In 2003, the Interim Secretary of the South Dakota Department of Education communicated to Governor Mike Rounds the need to establish an office within the Department of Education that would address the achievement gap disparity between Native American and non-Native American students in South Dakota. The office would also research and develop a plan to improve the educational outcomes for American Indian students across the state. To that end, a group of American Indian educators was gathered to formulate a plan of action for the re-establishment of the Office of Indian Education. That group served in an advisory capacity to the newly named Secretary of Education, Dr. Rick Melmer and would later develop into what is known today as the South Dakota Indian Education Advisory Council.

The current Office of Indian Education was legislatively established in 2007 through the South Dakota Indian Education Act. Below is a list of all individuals that served on behalf of Indian Education for the state of South Dakota.

In 2019, the Office of Indian Education was officially moved from the Department of Education to the Department of Tribal Relations. 


 Office of Indian Education Directors Past and Present