Educator Academy Presentation Schedule

Wednesday, February 21, 2024 Print
Waconia Ballroom

REGISTRATION CHECK-IN AND CONTINENTAL BREAKFAST

Waconia Ballroom

Welcome

Rebecca Crooks-Stratton, Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community

Waconia Ballroom

General Session

Fostering the Positive Identity Development of Native Kids

Dr. Anton Treuer

Presentation Description

“I had a profoundly well-educated Princetonian ask me, ‘Where is your tomahawk?’ I had a beautiful woman approach me in the college gymnasium and exclaim, ‘You have the most beautiful red skin.’ I took a friend to see Dances with Wolves and was told, ‘Your people have a beautiful culture.’ . . . I made many lifelong friends at college, and they supported but also challenged me with questions like, ‘Why should Indians have reservations?’” What have you always wanted to know about Indians? Do you think you should already know the answers—or suspect that your questions may be offensive? In matter-of-fact responses to over 120 questions, both thoughtful and outrageous, modern and historical, Ojibwe scholar and cultural preservationist Anton Treuer gives a frank, funny, and sometimes personal tour of what’s up with Indians, anyway. White/Indian relations are often characterized by guilt and anger. Everything You Wanted to Know about Indians But Were Afraid to Ask cuts through the emotion and builds a foundation for true understanding and positive action.

Breakout Session 1

Mni Sóta Maḳoce: The Dakota Homelands Curriculum

Darlene St. Clair

Presentation Description

The goal of this project is that the Mni Sóta Maḳoce curriculum will be taught to sixth grade students across Minnesota to meet the required sixth grade social studies standards. Students will learn about and integrate Dakota values of caring for the land as a relative through learning about Dakota environmental teachings and philosophies. Examining Minnesota as a Dakota place will encourage students to consider their own individual, family, and community connections to place. The curriculum’s goal is that Minnesota learners will understand the significant Dakota relationship to Mni Sóta Maḳoce and explore how certain Dakota worldviews and values can help create more balance and respect among the different communities who call Mni Sóta Maḳoce home.

Using the 7 Grandfather Teachings for SEL and College Planning

Tami Johnson and Alicia Garcia

Presentation Description

We will review the 7 Grandfather Teachings of the Ojibwe and share how we use this in our work with students. Alicia Garcia is a school social worker and uses the 7GT in her SEL groups with middle and high school students. Tami Johnson is a school counselor and has developed lessons around the 7 GT in college planning groups with high school students.

Reciprocal Restoration and Cultural Fire Revitalization

Ferin Davis Anderson

Presentation Description

Learn how the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community is incorporating cultural revitalization into their ecological restoration work by weaving different knowledge systems. This includes contemporary examples and Ferin will also discuss the differences between cultural fire and prescribed burning, terminology that is often used interchangeably.

The 7 Generations and 7 Grandfather Teachings

James Vukelich Kaagegaabaw

Presentation Description

This talk will present the traditional teachings of the Anishinaabeg as a means of developing interconnectedness and interdependence. The seven grandfather teachings, the sacred law of the Anishinaabeg, show us how to lead Mino-bimaadiziwin ‘the good life’ a life of without contradiction or conflict, a life of peace and balance.

Start with Story: Retro Report

Filiz Yargici

Presentation Description

Build capacity related to social studies education and standards implementation. Explore Retro Report’s short-form documentaries and the free, high quality classroom resources that accompany them: view two short videos about how the boarding school experience continues to affect American Indian communities today, and the recent ruling by the Supreme Court upholding the Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978; and examine related lessons and student activities.

BREAK

Vendor tables available.

Breakout Session 2

Games That Save Our Ways

Anthony Drews and Mindy Meyers

Presentation Description

Immerse yourself in Ojibwe history, language, and culture as the Nashke Games Team shares their mission to save our ways through game play, while giving back to the Native Community! In this interactive session, participants will learn about the mission and vision of Nashke Games, and how we can use games to engage students, all while immersing themselves in language, culture, and game play throughout the session.

Investigating Arts Anchor Standard #10: Connecting to the (Theater) Arts of the Dakota and Ojibwe

Stephanie Lein Walseth

Presentation Description

As theater arts educators work to align their teaching and curriculum with the MN K-12 Arts Standards, questions often arise about how best to address Anchor Standard #10: “Demonstrate an understanding that artistic works influence and are influenced by personal, societal, cultural, and historical contexts, including the contributions of Minnesota American Indian tribes and communities.” In this session you are invited to bring your questions, concerns, and ideas, and we’ll offer ideas about where to begin and resources that can support you in engaging your students. This session is relevant for theater educators, ELA educators that incorporate theater activities, other arts area educators (dance, music, media arts, visual arts), administrators, and more.

Teaching American Indian Content to All

Eden Bart

Presentation Description

This session builds educators’ capacities to teach accurate Native content and information to all students. We’ll share perspectives from Native parents and educators from a Twin Cities suburban district about why it’s important that Native content is taught accurately. This content is often taught inaccurately today, as it has been in the past. Educators will also learn about how the education system is and has been used as a weapon against Native students and families and come to understand the importance of building trust and not damaging relationships through systemic and individual interactions. Educators will be introduced to a tool to assess the perspective/bias of the creators of content about Native people and topics. Minnesota Humanities Center will also share some resources that have been co-created with Native scholars and community members.

Cultivating Belonging in Math Through an Understanding of Tribal Sovereignty

Laura Wagenman

Presentation Description

A student’s sense of belonging positively affects their experiences and outcomes in a math classroom. In this session the importance of belonging will be connected to tribal sovereignty, an inherent right that protects tribal languages, cultures, and land.

Native Books for Children and Educators

Tom Peacock and Betsy Albert-Peacock

Presentation Description

Black Bears and Blueberries (BBB) is a Native owned publisher of Native books, written by Native authors and illustrated by Native illustrators. We mostly publish children’s books, although we have published books for young adults and adults. We’ll focus our discussion on the need for authentic materials and share examples of our offerings for participants. We are retired teachers, university educators (UM Duluth College of Education), and school administrators.

Lunch Buffet

GENERAL SESSION

Overview of New Teaching Resource Publications

Ramona Kitto Stately and Odia Wood-Krueger

BREAK

Vendors tables available.

Breakout Session 3

Native American Resources from the Minnesota Historical Society

Kara Knight, Regan Kluver, and Rita Walaszek-Arndt

Presentation Description

Explore educator resources to support teaching and learning Native history and contemporary partnerships from the Teacher Education team and Native American Initiatives at the Minnesota Historical Society. We will walk through free, digitized, and printed resources, share videos, and model activities that incorporate these materials into your classroom.

Lower Sioux “Hoye Waye Do Studio”

Sean Ferguson and Mat Pendleton

Presentation Description

Description: Presentation of Lower Sioux’s music program. Showcasing Native artists and incorporating music in the classroom.

I’m With the Banned

Art Coulson

Presentation Description

A children’s author’s first-hand look at book bans/challenges and how educators can confront and lead the fight against the effort to remove valuable resources from public schools.

Diving into the Minnesota Native American Essential Understandings for Educators

Ramona Kitto Stately

Presentation Description

In conjunction with Native Governance Center, Understand Native Minnesota commissioned and co-published Minnesota Native American Essential Understandings for Educators. This guide provides teachers, curriculum developers, students, and others with a compilation of the most essential information about Native people and tribal governments in the state. Project director Ramona Kitto Stately will give an overview of this new resource.

Cultivating Female Kinship and Power with Plants

Wakaŋ Tipi Awaŋyaŋkapi: Ben Gessner, Gabby Menomin, Jenna Grey Eagle (Wakaŋ Tipi Awaŋyaŋkapi), and Mishaila Bowman

Presentation Description

Plants play important sacred and secular roles in many Native American lifeways. Traditionally for many Native cultures, women tended to the health of plants and held knowledge of their power. Wakan Tipi Awanyankapi (WTA), is an Urban Native-led environmental nonprofit in St. Paul, MN that develops and delivers programming to a wide range of constituents. Responding to the health of the natural world in our urban environments, WTA provides a robust menu of cultural, educational, conservation and arts opportunities – including a Gifts of the Plant Nation webinar that reached hundreds of our relatives at the height of the pandemic and an urban Medicine Garden for use by our relatives on the eastside of St. Paul. Participants will gain understanding of how Traditional Ecological Knowledge is applied – through various program models – to both influence a miseducated wider audience, but more importantly provide specific enriching cultural opportunities for Native learners. Participants will hear from a traditional storyteller, a community educator, and a Native scientist how a holistic (traditional) approach has wildly succeeded in a modern setting. Participants will have new insights regarding how gifts from our plant relatives have not only shaped our role as women in our cultures in the past but continue to do so today.

Break

Vendor tables available.

Breakout Session 4

Games That Save Our Ways

Anthony Drews and Mindy Meyers

Presentation Description

Immerse yourself in Ojibwe history, language, and culture as the Nashke Games Team shares their mission to save our ways through game play, while giving back to the Native Community! In this interactive session, participants will learn about the mission and vision of Nashke Games, and how we can use games to engage students, all while immersing themselves in language, culture, and game play throughout the session.

Overview of A Guide to Reliable Native American-Related Teaching Resources

Odia Wood-Krueger

Presentation Description

Understand Native Minnesota commissioned and released A Guide to Reliable Native American-Related Teaching Resources, written by Odia Wood-Krueger. This first-of-its-kind guide provides educators with a reliable, classified bibliography of 550 recommendable teaching resources aligned with current state English Language Arts academic standards for use by teachers.

Incorporating Traditional Talking Circles into Schools

Mercedes Van Cleve

Presentation Description

Traditional talking circles have been used by Native peoples for generations. They are a traditional method of solving problems and discussing difficult topics. It is a very effective way to remove barriers and allow people to express themselves with complete freedom. The symbolism of the circle, with no beginning and with nobody in a position of prominence, serves to encourage people to speak freely and honestly about things that are on their mind. During this session you will participate in smudging and learn how to responsibly bring aspects of traditional talking circles into your classrooms.

Teaching American Indian Content to All

Eden Bart

Presentation Description

This session builds educators’ capacities to teach accurate Native content and information to all students. We’ll share perspectives from Native parents and educators from a Twin Cities suburban district about why it’s important that Native content is taught accurately. This content is often taught inaccurately today, as it has been in the past. Educators will also learn about how the education system is and has been used as a weapon against Native students and families and come to understand the importance of building trust and not damaging relationships through systemic and individual interactions. Educators will be introduced to a tool to assess the perspective/bias of the creators of content about Native people and topics. Minnesota Humanities Center will also share some resources that have been co-created with Native scholars and community members.

Indigenous Music in Minnesota

Lyz Jaakola

Presentation Description

“Which Native music can be used in a classroom?” “How can we define American Indian music in Minnesota?” “Is there any band or orchestra music our students can learn?” If you have asked these questions, this session is for you. If you are curious about the worlds of Indigenous music in Minnesota, this session is for you.

As teachers work to meet the “American Indian Standards” it can be intimidating and even feel risky for those who have had less experience with Ojibwe or Dakota music. There is not a standard curriculum for this subject, and there are many potential challenges. Lyz will provide an overview of history and culture helping to ground teachers in some fundamental knowledge about Minnesota’s tribes while sharing songs and strategies for participants to use going forward.

Closing Session

Mishaila Bowman

Mishaila Bowman is the Marketing & Communications Manager at Migizi Communications. She was born and raised in South Minneapolis and is a descendant of the Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate (Dakota). Mishaila got her B.A from the University of Minnesota Twin Cities in American Indian Studies and Environmental Sustainability. For a number of years, she served as the Communications & Cultural Programs Coordinator for Lower Phalen Creek Project - now known as Wakaŋ Tipi Awaŋyaŋkapi - where she was responsible for developing the style guide, brand identity, social media presence and cultural storytelling for the newly turned Native-led environmental nonprofit. In her free time, Mishaila is passionate about environmental justice, protecting local sacred sites, working with plant medicines, and storytelling through art and graphic design.

Lyz Jaakola

Lyz Jaakola (Nitaa-Nagamokwe) is an enrolled Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Tribal member who intertwines making art, music and educating. Lyz has been fulfilling cultural protocol by “paying it forward” through teaching music & culture for the last 31 years while also performing in various styles. Lyz works to bring others with her on stage in her band #theindianheadband, women’s handdrum group Oshkii Giizhik Singers, or at her Tribal College’s Ojibwemowining Digital Arts Studio. She is a 2018 Native Nation Rebuilder, 2018 AICF Faculty of the Year and recipient of 2014 ARAC George Morrison Artist Award, 2014 MPR Artist in Residence, 2013 Ordway’s Sally Award, 2012 First People’s Fund Community Spirit Award and 2009 Native American Music Award. Lyz will be the first to say that any honor belongs to her husband, family, and community, and mostly to our ancestors for all they have endured and retained so that we may be Anishinaabe.

Mercedes Van Cleve

Mercedes Van Cleve works with Native students in Shakopee Public Schools. She is also an Equine Therapy Partner and has been involved with horses since she was nine years old when she began showing English Saddleseat. She has a strong interest in the cultural connection between horses and Native people. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, traveling, and playing with her Australian shepherd, Flynn. Mercedes is a member of the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community and the Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Ojibwe.

Odia Wood-Krueger

Odia Wood-Krueger has worked in public education for the past 20 years focusing on culturally relevant content, curriculum writing, and community engagement. Prior to consulting full time with her own firm, Wood Krueger Initiatives, she spent nine years working for the Indian Education department at Minneapolis Public Schools.

As a consultant, Odia collaborates with various organizations in hopes of making education better for all students, especially Native ones. Some of her projects include the first-of-its-kind Native American Freedom Schools®, sensitivity writing for publishing houses, and community outreach for The Bias Inside Us, a traveling Smithsonian Institution exhibition focusing on implicit bias. She is a consultant to the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community’s Understand Native Minnesota campaign, including serving as the author and principal investigator for its 2022 Restoring Our Place report and is the author of its 2024 publication, A Guide to Reliable Native American-Related Teaching Resources.

Odia is a member of the Central Urban Métis Federation, Inc. (CUMFI) and a dual Canadian-American citizen. She holds a bachelor of education degree from the University of Saskatchewan, a post-graduate certificate in environmental education and a master of education degree from the University of Minnesota, Duluth, and recently completed a master of Indigenous land based education from the University of Saskatchewan.

Ramona Kitto Stately

Ramona Kitto Stately is an enrolled member of the Santee Sioux Dakhóta Nation. She has a BA in Dakota Art and Culture, a minor in Business, and a Master of Education with an emphasis on Teacher Leadership from Augsburg University. After 15 years directing Indian Education at Osseo Area Schools in Minnesota, she is now Project Director for We Are Still Here Minnesota, creating action for narrative change. Ramona is the mother of two children, Jillian and Reuben, citizens of Red Lake Nation; an accomplished beadwork artist with moccasins on display in the Science Museum of Minnesota; and currently serves as the Chairperson of the Minnesota Indian Education Association since 2016.

She is a part of the scholars' team with of the Minnesota Humanities Center’s for Learning from Place: Bdote since 2013 and the author of Pazahiyayewin’s (pah-Zah-hee-yah-yay-ween’s) Story of the Bdote which was inspired from her Great-Great Grandmother who survived the genocidal tactics during the U.S. Dakota War. Ramona currently serves as 2023’s Indigenous Elder in Residence for Carleton College, was the Recipient of the 2021 Ron McKinley Award from Minnesota Education Equity Partnership, and most recently, McKnight's 2023 Culture Bearer Awardee.

Laura Wagenman

Laura Wagenman is an Academic Coach at CrestView Elementary in Osseo Area Schools and a member of the K-12 Education Subcommittee of We Are Still Here Minnesota. Prior to this coaching role, Laura worked in curriculum and instruction and provided professional development. supported teachers with curriculum & standards implementation. Laura is incredibly grateful for five years of collaboration with members of our Department of Indian Education to write lessons & provide professional development for our Minnesota standards related to our tribal nations.

Art Coulson

Art Coulson is a writer of Cherokee, English and Dutch descent and comes from a family of storytellers (in all three traditions!). Some of his earliest memories are of listening to stories and reading books on his grandmother’s lap. He has been a writer his whole life and published his first two books when he was in elementary school.

Art’s first children’s book, The Creator’s Game, a story about a young lacrosse player, was published by the Minnesota Historical Society Press in 2013. Since then, he has published a number of other books and short stories for children. His most recent book, Chasing Bigfoot, was published in 2022 by Reycraft Books.

Before writing children’s books, Art was a writer and editor at magazines and newspapers all over the United States. After his journalism career, Art served as the first executive director of the Wilma Mankiller Foundation in the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma. Now, Art splits his time between his home in Minneapolis and his cabin in the Northwoods of Wisconsin.

Mat Pendleton

Sean Ferguson

Rita Walaszek-Arndt

Rita is the program and outreach manager of the Native American Initiatives department at the Minnesota Historical Society. She’s also the curator of the Our Home: Native Minnesota exhibit at the historical society.

Regan Kluver

Regan Kluver (Aandakamiginamookwe) is White Earth, Red Lake Anishinaabe and of Polish descent. Regan is a program specialist in the Native American Initiatives Department at the Minnesota Historical Society and runs the Native American Undergraduate Museum Fellowship (NAUMF) program. Regan is also in the Masters of Education program at MSU Moorhead for Curriculum and Instruction and is set to graduate in May of this year. In her free time she spends it with her daughter, friends, or making ribbon skirts.

Kara Knight

Kara Knight is a teacher educator at the Minnesota Historical Society, where she supports teachers using the Northern Lights Minnesota Studies curriculum. She holds a M. Ed. in secondary social studies instruction and previously taught high school history and civics to English Language Learners for 6 years.

Eden Bart

Since joining the Humanities Center staff in 2003, Eden Bart has worked on a wide range of projects. She has served as a liaison to schools within school partnership programs, planned and facilitated professional development workshops, and led the development of educator resources. She is currently the staff lead on cultural immersive experiences, working in partnership with community partners and individuals to co-create learning experiences for a wide audience. Prior to joining the Humanities Center, she taught sixth grade in the Wayzata Public Schools. Eden received a B.A. from Macalester College and an M.A. in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of St. Thomas.

Stephanie Lein Walseth

Stephanie Lein Walseth, Ph.D., is the Theater Education Specialist at the Perpich Center for Arts Education. She is a theater educator, artist, administrator, and scholar with over 20 years of experience working with students and artists of all ages. She serves as an affiliate faculty member at Augsburg University and the University of Minnesota, as well as the Co-Artistic Director of Full Circle Theater Company. Her research focuses on issues of equity, diversity, and inclusion.

Jenna Grey Eagle

Jenna (Nape Mato Win) is the Environmental Justice & Stewardship Programs Manager at Wakaŋ Tipi Awaŋyaŋkapi. She is an enrolled member of the Oglala Lakota Sioux Tribe of South Dakota. Since the KXL pipeline threatened treaty territory of the Dakotas, Jenna has been passionate about a world beyond fossil fuels and centering Indigenous voices, culture, and history. Jenna is also a beadwork artist, Indigenous gardener, and received a B.A. in Environmental Studies from Augsburg University. She believes that positive cultural and ancestral based knowledge are vital components to Indigenous resiliency.

Gabby Menomin

Gabby is the Restoration Manager at Wakaŋ Tipi Awaŋyaŋkapi. She is an enrolled member of the Forest County Potawatomi Community (bullhead clan) of northern Wisconsin. With a master’s degree in Tribal Natural Resource Management, Gabby is focused on plant relatives and how climate change is impacting them. She is passionate about the environment and looking at how to center indigenous voices, values, and knowledge in the stewardship of the land.

Ben Gessner

Ben Gessner is a Cultural Resources Manager with over 15 years devoted to mission-driven organizations in the St. Paul area, where he lives with his wife and children. Ben has a background in Native American & Natural History, Art, Community Engagement, and Exhibit & Program Development. He received a Master of Science in Cultural Resource Management working with Dakota communities.

Filiz Yargici

Filiz Yargici is the Education Manager for Retro Report. Previously, she was a state education specialist in K-12 social studies and standards-based education and taught high school social studies for nearly two decades.

Anthony Drews

Tony is a first generation descendent from Gaa-zagaskwaajimekaag (Leech Lake band of Ojibwe). His Indian name is Chi-Noodin (Big Wind) He is from the sturgeon clan and a lifelong student of culture and language. Tony has worked in the Native American community his whole professional career. Tony worked at Ain Dah Yung as the Residential Director and oversaw operations of their Native American youth homeless emergency shelter and transitional living shelter. Tony was also Vice President of Operations for Circle of Life Anishinaabe Home Care. Tony spent five years working with Anoka-Hennepin Schools as an Indian Education Advisor. He now works as a Program Coordinator, and he leads the American Indian Family Empowerment Fund at the Tiwahe Foundation, in addition to being the Founder and President of Nashke Native Games. Tony attended the University of Minnesota and studied Sociology, American Indian Studies, and the Ojibwe Language. Tony is a recent Finnovation Fellow and sits on the Board of Directors for the Anoka Hennepin educational foundation and is on his local Anoka-Hennepin’s Indian education parent advisory committee.

James Vukelich Kaagegaabaw

James Vukelich Kaagegaabaw, a descendent of Turtle Mountain, is an international speaker, author & the creator of Ojibwe Word of the Day. His mission is to inspire people to live the good life by sharing ancient wisdom to influence modern solutions through an Indigenous perspective. James is recognized as a leading voice on the interconnectedness of language & culture. His keen insights were developed through speaking with and recording elders and native language speakers (many of whom have since passed on) in Canada, Michigan and Minnesota as part of the Ojibwe Language Dictionary Project.

For over 20 years, James has moved seamlessly through diverse settings locally and internationally. In addition to keynote speeches for academic, philanthropic, business and community organizations, he facilitates local community roundtable groups. He has consulted with school districts, colleges, historical societies and government agencies to develop and teach language and cultural programs. He has also been featured on numerous podcasts, radio & television programs in addition to publications. When he is not speaking, writing, teaching or traveling, James enjoys spending time with his wife and son in the South Metro.

Ferin Davis Anderson

Ferin Davis Anderson is the Supervisor of Environmental Sciences for the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community’s Land and Natural Resources Department. She has worked with the Community since 2016. She is also an enrolled citizen of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa/Ojibwe/Anishinaabe/Mitchifs in North Dakota. Ferin is responsible for stewarding and restoring natural areas for the SMSC. She works to weave traditional knowledge and western science to make more holistic management decisions. This includes using fire as an ecological and cultural tool to achieve beneficial and healing outcomes. Witnessing Indigenous people revitalize and reconnect with this practice has been one of the greatest gifts of her career.

Tom Peacock

Tom Peacock Tom Peacock is a member of the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Anishinaabe Ojibwe. He is a retired teacher, secondary principal, school superintendent, professor and associate dean. He has degrees from Bemidji and St. Cloud State, U Minnesota Duluth, and Harvard University, where he received his doctorate in educational leadership. He is the author of over a dozen books on Ojibwe history and culture, racism, poetry and fiction. He is co-owner and co-publisher of Black Bears and Blueberries Publishing, based out of Duluth, Minnesota.

Elizabeth Albert-Peacock

Elizabeth Albert-Peacock is a member of the Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Ojibwe. She was a faculty member in the Education Department of the University of Minnesota Duluth for 18 years. She has authored several children's books. Loves spending time with family and friends, gardening and traveling. Lives in Bayfield Wisconsin and Duluth MN with her husband Tom.

Alicia Garcia

Alicia Garcia is a Taos Pueblo descendant who grew up in the Twin Cities. She holds a master's in social work from St. Catherine University and is a Licensed Independant Clinical Social Worker. Alicia started her career in in the non-profit sector serving American Indian children, youth and families at Ain Dah Yung (Our Home) Center in St. Paul in the 1990's. In the early 2000's, Alicia became a school social worker, first with the Indian Education Program with St. Paul Public Schools (SPPS), then as a building school social worker at SPPS's American Indian Magnet School. She then transferred districts and spent 8 years with the Minneapolis Public School's Indian Education Program. Alicia has now returned to SPPS and is currently back with the Indian Education Program. During her 23 years as a school social worker, Alicia has supported the social, emotional, and behavioral needs of American Indians students and provided advocacy for their families.

Tami Johnson

Tami Johnson, M.A., Ed.S., is an enrolled member of the White Earth Anishinaabe Nation and a graduate of UMD and UMTC. She's been a licensed school counselor for over 27 years, worked with Indian Education programs for more than 10 years, and honored as NIEA's Educator of the Year in 2019. She's done trainings on the impact of boarding schools, cognitive behavioral techniques for school groups, mindfulness and mental health, and working effectively with Native youth for schools, Indian Education programs, and for the U.S. Department of Education. She's passionate about her work with Native youth- teaching them about the history and impact of boarding schools, challenging them to pursue higher education, and helping them find the resources they need to heal from trauma. Tami is currently a school counselor with St. Paul Harding High School's American Indian Studies program.

Darlene St. Clair

Iyekiyapiwiƞ Darlene St. Clair is an associate professor at St. Cloud State University where she teaches American Indian Studies and directs the Multicultural Resource Center. Her work focuses on several areas: Dakota Studies; Native Nations of Minnesota; the integration of Native cultures, histories, and languages into curricula and educational institutions; the arts and cultural expressions of Native peoples; Dakota places and sacred sites; and anti-racist pedagogy. Darlene is Bdewakaƞtuƞwaƞ Dakota and a citizen of the Lower Sioux Indian Community in Minnesota. She earned her doctoral degree at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

Dr. Anton Treuer

Dr. Anton Treuer (pronounced troy-er) is Professor of Ojibwe at Bemidji State University and author of many books. He has a B.A. from Princeton University and an M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota. He is Editor of the Oshkaabewis (pronounced o-shkaah-bay-wis) Native Journal, the only academic journal of the Ojibwe language.

Dr. Treuer has presented all over the U.S. and Canada and in several foreign countries on Everything You Wanted to Know About Indians But Were Afraid to Ask, Cultural Competency, Racial Equity, Strategies for Addressing the “Achievement” Gap, and Tribal Sovereignty, History, Language, and Culture. He has sat on many organizational boards and has received more than 40 prestigious awards and fellowships, including ones from the American Philosophical Society, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Science Foundation, the MacArthur Foundation, the Bush Foundation, and the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation.

His published works include Everything You Wanted to Know About Indians But Were Afraid to Ask, The Language Warrior’s Manifesto: How to Keep Our Languages Alive No Matter the Odds, The Cultural Toolbox: Traditional Ojibwe Living in the Modern World, Warrior Nation: A History of the Red Lake Ojibwe (Winner of Caroline Bancroft History Prize and the American Association of State and Local History Award of Merit), Ojibwe in Minnesota (“Minnesota’s Best Read for 2010” by The Center for the Book in the Library of Congress), The Assassination of Hole in the Day (Award of Merit Winner from the American Association for State and Local History), Atlas of Indian Nations, The Indian Wars: Battles, Bloodshed, and the Fight for Freedom on the American Frontier, and Awesiinyensag (“Minnesota’s Best Read for 2011” by The Center for the Book in the Library of Congress).

Treuer is a member of the United Nations Technical Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals through Inclusive, Just Energy Solutions and the governing board for the Minnesota State Historical Society. In 2018, he was named Guardian of Culture and Lifeways and recipient of the Pathfinder Award by the Association of Tribal Archives, Libraries, and Museums.

Rebecca Crooks-Stratton

Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community Member Rebecca Crooks-Stratton is chair of Understand Native Minnesota, the tribe’s strategic initiative and philanthropic campaign to improve the Native American narrative in Minnesota’s schools. She previously served two terms as the Secretary/Treasurer of the SMSC where, as a member of the SMSC Business Council, she oversaw the day-to-day operations of the tribal government and its relationships with its members, other governments and elected officials, and its more than 4,000 employees.

Crooks-Stratton previously served one term on the SMSC Gaming Enterprise Board of Directors and chaired its Audit Committee. She also served two terms on the SMSC Gaming Commission and worked for the tribal government in administration roles from 2007-2016. She has led projects such as the Minnesota Tribal Nations Plaza at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis and helped launch a Montessori classroom as part of the SMSC’s daycare program.

Throughout her career Crooks-Stratton has been an active member of the broader community. She is the Midwest Area Vice President of the National Congress of American Indians, where she represents tribes in the Midwest. She also serves on Governor Walz’s Education Roundtable, the Minnesota Zoological Board and the University of Minnesota Foundation’s Board of Trustees. Recently she served as program director at the Native Governance Center, a nonprofit that provides leadership development and governance resources to tribal nations in Minnesota and the Dakotas. Crooks-Stratton has previously served on the Metropolitan Council’s Equity Advisory Committee, SMSC Scholarship Selection Committee at the University of Minnesota, and on the Community Education Services Advisory Council and Indian Education Parent Advisory Committee for Prior Lake-Savage Area Schools.

In 2017, she received a Native American 40 Under 40 award from the National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development. She also participated in the Young American Leaders Program at Harvard Business School.

Crooks-Stratton has a master’s degree in tribal administration and governance from the University of Minnesota Duluth. Her bachelor’s degree is in American Indian studies and political science from the University of Arizona.