Community invited to participate in 13th annual Indigenous language education conference

A group of Native American students stand in a circle with their hands in the middle

The College of Education at Northern Arizona University invites the community to participate in the 2023 Hybrid Stabilizing Indigenous Languages American Indian/Indigenous Education Conference (AIITEC), which takes place June 23-24 at NAU’s Flagstaff Mountain campus. The theme of the conference is “Returning to our languages and ways of knowing,” addresses the success of Indigenous language revitalization efforts since the passage of the Native American Languages Act of 1990 and the important role of schools in nurturing and passing on the languages of Indigenous communities.

The program includes presentations from Hopi, Ute, Apache and Diné language teachers who will provide strategies and resources that participants can use to welcome students to their classrooms and promote student success.

The National Coalition of Native American Language Schools in collaboration with a research team funded by the Spencer Foundation will provide an overview of these successful immersion schools and the policy and regulations which support these programs. Hawaiian-language immersion high school students, teachers and teacher-educators will celebrate 40 years of a pre-K-Ph.D. program.

The conference will address:

  • Culturally responsive school practices to promote the success of Indigenous students
  • Language revitalization
  • Parental/community involvement
  • STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics)
  • Oral tradition

The conference will also include presentation from:

  • Richard Littlebear—President Emeritus, Chief Dull Knife College: “Conveying the Pleasure of Speaking, Reading and Writing our own Languages”
  • Christine Sims—Department of Language, Literacy and Sociocultural Studies, University of New Mexico: “Early Childhood Partnerships to support Indigenous Communities”
  • Robin Butterfield—Native American Parent Technical Assistance Center: “Developing Native American Student Leadership”
  • Leslie Harper—National Coalition of Native American Language Schools and Programs: “Native American Language Medium/Immersion Education Present Extent”
  • Louise BenallyDine Language Teachers Association: “Can the Mentor-Apprentice Program Method Produce Diné Fluent Speakers?”
  • Indigenous language teachers from Arizona, New Mexico, Hawaii, Alaska, Wyoming, Canada and Australia. Sessions include “Indigenous Language Revitalization through Land-based Teachings”, “Community-Based Science for Native Americans” and ”Indigenous Boarding Experiences.”

For more information or to register, visit or call (928) 523-8218.

NAU Communications