Journal of American Indian Education
Volume 14 Number 2
THE INDIAN EDUCATION ACT OF 1972
(Title IV of Public Law 92-318, Educational Amendments of 1972)
THE people and the Congress of the United States have for many years known about the shameful condition and the statistics which describe the lack of educational opportunities of the Indian people; yet, every two years, for decades Congress has closed its books without addressing the problems of Indian education.
It was with some relief and hope that the Indian people received the news that an Act has been signed into law on June 23, 1972, creating new educational opportunities for Indian children and their elders. The Indian Education Act of 1972 (IEA) provides federal assistance in education over and above the limited funds appropriated annually for Indian education programs in the Office of Education, Department of Health, Education and Welfare, and the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Department of the Interior, to help close the gap which now exists between Indian education and the general educational level of the United States.
The Act further creates a new Office of Indian Education within the Office of Education, headed by a Deputy Commissioner for Indian Education who will report directly to the Commissioner.
The new Act created the National Advisory Council for Indian Education to provide policy direction and guidance to the Congress and those responsible for implementing the Act. The Council is comprised of 15 Indian or Alaskan Natives appointed by the President from a select list recommended by Indian tribes and organizations throughout the Country. (See list next page.)
A report has been prepared for distribution by the National Advisory Council to explain the Indian Education Act so that Native Americans and other interested citizens can better understand and work to achieve the promise of this new legislation. It can be obtained from the Center for Indian Education, Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona 85281.
Approximately $17 million was provided in the first year of the Act’s administration to provide for three of the five parts of the program: Part A—financial assistance to local educational agencies (LEA’s); Part B—special programs and projects to improve educational opportunities for Indian children; Part C—special programs relating to adult education for Indians. The other parts are: D—creation of the Office of Indian Education, deputy commissioner post and council; and E—miscellaneous provisions.
Chairperson, Dr. Will Antell
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