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Responsibilities of MDE's Indigenous Education Initiative

Young Child in a Mirror

Responsibilities of MDE's Indigenous Education Initiative

Four categories represent the primary responsibilities of the Initiative: engagement, coordination, capacity building, and strategy & policy development.


The Indigenous Education Initiative Team leads strategic engagement and community outreach efforts with tribes, tribal organizations, and Indigenous communities throughout Michigan.
The primary MDE collaborator in this work is the Confederation of Michigan Tribal Education Departments (CMTED). The CMTED is the MDE's consultative body on education policy and practice matters. The MDE, through the Initiative, also serves as a thought partner to the CMTED Executive Leadership Team and participates in the CMTED's quarterly business meeting.
In addition to the consultative partnership with the CMTED, the MDE continues community outreach efforts to Michigan's American Indian urban populations in Detroit, Flint, Lansing, and Grand Rapids.


The Initiative Team is charged with coordinating internal MDE efforts to ensure a consistent and cohesive approach to working with Michigan's Indigenous education community. These coordination efforts may include supporting consultation efforts of the MDE offices and partnering with other Michigan state agencies on shared education priorities. As part of living and learning in a consultative relationship, the Initiative Team links the department and Michigan's tribal education community partners.

Capacity Building

Believing the learning needs to be ongoing and reciprocal to build shared capacity, the Initiative partners with tribal communities and Indigenous scholars to convene professional learning opportunities for the MDE staff.

The Initiative Team also works closely with the MDE offices to determine possible learning opportunities for tribal education leadership and communities on identified areas of interest.

Strategy & Policy Development

The Initiative Team analyzes federal and state policy requirements related to the education of Indigenous learners to develop, in partnership with the CMTED, Indigenous education consultation policies and processes for the MDE and local education agencies. In addition, the Initiative Team analyzes data to identify shared work between the MDE, the CMTED, and additional education partners.