Charter schools are a viable option for Native American tribal communities to engage in and support sovereignty and self-determination in education. The charter model affords the autonomy required for Native American communities to establish schools that are rooted in their cultural values, languages, traditions, and ways of knowing. However, establishing a Native American charter school requires extensive research, resources, and time.
NCSRC collaborated with the National Indian Education Association to write the Capacity-Building Guide for Founding Native American Charter Schools. This guide provides aspiring Native American charter school founders and supporters with perspective on three capacities essential for opening a Native American charter school: founding team capacity, funding capacity, and compliance capacity. It includes case studies of two Native American charter schools, one urban and one rural, to illustrate how each school realized these capacities. Throughout the Guide are resources on school governance, startup funding, and understanding authorizing policies by state. The Guide closes with guidance on building vital relationships with the broader ecosystem to ensure that Native American charter schools can access necessary resources.