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SAMUEL PROCTOR ORAL HISTORY PROGRAM at
the University of Florida
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
SAMUEL PROCTOR ORAL HISTORY PROGRAM
INTERVIEWEE: Helen Scheirbeck
INTERVIEWER: Janie Maynor Locklear
November 15, 1972
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
ORAL HISTORY PROGRAM
Interviewee: Helen Scheirbeck
Interviewer: Janie Maynor Locklear
November 15, 1972
In a lecture presented to Adolph Dial's class at Pembroke State University, Mrs. Scheirbeck
discusses the many facets of Indian education, from its beginnings to recent legislation passed
under the Indian Education Act.
L: This is Janie Maynor Locklear with the University of Florida oral history program of the
Doris Duke Foundation at Pembroke State University with Helen Scheirbeck attending
Adolph Dial's class on November 15, 1972.
D: I meet in various meetings and always when they run up against something and want to know
something, they say, "Well, maybe Helen Scheirbeck could tell you about that." I was in
Washington last week and they said, "Mrs. Scheirbeck could get some information on that."
She is all over the country like a flying bumble bee. Mrs. Scheirbeck you can choose your
own topic, she could talk about a dozen or so different topics.
S: I never like to follow anybody, because it means they have to introduce you. It means you
really have to start off with a handicap. I always like to be considered one of the folks and
what have you. I do not need any of those introductions, although it was very nice of you
I have been working along for a number of years now and it is really a lot of fun for me to be
able to come tonight. I said to my boss this morning--I could tell at twelve o'clock that it was
going to be a very bad day. I was scheduled to leave at twelve o'clock. So, I said, "I do not
care what happens, by 3:30 today I am going to catch that airplane. I am very anxious to go
home." It is not often that I have an opportunity to talk with some of our people about some
very interesting Indian affairs. I seem to always get to everybody's else's point of view, but
not to my own. So, I was really looking forward to this meeting this evening.
I did not get an assignment, as Mr. Adolph mentioned. So, I have prepared three or four
ways to approach our evening's discussion. I would like to get some guidance from the class,
because I am much better at informal conversation rather than long prepared speeches. I can
do that, but I would rather hear from you about some of the things you have in mind. I gather
we only have until about 9:30.
We could do a question and answer session informally and then I could talk about the Indian
Education Act. I would like to do that because we are prepared to work right now--put all
of those things together and have it ready by January. I would like to talk about that act and
illustrate how Indian people got busy and got Congress interested in putting forth a piece of
D: Excuse me, do you have copies?
S: Yes, I brought copies for everybody. I thought our young lady said, "put highlights in", but
they did not. These are awfully long copies. The Indian section starts on page 99 and runs
through page 111. I think there are enough copies for everybody. So, I would like to talk
about that and I would also like to talk about the kinds of things that you think are important.
D: Can you give us some background on the law?
S: Yes, I can. I can give you some background on the law. Let me tell you how I prepared my
approach and then let's take a vote and see which way you would like me to go. We could
do two things. I do not know how much you have had in terms of the history of Indian affairs
in the country, both legislatively and legally. I think it is always good to have some insights,
as you sit here in this community and relate to other communities.
If we talk about, what I call the brief history of Indian affairs, I always like to take a map of
the United States and illustrate similar things happening throughout the country at various
periods in time. Because, I think it is just amazing what was happening to the Lumbee in
1820 and what was happening to Indians in Oklahoma at the same time. A lot of times in
American history you never do any comparative thought. You rarely think, "well, this is
happening to the U.S. Indians in 1810; it is happening in North Carolina at the same time; it
is happening over in Oklahoma and in the Dakotas."
If we talked about that, we would also talk about the kind of policy influences that Indians
have had to face. And believe it or not, you can see that among the Lumbee as well as among
federal reservations. Then, the other thing I thought to talk about is the history of educational
efforts in the United States and the background as to how this whole business of educating
the Indians got started; some history and perspectives on that.
Then, I would like to talk about what is happening today. I tend to be a very positive person.
I like for people to know what communities are doing all over the country. It is very easy to
put it in the paper and read that Indians have an eighty percent drop out rate. That figure will
stick in everybody's mind. It is much better, I think, if you realize that drop out rate was
eighty percent about five years ago, but now, that is really changing. What is happening all
over the country to cause that change? I would like to illustrate for you some of the schools
that have been started in various places; elementary schools, secondary schools, and colleges
Then I would like to talk about community education, and its background. Because, I think
it is always important in legislation to know: how it got started; who pushed it or stimulated
it; and how it moves through the Congress. You need to understand the movement, about
legislative context, and how laws go through the Congress, how that affects your life.
Whether you are influencing it or not?
Then, wind up talking about a very important thing that most people do not know. Congress
authorizes a piece of legislation, but then you have to go back and get the money. I got a big
kick out of the Indian legislation, the day that they could not fund it. We had just hundreds
of calls from colleges and universities and state departments saying, "We want to be able to
apply for some of that Indian money. When will your guidelines be ready?" We had to say,
"Well, friends, you know, nobody has put any money into this. Congress has authorized it,
but that does not mean anything." We now have to work on the strategy for getting money
appropriated before it makes any sense to work on it.
So, I think it is important that you know, once a law has passed, what the bureaucracy does
to put it into functional terms. So that you can apply for a grant. Even though you stand to
get some of these programs and then where do you go from here, now that it is legislation.
Now I can talk from either one of these veins. I need your guidance before we take off on
the next step.
D: Mrs. Scheirbeck, I wonder if maybe you could fill us in on the Indian Education Act and say
what the local community and Pembroke State University could do. We have two professors
here, by the way, Dr. Kimm and Dr. Grable, and they would like you to do this. What do you
all think? Do you think that would be one good kind of a discussion?
S: In this sense, I knew you were interested in the demonstration. I should have said that I
brought some letters. Because some of us, as Indians, have been concerned about the
backlash that has been created from those demonstrations and we are planning to do
something about it. So, I did bring some of the materials that we are sending out around the
country and the plan that we put together to try to do something about it. So, I would like
to leave a little time to discuss that. I am sure that it is on your minds. Okay, it sounds like
you would rather have me talk a little bit about education rather than the history of Indian
L: We would like all of it, but we cannot, so you have to set some priorities.
S: We have about an hour?
D: We will probably take a five minute break in the middle. Why do you not go until 8:30 and
then we will take a break. If you would rather sit, feel free.
S: I sit all day and it is very nice to stand. Okay, let me talk a little bit about education and
efforts we need. I am not sure I brought enough of these; I did bring bibliographies along on
Indian education. We have done something for the Red Cross on Indians for children, which
I interviewed in a collective sense in the school systems down here, if you are interested in
looking at those.
If we start to think about when the first approach was made in the United States, in terms of
the education of the Indian, we find that we get into it about 1809. The U. S. Congress
passed a piece of legislation (well, I should not say pass a piece of legislation, tacked on to
an appropriations bill for the Department of Indian Affairs) a ten thousand dollar grant for
what they called a civilization of the American Indian. We jokingly refer to this as the
civilization fund. So, I am going to write this amount of money because later on you will see
how much that has grown as we talk.
So the Congress started off in 1809 giving the superintendent of Indian Affairs, who was then
in the War Department, ten thousand dollars to civilize the savage American Indian. So this
is our first ten thousand dollars. That is tied in a little bit with the way the administration of
the Indian history started in the United States. The federal government called together all the
protestant denominations in the country and called together the Catholics and sat down in
Washington. (I wish we had a map of the Indian country. I just kind of thought you would
have one, Mr. Adolph, so I did not bring one.)
D: Well, that is the nearest thing we would have to it. We do not have any large maps.
S: Well, what Washington did was send for all the protestant denominations and all of the
Catholics and sat down and talked about how they would divide up approaches to civilizing
the Indians. I followed their research on this and it is very interesting to see how that
What happened is, they said to the Episcopalians that they would give them South Dakota.
They would send missionaries to South Dakota and, at that time, they were asking the
missionaries both to work on civilizing and christianizing and running Indian affairs. In other
words, running the programs that the government had started. So, our first superintendents
in Indian country were actually missionaries. That comes to a surprise to most people.
Anyhow, what they did was to divide up Michigan. Jesuits and Catholics took over that area.
Then in North and South Dakota, over here, we had Episcopalians, primarily. The
Southwest, where you have a lot of peddlers--now does your class know tribes?
D: Yes, we talked--we even had a little quiz on the location of various tribes.
S: Okay then, we can use tribal names. In the southwest, then, among the Pueblos, primarily,
and among the Papagos down here, most of the Jesuits or Catholics took over that area. Also
among the Mission Indians of California. In the south it was a very peculiar thing.
Presbyterians started out in the south doing some work with Indians, also of course the
Baptists. It has been very hard for me to find where the Methodists were assigned. There
were not any real documents showing that. But the point that I am really making is, they
brought in most of the religious groups and talked to them about who would educate and
who would christianize the Indians. And really divided up the civilization fund, the ten
thousand dollars and dispersed it in that manner.
The first schools, then, for American Indians were what we called mission schools. These
schools were used really for Indian people and still are today. You still have, I might say,
about 18,000 Indian children who have access to no schools other than mission schools. In
the beginning, most of the options for children were the mission schools. So they started back
in 1809 and they are still going today. They reached their peak between 1809 and about the
Then another type of school came on the horizon which we still have with us today, those are
the boarding schools. When we read the newspaper and it talks about Indian children taken
from their homes at a very young age and sent away to school, we are talking about the
federal boarding schools. Where children are taken from their families and live all year and
go to school.
Now most of us in this community, have heard about two boarding schools because some of
our people went there. Those are Carlisle Indian school (that was the first federal boarding
school in Pennsylvania). That was started, I think, in the late 1860's, during the Civil War.
An interesting thing happened with these boarding schools. All of them are old military forts
and that should tell you something. As they moved the army out, they moved the Indians in
and used their forts for schools. The ones that you have heard about most are Carlisle
Institute in Pennsylvania and Hampton. Now Hampton started in Virginia, being both an
Indian school and a Negro school. It is now primarily a Negro school. But we did have some
of our people from Pembroke, from Robinson County, go to those schools.
The concept behind the boarding schools is very interesting. Carlisle was started because they
had hostile Indians in the West that they wanted to move east and educate. These were the
Indians they could not settle on reservations, who were the most war--like of all the Indians.
So, the government decided that if they moved from the reservation all the way to
Pennsylvania, they would be able to get them to settle down and learn some of the concepts
So, they had two kinds of education in these schools. For the men, primarily vocational kinds
of skills. For the women, domestic skills. What they used to do in the summer times is
actually farm the Indian students out to homes in Pennsylvania, a lot of Quaker homes and
others. They would get to practice the skills that they were learning, in these schools.
We would hear government people talk about the way they started civilizing the Indians. The
main ways was to really bring them into boarding schools, not let them talk any of the Indian
language, not let them practice any Indian religion, make them cut their hair and dress like
non-Indians. Then they would teach them vocational skills and domestic skills. After a
certain number of years, they would send them back to the reservation. If they retreated, so
to speak, back to being Indians, they were called "Blanket Indians."
Now, I am using all of these terms because later on we will see how it fits into some of the
current problems we face in Indian education. In other words, that meant the Indian had
come out and gotten an education; had gone back to the community and opted to be an Indian
again. So, he went back to Indian ways and therefore became a "blanket Indian."
Today, we still have about 52,000 children, Indian children, who have no other schools to go
to than the federal boarding schools. Then we have one other category of school being
developed and those are the public schools. Let me put a date on this. The boarding schools
started in the 1860's (Civil War time) and we still have them with us in 1972.
Then we have the third category of schools which Indian children go to, the public schools.
Today we have about 150,000 children, and when I say children, I mean school age children,
six to about eighteen, attending public schools. These public schools tend to be of several
forms: public schools like we have here in Robeson county, where Indians are just part of the
system; and then schools where you have primarily all the students are Indian, run by Indian
groups. That means the school board is Indian.
Then we have another type of school which we are not sure will fit any of these categories
emerging and that is called the tribal community controlled school. These schools have only
started (and this is going to startle you) since 1965. We have about seven of these in the
Now, I need to fill you in a little bit on just when the effort of public school started and how
that started. The federal government back in 1934, the Commissioner of Indian Affairs wrote
to the Commissioner of Education in HEW, where I work, and said, "We are very interested
in having Indian children moved into the public schools as fast as possible. Because we think
that that would enhance their joining mainstream American society much faster. And it would
get us out of the federal boarding school situation." Because, they were getting a lot of flack
in the thirties about federal boarding schools. "So, we would be willing, in the interior, to
subsidize public schools for educating Indian children."
So, what happened, the Congress passed a law called the Johnson- O'Malley Act. This
particular act subsidizes states for educating Indian children. When you hear that Indians do
not pay taxes like everybody else and therefore their children are not entitled to free public
school education, do not let anybody kid you about that. Because the Indian child is being
paid for in the public school system by several pieces of legislation and this is one of them.
The Johnson-O'Malley Act started in 1934. I have done a little bit of research on this one.
Just to see what kind of attitudes the states reflected when the Commissioner of Education
wrote them and said "we have heard from the Commissioner of Indian Affairs and they would
be interested in having them educate Indian children." They would be willing to pay you to
do this. So, some of the states wrote back immediately, very interested in educating the
Indian children because there were dollar signs that would help them work out their local
finance problems. So, the same things you hear today were prevalent in 1934.
There is another piece of legislation which was added to the books in 1952, called the Impact
Aid Act. The Impact Aid Act was started to subsidize states which had large military
complexes, air force bases, navy bases and all that, in that state and the government paid the
state for educating military children. They worked on the assumption that the federal
government owned that military reservation and therefore the state was not getting any taxes
from it. So, they would subsidize the state by paying a per capital amount for the children.
In 1955, this law was amended to put Indian children in that category because their lands are
also under federal regulation. Now the state receives money from two pieces of legislation
for Indian children. A number of studies, particularly a study called the "Even Chance" (and
if you do not have one I would be glad to send one down) which was done by the NAACP
Legal Defense Fund with a group of American Indians showed that the Indian child in many
states in the West, pays three times as much as the regular child to get an education. So, I
hope if you ever hear that old adage that Indians do not pay their fair share for education, you
will clear that one up.
Now, these are the main terms and the main pieces of legislation we need to keep in mind.
I guess I should have probably told you that there are two agencies involved in educating
Indian children. One, of course, is the Bureau of Indian Affairs. They educate approximately
50,000 children in federal boarding schools and they pay money to public schools through the
Johnson-O'Malley Act. So you have two agencies, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, in the
Department of Interior. Under them is an education program run by a director. Then, you
also have the Office of Education in HEW. This is the office which puts out most of the
money for education throughout the United States. They also have what is known as an
Office of Indian Affairs. That is my office. Now, we do not have any money. We are
supposed to do things like influence the money. That is changing now and you will hear
about that with the legislation.
So, these people have three kinds of money for education. Johnson-O'Malley, they have their
operating money for their schools, they have scholarship money for reservation Indians only.
That means that you have to be a fourth degree of the Indian blood and be a member of the
enrolled tribe recognized by the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Then they have some other general
program grant monies. That would be for things like helping start community colleges or
running special training programs for master's and Ph.D's for Indians. Then under the Office
of Education, you have the Impact Aid Money and we have something called special
instruction monies. I will not give you the technical titles. Then we have the title programs
under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act and that is a big amount of money. Title
I, that you have heard about here. So, you call them the Elementary and Secondary
Education Title Programs. Then we have a lot of big money for what we call "discretionary
programs." That means basically, the Washington office decides what kinds of projects will
be funded. I think that is the best way to describe it. Now we have the new authority of the
Indian Education Act. (I have not said a thing about higher education and I know some of
your are interested in it. We will talk about that a little later.) But, in terms of the Indian
framework of reference for education, I think these are the main authorities that you should
know about and be concerned with. If you have an interest, we actually have these all
compiled and could make them available to you.
Okay, realizing this, now I would like to quit and tell you just a little bit about what is going
on in the country in education. I think this gives you an overview. Then we will talk about
the Education Act.
I would like to talk from the point of view of elementary and secondary and then higher
education. In terms of elementary schools we have been concerned with doing two different
kinds of things: trying to figure out a way to get the public schools to be responsive to
Indians; and we have funded community groups, a lot of times, or non-profit corporations.
We have funded what we call a "Local Education Agency." You hear all the time, these
educators in government, using something called a LEA. It sounds like Lea, but it is not. It
is Local Education Agency. So, the main body receiving money in the public school system
is your local education agency; you call it a school district down here, with a school board.
But in many pieces of legislation, you can find non-profit organizations or community groups.
That is how a number of the projects from here have gotten started.
Then, we have the BIA schools and what I would call the Indian control schools. I guess we
should say community controls. In the BIA schools, our office is transferring directly to
them, about thirty million dollars a year for special programs for Indian children: like special
reading programs; special cultural programs; special programs in math; teacher training;
teacher orientation and just general operating kinds of money. So, the Office of Education
transfers, to the Bureau of Indian Affairs, monies for Indian children in both schools. That
is in addition to their regular monies. We are very concerned about these things. Because
what is happening is, you find children in Alaska are being flown all the way to Oklahoma,
to Arizona, and to Oregon for an education. Because there are no schools in that state that
they have access to.
You know, we talk about being bussed, those children are being bussed the longest distance
of anyone. We are also concerned because a lot of the children, who are being pushed out
of the Indian school systems, wind up in this system. Nobody will take them in. So, they are
the so-called problem children. These schools systems are not equipped to deal with them.
Now remember, those are residential boarding schools where children are brought in
September and are left until June for almost a year. So, they are working very hard to find
a way to get those schools to become more specialized and working more directly with the
Then we come to community control and that is really the one that I want to talk about.
Because we see that is where the future of Indian education is headed. In the state of Maine,
there is a very interesting school which has been pulled together between Canadian Indians
and American Indians. This is a school called Tribe Incorporated. In Bar Harbor, they have
taken over an old Job Corps camp and put together a special school. What they are doing is
they are taking all the children that have been pushed out of the Canadian province schools
and all the children pushed out of the main schools. They are taking them there for intensive
training programs and intensive remedial kinds of work. Work on the emotional problems
they have. Then after a year and a half, they send them back into the regular public schools,
to see if they can adjust and begin making some change in the public school system.
Now I do not know if any of these people have been down here, but they know about the
Lumbee and are interested in visiting this community. They are off the coast of Maine.
Then if you move south of Miami in Florida where the Seminole are, just last spring, the
Mikasuki took over a contract from the government to run their complete school system.
This is very interesting to me because their schools were started for the first time in 1965.
Seminoles had never been in school before that. In those schools you have children who are
six years old and grown people who have never had a day of school, all in the same kind of
class room. They decided that they would like to run their schools themselves. One of the
things that they are insisting upon is that at least twice a week, everybody quits and comes
into the auditorium and they have a session on Seminole history, Seminole values, and
Seminole culture. Their old people come in and run these sessions. So you see, they are
making Indian culture and Indian curriculum an automatic part of this school system.
In the big city of Chicago, where we have from eight to twelve thousand Indians depending
on the time of the year, the Indians there got very busy and talked to the school system in that
big city. They said, "Our kids are just not making it in your regular schools. We have got to
put together an Indian school that can be responsive to Indian children." So they have started
the high school through the Indian center with money from the city of Chicago. They are
using some of our money in Title III and they are about a year and half old. They are doing
very exciting things. They have the blessing of the school system and they have started an
Indian school with Indian teachers, an Indian principal and they are putting together a whole
Then if you move over to Wisconsin, the same thing is happening in Milwaukee. Milwaukee
Indians there decided to take over an old site and put together a school system. So, what they
are doing is running their system with Catholic sisters and a number of Indian teachers after
school hours. They are doing special remedial, tutorial and cultural kinds of programs. Then
if you move to Minneapolis and St. Paul, AIM is running what they call a survival school
there. They are again, running after hours, tutoring compensatory education, and cultural
kinds of efforts.
What is not happening in these places is that they are not figuring out a way to have an impact
on the public school systems. They are just taking their kids out on special release and doing
some special training. But they are not feeding anything back into that big system to make
it responsive to Indian kids.
If we move to the southwest, among the Pueblos, we find in the Alburquerque-Santa Fe area,
that a number of Pueblos have banded together and created an independent district with all
Indian children and with a Pueblo school board. They are running a school system there.
If you move to the Navajo reservation, that reservation covers about four states and they have
about one hundred thousand people. They have all three of the school systems I described
at work in their communities. So, what has happened at Navajo they have started with no
money practically. At least four independent tribal controlled schools.
As I said earlier, we do not know whether they are going to become public schools or
whether they are going to become just regular schools, financed by the tribe and the Bureau
of Indian Affairs. But they have done some of the most exciting stuff, in terms of bilingual
education: writing curriculum in their language and in English; and in terms of developing
Indian history; and in terms of teaching the children the ecology of the communities in which
they use it. They are building a whole curriculum around their environment and their ecology.
The most famous of their schools, you might have seen on the Today Show several weeks
ago, is a school called Rough Rock. I told Mr. Adolfthat one of these Thursdays, when some
of those people are coming through my office, I would like to bring them down here.
Because, I think you just would be fascinated by the kinds of work they are doing. They are
the oldest of our Indian community controlled schools.
They started in 1964 and they have put together both an elementary school and are working
to put together their own high school. I cannot tell you how important this is. Because,
unless you have seen that community, you cannot imagine why or how important it is for
them to have their own education systems.
Navajo is fairly isolated, they do not have many roads on that reservation. In fact, they only
have two main highways. The rest of them are just little trails. They live in high mesa
country or very flat land down in the valleys. They are sheep herders and 90 percent of that
tribe is not English speaking.
Until 1948, well, I would say even today, you could safely say that 50 percent of those people
had never been in a school house. I think that you could safely say that 40 percent of them
have never heard the English Language. That is how isolated they are. They have just started
bringing electricity to that community, to that reservation.
So you see, it is very important for them to have access to schools. What makes sense is to
begin community schools; a school around the clan system, on that reservation, because that
is the way people lived. Schools that could follow the sheep herders when they are out taking
care of the sheep. So, Rough Rock has really been a pilot at Navajo--developing curriculum,
in the Navajo language, teaching teachers. Any teacher coming there to work had to learn
to speak Navajo before they would take them into the school system. They have to learn
about Navajo myths and the Navajo people. You have to understand all that, so you can
respect those people and be a part of the community. So, Rough Rock was a very important
first beginning in the education of Indians. Because, it has taken an Indian cultural system and
used that to put together a school.
Now, there is another school in Montana which we are all very proud about and that is called,
"The Rocky Boys School." The Rocky Boy people are Cree Indians and they live both on
the Canadian and American side in Montana. Most of their children were put into public
schools back in the thirties. What has been happening in that community was, until about two
years ago, nobody graduated from high school. They did not have a single high school
graduate in the community.
So, the Rocky Boy people decided that they were going to create an independent school
system. They came to Washington and talked to us about it and we got some lawyers to
work with them. We said, "You are going to have to look at what the state laws say in
Montana about putting a school system together. Then you are going to have to go through
the procedure of doing that before we can give you money and help you out." So, they went
back and talked about it in their community for about six months, because a lot of times it
takes Indians awhile to make up their minds. Then they started the process. Everybody said,
"Those people will never make it. They will get frustrated, discouraged and quit." They put
a little committee together. We raised a couple thousand dollars, so that they could travel
around and talk to people like Rough Rock and see what they were doing.
So, they went through the whole process and the first step, the county said to them, "If you
can get us assurance that HEW in Washington will support this, we want to fund it. Then we
will be glad to entertain a motion to help you create a new school system." Because
remember, when you pull out and create a new school system, you are going to be taking
money from that school district that you have been using.
So, our job was to get a telegram out of HEW that would support this community. That was
a tough job. Nobody, but nobody wanted to send the telegram because the Commissioner
of Education said, "That is state funds and I cannot get into that question because we have
to uphold the separation of state and federal government. The states have traditionally carried
out the educational process in this country." Then we went to the civil rights people and they
said that that was segregation. We could not send a telegram supporting Indians who created
a school. So, we finally found one assistant secretary who said, "Well, the president has said
he is for Indian self preservation and if this is the way to get self determination, then, I will
send a carefully worded telegram to the senate that we would support this school if the state
did decide to create an independent school system."
I tell you that story because sometimes no matter how hard local people work, it is very tough
to organize and win those kinds of battles. But they went through the whole process and
everybody was holding their breath. I think half of the newspapers in the United States were
there that day. If the first step said "yes that they would approve the concept of an
independent school board," then they had to go the next step and get to the State Department
of Education. It took about a year and a half.
The interesting thing about it was that it only cost these people thirty-five thousand more
dollars to start their own school system. No one could believe that. We figured all the federal
monies coming into that community from the various laws I talked about earlier. Then we
figured what it would take to run the school system for one year. It would only take an
additional $35,000. So, now Rocky Boys is a show place for public school education for
It was very hard to get it started. But, once they got started everybody wanted to take credit
for it. That is what seems to happen. Now if we talk just for a minute about high schools and
then we will talk about the colleges and universities that have gotten started in Indian country.
I guess we have two high schools that have really been started in recent years to help Indian
people run their own school system. One is on the Wind River Reservation in Wyoming; the
other one is on Navajo at a place called Rayma. I am assuming that you are going to be
reading in the newspapers and Indian magazines and will hear a lot of reference to these
places. That is why I wanted you to know their names.
Wind River has taken Shoshone and Arapaho students. Again, the drop outs that were not
being serviced by the public schools. Their school is just about a year and a half old now.
They have gotten practically 100 percent attendance rate at this school. This is pretty
shocking when you realize that they have taken all drop outs and brought them back to
school. It shows that with the right kind of educational system Indian young people are like
other young people. They get very interested and stay in there.
The Navajo high school is the story of a community ofNavajos who live near Alberquerque
on what we call the eastern end of the Navajo reservation. All their children were being sent
to boarding schools. When they came home, at Christmas or in the spring, they had to come
down very narrow mountain passages. The parents were really very worried about accidents
that happen on these passes. So, they decided that they would try to entice the governor to
give them the money per student or per capital that they spent in federal boarding schools for
their children. They would just take that amount of money and see if they could put together
a high school in their community. That is what they have done.
They have taken an old building which was owned by the Mormon Church and renovated it.
They brought some of their Navajo back, who had been out and gotten BA degrees. They
have put together a whole high school for Navajo children.
We sent a lot of Washington people out to observe this school, one day, because we were
trying to get some money for them. Nobody was in the school house. Our project people got
very upset. "The kids were just playing hookey," "It is a very permissive school," "Nobody
was making them go to school." See, what they did not stop to ask is, "What is your
calendar, now?" There was a big ceremonial going on that week at Navajo. The school had
let out so that everybody could participate. Instead of celebrating George Washington's
birthday, they had decided that they would take their holiday according to the Navajo
community. So nobody from Washington had ever thought to check that. That is why
nobody was in school that week.
I think that is very interesting, because it shows you that bureaucrats never stop to think
about the cultural differences in a community and how a community might want to reflect that
in its school system; what is important to them. Like, when I was a kid down here, May Day
was a big thing. I remember we used to quit and everybody came to May Day to see what
all the students had prepared, in terms of programs.
Now, let's talk about the higher education institutions that have been started. I think this is
one of the areas that is going to be very exciting in the next year in Indian education. We
have Navajo community colleges. These Navajos sound like they are taking over education,
because there are so many of them. They need to put down all of these efforts.
Navajo Community College is in a place called Many Farms, Arizona or Chimble. They are
a two year junior college and they are entering their fourth year. They welcome Indians and
non-Indians from all over the United States. They have got about 500 students.
They are doing a very interesting thing. They say that they can tailor a curriculum to
anybody. A person that walks in from the reservation who had never had a day of English,
they say that they will put a whole curriculum together to meet the educational needs of that
person. I think that that is very exciting, to find a college that will take that kind of time.
The Navajos are building an entire campus. They started this college in an old boarding school
that the Bureau of Indian Affairs did not want. Because they had to prove to the government
that Indians wanted to go to college and ifNavajos started a college in their community, they
could sustain it.
They have been very busy and they have put together a campus. They are building a campus
from scratch. They are creating a man-made lake and everything. They got a special a bill
through the congress so that over the next five years, you will see a brand new campus being
put together for the Navajo.
Then you have in South Dakota a place called Rosebud and Pine Ridge. I thought we might
be losing Dexter to one of these colleges, but I see he is still here. What these people did,
they approached the state university and they said, "Look, a lot of our people, parents and
older adults, would like to have an opportunity to get their high school equivalency certificate
and then would like to go on to college. We would like to start a college campus right on our
reservation. Would you be willing to come and help us?" The state said, "No, we do not
think that the Indians are really interested in college."
So, what they had to do was to go all the way to Boulder, Colorado from South Dakota and
say the same thing to the University of Colorado on the manpower training program that the
university had also trained VISTA volunteers on each reservation. So they agreed to fly
faculty out. It is really funny when you stop to think about, fly faculty all the way from
Denver, Colorado up to this part of South Dakota. Then the faculty would drive another
three hours to get to the reservation. They would teach about three nights a week. They
started out using anything they had and putting courses together based on the faculty
credentials of the people who were coming.
The first semester, they had 350 Indians going to college in both of those schools. That is just
phenomenal when you stop to think about it. So, what has happened now, so much pressure
has been brought on the state university and on another state college called Black Hills [State
College, Spearfish, SD], that they have agreed now to make these colleges centers of higher
education, extended from their schools.
Then we have another called D-Q [University]. Now, I cannot say all of these words because
my Indian is not very good, my tongue gets twisted. But this is the Indian/Chicano University
at Davis, California. What they are doing is still in a very infant stage. They are trying to put
together a university, a four year university. Half of it will be directed toward Chicano culture
and Chicano institutions and half of it will be directed toward Indians. They would like to be
able to give BA degrees, MA degrees, and Ph.D.'s. We have a Lumbee named Dean Chavis,
I do not know whether any of you know him, but he is working with D-Q this year and doing
some very fine work, we understand.
Now we have several schools that were post secondary education schools in the Bureau of
Indian Affairs. One is Pascall Institute in Lawrence, Kansas. This has been the school which
has primarily trained Indian secretaries and business managers and things like that. They have
been able to make it a junior college in the last two years and get it accredited. What we are
doing this year (the reason that I think it is going to be very exciting) is putting together what
is called a consortium of all these schools. And we are going to be able to fund them under
Title II of the Higher Education Act, for about a half million dollars. They are going to
concentrate on doing nothing but developing top notch Indian studies curriculum in the
Because this is an area we are all wrestling with (and we do not know yet what we have) we
kind of have a tiger by the tail. We are going to worry about training faculty in higher
education. Indian faculty, who can relate to all of these schools and to Indian studies
throughout the country. Then we are going o put together something called the Human
Resource Bank to identify Indians and non-Indians who can really help us begin putting
together serious Indian curriculum of a college level.
Now, I would like to see Pembroke State in on this consortium. I hope that you all will urge
Professor Dial and Dr. Jones and all of these other people to come in. At least, we have a
developmental fund added to this so that other schools can join us at certain times. But the
plan is that if we are going to start doing things like Indian studies for a BA or an MA, then
we ought to get serious and make sure that we are developing the best quality curriculum.
The Bureau has a lot of Indian minds and eyes and non-Indian minds and eyes helping us put
it together. So, that we have got a top notch discipline that is being taught in colleges and
So, this is taking form right now. I think it is going to be a very exciting thing to watch over
the next three or four years. Now, I am not going to talk about adult education. I think that
there is just so much to talk about. Maybe what we should do now is stretch a little bit and
then start Indian education.
Therefore, we had to do something called "getting administrative ear marks." In other words,
we arranged with various bureaus, like the Bureau of Higher Education, that they would hold
so much for Indian-type programs. That means that a school like Flathead Community
College would come in and say they want to run an Indian studies program. They would
qualify as a regular institution and we would negotiate before that. Because we have had
some money, we have held it aside just to stimulate Indian projects. It is not necessary that
the institution be 100 percent Indian. But we are more interested in looking at institutions
that serve large numbers of Indian students. In this new legislature, we are probably going
to say in our guidelines that determine the higher education institutions, those that have
historical backgrounds as well as serving large numbers of Indian students.
I think if we look at the kinds of projects that Pembroke State has sent up there, they do claim
to be serving large numbers of Indian students. So, that is how you can qualify, you see.
Now unfortunately, we have not monitored projects very well. So, we have not been
breathing down anybody's neck to see that they are doing that. But I do not see a problem,
I think we will continue, even with the new Indian Education Act. Not to let them dump all
of the Indian projects on us. They are very interested in seeing that seed money makes the
agency move out in a very meaningful way. So you should still think about it coming under
L: What about the Title II monies that you mentioned, at a state university?
S: They get that as a developing institution. That particular college was started about ten years
ago. Primarily, to help black colleges in the south come up to standards of other institutions.
What has happened is their school system is moving ahead very progressively. Other smaller
institutions have been saying to the Congress, "Look, we want some of that money too." So,
it is now opened up generally to schools that are moving toward developing into higher
That is how Pembroke qualifies as a developing institution. Not because it had Indians, but
because of where it is now (in the status to which Indians are in the hierarchy of higher
education). The fact that it serves Indian students helps, but is not a requirement at all.
Would you want to know the kinds of budgets we put into education? I could do that last,
probably after we talk about Indian education in general. Okay, let me talk a little bit about
what we refer to as Title IV of Public Law 92318. Let me give just a little background of that
D: By the way, you do not have to go to 9:30, if you do not want to. If you feel that you want
to cut it short, or you are tired.
S: Well, I thought we would quit at nine and then we would have questions until 9:30.
S: I am always frustrated when I am sitting in the audience because I never have time to ask
questions. I try not to do the same to people.
D: So, you can do it to suit yourself.
S: Yes, so we will stop and have questions. The Indian Education Act came out of work started
by the late Senator Robert F. Kennedy in the Special Indian Education Subcommittee study.
Senator Kennedy held hearings for about four years all over the United States and he took
testimony from Indian people and people who were non-Indian experts and a host of others.
That work came out in October of 1969 with a document called Indian Education: A National
"Tragedy. A National Challenge. I do not know whether you have that in your library or not
but I really recommend that you take a look at that. It is only a hundred and ten pages. The
first chapter is just excellent in terms of giving you all the historical background. I want us
to just look over it very quickly.
It is called the Findings and Summary and Recommendations of the Special Indian Education
Subcommittee, entitled Indian Education: A National Tragedy, A National Challenge. So,
after all of these hearings and thousands of pages of testimony, the court had about 160
recommendations for Federal agencies. Well, senate committees would hold closed hearings;
closed itself off to make these recommendations. But then a bureaucracy suggests, pay no
attention to that because the recommendations from the legislative branch does not
necessarily mean anything to the executive branch. So, what has happened after that October
hearing when the study was final, Senator [Robert] Kennedy's staff and Senator [Walter]
Mondale's staff(from Minnesota) decided that they were going to get busy and draft a piece
of legislation covering most of the recommendations they had.
The first piece of legislation was a bill called S-659, you do not need to worry about the
number. So, what they did was substantiate, put together a large piece of Indian Education
which said it would combine all of Indian education with the Bureau of Indian Affairs and
the Office of Education and that it would move it up under a special body attached to the
White House, called a Board of Regents.
So, reservation Indians all over the country just cringed about that. They said, "Oh my, HEW
is trying to take over Indian education. That means we are going to be put under the state
and we will lose any special impact we have had as Indians." After that bill was introduced
and they had hearings and everybody was so upset they decided to rewrite the bill. They
rewrote it and came out with another bill called 2428. In this rewrite, what they did was, not
bother with the Bureau of Indian Affairs. [They] left that education in the [Department of
the] Interior, they just directed their ideas toward HEW. But they left out the title for
reservation Indians. So somebody said, "Oh my, they are cutting out the BIA from any
special money for Title I. There was a lot of dialogue going on with the Senate staff about
this, "You cannot do that. That money is being used for those kids." "Do not write it in
because we will not give it to them." They could not do anything with the staff, they insisted
on knocking those students out of that bill. So their bill was reported out of the committee.
After it comes out of the committee, it goes to the Senate floor. And a very interesting thing
happened, this has only happened twice in the history of senate legislation. There was a big
debate on the Senate floor about who had jurisdiction over the American Indian education
This went on for days and I really laughed about that, because if you looked at Indian affairs,
senators never have what you would call a day to day vote. They only have voice votes and
that means you do not know who voted for what. The chair calls for a voice vote but it is not
recorded. So, if you had to hold Senator Irving accountable for voting against your bill, for
example, you could not do it with the voice vote because it is not recorded.
But on this particular issue, the Senate could not solve the problem, it was very political. So
we said, both to the Interior committee and to the HEW Labor and Public Welfare committee,
"If you re-committee that bill, you must rewrite it in ninety days and come back to the floor
with a satisfactory draft for both committees." We did not solve the problem, we just said,
"You guys just talk about it and solve it yourself." So, they came back then by the end of
October last year with what is the current bill. It passed the Senate with the endorsement of
both the Interior committee and with the Labor and Public Welfare Committee. So both of
your two big committees, having anything to do with Indians and their education, endorsed
Then, it went through the House of Representatives from there. There were three
congressmen who had introduced their own bills in Indian education, so the whole process
of negotiating with them to accept the Senate version and to get started--Congressmen have
their own prerogatives, they do not like a Senator telling them what to do.
So the Indians played a very interesting role here. The Indians wrote all of the amendments.
They would talk to the Senate staff and say, "Well what do you think about this?" And they
would say, "That sounds good." So they would run it up to the House and they would say,
"Why do you not introduce this with your name when the bill comes to the conference. We
think the Senate might go along with you." In that way, nobody had to give in to anybody
else's prerogative and we were able to get those committees to agree. So, what happened is,
the House then took the Senate bill as it came over and joined in a conference committee.
They added the Indian Education Act to the Higher Education Act, this bill.
This law has in it everything imaginable, including Indians. This is what we call an Omnibus
Bill. So, the Emergency School Assistance Programs, Mr. Nixon's bill, is kind of severed
with this act. Some of you might be interested in that because we have a project in this
community. So, Title VII is in here, Title II of the Higher Education Act is in here, and that
is amended now to serve or to give preference to colleges serving Indians on or near
reservations. We have a teacher training section with that is directed toward teachers of
Indian children. So you would be interested in other Titles than Title IV which is the Indian
At any rate, in the Conference Committee, the Senate and House were able to agree to add
Title IV, the Indian Education Act. On May twenty-third of this year, the bill got out of the
Congress and laid on the President's desk for a month and we were all very worried about the
bill. He signed the bill on June 25, 1972.
Now, after the bill was signed by the president, the executive branch where I work takes the
piece of legislation and looks at it and decides, "Now how do we take this law and turn it into
rules and regulations and establish priorities so that people could apply for the money?" We
decided that Mr. Nixon had to veto a lot of things this year. That it did not make any sense
to get excited about this bill until we knew that there would be any money.
The next strategy was to call all the Indian organizations together and talk to them about the
appropriations process. Because, as I said earlier, even though you read this, and it says
Congress authorized 25 million for this and that, it does not mean anything because you have
to go back to the appropriations committee in Congress and get them to give you the money.
Again, the Indian groups played a very interesting role. The bureauracies were called and we
were called in to act. We were officially asked, "Now is the president going to ask for that
money for Indians?" We had already put the budgets in and talked to the Office of
Management and Budget and were sure that he knew that they would be requesting the
money. That meant, if Indian people wanted the money they had to mobilize in a way
themselves to get Congress to put the money in the budget. They called in a lot of the people
who had worked for an education legislation: labor unions; the National Education
Association; the American Federation of Teachers. A lot of non-Indian groups that we
thought might help Indians go after this money.
The burden had to be carried by the Indian organization. So, they put together a little
committee called COFFIE, committee on Full- Funding of Indian Education Act. It really,
was the first time that they ever got all of the Indian organizations in the same room to agree
to do something and actually coming out from doing this. They kept a person in Washington
full-time from June 23rd, until about a month ago. Then, each week different groups of
Indians would come in and they would call on their senators and congressmen and they would
send telegrams. We just had church people all over the country doing the same thing.
Everyone said that it could not be done. There was no way that Congress would give us this
money. We found that when Indian delegations called on all these communities and talked
about the needs and the problems, going house to house, you know, we have got seven
schools that are elementary school for Indians.
Those people turned around and they said, "You can count on us to push for this bill," and
they did. So the Senate had its hearings first and we asked them to give Indians fifteen
minutes. There was a very tight time table. There were two budgets that they were looking
at. The regular budget which was coming from the veto once; and what was called the
So, we had to make sure they did not confuse putting the Indian education money in the
regular budget. Because, we knew that the President would probably veto that again. But
[we needed to] try to put the Indian money with the supplemental, because that is where his
bussing funds were going to come. We knew that he wanted bussing money because it was
an election year and he would probably sign that bill. It was a hard time to get people to
understand that difference between the regular budget and the supplemental. The
congressional staff was very confused itself, trying to work on both of them.
Anyway, we got the panel of Indian witnesses. Four of them representing the major
organizations. Each one of them had five minutes to sell their case. They did it and we came
out of the Senate with $36 million which was not a bad start. Then, of course, the bill went
to the house.
The Indians had seen everybody from the House Committee except one guy, who was Mr.
Mayhan from Texas. We did not realize that automatically the chairman of the full committee
sits on all of the subcommittees--when it gets to the final countdown on appropriations. So,
Mr. Mayhan in one minute, split that in half. Because nobody had gotten in to see him and
because it was very late in the game, three days before Congress was adjourning, nobody was
going to argue because he said we either take half of that amount for Indians or we do not
So, we learned a lot about the process of getting Indians to the Senators and the
Congressmen. But we also learned that you never slip up. Because the guy you do not see
can knock you out and that is precisely what happened.
So we got through this bill with $18 million. Now, I will give you the breakdown of that in
a few minutes. So let me talk now about what is in the act. How that really applies to you.
There are about four titles in this act and I am going to do it backwards because I think it is
easier to understand.
The first thing that we are authorized is directing the President to create a national advisory
council on Indian education. On that council will sit fifteen members. The only thing the law
says is that those fifteen members must be Indians or Alaskan natives. As I talk I am going
to tell you how you can implement this so you can get critical features. It also says that they
have to represent a diverse geographic area.
I should say, it says three things. They must be nominated by tribal organization and we
added urban centers because they are also organizations. Now, a lot of people think that
advisory councils do not have much power. But for this particular advisory council the law
is very specific. I think it is on page 110 or 111, if you want to look at it. This council
nominates a list of names for the deputy commissioner of education. It will be a presidential
The council also is directed to look at the project, establish the criteria or approve the criteria
for those projects. Also, establish a definition of Indian. That is very important because the
law's definition is very broad. So the council will pass on the final definition of Indians. They
will probably revise it entirely.
D: Are we going to do all right on that?
S: I think so, I am hoping there will be a Lumbee on that.
D: I mean on the definition.
S: Oh, the definition.
S: Oh yes. The way the law is written, we can qualify as Indians very easily. The other thing
that the Council will do is take a look at Indian education throughout the federal
establishment and report to the Council annually. I think that is very important. Because,
they can look at educational programs for Indians in HEW; in economic opportunity; in labor;
in the Bureau of Indian Affairs; throughout government and try to pull together a national
Indian Affairs throughout government and try to pull together a national Indian program that
You see, these identify currently almost $400 million in the federal government brought into
Indian education. Now that is an awful lot of money when you stop and think we are only
talking about 800,000 people. It is a lot of money because we are not seeing the impact of
that money. We cannot tell that it is changing. So, the Council, with the fifteen members,
will represent Indians from a diverse geographic area and they will have to be nominated by
tribes. They will be the people studying the policies; directing the priorities for program
money; looking at things like definitions of Indians; and running the show in Indian education.
As I talk, let me just tell you what we have done on that council. Our commissioner wrote
to over four hundred tribes and organizations and asked them to nominate one to five Indians
for membership on the council. The nominations were all due back by the end of September.
We got back about two hundred and forty nominations. Out of those 240, we have reduced
that down to 150 with non-duplicating names.
Then we established the criteria for selection and appointment. We actually sent thirty names,
forwarded to the White House for membership on that council. It is now hoped that by the
middle of December they will be appointed. And they will be able to bring them to
Washington for a meeting. So, I just want you to know we are not dragging our feet on this
thing, we started the process. So, a council will be established.
Now what will that council administer, or should I say, how will that council direct its
activities to a deputy commissioner of Indian education and to a bureau or to an office of
Indian education, bureau-lego? Now, this sounds bureaucratic but it is important that you
understand the way that the bureaucracy plays games.
The Deputy commissioner is the prime decision maker in the Council of Education. We have
five of them. Those are the people that run that office. We have one in higher education, one
in elementary and secondary education, and other things. So, we are going to have a person
working with the Indians at the highest level of decision making, he will be there with the
other five deputy commissioners. He will be able to trade off a lot of things for Indians. He
will be able to know how they are moving that money.
See, we administer about six billion dollars worth of programs in the Council of Education.
We will have an Indian up there watching all these decisions and participating in the way they
are made. He will be able to trade off and it will really help, I think, to use some of their
money more effectively. So, it is important to understand that it is a very high level position
Creating a bureau is your highest level that you can have in the Office of Education. See, we
have bureaus and branches and they knew that I have been on the commissioner's staff. This
will be a bureau, and that means that you do not have a lot of red tape to go through. Your
access is from the bureau right to the Deputy and the next guy would be the commissioner.
Then, of course the council on Indian education would be out here.
And you say, what is going to happen when there is a fight between the council and the
commissioner? It is anybody's guess. You just assume they will agree to specifics. But we
assume that the council will be an organizing link. So bureaucratically, it is important that
you understand that it will be at a very high level and we will not have a lot of red tape to go
through like other offices.
Now what will that administer? The first section, part A, is an amendment to Impact Aid.
Impact Aid, as I said earlier, subsidizes public schools. Now, what this amendment does is
open up the supplemental money to school districts which have ten or more Indian children.
So any school district, or a co-education agency, with ten or more Indians will be eligible for
these funds. The only grantees for part aid are local education agencies or institutions of
The way that the law is written, they want to give any man an opportunity to exercise some
control over these two areas by parents, students, and teachers in the public school system.
They will have to sign off on any program that these two eligible grantees put in for. We kind
of worked that out, the law is not that clear.
In the case of an Indian tribe, you see, we will probably have some tribal council or
something. In the case of public school districts, we are going to have to figure out some
kind of a referendum after the election, and that is going to be really tough. So what this
does, you see, is open that up to urban Indians, to reservation Indians, and to non-reservation
We now have to do an analysis of where the Indian children are throughout the country. Our
figures are not that good. We have got to re-evaluate some of the school districts and make
sure that we have all those serving Indians. But, we figure that if our figures are anywhere
near correct this could eventually be $260 million going into public school systems.
Now, here is an amount which we think is important for one small section. It said that five
percent of this money will be held back for the development of schools that have not been
local education agencies for more than three years, or are other types of school-like Indian
community schools. So, we are assuming that we will take five per cent of the budget and
put it aside for the development of the community schools in Indian areas.
I am going to shock you and show you what our problem is now. Congress only
appropriated, $11.5 million. Remember I told you we got cut down for this Title. But, look
at what the potential need is and look at how much money is functional. So, we are going
to have to set some very tight priorities and we are not going to be able to service all of these
school districts that happen to need funds. Or if we service them, it will be with very small
amounts of money.
Now, the kinds of things you can do. This is a very hard philosophy to talk about because
it is so repetitive: planning; demonstration; renovation of equipment and buildings. Those are
the kinds of things that you see in terms of projects. You know, as well as I do, that down
the stretch that is very broad. Now we are writing the guidelines and regulations right now.
We are going to suggest program priorities. But, with only $11.5 million, somebody is going
to have some tough decisions to make and it is going to be that council. They are going to
have to approve the final decision. Any questions on part A, before we move on?
Q: Here under the planning, renovation and equipment, I see those things being sucked in under
S: Renovation would be for any existing school facilities or you could do things like use trailer
schools. You could not build a new building, but you could improve any building that you
plan under their convention. Now, you see if we can figure out a good way for the committee
to exercise control we will not get stuck here. But I am very worried about that fund because
I have seen the way people organize pieces of paper with names on them. You know, they
will get parents to sign their names or get tribal chairman to sign his name and he does not
know what he signed. So, we have got to really know who is on that committee and make
sure they are not people that can be manipulated. Because, unless that committee signs off
one of those programs, we can not fund it. If you have any thoughts on this, we would
greatly appreciate it.
Q: The reason why I was thinking that, if we used Catholic funds for say renovating a building
and things like that. I can see where in Robeson County that these funds, say, $100,000
might be used for this or maybe we need to get some for Prospect. Okay, that is good. Then
the monies that we should have gotten from the county will go to the poor or some other
people and, really, we are not being able to catch up. I was hoping that this money would
help us catch up the slack.
S: That is a good point. We will have a statement in the regulation which, if we know about it,
we can enforce it. Which indicates they cannot supplement with other plans from existing
programs. In other words, if you were getting money from the county, they could not take
that and give it to someone else.
Q: Well, when it comes to the Board of Education they can put it anywhere they want to. I hope
that you agree when we speak for a point that if it comes to the board, we just as well not
have them and go ahead and get them out of the way.
S: We did not use the Board of Education's approach. I should explain, the East coast, the way
we approached the Indians. Because most of the East Coast Indians are not tribally
organized, we did talk, we did write to all the Commissioners on Indian Affairs. Because
those are legitimate agencies and are recognized as being such in each state. We asked them
to nominate. So when the Commissioner on Indian Affairs had a nominee, we asked them to
bring their members together and solicit nominations from those members.
Help us think about how we can ensure in part A that that does not happen. Mainly, what we
are going to have to do is get an amendment. We have got some precedents in other sections
where we can contract directly with community group and they use such contracts. We are
just moving in that direction, we are not there yet.
Okay, then part B is what we call the special programs for Indian students. I think that
somebody will just read for us all of those things because I can never remember all of them.
This particular part which is bilingual education, on cultural kinds of things. I am starting
page 105, it says: "To provide education services not available to such children in sufficient
quantity or quality, including remedial and compensatory instruction, school health, physical
education, psychological and other services designed to assist and encourage Indian children
to enter and remain in, or re-enter elementary or secondary schools. Comprehensive
academic or vocational instruction; instruction materials like library books, et cetera;
comprehensive guidance counseling; special education for the Indian; preschool bilingual,
bi-cultural education programs and other services." It also provides for training teachers of
Indian children in this section down at the bottom of the page.
Then, it provides for dissemination of information. Do you see the way I feel about this Title?
You are doing this now--this being educational programs under Title I and under Title VII,
bilingual. This just expands our ability to do it with a little bit more money. Our
appropriations here is only $5 million dollars.
This particular part allows us to contract with Indian tribes-- you see, we did not have that
direct authority before that--with Indian organizations and institutions and with state
Departments of Education, and with universities and colleges. Since most of our grants are
in this same area in writing our programs, our priorities, we are stressing that. Because this
granting authority is unique, and for the first time use of this authority to contract in this area,
we think the majority of this money should be held for contracting.
(There is an inaudible break in the monologue)
It is trying to get at the question of how do we find, identify, and use a special program
efforts that will keep Indian young people in school. And to get those school systems to be
more responsive to them.
Okay, any questions on part B? Part C, then, is adult education. For the first time we have
the authority to fund high school equivalency. Up to now, we have not been able to do that.
we had the funds for adult education only. This is the GED and there is a lot of interest at
the meetings in this, basic literacy and adult education. Again, I happen to feel that adult
education can mean almost anything, depending upon what the committee has identified. We
have done tribal council training; we did school board training with this; we have done
consumer education--how to do trade in the stores, how to understand price lists; and all that
basic education. You can do almost anything for adults with that. That has been very helpful
in Indian communities. We really got snatched on this one. We only got a half a million
dollars. Again, types of grantees: Indian groups, tribes and organizations; and state
departments of education; local education interests; and college and universities.
You can see that we will probably have as our current priority, our first category. Now, we
are working here to combine this small amount of money with the current monies that we are
using for Indians in adult education. Which would be about another two million dollars. Not
very much, but it helps us expand. Any other questions?
Okay, then part D, this is the office that I have described earlier and I will just tell you about
the budget breakdown on that. For the council, they will have a median budget for meetings
and travel of about $150,000. They will also have a half million dollars. They will also have
a half a million dollars for contract studies. We are going to have to get at the question of
recording Indian children in the public schools and ways to evaluate projects and technical
assistance. We would like to put together a technical assistant grant, which could move in
and help communities write proposals to go after that funding. Then the bureau itself--and
this again is the first time Congress has ever done this, we are told--Congress put about five
hundred thousand dollars in for staff. Because they knew Mr. Mason had a ceiling on staff.
Unless they put it over there and ear-marked it, they might have this program and no staff to
run it, except my office. So, that will give us thirty-eight to forty positions, in the office
administration. All this comes out to about a million dollars.
Now that is what it looks like. There is one other section which is for teacher training. That
is an amendment to a current program, so, it is not authorizing mew money, it is just taking
money from that program.
Here is something called the education professions development. It is just a fancy way of
saying teacher training. So we will have about $3.2 million this year to train teachers of
Indian children. We commonly do pre-service, in-service, short-term institutes. I would like
to see Pembroke State come in for some of this, to work with local teachers. Then we will
probably take some of this money for graduate studies. Because there is a shortage of Indians
with professional degrees. But, that is basically the breakdown.
X: I have a specific question. For instance, we have a Lumbee who has graduated from this
institution with a degree in mathematics. I talked to a good many of the students and they
expressed an interest in coming back to pick up another advanced course in mathematics. Is
this type of program feasible for receiving short-term loans?
S: Do you know if this person is going to pursue an M.A. or are you saying he would run a
program to train other people?
X: At the moment, Pembroke is not allowed to grant the master's degree. So, the only way we
can do it is to hook up with East Carolina or Chapel Hill. I think we can arrange that, to be
given instruction here and credit will come from the other schools.
S: If I were doing that kind of thing, I would go to 5E of this act. We would love to have a
short term institute in math for training teachers or Indians who may be teaching Indians. But
there is a section called 5E here, that we run short-term, year-round. It is not necessarily
related to Indians--although we have a number of Indian projects under this thing. I know
they would be very interested in that. They have not had many things in the sciences.
I would say, on our staff, probably, they way we are writing the guidelines or priorities, you
will be worried about the support staff of schools--the administrative staff. Then we want to
worry about getting some training for the parents of the school.
X: Does the short-term credit have to be geared to the master's degree?
S: Not necessarily. We can do undergraduate and graduate with this authority. Interestingly
enough, although the types of grantees would be colleges and universities, it does say that we
can make grants to Indian organizations and tribes. So, one of the things we are thinking
about is making the grants to those groups in a sub-contracting university--get the university
you want to do the training. Because, we have had a lot of complaints from Indian groups
about the universities and the way they feel they are ripping off a lot of money for Indian
I am not talking about any of the other authorities at OE. I am just talking about the Indian
Education Act. There is not much in the Indian Education Act relating to higher education.
But, if you want to talk about higher education, we could do that later, about those specific
So, that is about the way it looks. I do not think it is anything that is great big. But, I think
it is a very important start. Particularly, in an administration that is cutting back. We had felt,
at one point, if we got a million dollars we would be lucky. So, to start with about $21
million, that is not bad for the first year. Since we have to write guidelines and regulations,
most of this money will not be available until February or March. That is working on a very
tight timetable. We expect people will start sending applications in about this time of year.
Then we will have to have all of our money obligated by the end of April. Because that is the
new rule in the government. So you ought to be thinking about kinds of things your are
interested in. So, that when we get the regulations and guidelines out you will be able to
make a decision.
D: How many Indian children does this involve in secondary schools?
S: I just do not think our national figures are that good. We did look at that question last year.
The best we were able to project is that we have got about 150,000 kids in elementary and
secondary schools. I do not happen to think that is an accurate picture. But, it was the best
we could come up with. Okay, why do we not just quit and have general questions now.
X: I have a news release from the County Board of Education. This is along with the
demonstration in front of the office. In here they say their lawyer contacted Commissioner
of Education, Dr. Marshal Goldbert, Office of Education, HEW. It said Mr. Goldberg noted
that he had contacted persons in the Office of Education who have as their concern Indian
affairs. I was wondering if that would be yourself. Can you comment on why (since you are
a local person and this is an Indian matter) they did not contact you directly?
S: Well, I felt that it was better--Dr. Goldberg is in charge of the emergency school assistance.
He is not really the Commissioner of education. He is pretty low down on the totem pole,
as a matter of fact. But, he is an important guy. Because we are under a desegregation
mandate, I felt it was important he be involved in the conversation. The call came to me first
and I insisted that we bring other people in. I have been very concerned about the
misinterpretations that seem to appear down here on this subject. You see, because the
county does have an HEW mandate to integrate we have to uphold that until the courts
change it. Now, there is a lawsuit pending and HEW is preparing and pushing hard to get
that lawsuit started. So, we cannot say that we are against integration because of the law of
the land is integration, we are under a mandate.
X: Are you speaking of the lawsuit that is dictated prospecting?
S: Yes, in prospect form. The other thing is the Indian Education Act will be used to help Indian
communities get their school, or start community-based schools. I personally do not see that
Act being used to start a separate school system in Robeson County. So, I do not want
people to get the idea that we would be funding a separate school system here, because I do
not see that in the cards. I do see money coming in for Indian children into this community.
It may come to the Board of Education or it may come to local groups. I think the two need
to be kept very clear and very distinct. I think when the Board of Education called us they
said, "Well, we are told that these Indians are getting a name and they are going to have a
reservation in the BIA school. What is HEW's position on that?" We do not have a position
on that. Because, if there is a reservation created here, they would have to still petition the
BIA to start a BIA school. We do not have any jurisdiction over that. Now, if you want my
comments about whether that can be done or not, that is another question. But I think we
are confusing an awful lot of issues down here and I hate to see that.
X: Right. In most of the issues the confusion is coming from the news releases of this kind.
Which talk about this kind of thing, which is almost outside of the realm of possibility.
S: When they talk to us, I said, "I do not want you to think that we will not be putting money
down there for Lumbee kids. Because if I am up here, I can assure that we will." I think we
must keep the issues separate here. I do not see this money being used to start a segregated
Indian school system. I said, "If Mr. Locklear asked me if he could start a private school, I
would say yes. If he goes to the state of North Carolina and starts a private school like other
people have started in this town, but he will not get any federal money. So, if we could keep
these issues straight, I think it would be better.
D: It seems to me that there seems to be a lot of confusion on the idea of starting a separate
school. Some people get the idea, "well, we will just do away with Pembroke grade school
and start an all-Indian school. Starting maybe a little special school for teaching, some arts
and crafts and so forth." And everybody is saying to me, "get it all mixed up." Do you find
this to be true?
Z: Well, I think like she has said, they are evading the real issue. The last thing that I would like
to be working for is a separate all-Indian school. What I do want to see is Indian control.
Because we do have Indian schools, Pembroke Senior high is better than ninety percent
Indian. We still have Indian schools. Prospect is better than eighty-five percent.
D: What she is saying is...
Z: Is, control of what we have got.
D: ...where we have say eighty percent of the student body in certain schools or eighty percent
minority in the county system, that really the Indian people ought to control, under the
present system, the Robeson County Board of Education, the superintendent and all. I think
all of us would agree with this, because we have more people. As it is, we do not have very
much to say with it. I want to say this before we leave. I am not sure Mrs. Scheirbeck if you
picked this up on the news, but Judge McMillan's rather interesting decision, where he ruled
in the Charlotte case that you could not (I do not know, I have not read the decision) or it
was unlawful for a board of education to say that you cannot go on to the school premises.
S: I want to say one word about the violence, last week, if I might. A number of us have been
very concerned because it is very easy for the issues that the Indian people were presenting
last week to get lost because damage and violence happened. We have been very concerned
that this not happen.
And we have also been concerned that we have been rooting hard to get at least an
acceptance in this country of Indians for each other--whether they are reservation or
non-reservation. Yet, the violence seems to have created a terrible backlash in the reservation
Indian community against all non-reservation people. And we had felt that we were almost
at the point with the federal government where we did have agencies looking and trying to
help Indians wherever they were. We are afraid that some of the activities of last week will
set this back if we are not careful, for a number of years. But, at the same time, we also do
not want to lose sight of the fact that these people were presenting issues which state: the
federal government does not have a policy of relating to us, or in many instances, they have
ignored our needs. They have moved us into the cities, dumped us there and left us.
We have created through one of our organizations, the National Congress of American
Indians, the idea of an impact survey team. In which we will bring together twelve Indians
from throughout the country who are objective, realistic people, and they will take a look at
what has happened, the circumstances leading up to it, the whole period there. A number of
people feel that the leadership in Washington did not carry enough dialogue with those people
at all. I was not in town when this happened, but, we want to make sure that Indians have
a chance to bridge the gap that the bureaucracy seems to be making between Indian people.
So, we are trying to raise money for the impact survey team and I do not want to hit you for
a contribution, I just want you to know about it. We are trying to get an Indian who will look
at this problem, who will say to the American public, "this is what really happened from the
beginning to the end. This is what we think the future of Indians should be in the country.
We do not want the court taking one tact; we do not want the Congress taking another; we
do not want Nixon cutting the Indian budget to get back at us." See, you have to worry
about many of these things because they can happen. So, I have brought along a letter on this
subject and an outline on how they can redevelop the question. Give them something to say
about this. Because we are getting very anti-everything. We would appreciate it because it
is important that the issues do not get lost. What they are trying to say has gotten to be very
important and very true in a lot of instances.