American Indian Kids Face Some of the Greatest Challenges to Success

Posted November 7, 2017
By the Annie E. Casey Foundation
Blog americanindiankidsfacesome 2017

Amer­i­can Indi­an kids are strug­gling to access paths to oppor­tu­ni­ty, accord­ing to the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s recent­ly released Race for Results report.

The report found that — when com­pared to kids from oth­er racial and eth­nic groups — Amer­i­can Indi­an chil­dren are least like­ly to grad­u­ate high school on time, be con­nect­ed to school or work as young adults, or earn an asso­ciate degree or higher.

More than half of Amer­i­can Indi­an chil­dren live in high pover­ty neigh­bor­hoods and 62% live in low-income fam­i­lies, accord­ing to the publication.

Amer­i­can Indi­an kids scored just 413 out of 1,000 in report’s Race for Results index, which com­pares how chil­dren are pro­gress­ing on key mile­stones across racial and eth­nic groups at the nation­al and state lev­els. Only African-Amer­i­can chil­dren fared worse, earn­ing a score of 369. By com­par­i­son, Asian and Pacif­ic Islander chil­dren and white chil­dren both received an index score top­ping 700.

Our nation’s his­to­ry mis­treat­ing peo­ple of col­or has helped fuel this inequity. Amer­i­can Indi­ans have expe­ri­enced geno­cide and forced removal from their lands. They’ve also been stripped of their lan­guage and cul­ture in board­ing schools and endured the dis­in­vest­ment of their reser­va­tions. These actions and poli­cies have cre­at­ed bar­ri­ers for these chil­dren in access­ing opportunity.

To help over­come sys­temic chal­lenges, poli­cies must work to give all chil­dren access to oppor­tu­ni­ty. This includes access to ear­ly child­hood edu­ca­tion that pre­pares kids for a suc­cess­ful aca­d­e­m­ic career. It also includes ensur­ing that par­ents have access to good jobs and oppor­tu­ni­ties to obtain more skills.

Learn more by read­ing Race for Results

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