American Indian and the indigenous populations throughout the United States reside in unique and differing places. Teaching on a reservation can be a life altering experience that will never be forgotten, and often shared. There are 567 tribes recognized by the Bureau of Indian Affairs (Federal Register Vol 81. No 86. May 4, 2016). In addition, there are hundreds more in existence which are not categorized. In 2006, the Bureau of Indian Education was restructured to “provide quality education opportunities from early childhood through life in accordance with a tribe’s need for cultural and economic well-being, in keeping with the wide diversity of Indian tribes and Alaska Native villages as distinct cultural and governmental entities.” Currently the BIE serves 183 schools in 23 states serving more than 42,000 American Indian students, of these: 58 are BIE operated and 125 are tribally operated under contracts or grants. These may include residential boarding schools in the more remote areas.
||Troops to Teachers Native American Affairs assists participants who desire to teach either with a BIE school or teach within a public school residing on or near a designated reservation, nation, village, rancheria, pueblo, or community with a high population of indigenous students, in attaining necessary teaching credentials, counseling, job preparation and placement. TTTNAA also assists those education entities into locating those participants who meet the each need with the highest qualified, experienced leaders which best fit the qualifications and dynamics of the school, tribe and community.
Applying for a position with a BIE school requires the applicant to go through the BIE hiring process. Applying for a position in a public school requires application through the school or district’s hiring process. In most cases, teacher credentialing is the same for teaching on a reservation as any other school within the state. Those requirements are located on each state’s teacher licensing website. If the applicant can provide documentation of tribal membership, they will be given hiring preference in BIE schools under the Indian Preference Act. Most schools on reservations also quality for Title I funding.
Teaching on a reservation or with American Indian students can bring rewards not found in any other school. Being our nation’s first people, each tribe brings their own unique customs, traditions and dynamics that can only be learned by being entrenched in it. Participants will learn the language, value of family, different beliefs, honor and pride that the Native American people like to share with those who are open to learning. By studying dance, art, music, communication and ties to the earth, one can only be proud of the richness in heritage that continues into each generation. Each tribe, in each state, has their own sense of self with tradition and history that make each special and valued.
Troops to Teachers participants may elect to live on a rural piece of land on the Navajo Nation which now crosses the borders of three states and covers nearly 28,000 square miles, and the nearest grocery store is an hour away, or teach in a school with a higher population of Native American youth outside a smaller reservation in Florida which is just over an acre in size. The landscapes, vastness, peace, culture, tradition, history is not without the challenges found there as well, which come with any other rural school, and it takes a special person to know that this is where they want to be.
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