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Montana’s 1972 Constitution declares that the state “recognizes the distinct and unique cultural heritage of American Indians and is committed in its educational goals to the preservation of their cultural integrity" (Article X). Yet 50 years later, despite state law (MCA 20-1-501) and court rulings (Columbia Falls Elementary School District No. 6, et al., v. The State of Montana), many classroom teachers still report they lack the knowledge, resources, understanding, and support necessary to effectively implement Indian Education for All (IEFA).

This course will explore the history of American Indian education from precontact through the present, including why and how Montana’s unique and forward thinking IEFA mandate came to be. The course will also explore resources, content, and pedagogy for meaningful implementation of IEFA, both at the macro level through curriculum planning and at the micro level through lesson planning. Finally, participants will examine and reflect upon their own knowledge, experiences, perceptions, and beliefs as they relate to IEFA in order to guide and advance their practice into the future.



Randy J. Bachmeier holds a doctoral degree in educational psychology and undergraduate degrees in history and English. He has over 20 years of experience in higher education, including administrative experience in continuing and distance/online education and in teaching undergraduate and graduate courses in education and leadership. He has extensive experience with diverse populations and was the primary investigator/author of a $1.9 million U.S. Department of Education Native American Serving Nontribal Institutions grant establishing Montana State University - Northern's Little River Institute, as well as projects in American Indian/citizen journalism and in Americorps/VISTA retention and completion. His primary research interest is developing leadership for the advancement of equitable and just communities.


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