Native Village 
Youth and Education News

October 1, 2012

Preparing Native American Students for the Workforce of the Future
Condensed by Native Village

Minnesota:  An effort to get Native American students ready for the workforce of tomorrow is finding success. The American Indian Math Project is an after-school program with a focus on science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

 Matson directs the Youth Leadership Development Program at the Division of Indian Work

"Students start to set their study habits and their goals; they need to start thinking about what they are going to do and their areas of interest," said Louise Matson.  "You know we always say that our people were the first scientists here, and to try to see those kids make that connection and then it can be fun and that it can be an option for them."

Matson directs the Youth Leadership Development Program at the Division of Indian Work in Minneapolis. The program, which partners with Minneapolis Public Schools, also intertwines cultural education. It serves American Indian youth grades 5-8.

Matson say the program makes learning enjoyable. For example, in the winter time, students play the traditional game of 'snow snakes.'

"They make a track and they make a wooden snake and they race and it's a game, but you can teach math skills like friction and velocity to go along with that," she said. "So, you're teaching experiential learning and kind of tying it into culture, but then teaching some real-life math skills."

The efforts are paying off.

"We do teacher surveys with the students and we do show an increase in math scores. We'd like to see that continue to improve, but we have been able to show that they have shown improvement in their grades, each of the five years."

Its success in the past five years has resulted in a 21st-Century Community Learning Center grant of $800,000, to keep the American Indian Math Project running for the next three years.

Native Village Home Page

Native Village Gina Boltz
To receive email notices of Native Village updates, please send your email address to:
To contact us, email


Thank you to ALL the wonderful individuals,  friends, organizations, groups, news services and websites who share or donate their research, work, time and talents to make Native Village possible
In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, this material is distributed without profit or payment for non-profit research, archival, news, and educational purposes only.
NATIVE VILLAGE website was created for youth, educators, families, and friends who wish to celebrate the rich, diverse cultures of The Americas' First Peoples. We offer readers two monthly publications: NATIVE VILLAGE Youth and Education News and NATIVE VILLAGE Opportunities and Websites.  Each issue shares today's happenings in Indian country. NATIVE VILLAGE also houses website libraries and informational materials to enrich all lives on Turtle Island.
Unless otherwise noted, articles are written in full by the credited author at the credited source link. We are responsible for format changes and additional photos, art, and graphics which boost visual appeal and add dimension to the reading experience. Pictures and graphics not appearing with the original article are either credited on the page or by right-clicking the picture. Some may be free or by sources unknown.
Please contact us with any copyright corrections so we may properly credit the source.
 We are not responsible for changes to outside websites and weblinks. Please notify us if any problems arise.