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For Immediate Release: Aug. 30, 2007
Contact: Mary Stadick Smith - (605) 773-7228

Indian Education Summit: Strategies for helping students get ahead

A Regional Indian Education Summit, titled “Our Voice. Your Voice. One Voice.”, will be held Sept. 19-21 at the Ramkota in Rapid City. A lineup of national and local experts will discuss strategies related to student achievement, language and culture, and teacher recruitment and retention in Indian Country.

“Native American students account for nearly 11 percent of enrollment at the state’s public schools,” said Keith Moore, director of Indian education for the South Dakota Department of Education. “This conference brings together people involved in educating our Native students to share their successes and to talk about strategies for addressing specific challenges.”

Keynote speakers include Dr. Ben Chavis, Dr. Paul Gorski and Dr. Martin Reinhardt. Chavis is the director of American Indian Public Charter School in Oakland, Calif. Under his leadership, the school has been transformed from one of Oakland’s worst performing schools to one of its highest performing. Dr. Paul Gorski, an assistant professor at Hamline University in St. Paul, Minn., will present “Beyond Color Blindness: Being an Anti-Racist Educator.” Dr. Martin Reinhardt, research associate for the Interwest Equity Assistance Center at Colorado State University, will present “Conceptualizing American Indian Education.”

Breakout sessions will address a variety of topics including: teaching math in a cultural context, tribal perspectives on American history, online tutoring solutions, culturally responsive methodology for elementary teachers, positive systemic change, addressing racism issues, and more.

Educators, parents, legislators and others who work with Native American students are invited to attend. Registration for the summit is $100.

The event is hosted by the South Dakota Department of Education and Technology and Innovations in Education.


For a complete agenda or to register online, visit and click on “2007 Regional Indian Education Summit.”