The College of Education at Northern Arizona University is hosting the 9th Annual American Indian/Indigenous Teacher Education Conference (AIITEC) June 21-23. The conference invites community members and educators of all levels to participate in activities designed to better the lives and education of Indigenous children by creating a deeper understanding of how teachers can connect with these students, their families and their cultures. Joseph Martin, associate professor of educational leadership, and W. Sakiestewa Gilbert, professor of educational specialties, are conference co-chairs.
The conference includes panels, workshops and papers to combine ideas that would benefit the education of American Indian students. Each full day opens with a prayer/blessing song followed by presentations from various speakers on topics ranging from Navajo music in schools to understanding assessment tools for parents. Keynote speakers are Sharon Nelson-Barber and Nadine Groenig delivering “Educating American Indian Students: Communicating, Caring, Connecting” and Lily Wong Fillmore and Elaine Kasch delivering “Promoting the Educational Success of English Learners on Tribal Lands.”
The College of Education has a decades-long history of working closely with American Indian nations and developing improvements in education for American Indian students. Successes of the past include the American Indian teacher and administrative preparation program “Learn in Beauty” and the published monographs “Honoring our Children: Culturally Appropriate Approaches for Teaching Indigenous Students” and “Honoring Our Elders: Culturally Appropriate Approaches for Teaching Indigenous Students.”