AIHEC engages with federal agencies and their policymakers.
On behalf of Tribal Colleges and Universities, AIHEC engages with federal agencies on the implementation of policies directly impacting TCU and student aid programs. By building and maintaining strong relationships with federal agencies, AIHEC ensures the needs of TCUs, American Indian and Alaska Native students, and Tribal communities are a priority for policymakers in the U.S. Executive branch.
Presidential Executive Orders on Tribal Colleges and Universities and Indian Education
The establishment of executive orders on Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs) stands out as one of AIHEC’s most significant successes. The first TCU executive order was issued on October 19, 1996 by President Clinton (EO 13021). Subsequently, President Bush issued a second TCU executive order on July 3, 2002 (EO 13270). These executive orders are powerful directives that Tribal Colleges and Universities need to be supported by all federal government departments and agencies. These executive orders acknowledged Tribal Colleges and Universities as extensions of the federally recognized Tribes that charter them and confirmed the education of American Indians and Alaska Natives as part of a larger national mandate, one that all leaders and policymakers have a responsibility to recognize and fulfill. Additionally, executive orders were also issued on general American Indian and Alaska Native education during the Clinton and Bush administrations.
In 2011, President Obama issued a singular executive order on American Indian and Alaska Native education and Tribal Colleges and Universities, combining the goals of the previously separate and distinct executive orders into one. During the Trump administration, executive orders were not issued to support American Indian and Alaska Native Education and Tribal Colleges and Universities.
On October 11, 2021, President Biden issued a comprehensive executive order that once again combines the goals of American Indian and Alaska Native education and Tribal Colleges and Universities. AIHEC looks forward to working with the Biden administration to ensure TCUs and TCUs students receive “focused attention,” “commitment,” and “investment” from all federal agencies.
Executive Order 14049 – White House Initiative on Advancing Educational Equity, Excellence, and Economic Opportunity for Native Americans and Strengthening Tribal Colleges and Universities (October 2021, President Joe Biden)