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About Us

Framework for the Commission

The Federal government has a trust responsibility to provide for the education, health, and safety of Indian children. Yet, Native children are the most at-risk population in the country, facing significant disparities in these areas.

The Commission is named in honor of two tribal leaders. The first is Alyce Spotted Bear, a former tribal chairwoman of the Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara Nation in North Dakota, a passionate advocate for Native children, and a recognized leader in education. The second is Walter Soboleff, a Tlingit from Alaska, a noted educator, a cultural and traditional historian, a religious leader for Alaska Native people, and the first Alaska Native Chairman of the Alaska State Board of Education.

Protecting Native children and providing safe and supportive communities has been a top priority identified by tribal leaders. Yet the lack of sufficient coordinated research on the full scope of the causes, existing issues and challenges inhibits the Federal and tribal governments from developing appropriate, tailored programs to deliver the most efficient and targeted services to these children.

The collection, development, and evaluation of appropriate data is fundamental to a comprehensive assessment of the needs of Native children who may be rendered even more vulnerable by the misplaced or chronic underfunding of programs for Indian Country due to the lack of data.

Building on the work of previous commissions and advisory committees such as the DOJ Advisory Committee on Vilence against Native Women and Children, the Commission will rely on data and research but lead with the heart to present recommendations that create hope and concrete steps for a better future for Native children.


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