A federal grant to expand early childhood education will target the White Earth Reservation.
White Earth is one of four areas in Minnesota to benefit from the $45 million "Race to the Top" grant.
White Earth Tribal Chair Erma Vizenor said the funding will help address a critical need on the reservation.
"Fifty percent of children ages zero to five do not have access to quality early childhood education on the White Earth Reservation," Vizenor said. "The need is great. This is the best Christmas present I have this year."
All children will be able to access early childhood education programs as a result of the grant, she said.
Vizenor said inadequate early childhood education contributes to poor graduation rates and high rates of poverty on the reservation.
Improving education is the key to future economic growth on the reservation, Vizenor said.