Seventh Annual Indian Education for All Best Practices Conference in Helena


Monday, February 25, 2013
By Allyson Hagen
406-444-3160

OPI Hosts Seventh Annual Indian Education for All Best Practices Conference in Helena
Conference focused on Local Heritage, Cultures and Landscapes of Montana

Helena, MT - Montana’s Office of Public Instruction is holding the seventh annual Indian Education for All Best Practices Conference on February 25 and 26 at the Red Lion Colonial Hotel in Helena.  More than 260 educators are gathering to share knowledge, skills and classroom materials to implement Indian Education for All.

Superintendent of Public Instruction Denise Juneau said, “Montana continues to be the national leader in Indian Education and the only state to have a constitutional provision recognizing that our education system has an obligation to teach an accurate history of American Indian people and study contemporary issues of our tribal nations. Because of the work happening in classrooms across the state to implement Indian Education for All, tomorrow's citizens and leaders will have a better understanding of all Montana's people as they shape the future of our state."

This year’s conference emphasizes the utilization of local heritage, cultures and landscapes of Montana to develop a sense of place to achieve the goals of Indian Education for All. Participants will also receive training on IEFA curriculum and lesson plans that meet the new Montana Common Core Standards in English and math. Superintendent Juneau will address the conference attendees at the opening of the conference on Monday, February 25 at 9:00 a.m. and present the Teresa Veltkamp Advocacy Award for Excellence in Indian Education.

Teachers attending the conference will also enjoy an evening of poetry on Monday, February 25, at the Myrna Loy Theater. Montana poets who contributed to the recently published collection Birthright: Born to Poetry will participate in the poetry reading.

On Tuesday, February 26, at 12 pm, author James Loewen will present a keynote address on critical literacy and American history.   Loewen is an acclaimed sociologist, historian and best-selling author.  His book, Lies My Teacher Told Me, inspires K-16 teachers to get students to challenge, rather than memorize their textbooks. He has won numerous awards and in 2012 received the Spirit of America Award from the National Council for the Social Studies.

To download a complete program of the IEFA Best Practices conference: http://www.opi.mt.gov/pdf/IndianEd/HotTopics/13BestPracticesProgram.pdf.

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