Fort Peck Tribe Files Education Discrimination Complaint against Wolf Point District Schools

Here is the complaint.

An excerpt:

The Wolf Point School District discriminates against Native students and deprives them of basic rights to which they are entitled in school. The Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes, whose reservation encompasses the Wolf Point school district, asks that the U.S. Department of Justice and U.S. Department of Education intervene. The unequal treatment of Native students is detrimental to their development and education and violates federal law.

White residents on the Fort Peck Indian Reservation, which is majority-Native, control local politics, business, and schools. Gerrymandering and nepotism have perpetuated racial inequality created by federal policies, including preferential land grants for white homesteaders and compulsory boarding school programs for Native students. Schools on the Reservation bear the legacy of the Fort Peck Reservation Boarding School, which violently imposed Western culture, values, and education on Native families through the early 1900s.

Hostility towards Native students and culture persists. Native students in Wolf Point report the use of racial slurs and harmful stereotypes by white administrators, faculty, and staff. Native students are disproportionately disciplined and excluded from school, often without due process. At Wolf Point High School, non-white students, most of whom are Native, are more than twice as likely to receive in- and out-of-school suspensions than white students. These suspensions also violate federal and local standards for discipline. Native students are routinely denied academic and extracurricular opportunities available to white students. Students with academic and behavioral challenges, most of whom are Native, are warehoused in the Opportunity
Learning Center, which is understaffed and underfunded.

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