Authors, Student Panel Featured At Indian Education Summit

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For Immediate Release
July 11, 2016
Contact: Dale Wetzel, Public Information Specialist
Office 701-328-2247
Cell: 701-400-8557

Authors, Student Panel Featured At Indian Education Summit

BISMARCK, N.D., July 11, 2016 – Cultural traditions, tribal history and the academic experiences of tribal college students will be among the subjects discussed at the North Dakota Department of Public Instruction’s annual Indian Education Summit this week.

It is the third summit that the DPI has hosted during Superintendent Kirsten Baesler’s tenure. Lucy Fredericks, director of Indian and multicultural education at the DPI, said the summit’s popularity has increased every year since its inception.

Fredericks expects more than 100 attendees during this week’s summit, which is being held Tuesday and Wednesday in the Brynhild Haugland Room of the North Dakota Capitol.

Among the featured sessions will be a panel discussion of tribal college students on Wednesday, Fredericks said. Students from Sitting Bull College at Fort Yates, N.D., United Tribes Technical College at Bismarck, N.D., and Cankdeska Cikana Community College in Fort Totten, N.D., will talk about their education plans and how well their respective high schools prepared them for college.

Dr. Joan Aus, a professor at Valley City State University, will speak about using Native American cultural traditions to teach writing, while Dr. Mari Rasmussen, an education professor at Dickinson State University, and Delilah Yellow Bird, a teacher in the White Shield school district in Roseglen, N.D., will talk about efforts to preserve Native American languages in schools.

Tuesday’s keynote speaker will be Dr. Stephen Sroka, an award-winning educator with experience in teaching and working with Native American students, who emphasizes the importance of family, friends and faith in learning. 

On Wednesday, the featured speaker will be Stacey Bess, who became known as a teacher of homeless students at the “School with No Name” in Salt Lake City. She has written a book, “Nobody Don’t Love Nobody,” about her experiences, which have been chronicled in a television movie called “Beyond the Blackboard.”

An agenda and details of the summit’s breakout sessions are attached to this press release. The summit will run from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday and Wednesday.