The establishing of the Executive Order on Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs) stands out as one of AIHEC's most significant successes. The first TCU Executive Order was issued on October 19, 1996 (No. 13021) by President Clinton, subsequently; President Bush signed a second on July 3, 2002 (No.13270). The Executive Order was an important reminder that Tribal Colleges and Universities need to be supported by all Federal government departments and agencies. These Executive Orders acknowledged Tribal Colleges and Universities as extensions of the federally recognized tribes that charter them and confirmed the education of American Indians as part of a larger national mandate, one that all leaders and policymakers have a responsibility to recognize and fulfill.
New Executive Order: Improving American Indian and Alaska Native Educational Opportunities and Strengthening Tribal Colleges and Universities
On December 2, 2011, President Obama signed Executive Order No. 13592, which unlike the past administrations, incorporates all levels of American Indian Education into a single executive order. We request Congressional oversight to ensure the Strengthening of the Tribal Colleges and Universities component of the new executive order is recognized and advanced a separate and unique federal responsibility that all federal department and agencies must engage in addressing. Pursuant to the all-inclusive Executive Order, the National Advisory Council on Indian Education (NACIE) will serve as the advisory body to and staffed by the White House Initiative on American Indian and Alaska Native Education. Because of this significant advisory role, we request that Congress amend section 7141 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act [20 U.S.C. 7471] to designate specific seats for representatives from specific areas of expertise or affiliation, using as a model the statutory authority for USDA's National Agricultural Research, Extension, Education and Economics Advisory Board (NAREEEAB). The NAREEEAB has 25 Congressionally-designated member seats, each representing a specific affiliation category to ensure consistent balanced and broad membership on the Council.