According to a report in the Duluth News Tribune, the number of Native American students who are successfully graduating in Duluth, MN is rising. The article interviewed a young man from the Chippewa tribe who was accepted to a welding program in the local community college. He tells the newspaper that his diploma brings a sense of pride to him and his family.

 

Just last year, says the article, the rate of Native American graduation for the Duluth school district was at 71%, which was nearly 20% more than the Minnesota state average. Educators hope this will be a growing trend, since rates are so low nationally, reports US News and World Report.com. There is a special educational program in a Cloquet high school that was highlighted. One of the mentors, Shirley Miner, says that their program’s main goal is for natives to rebuild trust in the national educational system.

 

Their ancestors had to suffer a lot through the years in order to pave the way for future generations, she explains to her young students. When the country was first settled, there were many conflicts between white leaders and indigenous cultures. When these tribes were brutally conquered and forced onto reservations, their young people were forced into boarding schools that stripped them of their cultural identities, the article says. The distrust has been a generational feeling that has affected young Native Americans and their education.

 

When various people were interviewed for the article, they credited the positive changes to Native American school employees, special scholarships, and intercultural education in the schools. In the city of Cloquet, the board of education stays close with tribal groups, including the Anishinaabe and Fond du Lac. The community works together for the students’ success.

 

Teresa Angell, director of the city’s Native American Education program, told the newspaper that they are being even more proactive this year. She and her colleagues pay close attention to student grades and attendance. They stay in contact with students and their parents and identify problems. These issues are confronted in a positive manner, to keep students encouraged in their education, states the article.

 

Credit was also given to hardworking students who get their core development in elementary school. With more Native Americans graduating, more can attend college and work in the careers they want, the article says.

 

Categories: Native American, Native American Education

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