UTTC Hosts Roundtable - KFYRTV.COM - Bismarck, ND - News, Weather, Sports

UTTC Hosts Roundtable

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Students and teachers from United Tribes Technical College met with Sen. Heidi Heitkamp to discuss an important bill before the U.S. Senate.

The U.S. Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights says 37 percent of Native American students in North Dakota don't graduate high school. But a bill before the U.S. Senate aims to change that.

"We need to think about what new tactics can be used to keep kids more engaged, to keep kids thinking, to give them the critical thinking skills they need to be successful," says Heitkamp.

Heitkamp met with students and education leaders at United Tribes Technical College to discuss a bill that would create a Commission on Native Children. The commission would examine the unique challenges native children face and make recommendations for improvement. One tribal member says it's important to focus on the parents as well.

"When we talk about the kids and their education, we also need to include the parents, counseling services, rehabilitation services, parenting skills, improving on all those different things like that," says student senate president Gene DeClay.

Students also recommended integrating more Native American history and cultural education into existing curriculums.

Senator Heitkamp says she plans to take the information she heard today back to D.C.

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