Board of Directors
Ted Wright, Interim President
On November 11, 2002, approximately 50 people graciously sacrificed their holiday to participate in a Southeast Region Native Education Forum. The forum took place at Haa Kaak Has Kahídí (Our Uncle's House) in Juneau. The forum was co-sponsored by the Southeast Alaska Tribal College (SEATC) and the Southeast Alaska Native Educators Association (SEANEA).
The SEATC Elders Council was represented by Joe Hotch of Klukwan, Lydia George of Angoon, Arnold Booth of Metlakatla, Charles Natkong, Sr. of Hydaburg, and Marie Olson, Nora Dauenhauer, Jim Walton of Juneau. The elders panel also participated in a cultural orientation training seminar for new teachers at Adlersheim Lodge in Juneau on November 9.
Plenary sessions took place at the beginning and end of the day. Forum participants divided into four strands, or working groups: K-12 Education, facilitated by Paula Dybdahl of Juneau-Douglas High School and Angie Lunda of SEANEA; Higher Education, facilitated by Rhonda Hickok of the University of Alaska Southeast/Preparing Indigenous Teachers for Alaska Schools; Adult Education, facilitated by Andy Hope of SEATC/AKRSI; and Strategies for Engaging Native Families in Community Education, facilitated by Dr. Bernice Tetpon.
The purpose of the forum was to encourage communication, to develop action plans and to ensure that Native educators were united and coordinated prior to the Second Native Education Summit scheduled for December 9-10, 2002 in Anchorage. The main product of the forum will be a Southeast Alaska Native Education Resource Directory. This directory will contain short summaries of community based education programs, with contact information. This directory will be published in mid-December, 2002, and will be posted on the SEATC web page, which can be found at: http://ankn.uaf.edu/seatc.
The Strategies for Engaging Native Families in Community Education group had extensive discussions on possible action plans, and decided to focus on the following:
School Board Training on attracting, hiring (interviewing) and retaining Native Staff.
Sub-goal: Increase support for returning Native scholars at in villages. Support acceptance, hire and retention.
Education work on generational grief/historic trauma using Wellness Programs in S.E.
Strategy 1. Training on generational grief/historic trauma/ affects of oppression.
Strategy 2. Training on reclaiming power for Native communities. Training on how to do this (de-colonization)
Implementation of Cultural Standards, IMMEDIATELY!
1. Provide educational staff with guiding principles of what Native parent involvement means, looks like, and how to invite it.
2. Have State School Board insist on a plan from each district on how they intend to implement these standards.
3. Need clearinghouse for curriculum, research, methods, materials for Native education by region.
4. Support for Place - Based Education and Assessment from State School Board.
The Adult Education group decided to focus on one achievable task, i.e. that the SE AK Adult Education Consortium should develop a data base for tracking high school drop outs.
The other groups will concentrate on developing their resource directories. Follow-up meetings will take place in the next few months in partnership with other educational institutions. I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to the people that took the time to participate in this forum. Thank you for working to improve educational opportunities in our communities.