- Native American education is in a "state of emergency" according to the 2014 Native Youth Report released by the White House last week.
- Generation Indigenous — a new initiative aiming to increase opportunities for Native American youth, including grants for efforts to improve college-and-career-readiness — was announced by President Barack Obama with the report's release.
- The report and the new initiative are unprecedented, according to National Indian Education Association Executive Director Ahniwake Rose, who told The Huffington Post that no sitting U.S. President has discussed Indian education since John F. Kennedy.
The Huffington Post reviewed the report and pulled out four key findings that illuminate the current state of affairs: Politicians as recently as 1944 were focused on having Native Americans learn the "white man’s way of life,' a majority of school-age Native Americans attend public schools, many of the schools operated by the Bureau of Indian Education are in poor condition, and schools lack culturally relevant curriculum for Native American students.
Drugs, alcoholism, poverty, and high infant mortality rates have become commonplace in many reservations, indicating the harm done to the native population over the years, as well as the need to help bring greater education attention and resources to these regions.
The report follows Obama's June visit to the Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Nation in Cannon Ball, ND. That was the president's first visit to a reservation since entering the Oval Office and was explained by the White House as a necessary trip to show his commitment to "upholding our strong and crucial nation-to-nation relationship."