In an op-ed piece for Indian Country Today Media Network, the new chairman of the U.S. Senate’s Indian Affairs Committee vowed to seek ways to improve tribal schools and colleges.
U.S. Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., wrote that education is a key for improving lives on Indian reservations.
In Indian country, we have challenges with water sovereignty, crime and housing that must be addressed, but as a former teacher, I know that a good education can lead to a successful life.
You don’t have to be a teacher to understand education’s far-reaching benefits. That includes early childhood education, elementary and secondary school, and a meaningful college degree.
Tester said recent cuts in funding for Native schools “never should have happened. Because when we don’t invest in our kids, they can’t invest in their futures.”
He also called for the teaching of Native culture and languages to remain a key part of that education.
That’s why I recently introduced the Native Language Immersion Student Achievement Act.
My bipartisan bill establishes a grant program to fund Native language education programs throughout Indian country. Because schools in Indian country should not have to choose between teaching math and teaching culture; they should have the resources to do both.
Tester replaced U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., as chairman of the committee.
- Vince Devlin