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South Dakota Department of
Tribal Relations
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Office of Indian Education

SDCL 1-54-11: Office of Indian Education established. The Office of Indian Education is hereby established within the Department of Tribal Relations. The Office of Indian Education shall support initiatives in order that South Dakota's students and public school instructional staff become aware of and gain an appreciation of South Dakota's unique American Indian culture. The secretary of the Department of Tribal Relations shall appoint an Indian Education Advisory Council. The council shall consist of representatives of all nine tribes in South Dakota along with Native American educators from all parts of the state. The nine representatives of the tribes shall be appointed from nominations submitted by the tribal councils of each of the tribes. The council members shall serve for three-year terms. Source: SL 2007, ch 82, § 1; SDCL § 13-1-47; SL 2019, ch 235 (Ex. Ord. 19-1), § 20, eff. Apr. 14, 2019.

SDCL 1-54-12: Indian Education Advisory Council to consult with Department of Education regarding Oceti Sakowin Essential Understandings. The Department of Education shall consult with the Indian Education Advisory Council within the Department of Tribal Relations to develop and review the Oceti Sakowin Essential Understandings. The consultation process shall align with the standards revision cycle established by the Board of Education Standards pursuant to � 13-3-48. Source: SL 2007, ch 82, § 3; SDCL § 13-1-49; SL 2019, ch 235 (Ex. Ord. 19-1), § 21, eff. Apr. 14, 2019.

History

In 2003, the Interim Secretary of the South Dakota Department of Education communicated to Governor Mike Rounds the need to establish an office within the Department of Education that would address the achievement gap disparity between Native American and non-Native American students in South Dakota. The office would also research and develop a plan to improve the educational outcomes for American Indian students across the state. To that end, a group of American Indian educators was gathered to formulate a plan of action for the re-establishment of the Office of Indian Education. That group served in an advisory capacity to the newly named Secretary of Education, Dr. Rick Melmer and would later develop into what is known today as the South Dakota Indian Education Advisory Council.

The current Office of Indian Education was legislatively established in 2007 through the South Dakota Indian Education Act. Below is a list of all individuals that served on behalf of Indian Education for the state of South Dakota.

In 2019, the Office of Indian Education was officially moved from the Department of Education to the Department of Tribal Relations.

Office of Indian Education Directors Past and Present