What is the Indian Education Program?
Title VII of the Indian Education Act was first authorized by Congress in 1972. A subcommittee ascertained that Native Americans were performing the poorest of all socio-ethnic groups within the public school systems. Recommendations called for federal assistance in education and cultural support services as well as increased parent participation (self-determination).
Title VII is administered through a LEA (local educational agency). The Franklin Northwest Supervisory Union Superintendant’s office is our LEA. Funding for Title VII comes directly through the Federal Department of Education.
Title VII Indian Education is a community-based project which continually solicits input from Abenaki community members. Program goals are derived from a belief that parents play a critical role in the education of their children. Our project has been operating since 1981.
What are the goals of the program?
The program is committed to assuring equity for all students through direct intervention, systemic change, and increased parent involvement.
- Increasing the achievement level of Abenaki students, Grades K-12.
- Reducing the dropout rate of high school students.
- Providing cultural enrichment activities.
- Promoting active parent participation through many opportunities, including our Parent Advisory Committee (PAC), which oversees all program activities.
Parent Advisory Committee members:
Brenda Gagne [email protected]
Patty Greenia [email protected]
Ann St. Francis
Lorrie Choiniere [email protected]
Kevin Latuch [email protected]
Kellie Belisle [email protected]
Jenn Sullivan [email protected]
Amy Bilodeau [email protected]
Jamie Barney [email protected]
What services are available?
In-School Academic Tutoring –
Located at the local high school is a middle level (grades 7 & 8) Abenaki Reading Center where students (both Abenaki and non-Abenaki) are referred to a reading specialist who tutors students throughout the school year in both individualized and group settings.
Home-School Services –
If parents are experiencing any communication problem with their schools (e.g. not understanding report cards, difficulty attending meetings or conferences), they may contact us and assistance with any educational issue will be provided. At the same time, if school personnel are having problems with establishing contact with a family, we can facilitate liaison support services.
The Circle of Courage Cultural Center –
Located in our offices is an extensive cultural and heritage resource area which comprise our after-school programing open to all youth.
Parent Workshops –
These include various parenting groups, meetings with representatives from colleges such as The University of Vermont, and informational sessions with local school officials.
What is other projects the Indian Education Program involved in?
Curriculum Development –
Now in its 11th printing, is utilized in schools throughout New England. The story tells the plight of a young boy growing up Abenaki in a community where many playmates ridicule him. By the story’s end he is proud of who he is since his culture is a rich one. Accompanying the story is a teacher’s guide which includes study questions and Native American craft activities for the classroom.
A Curriculum Framework of the Middle Level is utilized in all schools statewide. It is the first social studies text aligned with the Vermont Standards. This initiative provides training and professional development for educators and social service providers throughout the state.
Against the Darkness
A DVD/ CD combination that is state of the art imagery which conveys seven generations of an Abenaki community family 1789 — present. The CD allows for a teacher to log onto the most comprehensive offering on Abenaki culture which can be used in grades K-12. This hands—on multidisciplinary technological tool is available to all students throughout the State of Vermont.
Abenaki – University of Vermont (UVM) Outreach Initiative –
This program, funded through UVM, allows for direct services to Abenaki students enrolled at the local high school. Through guidance, mentoring and counseling, Abenaki youth are encouraged to further their education.
Abenaki Higher Education Opportunities-
Abenaki eighth, ninth, and tenth graders are involved with the “Summer Happening” Project. Students explore local colleges and universities through a college summer camp environment. Follow-up activities are planned throughout the school year. Older students apply for Counselor-in-Training positions where they develop leadership skills and are paid a stipend.
Abenaki Resource Consultants —
Sharing their skills with local public schools, Abenaki artisans introduce Native stories and crafts through consultation with teachers and children.
Guide to College and Scholarships for Abenaki Students-
A 100-page guide developed to prepare Abenaki High School students for College. This guide provides information about the college application and financial aid process along with a comprehensive list of scholarships available to Abenaki high school students. Information to assist students in locating additional scholarships utilizing search engines and web portals are also included (will be disseminated throughout the State upon the Missisquoi Abenaki procurement of State Recognition).