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For Immediate Release: April 6, 2005
Contact: Mary Stadick Smith - (605) 773-7228

Summit to address Native American education

The 2nd annual Indian Education Summit, slated for April 24-26, will address issues pertinent to the education of Native American youth in South Dakota. Stakeholders such as school administrators, tribal leaders, teachers, school board members, parents and social-service professionals are invited to attend. The event takes place at the Ramkota RiverCentre in Pierre.

“We have some real challenges when it comes to educating our Native American youth in this state,” said Gov. Mike Rounds. “This summit brings together the key people involved in the process and gives them an opportunity to discuss issues, share success stories, form partnerships and develop plans for future action.”

Gov. Rounds is a featured speaker at the summit. Other featured speakers include Tex Hall, president of the National Congress of American Indians; Bill Mehojah, former director of the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Indian Education Programs; and Melody McCoy of the Native American Rights Fund.

The theme of this year’s summit is “Recapturing Native Values by Strengthening Partnerships.” Sessions will cover topics such as: making adequate yearly progress under No Child Left Behind; parental involvement; Lakota language and culture; teacher recruitment; forming partnerships; school climate; and the role of higher education in improving Native American K-12 education.

The Indian Education Summit is hosted by the South Dakota Department of Education and the Office of Tribal Government Relations.

Cost of the event is $75. For information, call the Office of Tribal Relations at (605) 773-3415. Register at: