Teaching on a Reservation can be rewarding but also there are issues that the prospective teacher must be ready to deal with similar to what teachers face in inner city schools. Distances can be vast. As an example, it is a six hour drive from Phoenix to Window Rock on the Navajo Reservation, which covers four larger western states. On many reservations there is a lack of housing choice, though many remote locations offer housing to teachers to help with the commute.
If a participant can claim tribal affiliation, then under the Federal Indian Preference Act, they do have priority over equally qualified candidates for the same position in BIE funded schools. Many non identified Indians have chosen to teach on the Reservation and many have made a rewarding career of teaching Indian children for twenty years are more. There are teachers there now who would not think of teaching anywhere else. For the returning veteran who desires to teach on the Reservation it is an opportunity to give back to the Tribe, to share the wealth of knowledge he/she has gained in military service.
There are different types of schools on reservations: Public, Tribal, BIA and Mission. These including boarding schools in some states as well. Depending on the type of school you're interested in, the steps will be different. If you're interested in a public school then you'd go through the school district that oversees the school. For example, in Nevada, the school on the Duck Valley Indian Reservation is part of the Elko County School District. The school on the Walker River Paiute Reservation is part of the Mineral County School District. There is no Indian preference in public schools. If you're interested in a tribal school, you'd apply through the tribe. The Navajo Nation has its own schools and you'd apply for those through the Navajo Nation. If you're interested in a BIA school, you'd apply through the BIA. Pyramid Lake High School is a BIA school where you can apply for positions through the BIA or the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe. If you're interested in a mission school, you'd contact the school directly, through their HR department to find out what their hiring procedures are. Be patient when it comes to time. Many tribes operate on their schedules and one's immediacy is not another's immediacy.
In regards to certification, if the school receives federal funding, teachers must be "highly qualified" per NCLB. Emergency certification procedures will vary depending on the type of school (public, tribal, BIA, mission, etc.), the state where the school is located and the school itself. You will contact the Troops to Teachers state office, where that tribe or reservation is located to clarify that need in regards to public school emergency certification procedures.
Federally Recognized tribes
The following state-by-state listing of Indian tribes or groups are federally recognized and eligible for funding and services from the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), there are currently 566 federally recognized tribes. For more information on federally recognized tribes, click here
. The list also includes Indian tribes or groups that are recognized by the states, when the state has established such authority. This acknowledges their status within the state but does not guarantee funding from the state or the federal government. State-recognized Indian tribes are not federally recognized; however, federally recognized tribes may also be state-recognized.
i | Montana
| New Mexico
| New York
| North Carolina
| North Dakota
| Rhode Island
| South Carolina
| South Dakota