February 2017 Newsletter

State News

Arizona: Native American students from the Havasupai tribe in Arizona have brought a lawsuit against the federal government for failing to provide necessary education support. Pacific Standard

California: The Paskenta Band of Nomlaki Indians are the only tribal group in the nation awarded a Promise Neighborhood Grant from the U.S. Department of Education. Red Bluff Daily News

Kansas: A group of University of Kansas researchers has coauthored a study demonstrating that the ways children learn and speak the language in a Cherokee immersion school are an ongoing process of renewal rather than a return to an idealized notion of “speakerhood.” Phys.org

Minnesota: St. Paul’s 40 elementary schools are on Year 4 of a program to teach all children in St. Paul about the state's Native peoples, particularly the Dakota. In These Times

Minnesota: The American Indian Education program at Forest Lake Area High School provides students an activity or project focused on the past, present, and future of Native American history, culture, and current events each week. Forest Lake Area

Wyoming: The Wyoming House has passed a bill requiring that the cultural heritage, history, and contemporary contributions of American Indians are addressed in the Wyoming social studies content and performance standards. Wyoming Tribune Eagle

National News

After extensive tribal consultation, the U.S. Department of the Interior updated the Indian Affairs Manual to ensure that the Contract Support Costs Policy aligns with Indian Self-Determination Assistance Act requirements. U.S. Department of Interior

To fix schools that are “the epitome of broken,” the Bureau of Indian Education urges tribes to take local control of schools to better meet local needs. National Public Radio


Study Circles Online Conversation: Little Hawk and the Lone Wolf: A Memoir by Raymond C. Kaquatosh 
Session 1—February 13, 2017 | Online via Zoom; 4–6 p.m. CST
Session 2—March 7, 2017 | Online via Zoom; 4–6 p.m. CST
Session 3—April 4, 2017 | Online via Zoom; 4–6 p.m. CST

From the website: “Join us in a Study Circles conversation and the exploration of the book, Little Hawk and the Lone Wolf by Raymond C. Kaquatosh. Each session will use Raymond Kaquatosh’s book as a foundation for our conversation while exploring the impact of the opportunity gap for our American Indian students.”

National Indian Education Association’s Legislative Hill Day
February 15–16, 2017, in Washington, D.C.
Event website

From the website: “This event offers an opportunity for Native education advocates to learn from national experts, meet with congressional staff, and collaborate with colleagues about pressing issues regarding Native education. NIEA Hill Day will host informative panels focused on implementing the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), educational budget and appropriations in fiscal year 2017, and teacher recruitment and retention as it relates to teacher diversity.”

Webinar: Education as a Social Determinant of Health: The Role of Laws and Policies (NEW!)
February 23, 2017, 12:00 CST
Webinar website
Webinar registration

From the website: “This webinar, co-sponsored by the Network for Public Health Law and the CDC’s Public Health Law Program, is the first in a series on the Social Determinants of Health and the Law, and will explore how law and policy can be used to address education as a social determinant of health.”

Winter Professional Issues Conference (NEW!)
March 3–5, 2017, in Madison, Wisconsin
Event website
Event registration

From the website: “Registration is now open for the 2017 WEAC Professional Issues Conference, March 3–5 at the Concourse Hotel in Madison. The 2017 WEAC Professional Issues Conference will focus on the most important lever in improving our schools: building the knowledge and skills of educators.” The keynote speaker, Mark Denning, is a nationally recognized educator, lecturer, and curriculum specialist in American Indian history and culture and is enrolled in the Oneida Tribe of Wisconsin. The second keynote speaker is Dr. Tony Evers, who was elected as the Wisconsin State Superintendent of Public Instruction in April 2009 and re-elected in 2013. He has more than three decades of public education experience and has dedicated his life to advancing public education in Wisconsin.

40th Annual California Conference on American Indian Education (NEW!)
March 12–14, 2017, in Palm Springs, California
Conference website

From the website: “We invite you to attend the 40th Annual California Conference on American Indian Education, March 12–14, 2017, at the Renaissance Palm Springs Hotel in Palm Springs, CA. The theme is ‘Indian Education: The Power to Achieve.’ The conference will showcase 40 years of success and growth of American Indian education in California and the impact the American Indian Education Centers have had in American Indian communities.”

2017 Native American Critical Issues Conference
March 23–25, 2017, in Marquette, Michigan
Conference website

From the website: “The conference attracts a broad range of people interested in Indian education issues including teachers, policy makers, Title VI Indian Education Act programs, tribal schools, tribal colleges, tribal education departments, and Native American studies programs. It also includes a professional and youth track.”

2017 National Forum on Dropout Prevention for Native and Tribal Communities (NEW!)
April 9–12, 2017, in Scottsdale, Arizona
Conference website

From the website: “The 2017 National Forum on Dropout Prevention: Serving Native Students and Tribal Communities, ‘Building Engaging Educational Communities for Native Students,’ is a professional learning activity sponsored by The National Dropout Prevention Center, in partnership with The Arizona Department of Education, Alaska Staff Development Network, and the Native American Fatherhood and Families Association.”

2nd Annual Indigenous Education Research Conference (NEW!)
April 26–27, 2017, in Albuquerque, New Mexico
Conference website

From the website: “The College of Education at the University of New Mexico leads the nation in the number of Native faculty that represent a diversity of Indigenous Peoples. Individually each faculty member is engaged in research that serves Indigenous Peoples and Nations. Collectively, Native faculty engage in critical dialogue on issues of scholarship/research, teaching, and service. We acknowledge and operationalize the importance of engaging in research that recognizes the integrity of cultural sovereignty as it is exercised by Indigenous Nations. As educators, scholars, and Indigenous Peoples, we are cognizant of the critical role that education, Western and Indigenous-centered, has on pedagogy, policy, research, and practice. It is in this spirit that the idea for this research conference emerged.”

2017 National Johnson O'Malley Association Conference
April 26–28, 2017, in Albuquerque, New Mexico
Conference website

From the website: “On behalf of the NJOMA Board of Directors, I would like to invite you to the 2017 NJOMA Conference. The NJOMA Board has organized this year’s event to be held in conjunction with the 2017 Gathering of Nations.”

2017 Wisconsin Indian Education Association Conference
May 12–13, 2017, in Minocqua, Wisconsin

From the save the date notice: “This year’s theme: ‘Let’s Be Healthy Together.”

NEH Summer Institute for Teachers: Native Americans of New England
July 16–28, 2017, in Amherst, Massachusetts
Conference website

From the website: “A wealth of exciting scholarship has appeared in the 21st century that has not found its way into K–12 or even post-secondary teaching about the histories, communities, and cultures of Native American peoples. … Open to all K–12 teachers but particularly suited for history and social studies teachers.”

2017 World Indigenous Peoples Conference on Education
July 24–29, 2017, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Conference website

From the website: “World Indigenous People’s Conference on Education 2017 Theme: ‘A Celebration of Resilience.’”


Center on Standards and Assessment Implementation. (2016). Strategies to improve outcomes for American Indian students. San Francisco, CA: WestEd.

From the introduction: “The purpose of this CSAI publication is to help states, school districts, and schools develop strategies to overcome these barriers. Our recommendations are based on an extensive review of research of indigenous cultures in the United States, Canada, and Australia.”