Improving the Accuracy of Native Student Identification

October 2021
illustration showing computer with two people and a name tag

American Indian and Alaska Native (AIAN) students are eligible to receive unique educational supports from a variety of programs. However, many Native students do not receive the services they are entitled to, simply because they are not identified as Native when they enroll in school.

To ensure AIAN students receive these resources and benefits—and other supports they need to succeed in school—the adults in their lives must have the information they need to advocate for them.

Native Youth Count, a resource guide for families of AIAN students, explains the importance of accurate identification, describes the different services and programs Native students may be eligible for, and more.

In addition, a video created for schools and districts explains how properly identifying Native youth can help ensure appropriate program funding, uphold treaty obligations, and track student achievement. It also suggests how to create school- or district-wide engagement plans for reaching out to Native families and caregivers.

These resources, produced by REL Northwest at Education Northwest and the Northwest Tribal Educators Alliance, build on the partnership’s May 2017 research brief, Obscured Identities: Improving the Accuracy of Identification of American Indian and Alaska Native Students.