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Northwest Indian Education Bureau

The NMPED Northwest Indian Education Bureau functions to ensure the implementation of the provisions in the New Mexico Indian Education Act. The Bureau:

  • Provides technical assistance to NM public schools, school districts and public charter schools with Native American student enrollment.
  • Provides for the collaboration of various entities such as NM tribes and pueblos, community, business, parent, LEA and SEA legislative policy makers to participate in initiatives and discussions to promote the educational interests of NM Indian children.

Below are initiatives administered by the Northwest Bureau.

Click here to access the Indian Education info and data links page: data links.

Exemplary Cultural Based Education Program for American Indian Students

This grant provides for the study, development & implementation of exemplary programs that positively affect the educational success of American Indian students as required in the Indian Education Act (Article 23A, Sections 22-23A-1 to 22-23A-9 NMSA 1978). The grant is provided for through a Request for Application (RFA) process. Applications for this grant are issued in the spring of each year and are open to NM Public, Charter and Bureau of Indian Education schools. Schools funded must serve a significant number of American Indian students and implement a cultural based exemplary program proven effective. Twenty-nine (29) school districts and/or sites have been allocated funds since 2005. The Albuquerque Public Schools, Bloomfield School District, Central Consolidated School District and the Native American Charter Academy were funded during the 2009-10 school year.

Culture Based Education Cohort

Schools that have demonstrated sustainability over several years, have demonstrated proven strategies for NM American Indian, have documented student success, and are accepted within their school district as a viable program, are placed in the exemplary cohort. Schools meeting this criteria and their common characteristics are listed below:

Cochiti Elementary/Middle School
Dowa Yalanne Elementary School
Laguna Acoma High School
Los Alamos Middle School
Mescalero Apache School K-12
Milan Elementary School
Mt. Taylor Elementary School
Walatowa Charter High School

Characteristics of Cohort “Exemplary” Programs:

  • Significant activities engaging community involvement
  • Family engagement in school activities/programs
  • Emphasis on effective and consistent leadership
  • Strategic allocation of resources
  • Develop curricula with high expectations for student academic success
  • Incorporate cultural competence into program (a developing process)
  • Native Language in curriculum as intervention (maintenance initiatives)
  • Frequent monitoring of teaching methods and strategies
  • Demonstrate process for improving school and Relational Trust with stakeholders


The Indian Education Division in collaboration with the 23 Districts work to meet this IEA statute of reporting to NM tribes regarding the education of Native children. The statewide report is due by November 15th of each year and distributed at the NM Government to Government meetings. School districts located on tribal lands are also required to report to the tribes with a district wide report. The brief reports include 12 indicators, listed below:

  1. Student achievement
  2. Safety
  3. Graduation rate
  4. Attendance
  5. Parent/community involvement
  6. Education programs targeting American Indian students
  7. Financial Reports
  8. Current status of federal Indian policies and procedures
  9. Public school use of variable calendars
  10. School district plans to decrease the number of dropouts and increase attendance
  11. School District consultation with district Indian Education Committees, School-site Parent
    Advisory Councils and Tribal, Municipal and Indian Organizations
  12. Indigenous Research and evaluation and results for effective curricula for tribal students
Link to NM Statewide TESR reports: http://www.ped.state.nm.us/indian.ed/Resources.html


Over many centuries, human beings have been creating knowledge and strategies enabling them to survive in a balanced relation with their natural and social environment. The Indian Education Division in collaboration with the New Mexico Indian Education Advisory Council (NMIEAC) are working to create an evaluation model that will inform New Mexico of best practices and progress made in implementing culture based education for tribal students. Using western and indigenous methodology and evaluations the model will build upon the rich cultural vitality of American Indian students to measure cultural competencies. Indigenous knowledge, also referred to as "traditional" or "local" knowledge, which are embedded in the communities and are unique to a given culture, location or society.


NM Public Education Department Indian Education Division supports cooperation between holders of traditional knowledge in communities and formal educators of academics to explore the relationship between different knowledge systems, and to foster inter-linkages of mutual benefit that can help define the levels of culture that impact the academic education systems and their learners. Study of grantees implementing a culture base education curricula will serve as qualitative data for defining New Mexico Culture Base Education.


The Indian Education Division is coordinating the development of Family Community Partnerships in three New Mexico urban areas (Albuquerque, Bernalillo and Gallup). The center's purpose is to promote parent and community involvement to increase student services by integrating academic achievement and cultural identity for urban American Indian students attending schools within identified urban public schools K-12.


The Indian Education Division funds a two year grant to New Mexico State University to implement a best practice guidance program for American Indian students transitioning from high school to higher education institutions through partnerships with communities and schools. The purpose is to increase access for American Indian high school students who qualify to enter college/university upon graduation from high school through alignment of high school graduation requirements with college placement requirements.


The Indian Education Division funds Teach for America (TFA) to implement a culturally responsive teacher placement and support program to ensure that highly effective, qualified teachers are placed in New Mexico schools with a majority of American Indian students. The focus of the TFA is to improve collaborations with tribes and schools, market to and recruit from NM tribes and provide a system of support for teachers.


Mailing Address:

NM Indian Education Division
Northwest Bureau
907 N. Metro
Gallup, New Mexico 87301

Phone:  (505) 722-0317            Fax: (505) 722-0324

Ms. Terri Becenti,  ext. 0
Office Administrator

Mr. Edmund lano,  ext. 1
Program Manager

Ms. Sandra Freeland,  ext. 2
Education Administrator

Mr. Vern Bia,  ext. 3
Education Administrator

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