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For Immediate Release: Sept. 15, 2006
Contact: Mary Stadick Smith - (605) 773-7228

Education department hosts Indian Education Summit

Native American students account for 10 percent of enrollment at South Dakota’s public schools. Often, these students face unique challenges within the education system. The Department of Education is hosting an Indian Education Summit, Sept. 24-26, in Pierre to address issues related to the education of the state’s Native American students. The theme of this year’s summit is “Our Voice, Your Voice, One Voice.”

“This conference is about bringing all of our voices – the state, the tribes, the BIA and individual school districts – together for the benefit of our kids,” said Keith Moore, director of Indian education for the South Dakota Department of Education.

Gov. Mike Rounds will address the group at its opening dinner. In addition, a lineup of national experts is slated to provide information, strategies and tools that will help teachers and school leaders as they target instruction and foster school culture.

Jim Littlejohn will present a keynote address based on Dr. Ruby Payne’s respected work regarding the impact of poverty on learning. Author, sociologist and race relations expert Dr. James Loewen will present “Lies My Teacher Told Me About Native Americans.” Other keynote speakers include Ryan Wilson, president of the National Indian Education Association, and Jeff Johnson of the U.S. Department of Education.

Breakout sessions will address topics such as involving elders and parents in the school process, developing healthy children, teacher recruitment and quality, and Lakota language revitalization.

Cost of the summit is $75. The event will be held at the Ramkota in Pierre.

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