In the spirit of Native American Indian community volunteerism, CIEA was established to set forth needed changes within the field of Native American Indian education. Our active and dedicated membership is comprised of individuals who have strong community and cultural ties. ************************************************************************************************

In 1967 many of the California Indian parents gathered and expressed their individual problems that were relayed to them by their children in the state school system. One of the most encouraging and beneficial individual aspects that was learned was that the problems were not isolated to one family’s situation, but rather were common to the Indian – non-Indian relationship on a statewide basis. They decided to do something about it and formed an alliance to deal with the common problems, complete with recommendations for working in accord with the schools to provide solutions and alternative solutions to the educational situation. To enable their views to be known, it was necessary to create a vehicle that would carry their message, with prestige, to every level of political conviction.

The vehicle that was created became known as the California Indian Education Association (CIEA). From the Ad Hoc Indian Education committee, formed at the first meeting held at North Fork, there evolved an organization with strong convictions. None of the members are paid, but dedicated to recommendations outlined in the first CIEA publication known as The North Fork Report. The organizational papers were filed with the state and the Association became recognized as a tax-exempt, non-profit corporation in 1969.

Excerpted from: California Indian Education Association Report on the Fifth Annual State Conference and Workshop (San Diego, California, October 8-10, 1971).


David Risling (1921-2005), one of the founders of CIEA. Picture taken at the National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI), July 2008, Washington D. C.