Constitutional and Legal Foundations
It is important to know that Article X of the Montana State Constitution of 1972 specifically noted "the unique cultural heritage of the American Indians." Based on the constitutional mandate, the Montana legislature passed MCA 20-1-501 speaking to the importance of all Montanans learning about the "distinct and unique heritage of American Indians." In an effort to better support Montana's American Indian students, the Montana Board of Regents adopted Policy 1902.
Article X of the Montana Constitution, the Indian Education for All (IEfA) state statute, and the Montana University System policy each support a Pre-K to college education understanding of Montana's First People as well an understanding of how best to cultivate a system of support for American Indian student success.
Article X of the Montana Constitution Education and Public Lands (1972)
(1) It is the goal of the people to establish a system of education which will develop the full educational potential of each person. Equality of educational opportunity is guaranteed to each person of the state.
(2) The state recognizes the distinct and unique cultural heritage of the American Indians and is committed in its educational goals to the preservation of their cultural integrity.
Indian Education for All – MCA 20-1-501
Recognition of American Indian cultural heritage -- legislative intent. (1) It is the constitutionally declared policy of this state to recognize the distinct and unique cultural heritage of American Indians and to be committed in its educational goals to the preservation of their cultural heritage. (2) It is the intent of the legislature that in accordance with Article X, section 1(2), of the Montana constitution: (a) every Montanan, whether Indian or non-Indian, be encouraged to learn about the distinct and unique heritage of American Indians in a culturally responsive manner; and (b) every educational agency and all educational personnel will work cooperatively with Montana tribes or those tribes that are in close proximity, when providing instruction or when implementing an educational goal or adopting a rule related to the education of each Montana citizen, to include information specific to the cultural heritage and contemporary contributions of American Indians, with particular emphasis on Montana Indian tribal groups and governments. (3) It is also the intent of this part, predicated on the belief that all school personnel should have an understanding and awareness of Indian tribes to help them relate effectively with Indian students and parents, that educational personnel provide means by which school personnel will gain an understanding of and appreciation for the American Indian people.
Montana Board of Regents of Higher Education: Policy 1902 - Minority Achievement
Please review the full document titled "Minority Achievement- Policy 1902."