Indian Education Summit at the Bismarck Capitol

BISMARCK, ND (KFYR) – The first day of classes for students of the 2022 school year in North Dakota is August 25. On Thursday, more than 250 teachers from across the state took notes.

Diversity and culture are the focus of this week’s North Dakota Indian Education Summit. This cultural dance demonstration is one of the most colorful presentations in the seminar program, but most of the learning took place in breakout sessions.

“I think it is important that we get to know the diversity of our students and that we better understand where they come from and that we acquire the knowledge that they have so much to give us as educators,” said said Tami Hauglie, teacher.

The summit will provide cultural education of five different tribes in North Dakota.

“How do you implement it, do you start with the families, do you start with the curriculum, school district writers, you know every school district is going to be different, so I’m just excited to see what kind of stuff I can bring to my local school district in Grand Forks, ND,” said Courtney Davissouvannasacd, Outreach Coordinator.

Small group discussions will cover a range of topics that educators can take back to their home communities.

“I understood that we have a lot to gain from children. We still believe that teachers still provide children with so many opportunities to learn from them, but we can gain so much from students and their cultures,” Hauglie said.

This is the 8th annual summit being held and the largest to date.

“It wasn’t until much later in life that I was exposed to a cultural ceremony, and so I still have a lot to learn, and I’m just happy that my kids can experience this new environment that’s open, welcoming and inclusive of one where I try to break down any obstacles or barriers that might be in the way and that’s not always easy,” Davissouvannasacd said.

One of the aims and purposes of the summits is to help empower North Dakota communities and unify the education system to bring different cultures together.

In addition to the dance demonstration, lunch consisted of native North Dakota dishes.

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