Fifth American Indian / Indigenous Teacher Education Conference 
Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, AZ, USA, July 10-12, 2014 

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Northern Arizona University's College of Education hosted its Fifth American Indian / Indigenous Teacher Education Conference "Indigenizing Education: Empowering Students, Empowering Communities" on July 10-12, 2014 at its Eastburn Education Building. This conference for preschool, K-12, college, and university educators and concerned community members was designed through panels, workshops, and papers to share ideas for improving the lives and education of Indigenous children. Drs. Joseph Martin and W. Sakiestewa Gilbert, who have been long involved in working to improve Indian education, are co-chairing the conference. Northern Arizona University's College of Education has worked with Indian Nations to improve the education of American Indian students for decades. It has hosted a variety of American Indian teacher and administrative preparation programs, including the well received Learn In Beauty program, and published a number of monographs, including Honoring Our Heritage: Culturally Appropriate Approaches for Teaching Indigenous Students and Honoring Our Children: Culturally Appropriate Approaches for Teaching Indigenous Students. The Sixth American Indian/Indigenous Teacher Education Conference is scheduled to be held at Northern Arizona University on July 9-11, 2015.


Goals of the Conference

  • To bring together community and language activists, educators, school administrators, school board members, tribal officials, and parents to share ideas and experiences on how to improve educational programs for Indigenous communities.
  • To provide a forum for exchange of scholarly research on teaching Indigenous children.
  • To disseminate through a monograph and web site recent research and thinking on Indigenous education best practices.

Conference Program pdf file.

For information about the upcoming Sixth American Indian / Indigenous Teacher Education Conference and related information join the Indigenous-L List.

Keynote Speakers

Sandra Fox Photo
Sandra Fox
In a Culturally Appropriate Way: Promises and Possibilities

Dr. Sandra J. Fox is a member of the Oglala Lakota Nation and also has roots at Cheyenne River. Her mother was one of the first Oglala women to acquire a four year college degree. Dr. Fox started teaching at a public school but soon joined the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) and taught at Eagle Butte on the Cheyenne River Reservation. When the opportunity arose for Indian people in education to attend major universities and earn graduate degrees, Dr. Fox attended the Pennsylvania State University and received her doctor's degree in curriculum and instruction with an emphasis in the teaching of reading. Her doctoral dissertation focused on utilizing Indian literature and teaching approaches recommended for Indian learners. She received the National Indian Education Association's Indian Educator of the Year Award in 1998 and its Lifetime Achievement Award in 2013. She retired from the BIA in 1999. Dr. Fox is the author of many articles on Indian education and the Creating Sacred Places Curriculum that promotes using Indian literature, stories, and aspects of culture to teach standards.
Teresa McCarty Photo
Teresa McCarty
Culturally Sustaining and Revitalizing Pedagogy - New Pathways for Native American Student Achievement

Dr. McCarty is on the faculty of the Graduate School of Education at the University of California, Los Angeles. She has been a faculty member and codirector of the Center for Indian Education at Arizona State University and codirector of the American Indian Language Development Institute at the University of Arizona. Prior to this she worked as a curriculum developer at the Rough Rock Community School within the Navajo Nation and an Indian education specialist for the Arizona Department of Education. Her work addresses language education policy and practice for Native American learners with a focus on language reclamation, equity and rights. Her books include A Place To Be Navajo - Rough Rock and the Struggle for Self-determination in Indigenous Schooling (2002), One Voice, Many Voices - Recreating Indigenous Language Communities (with Ofelia Zepeda, 2006), "To Remain an Indian" - Lessons in Democracy from a Century of Native American Education (with K.T. Lomawaima, 2006), and Language Planning and Policy in Native America - History, Theory, Praxis (2013). She is currently working on a collaborative youth-elder language documentation project with the Fort Mojave Tribe of Needles, CA.

Tangiwai Rewi Photo
Poia Rewi Photo
Tangiwai and Poia Rewi
The ZePA Paradigm - A Complementary Model to Maori Language Revitalization
Key Considerations for Empowering Indigenous Language Educators, Students and Communities

Tangiwai Rewi has been a Senior Lecturer in the School of Maori, Pacific and Indigenous Studies at the University of Otago in New Zealand since 2008. She currently researches alongside her Waikato tribe, studying intergenerational knowledge transmission and has previously researched and written about Maori pedagogy use in mainstream schools. She began teaching elementary school in 1990 in a bilingual Maori language unit. In 1994 she became sole charge teacher at a new total immersion Maori language school, and in 1995 she became principal of a larger total immersion school. In 2000, she joined the NZ Ministry of Education as a school liaison working with and supporting Maori elementary schools. In 2001 her role changed to developing tribal education plans with 17 tribes across the central North Island. In 2003 she organized national Maori education summits with tribes, communities and the Ministry of Education, and in 2004 she became Schools and Early Childhood Team Leader for Otago/Southland and then a senior manager in the Ministry of Education overseeing a social marketing campaign aimed at keeping students, especially Maori students, in school longer through managing a national team of advisers working with students, schools, educators, families and communities.

Poia Rewi is an Associate Professor in the School of Maori, Pacific and Indigenous Studies, University of Otago. He has been lecturing in the area of Maori and Indigenous studies since 1992. He currently researches alongside Maori language communities on Maori language programmes and is in his second year as a Board member (Commissioner) on the Maori Language Commission (Te Taura Whiri I Te Reo Maori), NZ. In 2010 Dr. Rewi published his Ph.D. research on Whaikorero: The World of Maori Oratory (Auckland University Press), and he was awarded the 2011 New Zealand Society of Authors (NZSA) E.H. McCormick Best First Book Award for Non-Fiction. His areas of interest include the Maori language, customary practices, and performing arts.

Featured Speakers

Sig Boloz Photo
Sig Boloz

Named the National Distinguished Principal from Arizona (1997) Dr. Boloz is also known as a poet and writer, having produced eleven books of poetry and published over 400 pieces and articles in over 80 different journals and books. In 2010, Dr. Boloz was inducted into the Arizona Rural Schools Education Hall of Fame and in 2012, he was the recipient of the Arizona Reading Association's Celebrate Literacy Award, an annual state-wide honor recognizing an adult who has made a positive impact in the literacy lives of children.
Angelina Castagno Photo
Angelina Castagno

Angelina E. Castagno is an Associate Professor of Educational Leadership and Foundations at Northern Arizona University. Her teaching and research centers around issues of equity and diversity in U.S. schools, and she is especially interested in issues of Indigenous education, colonization, and whiteness. Most recently, she has been an evaluator and researcher for a number of university-based teacher preparation programs for Native educators in the Southwest. Her publications include articles in Anthropology and Education Quarterly, Journal of American Indian Education, and Review of Educational Research. She co-authored a book published in 2012 with Bryan Brayboy, Amy Fann, and Jessica Solyom titled Postsecondary Education for American Indian and Alaska Natives: Higher Education for Nation Building and Self-Determination.
Jennie DeGroat Photo
Jennie DeGroat

Jennie DeGroat is currently a Senior Lecturer within the Bilingual Multicultural Education department at Northern Arizona University. She is originally from the Eastern Diné Nation in New Mexico. Her work involves Native Language Teacher Education, Reversing Navajo Language Shift & Oppression, Oral Language Immersion Consulting and Indigenous Bilingual Education. Her previous experience includes coordinating Navajo Language Immersion Camps with urban Diné families living in Albuquerque, New Mexico. She also teaches language immersion classes for the American Indian Language Development Institute at the University of Arizona in Tucson during the summer. In addition to her work, she presents on topics of Language Revitalization in Native American communities while focusing on the role of fluent speakers in these efforts.
Sheilah Nicolas Photo
Sheilah Nicholas

Sheilah E. Nicholas is a member of the Hopi Tribe and an Assistant Professor in the Language, Reading and Culture Program, Department of Teaching, Learning and Sociocultural Studies at the University of Arizona. She teaches graduate and undergraduate classes in language and culture in education, teacher research, and Indigenous oral traditions. Professor Nicholas' scholarly work focuses on Indigenous/Hopi language maintenance and revitalization, Indigenous/Hopi language ideologies and epistemologies, and cultural and linguistic issues in American Indian education. Her current publications draw on her dissertation, Becoming 'Fully' Hopi: The Role of the Hopi Language in the Contemporary Lives of Hopi Youth- A Hopi Case Study of Language Shift and Vitality.

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