Message from the President
Boozhoo (Hello),

The new year has gotten off to busy start at WIEA with planning for the 2021 conference well underway. As a result of last year's conference postponement, this year's conference will carry forward the Indigenous STEAM theme. Aside from the conference title, we can expect many changes from our traditional conference gathering. One of those changes is big: this year's conference will be held virtually using the Zoom online video conferencing platform. The conference planning committee is comprised of various board members and some of our friends at the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction. The conference will be held April 21-23, 2021, and registration for all participants is $75. Our schedule of events is starting to shape up and we will share information as it becomes available. We will be combining a great line-up of presenters/workshops, keynote speakers and special recognitions, including our regional caucuses, as well as the annual award presentations. It's important to mention that we will be holding our annual board elections during the conference. As part of your $75 conference registration, you will receive a paid membership to WIEA, which entitles you to participate in the caucus and vote in the elections. We are still ironing out many of the details on how the process will work and will inform you in advance.

As always, our Native culture will be embedded into all aspects of our time together and remains the foundation of who we are. As with any new endeavor, we're learning as we go and will continue to do our best to deliver a great experience to all who attend. All of the conference workshops and events will be recorded and available to participants should they not be able to attend at the scheduled times.

Our organization would like to thank all of our sponsors and partners for their continued support during these challenging times. The board also extends a special thank you to the Potawatomi Foundation for their support of this year's conference. And last but certainly not least, we'd like to thank all of our WIEA members in advance for sticking with us through it all. Now more than ever, Indian education needs all of us to continue our mission of strengthening educational opportunities for Native learners of all ages. The challenges brought on by Covid only magnify the issues facing Native people. WIEA serves an important role in advocating for Indian education. Together we can continue our work in bettering the lives of Native people in Wisconsin and beyond.

Native people have always been patient and resilient. What better time than now to practice that patience and resilience.

Giigawabamin minawaa (I'll see you again),

Brian Jackson
President,
Wisconsin Indian Education Association
WIEA 2021 Conference to be held April 21-23
Register today for the 2021 Indigenous STEAM: Science, Technology, Engineering, Art & Math Conference by clicking here: https://bit.ly/WIEA2021


Visit: www.WIEA.net for more information #WIEA2021


Meet WIEA's Board of Directors
Over the next year, we will introduce a different board of directors member in each edition of our monthly newsletter. Some of you know and are familiar with WIEA's board of directors. However, there are many who are not. The board of directors are a non-paid, volunteer position. The board of directors meets monthly and are actively involved within the organization and locally in their own community.

Our second installment features

WIEA Board Member: Celeste Clark
WIEA Region: Southeast
Tribal Affiliation: Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina

Celeste Clark, Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina, represents the Southeast Region on the WIEA board of directors. Having spent well over 10-years on the board, Celeste is dedicated to improving the lives of Native people both within the city of Milwaukee and the greater metro area. In addition to serving on the board, Celeste has worked for 21-years as a Senior Advisor and as a Multicultural Student Success Coordinator in the American Indian Student Center (AISC) formerly known as the American
Indian Student Services (AISS) at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM). She has made Indian education her life's mission.

Although she's originally not from Milwaukee or a tribal nation native to the state of Wisconsin, Celeste has spent nearly all of her life living in the city. She does have roots from Wisconsin - a grandfather who was from Rice Lake in the western part of the state - and growing up in Milwaukee.

"I'm more of a behind-the-scenes person," says Celeste of her work both at UWM and WIEA.

"Everybody has different leadership skills: I'm not the one out in front; I believe I am more effective in a supportive role," she continues. "At work (UWM), my job really centers on holistic service. I connect students with resources, whether that be for housing, academics, health-wise - it's really about making sure our students are in a good place so they can focus on their school work in a good way."

At WIEA, Celeste see's herself in a similar role in her work on the board.

"I've been involved in the organization for quite a few years and have met a lot of people from other tribes and other Native communities and have learned just as much about the other tribal cultures," says Celeste. "It's one of the things I enjoy about helping out - I get to learn about people."

In her work at WIEA, Celeste enjoys volunteering to help planning and executing the various events throughout the year.

"Whether it's working at the annual conference, the legislative breakfast or helping to plan those events, I'm really happy tp pitch in where I can."

Celeste says WIEA was created for a reason: to help Natives achieve greatness. She believes she gains just as much or even more by giving back to the community.

"Even though it may not be your 'own' tribal community, you're still helping Indian People on their journey," said Celeste. "And as Native People, we welcome people from other tribes and other communities to be a part of our own - it's just who we are."

In her spare time, Celeste enjoys attending and participating in cultural events, especially pow-wows and other tribally affiliated activities. She says she has gained an affinity for researching her and family's history, and spends time gaining a better understanding of who she is and where she came from.

Celeste says it's important for people to be involved in WIEA.

"I encourage people to get involved because not only are they helping to better Indian education but they will also learn about the issues Native people are dealing with. And once you know the issues, you're in a better position to find solutions."
Gov. Tony Evers wants to provide state money to help school districts shift away from Native American mascots and logos

Molly Beck of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

MADISON - A sliver of Gov. Tony Evers' $91 billion state budget would quietly wade into the unceasing debate over whether schools in Wisconsin should continue to promote team mascots depicting Native Americans. 
Evers wants to use $400,000 of tribal casino revenue to create a grant program to help school district officials pay to adopt a new nickname or logo for school merchandise, team uniforms and scoreboards, among other costs.  

"Human beings are not mascots and it is past time to retire this harmful practice," Wausau School Board president Tricia Zunker, a member of Wisconsin's Ho-Chunk Nation, said Thursday in support of the governor's proposal.

Twenty-eight school districts in Wisconsin — about 6% of them — use Native American images as mascots and nicknames that include "Chiefs," "Indians," "Warriors," "Hatchets," "Chieftains," "Black Hawks," "Flying Arrows," and "Red Men."

The governor is opting to use a less confrontational way to phase out the use of Native Americans as mascots than a law then-Gov. Jim Doyle signed in 2010 that made it nearly impossible for schools to keep their Native American team names, mascots or logos if they had complaints filed against them.
The proposed grant program from Evers also goes further than a law signed seven years ago by former Gov. Scott Walker that overturned Doyle's law and made it more difficult to force school districts to change their mascots. 

"If the state bans speech that is offensive to some, where does it stop?" Walker said in 2013

School board members at an annual convention in January voted to support a resolution that encourages districts to "identify imagery, practices or processes that may create a school environment that is not safe and welcoming to all students, regardless of their race, ancestry or ethnicity" and to start conversations that would lead to the retirement of such mascots.

Just a year before, more than 200 school board members in Wisconsin rejected a resolution at a statewide convention to ask lawmakers to draft legislation to require districts with such mascots to change them. 
Erika Conner, Mukwonago School Board president, said at the time she wanted those decisions to be left to individual school officials. 

“It’s the very thing the state does to us all the time ... require things and they don’t fund them," she said at the Jan. 22, 2020, meeting of the Wisconsin Association of School Boards. "I cannot support this one, and I don’t know that it’s a good use of our time to debate.”

Mukwonago's mascot is the "Indians," which includes a logo of a Native American man in a headdress.
Conner did not return a phone call Wednesday about the governor's proposal to provide state funds to pay for the changes. 

Eleven federally recognized Wisconsin tribes and 18 school boards across the state supported the resolution, which was drafted by Zunker, who also is a former Democratic candidate for Congress.

"Continued use of race-based mascots, symbols, nicknames and imagery in our public schools perpetuates stereotypes of Native Americans, and it is never good educational policy to stereotype against an entire race of people," Zunker said Thursday.

"This is not a local issue because mascots, nicknames and imagery do not stay confined within a school district’s boundaries — students are unwillingly exposed to them through athletic and scholastic events throughout the state, which in effect results in an interscholastic discrimination," she said. 
In 2019, the Menomonee Falls School Board voted to retire the district's nickname of "Indians" while keeping a logo of a capital F festooned with a feather. 

Board member Michele Divelbiss voted against the idea, saying the logo has evolved to be respectful and had support from some Native American district residents. She said the issue had divided the Milwaukee suburb. 
"We choose names that honor and respect the history they represent. So no, we're not Indians, we're not appropriating anything as an Indian, but we can still take pride in the name," she said at the board meeting. 

The American Psychology Association urges school districts to remove such mascots to avoid harmful effects on Native American students from racial stereotyping and inaccurate racial portrayals.

When school boards voted last year not to seek legislation to force mascot changes, the Green Bay-area Oneida Nation said mascots do not honor Native Americans, as some school officials have argued in keeping the logos and nicknames. 

"When school districts honor other people, they do so most often by naming a school, a gymnasium, or a library after an individual," the nation said in a statement. "Honoring does not include war whoops, tomahawk chops and other antics that accompany such mascots at sporting events."

Joint Finance Committee co-chairmen Rep. Mark Born, R-Beaver Dam, and Sen. Howard Marklein, R-Spring Green, did not say whether they would keep the proposal in the state budget as the committee writes the final spending plan. 

*Reprinted from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Wisconsin teachers become eligible for covid vaccine Monday, but many face uncertain wait

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Rory Linnane Alison Dirr Samantha West
USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin reporter Allison Garfield and Devi Shastri contributed to this report. 
Contact Rory Linnane at (414) 801-1525 or rory.linnane@jrn.com. Follow her on Twitter at @RoryLinnane
Published February 25, 2021
As teachers become eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine Monday, some may get shots right away while others may need to wait up to six weeks depending on which school district they work for, health officials said Thursday.  

Local health departments are in charge of coordinating vaccinations for educators and child care staff, though many were still finalizing plans this week and educators were left unsure of how to schedule appointments. 

"We have another situation that appears to be the wild west out there," said Ron Martin, president of the Wisconsin Education Association Council and a teacher in Eau Claire. 

With a limited supply of vaccine, districts with higher populations of students of color and students from low-income families will be prioritized, said Julie Willems Van Dijk, state Department of Health Services deputy secretary. Other districts may face longer waits than initially expected. 

Track COVID-19 in Wisconsin:  See the latest numbers and trends

"It became clear to us that everybody thought they were going to do everybody the first few weeks of March, and that of course is not feasible given the vaccine supply we have here," Willems Van Dijk said. 

Other groups becoming eligible Monday include:
  • People in Medicaid long-term care programs such as IRIS and Family Care.
  • Public-facing essential workers, such as 911 operators, public transit workers, utility workers and food supply chain workers, including agricultural workers and retail food workers.
  • Non-frontline health care personnel.
  • People in congregate living, such as those in mental health institutions or people who are incarcerated.
  • Mink husbandry workers.

Anyone who was eligible in the first vaccination phase and has not yet received a vaccination is still eligible. State health officials said vaccinators should continue to prioritize vaccinating those ages 65 and older, about 48% of whom have received at least one shot. 

Willems Van Dijk said she expects to see a rise in vaccination supply in the coming weeks, with indications that more Pfizer and Moderna vaccines would be on the way and the pending approval of the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine. 

Wisconsin educators:  Take our survey about COVID-19  

Marlaina Jackson, interim commissioner of the Milwaukee Health Department, said officials hope most education and child care workers in Milwaukee will be able to get their first shots in March. 

The city requested 10,000 doses for next week, including some second doses. Jackson didn't say how many of those doses would go toward education and child care workers. 

Milwaukee Public Schools has tentative plans to bring back teachers for pre-kindergarten through second grade in six weeks, April 12, with other grades returning to school buildings later in the month. The full vaccination process, including waiting periods between shots and after the second shot, can take six weeks.

Ben Ward, executive director of the teachers' union, Milwaukee Teachers' Education Association, said the news dampens hopes that educators could be vaccinated in time for the proposed April reopening. The Milwaukee School Board is set to consider next month whether to continue with the reopening timeline. 

“I think it's negligent to reopen schools in the middle of a deadly pandemic without getting staff vaccinated, when there is vaccination within our grasp,” Ward said. 

Jackson said the health department will be offering vaccinations for education and child care workers as soon as Monday at the downtown Wisconsin Center. The department is still working out plans for mobile vaccination sites scheduled to open the week of March 8 at North Division and South Division high schools. 

Eligible staff who live or work in Milwaukee can go to Milwaukee.gov/COVIDvax to schedule vaccination appointments.

Those signing up will have to provide the school where they're employed, and they'll be asked to show identification from their place of employment when they arrive to receive the vaccine, Jackson said. 

DHS instructed local health departments to prioritize vaccination of education and child care staff, which includes staff at K-12 schools, child care centers, after-school programs and higher education institutions. 

Jackson said the priority will be on educators and their support staff, including teachers and people in the school buildings who interact with children. Those who work at Boys & Girls Clubs and other before- and after-school programs also fall into the educator group that will be eligible Monday, she said.

The city at this point does not plan to prioritize teachers who are already in classrooms or are expected to return to the classrooms soonest, she said.

Jackson estimated there are about 25,000 education and child care workers in the city, including from Milwaukee Public Schools, private schools and child care, though they may not all want the vaccine. 

"Ideally we're going to have all of our teachers in line ready to get vaccinated, and so obviously if that's the case it'll take a little longer," she said.

Districts find their own way 

With coordination left to local health departments, each of Wisconsin's school districts has made unique arrangements for vaccinating staff.  

The Little Chute Area School District, a small northeastern Wisconsin school district that serves about 1,600 students, planned to vaccinate nearly 150 teachers and school staff March 5 at Smith Pharmacy in town, district nurse Samantha Busko said. Staff will receive their second dose March 26.

Little Chute schools have been operating mostly in person all school year, but in order to allow all staff members the time to drive to the pharmacy and get their shot, all classes will be held virtually on those days.

"It's incredibly exciting — we were jumping for joy when we found out about March 1," Busko said.

The district’s plan to vaccinate in eight days hinges on DHS approval, and availability of shots at Smith Pharmacy.

“We won’t really, truly know that we’ve got all the vaccines we need until Thursday night,” said Little Chute schools Superintendent David Botz.

While Botz said he’s grateful for the efforts of Busko, local health departments and Smith Pharmacy, he said the lack of an overall plan is frustrating.
“One of the frustrations with this process is that the only thing that’s certain is uncertainty,” Botz said.

Some teachers already know they're facing a longer wait.

In central Wisconsin, Wood County Health Department officials said they would not start vaccinating teachers and other groups until "better progress is made on those 65 and older, as they are at highest risk of hospitalization and death."

About 1,500 people were on the waiting list Thursday. 
Bill to prohibit public schools' use of Native American names, symbols as mascots passes state House
Feb. 24 — OLYMPIA — A bill that would prohibit public schools from using Native American names, symbols or images as mascots or logos passed the state House of Representatives.

The bill, which passed 92-5, now heads to the Senate for further consideration. If it passes, public schools would have to change their mascot, logo or team name beginning Jan. 1, 2022. It does not apply to school names.

"Native Americans are Americans," Rep. Debra Lekanoff, D-Bow, said. "We are not animals. We are not those you make a mockery of."

The bill exempts some public schools if they are located on tribal land or in a county adjacent to tribal land, or if the school has consulted with the tribe to determine the best use of the name, symbol or image. In committee, Eric Sobotta, superintendent of Reardan-Edwall School District, asked committee members to consider allowing districts adjacent to tribal land to be exempted from the bill.

The district is currently working with the Spokane Tribe of Indians to find ways to implement Salish and make other changes to its K-12 curriculum. The district's current mascot is the Indians, and Sobotta said he wants to work with the tribe to discuss their mascot, which he said is "grounded in respect and a source of pride for Native American students."

Lekanoff praised the Spokane Tribe for working with schools and teams, such as the Spokane Indians baseball team and the Spokane Chiefs hockey team, to find a respectful way to use Native American names and symbols. The Indians currently have a uniform in Salish and honor tribal culture throughout their stadium.
Rep. Mike Volz, R-Spokane, said the issue was addressed "in a very positive manner" in the city.
"The outcome was right," he said. "It was always done with honor and pride."

The Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction estimates that more than 30 high schools currently use Native American names or symbols for their mascot or team name. These schools would be required to bear the fiscal impact of the bill, having to replace uniforms, equipment, signage, letterheads and supplies.
The bill does allow for a phased-in approach for school districts that may need to change their name, giving them some time to purchase all of the new materials.

Spokane-area students and school leaders testified in favor of the bill while it was in committee.
Ivy Pete, a junior at North Central High School, said the bill would begin to mend the broken relationships between tribes and school districts. North Central's mascot, currently the Indians, would change if this bill passed.

"The picture we paint of these mascots is not of a real human, group of humans or culture," Pete said. "It is a selection of preconceived notions and ideas that must be set straight."

Laurel Demkovich's reporting for The Spokesman-Review is funded in part by Report for America and by members of the Spokane community. This story can be republished by other organizations for free under a Creative Commons license. For more information on this, please contact our newspaper's managing editor.
Laurel Demkovich, The Spokesman-Review, Spokane, Wash. Wed, February 24, 2021, 10:01 AM CST·3 min read

Bill advanced to ban Native American mascots at schools
OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — The use of Native American names, symbols and images would be banned from being used as school mascots, logos and team names at most public schools in Washington under a bill passed Tuesday by the state House of Representatives.

The measure passed with a bipartisan 92-5 vote and now heads to the Senate for consideration.

If approved by the full Legislature and signed by Gov. Jay Inslee, the ban would take effect Jan. 1. Under the measure, school districts would have some time to phase out the mascot, team name or logo, but they would be required to select a new mascot by Dec. 31 to take effect by the end of the 2021-22 school year.

Starting in 2022, they would not be able to purchase uniforms that include the old mascot or name.
The ban does not apply to schools located within Native American areas or to schools in counties adjacent to Native American areas, as long as the nearest tribe is consulted and authorizes the use of the name.

Democratic Rep. Debra Lekanoff, the sponsor of the measure and an Alaska Native who is Tlingit and Aleut, said the bill is an opportunity to “do the right thing.”

“Native Americans are Americans,” she said during a speech on the House floor. “We are not animals, we are not those who you make a mockery of, we are not those who are treated without dignity. This little bill just says we are going to heal, and honor and respect one another.”

The state Board of Education has adopted two resolutions — in 1993 and again in 2012 — discouraging the use of Native American mascots.

Republican Rep. Brad Klippert pointed to a school in his district called the Kamiakin Braves, saying the name came from a place of pride and reverence for an influential chief of the Yakama Tribe, not disrespect.

“I hope that that the people who might disagree with me or see my no vote, will not see it as a vote of disrespect, but rather a sign of respect and honor,” he said. “We want to honor the Kamiakin Braves and Chief Kamiakin with that name.”

The National Congress of American Indians says there are about 1,900 schools nationwide that continue to use tribal mascots.

The Washington state Office of Superintendent of Public Schools estimates there are more than 30 schools in the state that currently use Native American names, symbols or images. A fiscal note attached to the bill notes that costs to school districts would vary based on the number of items that would need to be replaced, including sports and club uniforms, flags, banners and other materials.

RACHEL LA CORTE, Associated Press Feb. 23, 2021
Updated: Feb. 23, 2021 9:28 p.m.
Panel: Persistence will lead to removal of South Point's Red Raider mascot

The Gaston Gazette, Gavin Stewart at 704-869-1819 or on Twitter @GavinGazette.
Published February 24, 2021
Panelists who discussed Native American representation in sports this week believe persistence will lead to the retirement of South Point High School's Red Raider mascot and traditions.
Nearly eight months have passed since a group of online activists – the Retire the Red Raider coalition – first called on the Gaston County Board of Education and South Point High School to throw out the Belmont school’s Native American mascot. While the Board of Education has not yet taken up the issue, those who oppose the Red Raider mascot think they have time on their side.

“It is going to happen. That’s the clear trend,” said James Singer, one of the panelists who spoke during the discussion, which was organized by Retire the Red Raider. Singer, a member of the Navajo Nation, has previous experience working to remove Native American mascots around the United States.

South Point Principal Gary Ford and school board members have yet to speak about the South Point “Red Raider” issue nor have they acknowledged any push for change.

Tradition not logical

Based on previous interviews with school board members and comments on a Change.org petition to keep the South Point mascot, the mascot shouldn’t be changed because the Red Raider mascot’s tie to Belmont dates back more than 50 years.
Despite calls for retirement, they suggest more people take pride in the mascot than people who are hurt by it.

“They say, ‘well, tradition.’ So your tradition is more important than the actual students who have the civil rights at a public school to be in an environment where they can receive an education without discrimination,” Singer asked.

Notable movements to consider the psychological harm on indigenous students by school usage of Native American imagery and sports tradition occurred in the early 2000s in North Carolina and in 2020 across the U.S.

The 2020 push, which led to the NFL's Washington Redskins becoming the Washington Football Team, ignited following the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor at the hands of police officers and the nationwide Black Lives Matter movement.

Impacts of colonialism

Monday night's discussion was decidedly one-sided. No supporters of keeping the Red Raider mascot spoke. Several of those who oppose using the Native American imagery as a school mascot spoke Monday about the modern-day impacts of colonialism and settler colonialism – a structural system to destroy an original population and replace it with new settlers.

Those impacts include everything from human rights violations and psychological effects, to environmental degradation and economic instability.

Many modern traditions, such as the use of Native American mascots – also called “mascotting” – branch off of settler colonialism, which demeans and enacts white dominance over indigenous people, according to panelist Jason Black, a UNC Charlotte professor and co-author of “Mascot Nation: The Controversy Over Native American Representations in Sports.”

“When we say symbols have meaning, it means it has material in that… That is the hot breath of settler colonialism history blowing on us when we see these symbolic moments that have material consequence,” he said.

Persistence is key

While more important issues – such as school operations during the COVID-19 pandemic – may be more intriguing to school board's that also face the mascot debacle, Black argues that boards have the responsibility to multitask.

“Keeping the issue visible is incredibly important right now,” he said. “Hold them accountable to do it because we’re all going through a COVID virtual learning and work movement and we can still do multiple things at once.”
Hayley Brezeale, a member of the Catawba Nation who graduated from East Gaston High School in 2016, was also a panelist during Monday night’s discussion.

She believes Gaston County school board members still aren’t convinced discussion and decisions surrounding South Point’s mascot, as well as East Gaston’s “Warrior” tradition, should be had by the school board.

“I believe it would be much easier if the school board actually looked at this as a school board issue. I believe we could handle it much sooner,” Brezeale said.

In a December 2020 phone call, school board Chairman Jeff Ramsey reiterated that any mascots, school color or facility name changes begin at the school level.

Similar to the recent naming of Stanley Middle School’s Kelly Payne Robb Cultural Arts Hall, the proposal would be presented to Gaston County Schools’ operations committee, then it comes to the school board for consideration and approval.

Monday night's panel was attended by South Point teachers, including Kody Kubbs, who also coaches the school's boys basketball team, as well as former Belmont Mayor Richard Boyce.
NIEA News & Updates
NIEA Mission Statement
The National Indian Education Association advances comprehensive, culture-based educational opportunities for American Indians, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians.

NIEA Vision Statement
Our traditional Native cultures and values are the foundations of our learning therefore, NIEA will:

Promote educational sovereignty; Support continuing use of traditional knowledge and language; Improve educational opportunities and results in our communities.

The National Indian Education Association (NIEA) was formed in 1970, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, by Native educators who were anxious to find solutions to improve the education system for Native children. The NIEA Convention was established to mark the beginning of a national forum for sharing and developing ideas, and influencing federal policy.

NIEA adheres to the organization’s founding principles: 1) to bring Native educators together to explore ways to improve schools and the schooling of Native children; 2) to promote the maintenance and continued development of Native languages and cultures; and 3) to develop and implement strategies for influencing local, state, and federal policy and policymakers.

Based in Washington, D.C., NIEA is governed by a 12-member Board of Directors elected annually by membership. Executive Director Diana Cournoyer, who reports to the board, leads NIEA’s dedicated staff of advocates.

Click here to visit NIEA - www.niea.org
NIEA's Programs
National Education Association News & Updates
Stay informed, inspired and connected.
NEA provides the latest education news and tells the stories of the educators making our public schools work. Learn more about our activism on key issues facing our 3 million members, and hear what those members have to say about the current events that affect them.

Whether you’re a college student about to enter your first job in education or have retired from working in schools, we have something for you. Find the information (and inspiration) you need in one of our publications.

NEA is here to ensure we rebuild schools with an emphasis on equity, return to the classroom safely, protect the most vulnerable students, and help educators navigate their rights and responsibilities amidst the COVID-19 crisis.

As schools and campuses reopen, it’s a make-or-break moment for the future of education. To ensure the safety and success of you and your students — during the COVID-19 pandemic, and long after — we’ve assembled helpful classroom resourcesprofessional development, legal guidance, and advocacy opportunities to help educators turn this crisis into an opportunity to build back better.

National Leadership Summit

NEA's annual National Leadership Summit helps to develop activist leaders and prepare them with the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to lead relevant, thriving associations and to lead in their professions. Our unified, strategic, and interdisciplinary approach to leadership development reinforces and supports key leadership competencies in six strategic areas.

WELCOME TO THE 2021 VIRTUAL NEA NATIONAL LEADERSHIP SUMMIT
On March 12-14, NEA will host the first ever virtual National Leadership Summit. The Summit is an annual training experience to develop activists leaders and prepare them the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to lead relevant, thriving associations and to lead in their professions.

Registration for the 2021 Virtual NEA National Leadership Summit is open.

(Read the registration instructions here. We recommend using Google Chrome or Firefox when registering)
The NEA Summit is going virtual! March 12-14, join educators from across the country as we host the 2021 NEA National Leadership Summit.
Participants can expect the same caliber of leadership development sessions, keynote speakers, and entertainment.


Confirmed keynote speakers include:
  • Nancy MacLean, educator and author of Democracy in Chains
  • Dr. Andre Perry, noted researcher and author of Know Your Price
  • The Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II, President & Senior Lecturer of Repairers of the Breach, Co-Chair of the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call For Moral Revival
Registration for the Summit is $30. Certificates of completion will be emailed to participants (worth 10 of hours professional learning time).

For the fourth year in a row, the Summit will be aligned with the NEA Higher Ed (March 11-12) and NEA-Retired (March 14-16) conferences. If you attend multiple events, you will receive a discount:
  • Summit-only: $30
  • Summit and one additional conference: $50
  • Registration for the Higher Ed, Summit, and NEA-Retired conferences: $75

If you have additional questions, email us at leadershipsummits@nea.org.

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Wisconsin Education News
Brewers Introduce Grand Slam Teacher of the Month Program
New Program Honors Educators from Across the State and Thanks Them for Crucial Role They Play in Young People’s Lives

PRESS RELEASE
By Milwaukee Brewers - Feb 1st, 2021 01:06 pm

MILWAUKEE – The Milwaukee Brewers are proud to announce the Grand Slam Teacher of the Month
Program recognizing teachers from all grade levels and disciplines who improve student achievement
and use innovative strategies to make a difference in the lives of their students.

In the past year, the world has witnessed to our educators’ tireless efforts, going beyond the call of duty to diligently keep children engaged and learning – as the classroom dynamic has dramatically changed and
virtual learning has become necessary.

Students, educators, parents, community leaders and fans can nominate a Grand Slam teacher online at brewers.com/teacher. All educators throughout the state of Wisconsin are eligible to participate in the
Grand Slam Teacher Award Program.

Monthly winners will receive a Grand Slam Teacher of the Month certificate and a Brewers fan pack.
Each honoree will also be recognized on Brewers social media channels during the month they are named
the Grand Slam Teacher of the Month.
The Pandemic Is Taking A Toll On Kids' Mental Health. School Psychologists Are Worried.
Pandemic Stress, Grief Puts Another Layer Of Pressure On Virtual And In-Person Learners
By Madeline Fox
Published: February 2, 2021
Listen Here: https://www.wpr.org/listen/1754841 

Last year, when then-high school junior Marc Sharp needed to talk to someone, it was as easy as swinging by his teacher’s desk during a passing period or after school.

"I think just being able to talk to him, just kind of go by his office whenever, was a big thing," he said.

But the now-senior’s high school, James Madison Memorial, is all-virtual this year, so those casual visits have been replaced with scheduled calls — which he doesn’t always make it to.
"A lot of times, I just oversleep," he said.Sharp is a musician under the name BKWDS. Since COVID-19 hit, his basement studio has become a refuge when he’s having a tough day.

"Sometimes I’ll just go down to the studio, just put all my school stuff away and just kinda mess around with my music, give myself some free roaming space," he said.

Sharp describes his mental health throughout high school as "a roller coaster," with ups and downs that meant he’d be fine some days, and struggle to get out of bed on others. COVID-19 has exacerbated the lows. And at the same time, virtual learning has put more of the responsibility on him to reach out to the teachers, school social workers and other people — from friends to administrators — at school who help him cope.

MMSD senior Marc Sharp works on music in his basement. Photo courtesy of Marc Sharp
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, children’s mental health emergencies have increased substantially over the course of the pandemic. Emergency room visits, usually the first point of entry when children have a mental health crisis, have risen 24 percent for children ages 5 to 11, and 31 percent for ages 12 to 17, from April to October in 2020. It’s harder to quantify mental health disorders that fall below the crisis level, but early research shows COVID-19 is likely exacerbating already climbing rates of youth anxiety and depression.

At the same time, the net that’s supposed to help catch these students was overburdened even before the pandemic began. The National Association of School Psychologists recommends a ratio of 500 students to one school psychologist. Wisconsin’s ratio is triple that — around 1,500 students to one school psychologist.

'One Red Button Away'
School psychologists in Wisconsin have seen escalating mental health concerns since the start of the pandemic. In virtual environments, like Sharp’s, school psychologists and social workers worry about students who have been harder to reach, especially those who had a hard time before the pandemic.

"We have a population of kids that even in a normal year struggled to be engaged, and struggled to really feel like school is worth the time and the energy — then you add a pandemic on top of that," said school psychologist Angela Lucas Foley, who's also a support coach for other psychologists and social workers at Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS).

The virtual setting makes it harder to help kids in a crisis, she said, because psychologists have much less control over the situation. When she’s working with a student who’s at a high risk of harming themselves in person, she has a lot more tools at her disposal, like an office and other staff nearby.

When that conversation takes place as a Zoom call, she said, "they're like one red button away from being gone."

Lucas Foley’s colleague, MPS school psychologist Brooke Soupenne, noted that with younger kids, it’s often harder to even get to the Zoom call stage.

"Maybe they don't have a cell phone for texting, and you have to navigate through the parent," she said. "Or if you were to do some sort of online therapy session, you really want it to be a confidential kind of space, but that might not be possible."

'It’s All On You'
The pandemic means that students’ struggles can be a bit of a black box for staff at virtual or hybrid-learning schools — they don’t always know who’s struggling, particularly if those students are missing virtual classes, or attend but don’t turn their cameras on.

Thea Gillespie is a sophomore at Madison West High School. Her freshman year, she got involved in musical theater, and joined the school volleyball team. During the warmer months of the pandemic, the team was able to meet up for outdoor workouts and games, but the winter freeze put those get-togethers on ice.

To keep the isolation at bay, she FaceTimes some of her closest friends in between schoolwork.

Teachers and staff are on the lookout for students who seem isolated, and try to connect all their students to resources — for one English assignment, Thea's teacher had the class look up the Suicide Prevention Lifeline to get to know its resources, and had all the students write down the school counselor's and psychologist's contact information so they could keep it handy.

Still, she said, the virtual environment means it falls more heavily on struggling students to reach out.

"Maybe a teacher, if they see you in class and notice that you're not doing the best, they could ask you if you need to go see somebody or talk to somebody," Thea said. "Now, you have to go reach out on your own, and it's, like, all on you."

Her mother, Kisten Gillespie, is a school psychologist at the nearby Lake Mills district and represents Wisconsin for the National Association of School Psychologists. She said depression and anxiety can often be trickier to spot in older students — especially behind a face mask or a screen — than in younger kids.

"They're not displaying those outward behaviors that you sometimes see with the younger children that we work with," she said. "That's the most difficult piece, is catching the kids who are suffering internally and not necessarily making noise or talking to anybody."

At In-Person School, The Pandemic’s Effects Linger
As school boards, administrators, teachers and parents around the state have debated whether to switch to in-person learning in their districts, students’ mental health has been one of the driving reasons to put kids back in classrooms.

"Children and adolescents, their emotional health, their emotional development, relies on social interaction," said Stephen Saunders, chair of Marquette University's psychology department and a specialist in adolescent mental health. "When they’re deprived of that, it has a simply devastating effect."

Virtual interactions can help, he said, but they’re a poor substitute for face-to-face conversations. With the broad disruption wrought by COVID-19, though, simply bringing students back into classrooms doesn’t resolve their mental health concerns.

In the Lake Mills district, where Kisten works, students have been mostly attending school in person since the start of the year.

"There’s a lot of grief right now, but the students don’t really have the right words to express that, or they don’t even know what it is that they’re feeling," she said.

Kisten works with students ranging from fifth to twelfth grade.

"The younger students that I have talked to, they tend to need a little more time to process what it actually all means, and when is it going to be back to normal — just needing some reassurance," she said.

Her older students are dealing with that anxiety on top of concerns about their future — especially in the pressure-cooker junior and senior years, when many are coupling normal school stresses with college applications and post-grad plans.

These young adults about to go out there into the world, this is not how they expected their senior year to be, nor did the class last year expect their senior year to end the way it did — they’re grieving."With our older kids, it’s, 'What if I miss prom, my graduation, what is this college going to think, am I getting my academics where they need to be?'" she said. "These young adults about to go out there into the world, this is not how they expected their senior year to be, nor did the class last year expect their senior year to end the way it did — they’re grieving."

Saunders, the Marquette professor, said families and school staff should be watching for students who continue to isolate themselves even after they’re back in school in person.

"They want to be on the lookout for excess sadness, and anxiety," he said.

Younger Students Missing A Step
Younger children may have missed part of the period when they learn the basics of social interaction, and may not have the same tools to build the relationships they need because of the forced isolation and disruption of the pandemic.

"Realize that a five-year-old is actually potentially at the level of a four-year-old, and realize that a second-grader is maybe functioning at the level of a kindergartner," he said. "We’re probably going to have to spend a lot of time on teaching initially, or reteaching, reinforcing, strengthening the social skills of children, because they haven’t happened on their own."

Children struggling with their mental health, he added, are going to have a much harder time focusing on studying and learning new material, so focusing on the social-emotional pieces may have to come before getting them back on track with learning.

Living through a pandemic, though, has taught children and adults new levels of resilience, said Kisten.

"I’m still very hopeful that we see the opportunities within all of this that is happening to us — there are so many things that we just adjusted to, that nobody thought we could," she said. "We gotta take the test stories with a grain of salt, we’ve gotta take a lot of things with a grain of salt, and rather than look at it as a deficit model, I really think we need to reframe the way we’re looking at these things."

If you or someone you know is struggling, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available 24 hours, seven days a week at 800-273-8255. The Wisconsin chapter of the National Association of Mental Illness also has information and resources available on its website at https://namiwisconsin.org/.
Wisconsin Tribal Histories Series
PBS Wisconsin is a service of the Wisconsin Educational Communications Board and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. © 2021 All Rights Reserved.
Wisconsin Public Broadcasting published a series of documentaries on Wisconsin Tribal Histories.
Tribal Histories features tribal storytellers sharing the culture and oral traditions that have shaped their , communities across generations. The series of half-hour programs presents the histories of all eleven federally recognized American Indian tribes and bands located in Wisconsin, plus one tribe that is seeking to regain its federal status. Tribal Histories available online for your viewing pleasure include:

Ojibwe History Experience the Native-American oral tradition.

Mitchell La Sarge and Wanda McFaggen tell stories of St. Croix Ojibwe history.

Tribal elder Fred Ackley shares stories of the Mole Lake Band of Lake Superior Chippewa.

Educator and former tribal chairman Rick St. Germaine tells of the Ojibwe band's history.

Peacekeeper Joan Schadewald shares the story of the Brothertown Indian Nation.

Tribal elder Ernie St. Germaine shares the oral tradition of the Lac Du Flambeau Ojibwe.

Marvin DeFoe and Andrew Gokee share the oral tradition of the Red
Tribal elder Andy Thundercloud shares the oral tradition of the Ho-Chunk people.

Tribal elders share the oral tradition of Bad River Ojibwe.

Kim Vele shares the oral tradition of the Stockbridge-Munsee Mohican Community.

Tribal elder Randy Cornelius shares the oral tradition of the Oneida people.

Tribal elder David Grignon shares the oral tradition of the Menominee people.

Jim Thunder and Mike Alloway, Sr. share the oral tradition of the Potawatomi.

The roles that instruments such as the shaker, flute and drum play in Ojibwe life.

Time Traveler by Merriam-Webster
When was a word first used in print? You may be surprised!
Merriam Webster has created a Time Traveler page where you can find out when a word was first used in print.

Native American noun
Definition of Native American
: a member of any of the indigenous peoples of the western hemisphere
especially : a Native American of North America and especially the U.S.
Native American adjective
First Known Use of Native American circa 1628, in the meaning defined above

American Indian noun
Definition of American Indian
: a member of any of the indigenous peoples of the western hemisphere except often those distinguished as Eskimos or Inuits
especially : an American Indian of North America and especially the U.S.
American Indian adjective
First Known Use of American Indian 1650, in the meaning defined above

Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction
American Indian Studies Resources
Overview of COVID-19, PPE Guidance
The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction has posted a presentation that gives an overview of COVID-19, including how it is transmitted and how school employees can protect themselves.
The DPI has also released a chart outlining situations when school staff should use certain types of personal protective equipment (PPE)
Resources for Families
Public Resources

Checklists & Templates

to help you get ready for emergencies (43 Kb pdf)

Your family may not be together when disaster strikes, so plan how you will contact one another. (222 Kb pdf)

This application allows you to create a comprehensive family communications plan for any emergency situation.

Fact Sheets

Extreme Heat (328Kb)
Flooding (571Kb)
Thunderstorms (325Kb)
Tornadoes (350Kb)
Fire (589Kb)

WI DPI - Upcoming Virtual Training Sessions and other events
The Network

Knowing Our Neighbors: Wisconsin American Indian Nations and Tribal Communities

Although not required, participants are strongly encouraged to attend Wisconsin Act 31 training workshop PRIOR to Knowing Our Neighbors to build the necessary background for courageous conversations

Date: March 11 and 12, 2021 Times: 8:30 AM - 12:00 PM Via: Zoom Video Conferencing


Click this link to: Register today

The Disproportionality Technical Assistance Network  or "The Network" is offering a virtual opportunity to participate in our Knowing Our Neighbors: Wisconsin American Indian Nations and Tribal Communities training. This year the full day workshop will be offered over the course of two morning session dates rather than a full day long event to provide for a more manageable and comfortable virtual event. You are invited to join us to learn and share information around Native American histories and historical trauma of both First Nations and tribal communities of Wisconsin as well as Indigenous Nations across the United States. 


Event Description
Understanding the educational experiences and perspectives of American Indian students in Wisconsin has profound implications for both district policies and instructional methodology when transforming systems to educate all students. In this training, participants will have an opportunity to learn about the historical events involving Native American people, their communities and nations, and the effects of these traumatic experiences. 
 
Through counter-narratives shared by American Indians, learn about the rights, responsibilities, and misinformation surrounding Native people and education. Training participants will have an opportunity to apply the Courageous Conversations protocol to examine, recognize and appropriately address American Indian students' struggles and emotions connected with educational assimilation and historical trauma; and understand the concepts of "invisible identity". 
 
This training contains heavy and sensitive topics and material around the traumatic experiences that deeply affect Indigenous communities. This awareness can help to develop an understanding of the resulting pain and circumstances inherent in American Indian people, tribal communities, and nations as a result of this trauma.


Participant Outcomes
As a result of attending this training, participants will:
  • gain an understanding of American Indian historical trauma and the effect it has on today's students, families, communities, and nations; 
  • deepen their understanding of the American Indian experience through the counter-stories shared throughout the training; 
  • gain an understanding of the unique circumstances facing Native people in society historically and today; 
  • examine how societal patterns and experiences for American Indian students plays out in their education; 
  • explore ways in which school systems institutionalize practices that marginalize Indigenous students;
  • have an opportunity to ask questions on topic matter and engage in rich discussion to develop knowledge around workshop content.

Target Audience

  • District Administrators and Principals
  • K-12 Teachers
  • Directors of Instruction/Curriculum Coordinators
  • School Counselors, Social Workers, and Psychologists
  • College and University Students, Faculty, and Staff
  • Head Start and Preschool Staff 
  • Tribal Education Directors and Staff
  • Cooperative Educational Service Agencies (CESAs) Administrators and Staff
  • Tribal, School, and Community Liaisons/Title VI/Johnson O'Malley (JOM) Coordinators and Staff 
  • Library Media Specialists
  • Any others with an interest in American Indian Studies

Facilitators
Kamewanukiw - Paula Rabideaux works as the Project Coordinator for the Network for Native American Student Achievement and Educational Equity programming. In her role she develops training and supports with a Native American focus to assist LEA's in developing an equitable and culturally responsive educational environment. Paula holds a BS in American Indian Studies, a BS in Early childhood/Elementary Education, and a BBA in Marketing. For 25 years she has worked at the local, state, and national level as a trainer, presenter and consultant on Native American culture, education, and curriculum development. Currently Kamewanukiw also works as The Culturally Responsive Practices Technical Assistance Coordinator with the WI RtI Center where she works with schools statewide to assist them in developing an Equitable Multi-Level System of Supports. Paula is a member of the Menominee Nation turtle clan, and her Menominee name Kamewanukiw, translates to "Rain Woman". As a mother of 5 children she enjoys traditional Native American crafts and participating in various cultural activities with her family and community. As a lifelong educator, Paula enjoys educating both youth and adults around aspects of Native American history and education, culture, language, and traditional crafts. Personally as an equity and diversity advocate Paula works to promote the sharing of knowledge to develop an understanding that will help build bridges between the Native community and dominant society.

Bwaakoningwiid David J. O'Connor is originally from and is a member of the Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa in northern Wisconsin. In January 2012, he became the American Indian Studies Consultant at the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI). He is also a Grant Director with the Disproportionality Technical Assistance Network for the Network for Native American Student Achievement and the Culturally Responsive Early Childhood Tribal Project.  In David's role at DPI, he supports school districts' efforts to provide instruction on the history, culture and tribal sovereignty of Wisconsin's American Indian nations and tribal communities, often referenced as Wisconsin Act 31 and the education of Native American students. In addition, he provides training opportunities and presents at conferences and workshops throughout the state of Wisconsin on American Indian education and studies. David also provides general consultation on issues related to the education of American Indian students. He also serves as liaison to Wisconsin tribal education departments, Wisconsin Indian Education Association (WIEA), Great Lakes Inter-Tribal Council (GLITC) and the Special Committee on State-Tribal Relations.

Additional Information/Disclaimers
  • This session will NOT be recorded or otherwise shared after the scheduled dates. The Network has found that this allows for more candid conversations, richer dialogue, and increased participation.
  • This training does NOT meet statutory license stipulations for "Wisconsin American Indian Tribes and Bands", which is often referenced as Wisconsin Act 31. For those seeking to address statuary license stipulations, please visit the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI) Educator Preparation and Licensing - Statutory License Stipulations webpage for a list of approved courses and workshops. You can also visit the DPI American Indian Studies Program for further information.


Training Format and Schedule Overview
This webinar is 7 hours in length over a 2 day period (from 8:30 am - 12:00 pm). Registration/check-in will open at 8:00 am on the day of the webinar. This session is intended to be interactive and will include discussion time at the conclusion of each day.

These virtual training workshops will be facilitated online using the Zoom cloud video conferencing platform.

Schedule for BOTH days
  • 8:00 am - 8:30 am | Zoom Registration/Check-In
  • 8:30 am - 10:00 am | Virtual Online Workshop
  • 10:00 am - 10:15 am | Break
  • 10:15 am - 12:00 pm | Virtual Online Workshop


Registration and Fees
Pre-registration is required. Scholarships through the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEA) will be applied to the registration fees for specific districts and/or tribes that qualify. 
  • School districts or LEAs identified in FY20 under ESSA, IDEA, and/or those identified as having racial disproportionality in their special education programming qualify for a full scholarship.
  • ALL members of Wisconsin FIRST NATIONS qualify for a full scholarship.

For those agencies/organizations that do not qualify for a scholarship, the cost of holding this training seminar starts at $45/person, which covers instructional costs and staff time. Individuals will be invoiced by CESA 8 AFTER the training.

For additional questions regarding scholarship eligibility, contact 
Angie Balfe, Grant Manager, at abalfe@TheNetworkWI.com or
(608) 261-6320.


Questions
Jen Watton - Program Assistant,
Network for Native American Student Achievement
Phone: (262) 443-5022 or jwatton@TheNetworkWI.com


For more great training opportunities offered by The Network, visit our website at www.TheNetworkWI.com/upcomingevents

WI Department of Public Instruction - Calendar 2020
The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction hosts or promotes a number of educational training and special events through calendars for special topics or subject areas. Event listings show tagged events for that particular topic. Please direct questions on individual subject or topical calendars to the subject specialist or the event contact.

Event Listings
Government Meetings - List of upcoming meetings for councils and committees that provide advice and guidance on the department's work.

Public School Observance Days - Wisconsin's 21 special observance days are part of state statutes governing general school operations (Wis. Stats. 118.02).

Testing Dates - Testing dates for various assessments.

General Events and Training
Wisconsin Education Calendar - Lists dates, meetings, conferences, training, and special events related to education.

Subject Area and Topical Calendar Links

School Start and End Dates

Wisconsin School District Calendars - Provides links to Excel download files that list individual school district start and end dates by year.
Additional American Indian Studies Info
The American Indian Studies Program exists primarily to assist with the implementation of the curricular requirements in the areas of American Indian history, culture, and tribal sovereignty. The program is also responsible for American Indian Language and Culture Education.

Program staff:

American Indian Language and Culture Education Licenses

Any school enrolling American Indian students may choose to establish an American Indian Language and Culture Education (AILCE) Program designed to make the curriculum more relevant to the needs, interests, and cultural heritage of American Indian students.

Components may include instruction in language, literature, history, and culture; staff training; and vocational education. Such programs must have a parental advisory committee. Additional information on AILCE program requirements is found in Wis. Stats. Ch. 115, Subch. IV.

One long held misconception about American Indian nations and tribal communities is that they all speak one single common language. However, that is certainly not the case in Wisconsin as there are at least three language families that are considered to be linguistically separate. Of the eleven federally-recognized American Indian nations and tribal communities in Wisconsin, the six bands of Chippewa or Ojibwe, Potawatomi, Menominee and the Stockbridge Munsee Mohican speak Algonquian languages, the Oneida speak an Iroquoian language and the Ho-Chunk speak a Siouan language. Until recently most of these languages were strictly oral, and there were limited amounts literature or other written resources.

Currently, many American Indian nations and tribal communities in Wisconsin and throughout the United States are involved in language preservation efforts to preserve and revive their native languages. While a number of American Indian students may not be fluent native language speakers, they may come from communities where they may be exposed to their native language either at home, in preschool or tribal programs, or in other language preservation programs. By the time these students enter school, they may have had several years' of bi-cultural or bilingual learning. However, many educators may be unaware of this language foundation and how to use it to enhance student academic success.

Language Resources
American Indian students, families and communities have traditionally been bi-cultural or bilingual members of their tribal nation and of the United States. In Wisconsin, American Indian nations and tribal communities presently use the Roman Alphabet symbols to represent written sounds in their languages, use unique sound systems and have dialectal variations of their native language. DPI American Indian Studies Consultant David O'Connor was interviewed by the WIDA Consortium about the importance of language and culture on student engagement and achievement. Here is a hyperlink to the article from the WIDA Focus On: American Indian English Language Learners
.
Another resource that demonstrates the importance of language in American Indian communities is project The Ways, which is a production of the Wisconsin Media Lab. The Ways is a series of short videos and other resources that showcase the present day experiences of members of the eleven federally-recognized American Indian nations and tribal communities in Wisconsin. 

The video Language Apprentice tells the story of a Ho-Chunk language apprentice, Arlene Thunder Blackdeer, who is one of 15 language apprentices working to become fluent Ho-Chunk language speakers. As she has become more fluent, Arlene has become a language teacher at Tomah A
rea School District.

The video Prayers in a Song is the story of hip hop artist Tall Paul from the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe in Minnesota and his struggle to learn Ojibwe. Set in the urban area of Minneapolis, Tall Paul shares his struggles trying to learn his native language and better understand his heritage.

The video Living Language is the story of an attempt at language revitalization. Ron Corn, Jr. from the Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin shares his story and effort to raise his daughter as a first language speaker of Menominee. A language teacher, he quit his full-time job where he taught Menominee language at the Menominee Indian School District in order to spend more time raising his youngest daughter, Mimikwaeh, with the language through immersion. He hopes that she will be the first child in over a generation whose first language is Menominee and not English. 
 
The video Waadookodaading Ojibwe Language Immersion School is the story of a school that is "a place where people help each other," is part of an international movement that seeks to revitalize indigenous languages, many of which are in danger of never being spoken again. Keller Paap and Brooke Ammann from Waadookodaading share their journey and story in the video.

Tribal Language Revitalization Grants
In recognition of the importance of these American Indian nation languages and their relationship to student engagement and academic achievement, the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction issues award grants on a competitive, annual basis to school board, consortium of school boards, CESA, or Head Start agencies who partner with a tribal education authority or government. .
These grant funds may be used for language activities related to providing instruction in one or more tribal languages as curricular or co-curricular offerings including, but not limited to, curriculum design, creation of appropriate assessment instruments, professional development activities, language-focused parent and community engagement activities, instructional delivery, and program evaluation.

Wisconsin First Nations
Searching for resources to teach American Indian Studies in your classroom?

This website provides authentic and accurate PK-12 resources that address current academic standards and enhance your students understanding of Wisconsin Native cultures and communities. Teacher professional learning resources are also provided, including a Frequently Asked Questions section for answering hard-to-ask questions you may have when teaching about Native cultures, and exemplar videos featuring Wisconsin teachers modeling how to incorporate American Indian Studies into students’ everyday learning.

For questions about this information, contact David O'Connor (608) 267-2283.

US Department of Education - COVID-19 Resources
COVID-19 Resources for Schools, Students, & Families

Coronavirus Resources

During this coronavirus pandemic it is important that states, communities, educators, and families are equipped with resources and flexibilities that empower students to continue pursuing their education goals . This includes the ongoing development of guidance and policies related to elementary and secondary educationspecial educationhigher education, and other essential components of lifelong learning. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also continues to provide updated guidance for school settings.

What's New!
Department of Education Resources
Tribal Education Resources

The following links are to the official websites for each of Wisconsin's eleven federally recognized American Indian nations and tribal communities.


Wisconsin Indian Associations, Organizations & Programs
These links are to community and tribal organizations in Wisconsin that provide information and support for American Indian people, families, and communities in regards to economic development, tourism, education, health, and natural resources. 







Highlight on Our Partners: Woodland Indian Art, Inc.
Woodland Indian Art, Inc. (WIA) is a non-profit organization created to expand the awareness and appreciation of Woodland Indian Arts and Culture through education, events and markets. We bring Woodland Indian artists together to raise awareness of their distinct artistic styles and cultures. We contribute to the economy of Native communities by cultivating the public’s appreciation of Woodland Indian artists and the unique diversity of their art. WIA and its volunteers have produced the Woodland Indian Art Show and Market on the Oneida Reservation in Wisconsin since 2006.

Visit the website for more information and a comprehensive list of grants and scholarships for artisans of all genres and disciplines.


​Address: 
PO Box 116
Oneida WI 54155 

Email:  

National American Indian Associations, Organizations & Programs
Wisconsin Tribal Colleges, Schools & Head Start
Wisconsin Tribal Colleges and Universities 
The College of Menominee Nation and Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwa Community College area two tribal colleges located in the state of Wisconsin. The primary campuses for these colleges are located on the Lac Courte Oreilles and Menominee nations with outreach sites in surrounding communities.
 


Wisconsin Tribal Schools
Wisconsin has three Bureau of Indian Education (BIE) funded schools and one private American Indian tribal school in the state. The following links provide details about each of these schools, along with information for parents, families, and communities. 





These links are to websites of Wisconsin tribal Head Start programs coordinated by and located on or near American Indian nations and tribal communities in the state. 









Wisconsin Indian Education Association Programs & Initiatives
Wisconsin Indian Education Association Scholarship Information

In keeping with its continuing commitment to higher education, the Wisconsin Indian Education Association is pleased to provide scholarship assistance to American Indian students attending institutes of higher education for the 2020 – 2021 academic year. This scholarship is an achievement-based scholarship, not based on financial need.

The scholarship is open to the following:
  • 2021 Graduating high school seniors
  • One (1) to two (2) year program students
  • Four-year college students (second semester freshman, sophomore, junior or senior)
  • Graduate or Ph.D. student

These are merit-based scholarships requiring the students to write an essay and be above average academically. To date, 35 Wisconsin Indians have been awarded W.I.E.A. Scholarships.
Click the following link for the 2020 Scholarship Application: 2020-2021-WIEA-Scholarship.

Applications and required documents are due June 1, 2021.