Minnesota American Indian Education Summit

Closing the Achievement Gap: Culturally Based Education

Shooting Star Event Center
Mahnomen, Minnesota
Wednesday, October 15, 2014
9:00 a.m.–4:30 p.m.

Native American Shoes crafted by the Objiwe Indians

Meeting Materials

General Session

Opening Ceremony

  • Call to Order: Luann Frazer and Rick Haaland, Cochairs, Minnesota Indian Education Association
  • Opening Prayer: Marlene Stately, Spiritual Advisor, Leech Lake Reservation
  • Drum Group: Prairie Thunder Drum Group
  • Honor Guard: White Earth Veterans Honor Guard

Erma Vizenor, Chairwoman, White Earth Nation
Brenda Cassellius, Ed.D., Commissioner, Minnesota Department of Education

American Indian Education in Minnesota
Dennis W. Olson, Director of Indian Education, Minnesota Department of Education

Keynote Address
Martin Reinhardt, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Native American Studies, Northern Michigan University

Afternoon Breakout Sessions

Session titles and room assignments are listed below.

Session I:

Developing an American Indian Interdisciplinary Thematic Unit on Indigenous Foods
Martin Reinhardt, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Native American Studies, Northern Michigan University

Join us for a hands-on American Indian interdisciplinary thematic unit development session, where we will focus on indigenous foods. We will consider both horizontal and vertical alignment between content areas and grade levels, as well as encouraging family and community involvement. We will identify preexisting curricular resources, evaluative tools, and learning standards as we brainstorm ideas and begin shaping the interdisciplinary thematic unit. Presentation and handouts below:

Session II:

How to Infuse Native American Content in the Curriculum: Making the Standards Work for You
Anton Treuer, Ph.D., Executive Director, American Indian Resource Center, Bemidji State University

This session is designed to showcase several new curricular projects developed during the past year to help teachers more effectively reach American Indian students and provide meaningful content and engaging delivery. Special attention will be placed on new curricular modules developed with the Minnesota Humanities Center, Minnesota Conservation Volunteer, and new research partnerships in the region. Presentation and handouts below:

Session III:

Teaching Elementary Culture in the Digital Age - Standards-aligned Minnesota American Indian Elementary Curricular Resources
Robin Nelson, Elementary Academic/Cultural Advisor, and Becky Buck, Secondary Academic/Cultural Advisor, North St. Paul- Maplewood Oakdale ISD 622, Office of Educational Equity, Indian Education Program

This interactive, engaging session presents new Ojibwe and Dakota Grades K–5 curricula across the content areas of English language arts, social studies, science, art, and music. Grades K–1 integrate enrichment literature and culturally specific Ojibwe and Dakota materials. Grades 2–5 lessons use an interactive multimedia slide presentation format highlighting the Seasonal Round of the Ojibwe (Grade 2), Ojibwe and Dakota astronomy (Grade 3), sovereignty (Grade 4), and westward expansion—“The Buffalo” (Grade 5). All lessons are aligned with the Minnesota Common Core State Standards and showcase “Learning Trunks,” which are full of cultural artifacts, books, and other teaching tools for hands-on learning. We also will be sharing our template of the Minnesota Common Core as it applies to Ojibwe and Dakota cultures, which is an easy way for teachers to see how knowledge builds through Grades K–5. In addition, there will be inventory lists and contacts for teachers to build their own “Learning Trunks.” These lessons were created using grant funding from the state of Minnesota’s Success for the Future Indian Education program and will be available to any school district for FREE starting in the 2015–16 school year. Presentation and handouts will be uploaded following the Summit.

Session IV:

Check & Connect: A Comprehensive Student Engagement Intervention
Jean K. Echternacht (formerly Jean E. Ness), Ed.D., Principal Investigator/Project Director, and Sharon S. Mulé, Project Coordinator, Institute on Community Integration, University of Minnesota

Check & Connect (C&C) is a comprehensive mentoring intervention designed to enhance student engagement at school and with learning for marginalized, disengaged students in Grades K–12. C&C is data-driven and grounded in research on resiliency and home-school collaboration. C&C has been cited in the U.S. Department of Education’s What Works Clearinghouse to show “positive effects” for staying in school. Presenters will provide an overview of the model and the process of implementation, as well as specific projects in which it has been used, including traditional schools, afterschool settings, postsecondary schools, American Indian schools (including Fond du Lac Ojibwe school), and with adjudicated youth. Presentation and handouts will be uploaded following the Summit.

Public Question-and-Answer Session

Participants will have the opportunity to engage in a question-and-answer session with representatives from the Minnesota Department of Education.

Closing Session

Prairie Thunder Drum Group

Additional Resources

REL Midwest Reference Desk: American Indian Academic Performance in Minnesota

REL Midwest Reference Desk: Meeting the Needs of American Indian/Native American Students

American Indian Education in Minnesota: Analytic Review of Key State and National Documents

Presentations and readings do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the Minnesota Department of Education, the Midwest Comprehensive Center, or the U.S. Department of Education, nor does mention of trade names, commercial products, or organizations imply endorsement.