Equal Access to Education

POLICY STATEMENT

Traditional education was imbedded in the lifestyle of Alaska Native peoples, as our very survival depended on it. Listening, following instruction, and mentorship were all highly prioritized skills. However, territorial boarding schools were introduced and designed to eliminate rather than nurture Alaska Native cultures, knowledges, and languages. As a result, Alaska Natives continue to face challenges in all levels of education in western settings. Even though multiple studies show that fostering Native peoples’ cultural identity in school results in academic success, this is not happening in Alaska.

  • From preschool to college, curriculum must include Alaska Native history, peoples, cultures and languages – including the true history not the hallmark greeting card version of history.
  • We ask the Alaska state legislature to fully fund education for all Alaskans no matter where they live and to hold harmless the student minimum count.
  • We support policies and candidates who seek to increase the amount of Alaskan and Alaska Native teachers, and to retain rural teachers, principals and administrators.
  • We seek to engage citizen participation in school district elections and to run candidates and get out the vote for leaders at all levels who support strong public education.
  • We support self-determination over education and urge the Governor and Commissioner Johnson to move in this direction.