an incredible opportunity to invest in a better path for Indigenous students in the communities where they live.
House Bill 140, the Tribal Education Trust Fund, creates permanent, sustainable revenue for Tribal Education Departments to create community-based supports that will improve access to a better education in the communities where Indigenous students live.
This will enable both the state and Tribes to fulfill their shared responsibility for preparing Indigenous students for college, career, and civics in both Indigenous and U.S. societies, consistent with their dual citizenship. By investing in a Tribal Education Trust Fund, New Mexico can create balanced, effective education systems for Indigenous students.
Indigenous students have the right to an equitable and culturally relevant education that enables them to thrive in the two worlds they inhabit: their tribal communities and society at large. One is a world with few resources but rich in culture, the other has a wealth of opportunities but few options for Indigenous students.
- Undoing the systemic barriers facing Indigenous students and programs that have sought to erase Indigenous identity means investing in tribal education now and for future generations to come.
- The Tribal Education Trust fund would help ensure the preservation of Indigenous culture and languages by investing in tribal community-based education.
- This investment will grow over time and create value for the state and the fund beneficiaries.
While the Legislative Education Study Committee has endorsed the Tribal Education Trust Fund, it’s now imperative for the New Mexico legislature and Governor Michelle Grisham to invest in stable and consistent funding for Tribes to support Indigenous students and live up to the Yazzie/Martinez ruling.
How You Can Help
Contact your lawmakers and tell them to pass the Tribal Education Trust Fund.
Find your lawmakers and their contact information at this link.