205. Tribally Controlled Schools Act of 1988April 28, 1988
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320 ernmental insensitivity to the religious needs of any citizen.” . . . I find it difficult, however, to imagine conduct more insensitive to religious needs than the Government’s determination to build a marginally useful road in the face of uncontradicted evidence that the road will render the practice of respondents’ religion impossible. Nor do I believe that respondents will derive any solace from the knowledge that although the practice of their religion will become “more difficult” as a result of the Government’s actions, they remain free to maintain their religious beliefs. Given today’s ruling, that freedom amounts to nothing more than the right to believe that their religion will be destroyed. The safeguarding of such a hollow freedom not only makes a mockery of the “ ‘policy of the United States to protect and preserve for American Indians their inherent right of freedom to believe, express, and exercise the[ir] traditional religions ’ ” . . . , it fails utterly to accord with the dictates of the First Amendment. I dissent. [485 U.S. Reports, 441, 451–52, 453–54, 458–59, 476–77.] 205. Tribally Controlled Schools Act of 1988 April 28, 1988 The Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act of 1975 enabled tribes to contract with the federal government to run the schools provided for Indian children. This principle was enlarged in 1988 by the provision of outright grants to tribes for their schools. An Act to improve elementary and secondary education, and for other purposes (P.L. 100–297) . . . . TITLE V—INDIAN EDUCATION PART B—TRIBALLY CONTROLLED SCHOOL GRANTS sec. 5201. short title This part may be cited as the “Tribally Controlled Schools Act of 1988.” sec. 5202. findings The Congress, after careful review of the Federal Government’s historical and special legal relationship with, and resulting responsibilities to, Indians, finds that— (1) the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act, which was a product of the legitimate aspirations and a recognition of the inherent authority of Indian nations, was and is a crucial positive step towards tribal and community control; (2) the Bureau of Indian Affairs’ administration and domination of the contracting process under such Act has not provided the full opportunity to develop leadership skills crucial to the realization of self-government, and has denied to the Indian people an effective voice in the planning and implementation of programs for the benefit of Indians which are responsive to the true needs of Indian communities; (3) Indians will never surrender their desire to control their relationship both among themselves and with the nonIndian governments, organizations, and persons; (4) true self-determination in any society of people is dependent upon an educational process which will ensure the development of qualified people to fulfill meaningful leadership roles; (5) the Federal administration of education for Indian children has not effected the desired level of educational achievement nor created the diverse opportunities and personal satisfaction which education can and should provide; (6) true local control requires the least possible Federal interference; and (7) the time has come to enhance the concepts made manifest in the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act. 321 sec. 5203. declaration of policy. (a) Recognition.—The Congress recognizes the obligation of the United States to respond to the strong expression of the Indian people for self-determination by assuring maximum Indian participation in the direction of educational services so as to render such services more responsive to the needs and desires of those communities. (b) Commitment.—The Congress declares its commitment to the maintenance of the Federal Government’s unique and continuing trust relationship with and responsibility to the Indian people through the establishment of a meaningful Indian selfdetermination policy for education which will deter further perpetuation of Federal bureaucratic domination of programs. (c) National Goal.—The Congress declares that a major national goal of the United States is to provide the resources, processes, and structures which will enable tribes and local communities to effect the quantity and quality of educational services and opportunities which will permit Indian children to compete and excel in the life areas of their choice, and to achieve the measure of selfdetermination essential to their social and economic well-being. (d) Educational Needs.—The Congress affirms the reality of the special and unique educational needs of Indian peoples, including the need for programs to meet the linguistic and cultural aspirations of Indian tribes and communities. These may best be met through a grant program. (e) Federal Relations.—The...