August 6, 1998

For Further Information Contact: Melody McCoy, (303) 447-8760


~Historic Announcement Will Direct Sweeping Changes in Indian Education~

WASHINGTON, DC – President Clinton today delivered the first comprehensive Executive Order on Indian Education, providing national guidelines to improve the way federal agencies coordinate dozens of Indian education programs. The Executive Order on Indian Education is the result of more than four years of focused efforts by the Native American Rights Fund, the National Congress of American Indians, the National Indian Education Association and the National Advisory Council on Indian Education in cooperation with the Clinton Administration. The Executive Order will ensure that all American Indian students achieve higher academic success in schools through an environment of increased federal accountability and tribal involvement and control. "The overriding goal of the Executive Order is improve the quality of Indian education starting with the coordination of policy at the federal level, which will ultimately benefit 600,000 American Indian and Alaska Native students of all ages," says Native American Rights Fund Executive Director John Echohawk. "The President's Executive Order on Indian Education will go a long way in ensuring that all federal agencies work with Tribes and Indian communities in every aspect of education from Native languages and cultures to science and technology."

The President issued the Executive Order and made his remarks during an address to more than one thousand American Indian leaders attending a two-day economic conference in Washington, D.C.

The Native American Rights Fund is a non-profit organization that provides legal advice and representation to Indian tribes, individuals and organizations nationwide in the areas of: the preservation of tribal existence; the protection of tribal natural resources; the promotion of human rights; the accountability of governments to Native Americans; and the development of Indian law. NARF is headquartered in Boulder, Colorado with offices in Washington, DC and Anchorage, Alaska.