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Indigenous Education Task Force holds community meeting

Indigenous Education Task Force Community Meeting
Indigenous Education Task Force Community Meeting at General Beadle Elementary School.

Rapid City Area Schools has the highest number of Native American students than any other district.

The Rapid City Area School’s Title VI Indian Education Parent Advisory Committee (PAC) held a community meeting at General Beadle Elementary to discuss the education experience for its indigenous students.

The goal is to develop and learn through community input and offer recommendations for improving the educational experience for all students.

Native American parents, teachers, and others offered testimony about their experiences with Rapid City Area Schools (RCAS).

Title VI Indian Education PAC was successful earlier this school year in implementing the first Lakota Immersion Kindergarten Class at Canyon Lake Elementary.

This current dialogue looks to expand this type of curriculum on Lakota culture, heritage, and values.

Angel Lee, Title VI (SIX) Indian Education Manager of the Office of Indian Education for the district, said it’s important to have community dialogue because it teaches identity and pride.

“Rapid City Area Schools does have the highest number of Native American students in any district, which is important because they are off the reservation in a public school system and those supports are needed," said Lee. "We heard from parents tonight that discussed about those identities that they need and the lack of cultural knowledge that students might need and might need assistance to give them identity, purpose, voice…those types of things that help us as native people."

Those that participated were offered a traditional Lakota meal of soup and frybread. The recommendations from this meeting will be used to advise the next reiteration of the school district’s strategic plan and also the Board of Education.