Bookmark and Share
Overview:

Part of the U.S. Department of Education, the Office of Indian Education (OIE) is responsible for supporting local educational agencies, Indian tribes and organizations to meet the academic needs of American Indians and Alaska Natives. The agency tries to provide opportunities so that students of these ethnic groups can be on the same academic level with other populations. OIE seeks to meet its goals by distributing millions of dollars in federal grants to local school districts throughout the United States.

 

more
History:

The Office of Indian Education (OIE) was created in 1972 following an investigation by Congress into the state of education for Native Americans. In 1969, the Special Senate Subcommittee on Indian Education issued a report called “Indian Education: A National Tragedy” that focused attention on the dire educational situation among these populations. As a result of these findings, the Indian Education Act (pdf) was passed establishing a comprehensive approach designed to meet the unique cultural needs of American Indian and Alaska Native students.

 

The act recognized that American Indians have education and academic needs, as well as distinct language and cultural needs. It provided services to American Indians and Alaska Natives that are not provided by the Bureau of Indian Affairs. It also represented the only comprehensive federal Indian education legislation that dealt with American Indian education from pre-school to graduate level education.

 

The Indian Education Act also established several competitive grant programs for Indian children and adults. In 1974, the original law was amended to add teacher training and fellowship programs.

 

A 1988 amendment gave Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) schools the ability to apply for formula grants and provided funds for Gifted and Talented education. Then, in 1994, the Improving America’s Schools Act of 1994 authorized Indian Education as Title IX Part A. This reauthorized formula grants for Indian schools and added a comprehensive plan to meet the academic and culturally related academic needs of American Indian and Alaska Native students.

 

The most recent amendment to the original law came about via the 2001 No Child Left Behind Act. NCLB reauthorized the program as Title VII Part A of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. As part of NCLB, grants to American Indian and Alaska Native schools will be based on state academic achievement standards used for all students. 

 

The Office of Indian Education is often confused with the Bureau of Indian Affairs, located within the Department of the Interior, which also works to improve Indian education and Indian rights. But the BIA works primarily to save and protect millions of acres of land held in trust by the United States for American Indians, Indian tribes, and Alaska Natives, while its education efforts run secondary in its mission. BIA schools for Indian children receive funds from OIE.

 

In December 2011, President Obama signed an Executive Order that called for the creation of an interagency working group—participants from ED and the Department of the Interior—to work toward the improvement of American Indian and Alaska Native educational opportunities and the strengthening of tribal colleges and universities.

more
What it Does:

The Office of Indian Education (OIE), one of eight offices in the Office of Secondary and Elementary Education, administers the Indian Education Program of the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) of 2001. Although the NCLB does not change the agency’s original 1972 mandate to facilitate greater educational opportunities for American Indians and Alaska Natives, it attempts to provide greater accountability and flexibility in use of federal funds.

 

The primary function of the OIE is to design and oversee a comprehensive system for administering Indian formula and discretionary grants; prepare and track performance indicators of grant program’s efficacy and help carry out national evaluations of OIE programs; provide leadership for Department of Education-wide policy coordination and help formulate policy and guidance; and develop and implement a system for maintaining open communications with the National Advisory Council on Indian Education (NACIE) and other educational organizations.

 

Under the Indian Education Program, the OIE is the only office that is able to bypass state agencies and award grants directly to local education agencies (LEAs). In addition, the OIE works with the Institute for Education Sciences (IES) and the National Indian Education Study (NIES) to develop research for improving Indian education and for the administration of the national activity grants. The OIE also funds grants for schools under the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA). The office represents only a fraction of the total department resources for Indian students, but consults on policy matters with all department programs affecting Indian children and adults.

 

The OIE is responsible for three main components, including providing demonstration grants for Indian children, such as school readiness projects and college preparatory programs; Indian education formula grants which can be given directly to LEAs to reform school programs; and Indian professional development program grants that are used to train teachers and school administrators.

 

In October 2003, the OIE was elevated to report to the Office of the Under Secretary (OUS) rather than to the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education (OESE), although it continues to operate within the OESE.

 

The OIE has served as the sponsor of the National Indian Education Study (NIES) biennially since 2005. The study provides data on the educational achievement and experiences of American Indian and Alaska Native students, as well as details about the students’ school conditions, curriculum, academic goals, and cultural exposure.

National Indian Education Study 2011 (pdf)

Tribal Leaders Speak:  The State of American Indian Education, 2010 (U.S. Department

            Education) (pdf)

 

From the Web Site of the Office of Indian Education

Contact Information

Demonstration Grant Awards

ED Awards Database

Formula Grant Program

Funding Information

Grants Application Package

Indian Education Resources

Legislation

National Advisory Council on Indian Education

National Indian Education Study

News and Events

Professional Development Grants

Programs

Research Website

Staff Directory

State Contacts

Tribal Consultations

more
Where Does the Money Go:

In 2012, the Office of Indian Education (OIE) awarded 10 professional development grants to college participants in Arizona, California, Montana, Oregon, South Dakota, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. In 2011, the OIE awarded five such grants totaling more than $1.8 million.

 

Twelve school districts are the recipients of 2012 demonstration grants. The previous year, six districts were the recipients of nearly $1.7 million in such grants.

 

The history of formula grants awarded to LEAs between 2000 and 2007 are provided on the OIE’s formula grants web page.

 

In recent years, more than 44% of OIE’s grants have gone to programs in Oklahoma, Arizona, and Alaska, despite the fact that only 14% of the Native American population lives in these three states.

 

In terms of contract spending, the OIE has spent nearly $12 million on 225 contractor transactions between FY 2002 and FY 2012, according to USAspending.gov. The top five types of products or services purchased by the OIE during this period were education management ($1,970,943), support services ($1,898,678), educational studies and analyses ($1,156,747), non-scientific study and data ($766,370), and program review/development ($717,076). The top five recipients of this contractor spending were:

 

1. Kauffman & Associates Inc.                                              $3,110,190     

2. Heritage Technologies Limited Liability Company            $1,898,678     

3. Westat Inc.                                                                             $766,370     

4. Academy for Educational Development Inc.                        $717,076     

5. Manhattan Strategy Group LLC                                           $699,593

more
Controversies:

Indian Education Lags

A major goal of the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), signed into law by President George W. Bush in 2002, was to close the achievement gap between white and non-white students. But test results showed the gap only getting wider for American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) kids.

 

In 2003, National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) testing done by the federal government revealed negative trends among minority students that had been evident for years.

 

Eight years later, NAEP scores for AI/AN students, compared with 2003 scores, showed that for the most part those negative trends were getting worse. Achievement gaps in reading and math for fourth-graders and in math (but not reading) for eighth-graders has widened since NCLB was implemented.

 

In 2012, the National Indian Education Association, a nonprofit advocacy group for Native students, sent a letter to Secretary of Education Arne Duncan saying NCLB waivers, which allowed some states to categorize racial and ethnic minorities as “super-subgroups,” might result in schools and districts ignoring Native students and losing information on their progress.

No Child Left Behind Act: A Bust in Indian Country (by Tanya Lee, Indian Country)

Native Student Association Concerned About NCLB Waivers (by Diette Courrégé Casey, Education Week)

 

The OIE Accused of Funding Non-Indian Education

According to the blog On the Wings of Eagles, the Office of Indian Education (OIE) has repeatedly diverted funding to schools with no Indian students. The office has approved grants to 25 Arkansas school districts without Indian students, and millions of dollars of OIE funds were spent on wireless computer labs and science programs that aided non-Indian students. Arkansas officials lauded the OIE grant diversion as a method to replace decreasing state educational funds in the state school system. The blog also reported that the OIE, along with Arkansas school districts and the Lost Cherokee of Arkansas and Missouri, were under investigation by the Department of Education.

Office of Indian Education Diversion Of Funds (blog, On The Wings Of Eagles)

more
Suggested Reforms:

Executive Order for Improvement

President Barack Obama unveiled Executive Order 13592 in 2011 establishing the White House Initiative on American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) Education.

                                                         

The initiative was intended to help expand educational opportunities and improve educational outcomes for all AI/AN students, including opportunities to learn their native languages, cultures, and histories and receive educations that prepared them for college and beyond. The executive order recognized that AI/AN students drop out of school at an alarming rate, that the education gap between them and non-AI/AN students hasn’t been closed, and even that many Native languages were on the verge of extinction.

 

The administration intended to strengthen the relationship between the Department of Education and the Department of the Interior, which operates or provides grants to tribes to operate primary-, secondary-, and college-level school systems for AI/AN children and young adults.

 

Goals of the initiative included increasing the number and percentage of AI/AN children who enter kindergarten “ready for success through improved access to high quality early learning programs and services, including Native language immersion programs, that encourage the learning and development of AI/AN children from birth through age five,” according to a White House press release.

 

Obama also hoped to increase the number and percentage of AI/AN students who have access to “excellent” teachers and school leaders, including effective science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, language, and special education teachers.

Executive Order 13592 -- Improving American Indian and Alaska Native Educational Opportunities and Strengthening Tribal Colleges and Universities (White House)

Educating the Next Generation of Native Leaders (U.S. Department of Education)

 

NIEA Reform Suggestions

The National Indian Education Association (NIEA) called in 2011 for changes to the federal Office of Indian Education (OIE), arguing the OIE should be elevated within the U.S. Department of Education.

 

In a briefing paper presented at the NIEA’s annual legislative summit, the advocacy organization noted the OIE at various times since its creation had been downsized, and even placed under the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education. This resulted in the role of the OIE’s director being limited primarily to grant management.

 

The NIEA added that the director lacked authority to “meaningfully participate in Department policy discussions and decision-making, to manage much needed collaboration and alignment between offices within [the department] and other federal agencies, such as Department of the Interior, and to ensure coordinated and efficient expenditures on Indian education.”

 

Given these concerns, the organization said the OIE should be elevated within the Education Department and that its top official should not be a director, but an assistant secretary of Indian education reporting directly to the Office of the Secretary of Education.

Restoring the Trust in Native Education (NIEA Legislative Summit)

Indian Tribal Leaders Give ED Input on Needs of Urban Indian Students (by Joe Barison, Homeroom)

more
Former Directors:

Jenelle Leonard (Acting Director) August 2010 – 2011

 

Biography (AllGov)

Official Biography (Department of Education)

more

Comments

Jolene New Holy 4 months ago
Hello and Sending Blessings! I need information about an OIEP grant that was given to become Teachers. I graduated in 2005 from Haskell Indian Nations University. In Elementary Education. I still owe and my income tax and wages are taken. Please help!
Mederise Stanlake 1 year ago
I am trying to find contact information for someone that might help me with researching the Indian Community Action Project of the 60's. My Grandfather, Professor Maurice Lucas, was a part of this project and I would like to find out his role. I am having trouble finding the correct department to talk to. Any help is appreciated. Sincerest regards, Mederise

Leave a comment

Founded: 1972
Annual Budget: $130.7 million (FY 2013 Request)
Employees:
Office of Indian Education
Silverthorne, Joyce
Director

Since September 2011, the nation’s lead official on issues of Native American education has been Joyce A. Silverthorne, who succeeded Jenelle Leonard, the acting director since August 2010. Located in the Department of Education, the Office of Indian Education is responsible for supporting local educational agencies, Indian tribes and organizations to meet the academic needs of American Indians and Alaska Natives.

 

A self-described “air force brat,” Silverthorne was born circa 1947 and grew up at various Air Force bases around the world. Her mother, a full-blood enrolled member of the Kickapoo Tribe of Kansas, and her father, an enrolled member of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes of the Flathead Reservation, Montana, met in Washington, D.C.

 

In 1977, Bachelor of Arts degree in business education at the University of Montana and a

masters degree in secondary education administration in 1990, also from the University of Montana. She completed all work except a dissertation for a doctorate in Education at Gonzaga University in 2004.

 

A certified teacher and administrator, Silverthorne taught at Two River Eagle School and she taught and worked as a manager of the bilingual education personnel training program at Salish Kootenai College.

 

An enrolled member of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes, Joyce Silverthorne was director of the Tribal Education Department for the Tribes from 1999 to 2007, and served two years as Montana Education Superintendent Denise Juneau’s P-20 Education (i.e., preschool to college) policy advisor starting in December 2008. She also served as a gubernatorial appointee to the Montana Board of Public Education for 10 years.

 

Silverthorne is a mother of four children and a grandmother.

-Matt Bewig

 

Official Biography

Language Preservation and Human Resources Development (by Joyce A. Silverthorne)

Talks on Video by Silverthorne

Joyce Silverthorne: Prejudice is an Equal Opportunity Problem (by Israel Tockman and Alice Tejkalová, Common Ground)

more
Leonard, Jenelle
Previous Acting Director

The Acting Director of the Office of Indian Education since August 2010, Jenelle Leonard has more than 30 years of experience as an educator, including work as a public school teacher and administrator, a technology implementation and training consultant, a college professor, and a regional and state education department administrator. Her specialty has been bringing technology programs to schools.

 
While working in the Houston region school system, Leonard developed a program that emphasized teaching technology to staff members. She moved to Washington D.C. in 1981 and tried to introduce this training-oriented program. However the DC schools were not ready for a “microcomputer consultant,” so Leonard began teaching college-level English, while serving as a volunteer at her daughter’s school, teaching teachers. When the DC school district woke up to the need for computer training two years later, Leonard was chosen to lead the teacher training center. She eventually became the director of the Computer Literacy Training Laboratory for the District of Columbia Public Schools.
 
By 1992, she was back in Texas as the Texas Education Agency's senior director for technology services.
 
Leonard has also held supervisory- and technology-related positions in Prince William County Public Schools in Manassas, Virginia,and  at BDM Education Technologies Group, a K-12 consulting company.
 
From 1997 to 1998 Leonard served nearly a year and a half as a consultant at the U. S. Department of Education in the Office of Educational Technology. She advised on issues related to the development and implementation of technology initiatives and national goals, such as professional development, telecommunications technologies, curriculum integration, and instructional applications.
 
She later served as leader of the Education Department’s Technology Innovation Challenge Grant Program (TICG). In addition to managing the TICG Program, which included developing national guideline materials and policies, reviewing and issuing grants, program monitoring, and program evaluation, she served as an agency consultant, providing guidance within the department, as well as to state and local organizations, institutions and agencies.
 
In October 2001, Leonard was appointed to the board of advisors of Classroom Connect Inc., a private company involved in teacher development programs.
 
In December 2002, Leonard joined the School Support and Technology Programs (SSTP) Office in the Education Department as program manager/team leader of the State Technology Grants Program.
 
After that she was the group leader for the Technology and Flexibility Group, in the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education (OESE). Her primary responsibilities were to supervise staff assigned to the group, and coordinate, manage, administer and oversee 11 different programs, which included the state technology formula grants and the Rural Education Achievement Program.
 
Prior to becoming acting director of the Office of Indian Education, Leonard ran the Office for School Support and Technology.
 
Official Biography (Department of Education)
more
Bookmark and Share
Overview:

Part of the U.S. Department of Education, the Office of Indian Education (OIE) is responsible for supporting local educational agencies, Indian tribes and organizations to meet the academic needs of American Indians and Alaska Natives. The agency tries to provide opportunities so that students of these ethnic groups can be on the same academic level with other populations. OIE seeks to meet its goals by distributing millions of dollars in federal grants to local school districts throughout the United States.

 

more
History:

The Office of Indian Education (OIE) was created in 1972 following an investigation by Congress into the state of education for Native Americans. In 1969, the Special Senate Subcommittee on Indian Education issued a report called “Indian Education: A National Tragedy” that focused attention on the dire educational situation among these populations. As a result of these findings, the Indian Education Act (pdf) was passed establishing a comprehensive approach designed to meet the unique cultural needs of American Indian and Alaska Native students.

 

The act recognized that American Indians have education and academic needs, as well as distinct language and cultural needs. It provided services to American Indians and Alaska Natives that are not provided by the Bureau of Indian Affairs. It also represented the only comprehensive federal Indian education legislation that dealt with American Indian education from pre-school to graduate level education.

 

The Indian Education Act also established several competitive grant programs for Indian children and adults. In 1974, the original law was amended to add teacher training and fellowship programs.

 

A 1988 amendment gave Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) schools the ability to apply for formula grants and provided funds for Gifted and Talented education. Then, in 1994, the Improving America’s Schools Act of 1994 authorized Indian Education as Title IX Part A. This reauthorized formula grants for Indian schools and added a comprehensive plan to meet the academic and culturally related academic needs of American Indian and Alaska Native students.

 

The most recent amendment to the original law came about via the 2001 No Child Left Behind Act. NCLB reauthorized the program as Title VII Part A of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. As part of NCLB, grants to American Indian and Alaska Native schools will be based on state academic achievement standards used for all students. 

 

The Office of Indian Education is often confused with the Bureau of Indian Affairs, located within the Department of the Interior, which also works to improve Indian education and Indian rights. But the BIA works primarily to save and protect millions of acres of land held in trust by the United States for American Indians, Indian tribes, and Alaska Natives, while its education efforts run secondary in its mission. BIA schools for Indian children receive funds from OIE.

 

In December 2011, President Obama signed an Executive Order that called for the creation of an interagency working group—participants from ED and the Department of the Interior—to work toward the improvement of American Indian and Alaska Native educational opportunities and the strengthening of tribal colleges and universities.

more
What it Does:

The Office of Indian Education (OIE), one of eight offices in the Office of Secondary and Elementary Education, administers the Indian Education Program of the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) of 2001. Although the NCLB does not change the agency’s original 1972 mandate to facilitate greater educational opportunities for American Indians and Alaska Natives, it attempts to provide greater accountability and flexibility in use of federal funds.

 

The primary function of the OIE is to design and oversee a comprehensive system for administering Indian formula and discretionary grants; prepare and track performance indicators of grant program’s efficacy and help carry out national evaluations of OIE programs; provide leadership for Department of Education-wide policy coordination and help formulate policy and guidance; and develop and implement a system for maintaining open communications with the National Advisory Council on Indian Education (NACIE) and other educational organizations.

 

Under the Indian Education Program, the OIE is the only office that is able to bypass state agencies and award grants directly to local education agencies (LEAs). In addition, the OIE works with the Institute for Education Sciences (IES) and the National Indian Education Study (NIES) to develop research for improving Indian education and for the administration of the national activity grants. The OIE also funds grants for schools under the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA). The office represents only a fraction of the total department resources for Indian students, but consults on policy matters with all department programs affecting Indian children and adults.

 

The OIE is responsible for three main components, including providing demonstration grants for Indian children, such as school readiness projects and college preparatory programs; Indian education formula grants which can be given directly to LEAs to reform school programs; and Indian professional development program grants that are used to train teachers and school administrators.

 

In October 2003, the OIE was elevated to report to the Office of the Under Secretary (OUS) rather than to the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education (OESE), although it continues to operate within the OESE.

 

The OIE has served as the sponsor of the National Indian Education Study (NIES) biennially since 2005. The study provides data on the educational achievement and experiences of American Indian and Alaska Native students, as well as details about the students’ school conditions, curriculum, academic goals, and cultural exposure.

National Indian Education Study 2011 (pdf)

Tribal Leaders Speak:  The State of American Indian Education, 2010 (U.S. Department

            Education) (pdf)

 

From the Web Site of the Office of Indian Education

Contact Information

Demonstration Grant Awards

ED Awards Database

Formula Grant Program

Funding Information

Grants Application Package

Indian Education Resources

Legislation

National Advisory Council on Indian Education

National Indian Education Study

News and Events

Professional Development Grants

Programs

Research Website

Staff Directory

State Contacts

Tribal Consultations

more
Where Does the Money Go:

In 2012, the Office of Indian Education (OIE) awarded 10 professional development grants to college participants in Arizona, California, Montana, Oregon, South Dakota, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. In 2011, the OIE awarded five such grants totaling more than $1.8 million.

 

Twelve school districts are the recipients of 2012 demonstration grants. The previous year, six districts were the recipients of nearly $1.7 million in such grants.

 

The history of formula grants awarded to LEAs between 2000 and 2007 are provided on the OIE’s formula grants web page.

 

In recent years, more than 44% of OIE’s grants have gone to programs in Oklahoma, Arizona, and Alaska, despite the fact that only 14% of the Native American population lives in these three states.

 

In terms of contract spending, the OIE has spent nearly $12 million on 225 contractor transactions between FY 2002 and FY 2012, according to USAspending.gov. The top five types of products or services purchased by the OIE during this period were education management ($1,970,943), support services ($1,898,678), educational studies and analyses ($1,156,747), non-scientific study and data ($766,370), and program review/development ($717,076). The top five recipients of this contractor spending were:

 

1. Kauffman & Associates Inc.                                              $3,110,190     

2. Heritage Technologies Limited Liability Company            $1,898,678     

3. Westat Inc.                                                                             $766,370     

4. Academy for Educational Development Inc.                        $717,076     

5. Manhattan Strategy Group LLC                                           $699,593

more
Controversies:

Indian Education Lags

A major goal of the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), signed into law by President George W. Bush in 2002, was to close the achievement gap between white and non-white students. But test results showed the gap only getting wider for American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) kids.

 

In 2003, National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) testing done by the federal government revealed negative trends among minority students that had been evident for years.

 

Eight years later, NAEP scores for AI/AN students, compared with 2003 scores, showed that for the most part those negative trends were getting worse. Achievement gaps in reading and math for fourth-graders and in math (but not reading) for eighth-graders has widened since NCLB was implemented.

 

In 2012, the National Indian Education Association, a nonprofit advocacy group for Native students, sent a letter to Secretary of Education Arne Duncan saying NCLB waivers, which allowed some states to categorize racial and ethnic minorities as “super-subgroups,” might result in schools and districts ignoring Native students and losing information on their progress.

No Child Left Behind Act: A Bust in Indian Country (by Tanya Lee, Indian Country)

Native Student Association Concerned About NCLB Waivers (by Diette Courrégé Casey, Education Week)

 

The OIE Accused of Funding Non-Indian Education

According to the blog On the Wings of Eagles, the Office of Indian Education (OIE) has repeatedly diverted funding to schools with no Indian students. The office has approved grants to 25 Arkansas school districts without Indian students, and millions of dollars of OIE funds were spent on wireless computer labs and science programs that aided non-Indian students. Arkansas officials lauded the OIE grant diversion as a method to replace decreasing state educational funds in the state school system. The blog also reported that the OIE, along with Arkansas school districts and the Lost Cherokee of Arkansas and Missouri, were under investigation by the Department of Education.

Office of Indian Education Diversion Of Funds (blog, On The Wings Of Eagles)

more
Suggested Reforms:

Executive Order for Improvement

President Barack Obama unveiled Executive Order 13592 in 2011 establishing the White House Initiative on American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) Education.

                                                         

The initiative was intended to help expand educational opportunities and improve educational outcomes for all AI/AN students, including opportunities to learn their native languages, cultures, and histories and receive educations that prepared them for college and beyond. The executive order recognized that AI/AN students drop out of school at an alarming rate, that the education gap between them and non-AI/AN students hasn’t been closed, and even that many Native languages were on the verge of extinction.

 

The administration intended to strengthen the relationship between the Department of Education and the Department of the Interior, which operates or provides grants to tribes to operate primary-, secondary-, and college-level school systems for AI/AN children and young adults.

 

Goals of the initiative included increasing the number and percentage of AI/AN children who enter kindergarten “ready for success through improved access to high quality early learning programs and services, including Native language immersion programs, that encourage the learning and development of AI/AN children from birth through age five,” according to a White House press release.

 

Obama also hoped to increase the number and percentage of AI/AN students who have access to “excellent” teachers and school leaders, including effective science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, language, and special education teachers.

Executive Order 13592 -- Improving American Indian and Alaska Native Educational Opportunities and Strengthening Tribal Colleges and Universities (White House)

Educating the Next Generation of Native Leaders (U.S. Department of Education)

 

NIEA Reform Suggestions

The National Indian Education Association (NIEA) called in 2011 for changes to the federal Office of Indian Education (OIE), arguing the OIE should be elevated within the U.S. Department of Education.

 

In a briefing paper presented at the NIEA’s annual legislative summit, the advocacy organization noted the OIE at various times since its creation had been downsized, and even placed under the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education. This resulted in the role of the OIE’s director being limited primarily to grant management.

 

The NIEA added that the director lacked authority to “meaningfully participate in Department policy discussions and decision-making, to manage much needed collaboration and alignment between offices within [the department] and other federal agencies, such as Department of the Interior, and to ensure coordinated and efficient expenditures on Indian education.”

 

Given these concerns, the organization said the OIE should be elevated within the Education Department and that its top official should not be a director, but an assistant secretary of Indian education reporting directly to the Office of the Secretary of Education.

Restoring the Trust in Native Education (NIEA Legislative Summit)

Indian Tribal Leaders Give ED Input on Needs of Urban Indian Students (by Joe Barison, Homeroom)

more
Former Directors:

Jenelle Leonard (Acting Director) August 2010 – 2011

 

Biography (AllGov)

Official Biography (Department of Education)

more

Comments

Jolene New Holy 4 months ago
Hello and Sending Blessings! I need information about an OIEP grant that was given to become Teachers. I graduated in 2005 from Haskell Indian Nations University. In Elementary Education. I still owe and my income tax and wages are taken. Please help!
Mederise Stanlake 1 year ago
I am trying to find contact information for someone that might help me with researching the Indian Community Action Project of the 60's. My Grandfather, Professor Maurice Lucas, was a part of this project and I would like to find out his role. I am having trouble finding the correct department to talk to. Any help is appreciated. Sincerest regards, Mederise

Leave a comment

Founded: 1972
Annual Budget: $130.7 million (FY 2013 Request)
Employees:
Office of Indian Education
Silverthorne, Joyce
Director

Since September 2011, the nation’s lead official on issues of Native American education has been Joyce A. Silverthorne, who succeeded Jenelle Leonard, the acting director since August 2010. Located in the Department of Education, the Office of Indian Education is responsible for supporting local educational agencies, Indian tribes and organizations to meet the academic needs of American Indians and Alaska Natives.

 

A self-described “air force brat,” Silverthorne was born circa 1947 and grew up at various Air Force bases around the world. Her mother, a full-blood enrolled member of the Kickapoo Tribe of Kansas, and her father, an enrolled member of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes of the Flathead Reservation, Montana, met in Washington, D.C.

 

In 1977, Bachelor of Arts degree in business education at the University of Montana and a

masters degree in secondary education administration in 1990, also from the University of Montana. She completed all work except a dissertation for a doctorate in Education at Gonzaga University in 2004.

 

A certified teacher and administrator, Silverthorne taught at Two River Eagle School and she taught and worked as a manager of the bilingual education personnel training program at Salish Kootenai College.

 

An enrolled member of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes, Joyce Silverthorne was director of the Tribal Education Department for the Tribes from 1999 to 2007, and served two years as Montana Education Superintendent Denise Juneau’s P-20 Education (i.e., preschool to college) policy advisor starting in December 2008. She also served as a gubernatorial appointee to the Montana Board of Public Education for 10 years.

 

Silverthorne is a mother of four children and a grandmother.

-Matt Bewig

 

Official Biography

Language Preservation and Human Resources Development (by Joyce A. Silverthorne)

Talks on Video by Silverthorne

Joyce Silverthorne: Prejudice is an Equal Opportunity Problem (by Israel Tockman and Alice Tejkalová, Common Ground)

more
Leonard, Jenelle
Previous Acting Director

The Acting Director of the Office of Indian Education since August 2010, Jenelle Leonard has more than 30 years of experience as an educator, including work as a public school teacher and administrator, a technology implementation and training consultant, a college professor, and a regional and state education department administrator. Her specialty has been bringing technology programs to schools.

 
While working in the Houston region school system, Leonard developed a program that emphasized teaching technology to staff members. She moved to Washington D.C. in 1981 and tried to introduce this training-oriented program. However the DC schools were not ready for a “microcomputer consultant,” so Leonard began teaching college-level English, while serving as a volunteer at her daughter’s school, teaching teachers. When the DC school district woke up to the need for computer training two years later, Leonard was chosen to lead the teacher training center. She eventually became the director of the Computer Literacy Training Laboratory for the District of Columbia Public Schools.
 
By 1992, she was back in Texas as the Texas Education Agency's senior director for technology services.
 
Leonard has also held supervisory- and technology-related positions in Prince William County Public Schools in Manassas, Virginia,and  at BDM Education Technologies Group, a K-12 consulting company.
 
From 1997 to 1998 Leonard served nearly a year and a half as a consultant at the U. S. Department of Education in the Office of Educational Technology. She advised on issues related to the development and implementation of technology initiatives and national goals, such as professional development, telecommunications technologies, curriculum integration, and instructional applications.
 
She later served as leader of the Education Department’s Technology Innovation Challenge Grant Program (TICG). In addition to managing the TICG Program, which included developing national guideline materials and policies, reviewing and issuing grants, program monitoring, and program evaluation, she served as an agency consultant, providing guidance within the department, as well as to state and local organizations, institutions and agencies.
 
In October 2001, Leonard was appointed to the board of advisors of Classroom Connect Inc., a private company involved in teacher development programs.
 
In December 2002, Leonard joined the School Support and Technology Programs (SSTP) Office in the Education Department as program manager/team leader of the State Technology Grants Program.
 
After that she was the group leader for the Technology and Flexibility Group, in the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education (OESE). Her primary responsibilities were to supervise staff assigned to the group, and coordinate, manage, administer and oversee 11 different programs, which included the state technology formula grants and the Rural Education Achievement Program.
 
Prior to becoming acting director of the Office of Indian Education, Leonard ran the Office for School Support and Technology.
 
Official Biography (Department of Education)
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