Officials from the Wind River Reservation discussed dropout rates, poverty issues, and the need for early childhood education during a panel that included two cabinet secretaries.
The meeting in Riverton was intended to let Interior Secretary Sally Jewell and Education Secretary Arne Duncan hear about issues on the reservation. State Board of Education Member Scotty Ratliff was impressed that the discussion moved away from cultural issues and centered on key issues like poverty and jobs.
“I’m in awe actually that two people of this caliber are so on top of what’s going on, I mean they talked articulately about issues…who would have known they knew that much about our issues, our county, and the native world.”
Secretary Duncan said that it was a thoughtful discussion.
“I think it was so important, there were so many good ideas that emerged, and we want to be a good partner, to listen, and to give the kids and communities the education they need and deserve.”
Duncan offered to come back and further look into the issues and local school officials say they will take him up on his offer.