HOGANSBURG — St. Regis Mohawk School will host a press conference on Friday morning regarding concerns over funding received by Native American Indian Nation Schools in New York state.
The focus of Friday’s New York State Capital Project Inequity Conference will be facilities funding, according to a press release from the Salmon River Central School District, which added that the state’s three Native American Indian Nation Schools are each looking for $20 million for a capital project in the state’s 2022-23 budget.
“The proposed funding would modernize the buildings to meet the education needs of not only today but of the future,” the press release reads.
The district believes that the state’s three Native American Indian Nation Schools — Onondaga Nation School, St. Regis Mohawk School and Tuscarora Nation School — are receiving inequitable facilities funding compared to their peer schools across the state, according to the press release.
Hogansburg’s St. Regis Mohawk School building is owned by the state and receives educational programming through Salmon River Central School District.
“It is the sole responsibility of New York State to provide adequate funding to maintain and repair the physical building,” the press release reads. “New York State is currently failing to do so.”
The goal is to seek quality education for the school district’s Native American students, for them to learn and thrive in the same type of safe and updated school building as their non-native peers.
“Simply said, we request that equitable funding be provided that allows the superintendent to complete the capital project work necessary to modernize the educational facilities and make the buildings efficient and safe for the Native American Indian students who attend them,” the press release reads.
Representatives from each of the state’s three Native American Indian Nation Schools will be in attendance at Friday morning’s press conference, in addition to school district superintendents, including Jeremy Belfield of LaFayette Central, Stanley Harper of Salmon River Central, and Daniel Ljiljanich of Niagara Wheatfield Central.