October 15, 2003
For Further Information Contact: Melody McCoy, (303) 447-8760
INDIAN LEGAL DEFENSE FUND AWARDED $20,000 GRANT BY U.S. DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION; PUBLIC WELCOME TO AWARD CEREMONY ON SATURDAY, OCTOBER 18, 2003 IN BOULDER, COLORADO
BOULDER, CO – The U.S. Department of Education has awarded a $20,000 grant to the Native American Rights Fund (NARF) to augment NARFs tribal education project by establishing the Tribal Education Departments National Association (TEDNA). TEDNA will be a nonprofit organization composed of American Indian and Alaska Native Tribal Departments of Education.
This award is one of nearly $122 million in grants that will be distributed by the U.S. Department of Educations Office of Indian Education to Indian tribes, organizations, schools, and state and local agencies. Under the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, these grants will help improve educational opportunities for about half a million American Indian and Alaska Native students in areas including professional development, college preparation, and early childhood education.
"For years NARF has been providing the legal infrastructure to ensure federal and state cooperation with tribes in national Indian education efforts," says John Echohawk, NARFs Executive Director. "The creation of TEDNA is a huge and important step. It will be a permanent fellowship where tribal education directors can coalesce, share ideas, and plot the future of tribal education. We appreciate the U.S. Department of Educations and Secretary Rod Paiges recognition of NARFs past work and their help in moving tribal education departments to a new level."
To date, funding for NARFs tribal education department work has been provided primarily by private foundations such as the Carnegie Corporation of New York and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation in Battle Creek, Michigan. The U.S. Department of Educations recent grant is the first time that a federal agency has contributed directly to NARFs and tribes efforts in this area. The new TEDNA will serve over 110 tribal education departments that in turn will serve over 500,000 American Indian and Alaska Native students nationwide.
On Saturday, October 18, 2003, the public is welcome to NARFs national headquarters for a continental breakfast and a check presentation by the Office of Indian Educations Director, Victoria Vasques. In her position, Vasques serves as the principal contact with the federal government for Indian education. She is part Diegueno of the San Pasqual Band of Mission Indians in California.
For more information about the Office of Indian Education and its grants, visit http://www.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ous/oie/contacts.html. For further information contact: Office of Indian Education, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW., Room 3W111, FB-6,