The National Indian Education Association will be honoring
eight Native individuals and one school who have had a large impact
on the world of education during their 40th annual convention
to be held in Milwaukee, Wisc., Oct. 22-25. Since 1977, the membership
association has honored Native leaders who have changed and improved
the lives of their schoolchildren and affected dialog concerning
Native education issues, both locally and nationally.
Kulas, Oglala Lakota Tribe, retired executive director of Indian
Affairs Commission for North Dakota and Angayuqaq Oscar Kawagley,
Yupiaq, associate professor of education at the University of
Alaska Fairbanks, will be honored with the 2009 NIEA Lifetime
Peters, Menominee Indian Tribe, and Joseph Medicine Crow, Crow
Nation, will be honored as Elder of the Year. Brent (Ponca/Chickasaw)
and Kennetha (Otoe Missouria) Greenwood will be honored as Parents
of the Year, Dr. Cornel Pewewardy, Comanche Nation, is the Teacher
of the Year and Denise M. Juneau (Mandan/Hidatsa Tribe) is the
Educator of the Year.
2005, NIEA has established the Cultural Freedom Award, and award
to recognize schools, institutions, and organizations whose extraordinary
and courageous work celebrates the right to freedom of Native
language, culture, and educational excellence. This year, NIEA
will recognize the Niigane Ojibwemowin Immersion School of the
Bugonaygeshig, in Minnesota, which was founded in 1975.
year, we recognize the importance of leaders who are found in
our classrooms, our homes and our communities. This year, has
particular importance. The awardees' contributions have demonstrated
the encompassing value of what it is to be a leader, celebrated
also in NIEA's 40 years of advocacy," said Robert Cook,
Oglala Lakota Tribe, who is currently the National Indian Education
Association's president. "They remind us that we must
listen to children to improve the future. We must know our communities'
needs, recognize our students' strengths, and listen to their
answers. These remarkable people and this school are true examples
of who can see that need and see the hope we have in our Native
children, and our belief that students are the foundation on which
all successful communities rest. On behalf of NIEA and the board
of directors, I praise these awardees for their humble work on
behalf of Native students and children."
award winners must demonstrate exceptional achievement or performance
in providing quality instruction to American Indian, Alaska Native
and Native Hawaiian students.
individuals and school will be honored at the 2009 NIEA Annual
Convention Gala Banquet on Saturday, Oct. 24 at the Midwest Airlines
Center with entertainment provided by recording artist Micki Free
and awards designed by artist Lorenzo Black Lance. For more information,
or tickets to the gala banquet, visit www.niea.org or call (202)