|Professor David Beaulieu (far left) standing with other honored guests, after he received an Honorary Doctorate Degree from Sinte Gleska University.|
In August, Professor David Beaulieu, Ruth A. Myers Endowed Chair in American Indian Education in the College of Education and Human Service Professions, was awarded with an Honorary Doctorate Degree from Sinte Gleska University for lifelong contributions he made to American Indian Education. He also gave the commencement address.
Beaulieu worked as a vice president at Sinte Gleska two separate times, beginning in 1979. There he helped to develop the institution, led the self-study process, and wrote the self-study report. Located on the Rosebud Indian Reservation, in Mission, S.D., Sinte Gleska was the first tribal institution of higher education to be accredited at the Baccalaureate Degree granting level and became the first Tribal University.
An enrolled member of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe, White Earth Reservation, Beaulieu earned his Ph.D. in Education Administration from the University of Minnesota. After working at Sinte Gleska, he moved into educational policy.
From 1984 to 1991, Beaulieu was the director of Indian Education for the State of Minnesota. Then, in 1991, Governor Arne Carlson appointed him as commissioner of the Department of Human Rights for the State of Minnesota. Beaulieu was the first American Indian to be appointed as a commissioner in Minnesota State government.
Next, Beaulieu worked at the national level, serving as the director of the Office of Indian Education, U.S. Department of Education, from 1997-2001. In that position, he was responsible for managing federal Indian education programs, coordinating policy development, and identifying research topics and priorities affecting American Indians and Alaska Natives within the Department of Education. He also worked to develop and implement President Clinton’s Executive Order on American and Alaska Native Education.
Eventually, Beaulieu left governmental policy work to return to teaching. He came to UMD from the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee where he was a professor in the Department of Education Policy and Community Studies, the Electa Quinney Endowed Professor of American Indian Education, and assistant to the provost and vice chancellor for University American Indian Program. He is an emeritus professor in Education Policy Studies from Arizona State University.
At UMD, Beaulieu works to empower students in the American Indian Education program. He’s also working to bring higher visibility to the program.
Additionally he is writing two books. One is a history of American Indian Education. The other is on the burial of Little Crow, a chief of the Mdewakanton Dakota people, who was shot and killed by a white settler on July 3, 1863.
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