Recently President Obama spoke on national TV about the importance of learning. Students at Theodore Jamerson Elementary School were joined by Larry Echo Hawk, the Assistant Secretary-Indian Affairs, to watch it. After the speech, Echo Hawk told them about the importance of education in his own life.
“I come from a family that places a high value on education,” Echo Hawk said. “The path through the school door led me on a journey of learning and experience that I enjoyed. It has led me to being here with you today as the Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs. I know that same path leads through every school door. With hard work and dedication, it, too, can take you on a journey as rewarding as mine has been.”
The Theodore Jamerson Elementary School is a K-8 day school located on the campus of the United Tribes Technical College in Bismarck. For 35 years it has educated the children of UTTC students.
“Theodore Jamerson is complementary to and a critical part of UTTC’s education mission,” said Principal F. Sam Azure. “We support UTTC students as they pursue their academic goals by ensuring that their children have the same opportunity for a better life through education.”
Currently, Jamerson has about 175 students from 20 tribes from Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota and Wyoming.
As Assistant Secretary-Indian Affairs, Mr. Echo Hawk oversees the Bureau of Indian Education. The BIA funds 183 elementary and secondary day and boarding schools located on 64 federal Indian reservations in 23 states. These schools serve almost 42,000 American Indian and Alaska Native students.
The Bureau also helps fund 26 tribal colleges and universities and helps American Indian and Alaska Native students with college scholarships. The BIE operate two institutions: Haskell Indian Nations University in Lawrence, Kan., and the Southwest Indian Polytechnic Institute in Albuquerque, N.M.