March 2017 Newsletter

State News

Alaska: Alaska districts like Lower Kuskokwim create incentives for homegrown teachers who speak Native languages. Alaska Dispatch Publishing

California: A bill has been introduced in the California legislature that would affirm the right of Native students to wear “religious, ceremonial or cultural adornments” such as eagle feathers at graduations. Native News Online

California: The Karuk Tribe received a million dollar grant award from the U.S. Department of Education to support environmental education for K–12 Native Youth. Native News Online

Oklahoma: Native tribes like the Muscogee Creek Nation are offering free, medically accurate sex education courses to fill a gap in sex education left by the state’s schools. Public Radio International

Oregon: Oregon lawmakers consider a proposal for a new K–12 curriculum about the history and culture of the state’s Native American tribes to be developed in collaboration with the state’s federally recognized tribes. NW News

South Dakota: New Lakota language readers are now available to reinforce the Lakota K–12 language curriculum. Red Cloud School

National News

Ahniwake Rose discusses the challenges facing Native students in America today and examines why the challenges are not often discussed outside of Native communities. EdWeek

The Executive Director of the National Indian Education Association discusses the Every Student Succeeds Act and how schools can engage effectively with Native communities. The New Teacher Project

Canada: Ottawa schools create a new professional development day focused on learning about Indigenous communities, cultures, and issues. CBC News


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

From the website: “The 40th Annual California Conference on American Indian Education [will be held] 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.”

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

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.”

2017 National Forum on Dropout Prevention for Native and Tribal Communities
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
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 (NJOMA) 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 Coalition of Schools Educating Boys of Color (COSEBOC) Annual Gathering of Leaders
April 26–28, 2017, in Austin, Texas
Conference website

From the website: “At the Gathering, participants are exposed to high-quality professional development, powerful plenary presentations and the authentic voices of young men…. The theme for the 11th COSEBOC Gathering of Leaders is ‘Boys and Young Men of Color: Innovators, Creators and Game Changers.’”

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.”

American Indian Science Scholars Week (NEW!)
July 23–August 2, 2017 University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Cost: FREE
Event website
Event application

From the website: “This is a 10-day on-campus experience giving American Indian students an introduction to college life, which involves interactive scientific and cultural experiences. A wide array of science topics is explored; some past ones have included forensics/DNA evidence, field station work, management of water resources, microbiology, and hematology. Exploration takes place through tours, hand-on activities, and interactive visits at various Milwaukee area colleges and universities.”

Requirements: “These programs are for students who are American Indian or Alaskan Native (AI/AN) and are interested in pursuing careers in science research and or health care. This event geared to high school students (freshman year completed) [who] have a GPA of 2.5 or higher and live in Wisconsin, Michigan, or Minnesota.”

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

From the website: “The conference theme is ‘A Celebration of Resilience.’”


The Aspen Education & Society Program and the Council of Chief State School Officers. (2017). Leading for equity: Opportunities for state education chiefs. Washington, DC: Authors.

From the introduction: “These ten commitments are actions state chiefs can take to create a more equitable education system in their state…. We encourage state chiefs and their leadership teams to use the ten commitments to identify the most pressing concerns and greatest opportunities in their state and create an equity plan that allows their efforts toward educational equity to be monitored, modified, and measured.”

National Center for Education Statistics. (2017). The National Indian Education Study: 2015. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, National Center for Education Statistics.

From the website: “The National Indian Education Study (NIES) is designed to describe the condition of education for American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) students in the United States. The results presented in this report focus primarily on the educational experiences of AI/AN students at grades 4 and 8 based on their responses and the responses of their teachers and school administrators to selected NIES 2015 survey questions. Approximately 8,500 fourth-graders and 8,200 eighth-graders participated in the NIES 2015 student survey. Teachers and school administrators also completed surveys. Also included in this report are performance results for AI/AN students in the 14 states with samples large enough to report separate results for AI/AN students in 2015.”

NCAI Policy Research Center. (2016). Tips for researchers: Native youth research. Washington, DC: Author.

From the introduction: “This report is designed to guide efforts to include AI/AN youth in research, so that the research generates the maximum benefit for AI/AN youth and their communities, and importantly, does no harm.”

Reyhner, J. (2017, January 14). Selected resources on American Indian/Indigenous education [Northern Arizona University].

From the website: A list of resources related to American Indian and Indigenous education, updated January 14, 2017. Also includes book reviews and links to online editions.


Brandenburger, S. J., Wells, K., & Stluka, S. (2016). Utilizing talking circles as a means of gathering American Indian stories for developing a nutrition and physical activity curriculum. Health Education & Behavior, 1–6.

From the abstract: “This qualitative study used a focus group approach (talking circles) to elicit tribal elder insight on important concepts for the purpose of creating a curriculum to teach tribal youth in South Dakota about nutrition and physical activity in culturally appropriate ways.”

Irvin, M. J., Byun, S., Meece, J. L., Reed, K. S., & Farmer, T. W. (2016). School characteristics and experiences of African American, Hispanic/Latino, and Native American youth in rural communities: Relation to educational aspirations. Peabody Journal of Education, 91(2), 176–202.

From the abstract: “The primary purpose of this study was to examine differences in the school characteristics and experiences of African American, Hispanic/Latino, and Native American youth in rural high schools as well as their relation to educational aspirations.... The results demonstrate that there are differences in the school characteristics and experiences as well as their relation to educational aspirations that may have important implications as African American, Hispanic/Latino, and Native American youth in rural high schools prepare for the transition to adulthood.”

Wise, J., Liebler, C. A., & Todd, R. M. (2017). Dissimilarity on the career path: The occupational structure of the American Indian/Alaska Native workforce (Working Paper No. 2017-01). Minneapolis, MN: Federal Reserve System's Center for Indian Country Development, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.

From the abstract: “AIAN workers are generally overrepresented in low-skilled occupations and underrepresented in high-skilled occupations, relative to White workers. This pattern is stronger among men than among women and stronger among single-race AIANs than multiple-race AIANs. AIAN occupational dissimilarity does not appear to have declined substantially since 1980. Controlling for individual differences in factors such as education, age, location, and language proficiency accounts for a significant proportion of AIAN underrepresentation in high-education occupations.”