As School Starts, More States Focus on Native American Students
On the Spokane Indian Reservation, in eastern Washington, a group of about 40 public school teachers gathered last month, in a field of reeds that stretched as high as their heads.
Before harvesting the reeds, or tules, to make mats, they prayed. Later, they left tobacco as a gift. By learning the rituals of the Spokane tribe, the teachers of the Wellpinit School District hope to connect the culture to their lessons to get their students — almost all of whom are indigenous — to be more engaged.
In Washington and across the U.S., Native American students struggle more than any other student group to attend school consistently and graduate on time.