Executive Order on the White House Initiative on Advancing Educational Equity, Excellence, and Economic Opportunity for Native Americans and Strengthening Tribal Colleges and Universities

By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, it is hereby ordered as follows:

Section 1. Policy. The United States has a unique political and legal relationship with federally recognized Tribal Nations, as set forth in the Constitution of the United States, statutes, treaties, Executive Orders, and court decisions. The Federal Government is committed to protecting the rights and ensuring the well-being of Tribal Nations while respecting Tribal sovereignty and inherent rights of self-determination. In recognition of that commitment and to fulfill the solemn obligations it entails, executive departments and agencies (agencies) must help advance educational equity, excellence, and economic opportunity for Native American students, whether they attend public schools in urban, suburban, or rural communities; are homeschooled; attend primary and secondary schools operated or funded by the Bureau of Indian Education (BIE) of the Department of the Interior; or attend postsecondary educational institutions, including Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs).

For more than a century, the United States imposed educational policies designed to assimilate Native peoples into predominant United States culture that devastated Native American students and their families. Beginning with the Indian Civilization Act of 1819, the United States enacted laws and implemented policies establishing and supporting Indian boarding schools across the Nation. From 1871 onward, federally run Indian boarding schools were used to culturally assimilate Native American children who were forcibly removed from their families and communities and relocated to distant residential facilities where their Native identities, […]

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