White House Initiative

American Indian and Alaska Native Education

WHIAIANE big seal

The White House Initiative on American Indian and Alaska Native Education leads the President’s Executive Order 13592, signed December 2, 2011, Improving American Indian and Alaska Native Educational Opportunities and Strengthening Tribal Colleges and Universities.

The Initiative, located within the Department of Education, seeks to support activities that will strengthen the Nation by expanding education opportunities and improving education outcomes for all American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) students. It is committed to furthering tribal self-determination and ensuring AI/AN students, at all levels of education, have an opportunity to learn their Native languages and histories, receive complete and competitive educations, preparing them for college, careers, and productive and satisfying lives.

Upcoming Events

Announcing the U.S. Department of Education (ED) Tribal Consultation on the
Office of Indian Education’s State Tribal Education Partnership (STEP) program
under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended

Thursday, December 13, 2018
Time: 1:00 – 5:00 p.m. Washington, DC (Eastern Standard Time)

Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian
4th St. & Independence Ave., SW
Washington, DC 20560
Virtual Event (via Adobe Connect webinar and/or toll-free conference call line)

To register for in-person or virtual event participation, please. CLICK HERE

Purpose of Tribal Consultation

In accordance with the U.S. Department of Education’s commitment to engage in regular and meaningful consultation and collaboration with Indian Tribes, a Tribal consultation will be conducted by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Indian Education (OIE), Office of Elementary and Secondary Education (OESE), and the White House Initiative on American Indian and Alaska Native Education (WHIAIANE) regarding the OIE State Tribal Education Partnership (STEP) program. Because FY 2019 would be the first grant competition for the STEP program under the revised program authority under section 6132 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESEA), defining and clarifying definitions in the 2019 notice would qualify for an exemption to the public comment requirements that govern many competitions at the Department. However, in order to establish definitions, priorities, selection criteria, or requirements for future competitions under this statutory authority, OESE is required to undergo notice-and-comment rulemaking through the Federal Register. Therefore, consistent with the Department’s trust responsibility to Tribes and our Tribal Consultation Policy, the OESE will consult with elected officials of federally recognized Tribes to ensure that their views inform OESE’s policy decisions related to the definitions, priorities, selection criteria, and requirements that will govern future competitions, including in FY 2019, under the current statutory authority.

Topics for Consultation include:

Section 6132 of the ESEA authorizes grants to (1) promote Tribal self-determination in education; (2) improve the academic achievement of Indian children and youth; and (3) promote the coordination and collaboration of Tribal educational agencies (TEAs) with State educational agencies (SEAs) and local educational agencies (LEAs) to meet the unique educational and culturally related academic needs of Indian students. The Department is particularly interested in hearing from Tribes about their interest in the option under the STEP program to create TEAs as well as continuing interest in supporting existing TEAs’ partnerships with SEAs and LEAs to administer and coordinate education programs. Specific topics for Tribal consultation will focus on the following questions.

In addition to the discussion topics, the Department is interested in gathering information to support grantee technical assistance on effective strategies for informing and educating prospective partnerships on successful delivery of program objectives. For More Information Contact: Tribalconsultation@ed.gov

Public Comments

There will be specific times for public comments for each consultation. If you would like to provide a comment in person, please sign-up in advance. The “Public Comment” sign-up sheet will be located next to the registration desk. You may also provide written comments, by completing the “Public Comment Card” that will be available during the consultation or you may submit your written comment directly to Tribalconsultation@ed.gov. The deadline for receiving written public comments is January 13, 2019.

Download a PDF of this announcement.


Read voices from Indian Country

Tribal Consultation Policy

The School Environment Listening Sessions Final Report [PDF]

Executive Order 13592