Yá’át’ééh, shik’éí dóó shidine’é. Shí éí Nicholas Wilson yinishyé. Tsé Ńjíkiní nishłį́, Tábąąhá bashishchiin. Táchii’nii dashicheii, adoo ‘Áshįįhí dashinalí. Ákót’éego diné nishłį́.
Hello, my relations and People. My name is Nicholas Wilson. I am of my maternal grandmother’s Cliff Dwelling clan, as well as my paternal grandmother’s Waters Edge clan. My maternal grandfathers are the Red-Running-Into-the-Water clan and my paternal grandfathers are the Salt People. In this way, I am a Navajo male.
As the new Director of Strategic Planning for the Office of Indian Education (OIE) at the Arizona Department of Education (ADE), I am honored to have been asked to serve the Indigenous children, families, communities, and Tribal Nations of Arizona. Currently, I am working on becoming a third-degree Indigenous Wildcat with a bachelor’s degree in communications (2009), master’s degree in student affairs (2018), and a Ph.D. in higher education from the University of Arizona.
Prior to joining OIE, I worked for the University of Arizona’s Native American Student Affairs (NASA) where I oversaw the institution’s Native American Living-Learning Community, O’odham Ki: (pronounced AW-THAM-Kee), and taught two undergraduate courses (EDL 299 - Indigenous Peoples & American Education; HED 201 – Indigenous Community Leadership & Engagement).
My Indigenous teaching, service, and research are focused on (Re)Establishing Indigenous Intellectual Kinship & Community. A form of kinship & community that centers Indigenous Knowledge Systems (IKS) and values. I look forward to developing and sustaining respectful, reciprocal, responsible relationships through my ongoing work.
Ahéhee’! (Thank You, I am Grateful!)
From the Arizona Department of Education
In 2020, the Arizona Department of Education’s Health and Nutrition Services Division received a $4.1 million Team Nutrition Training Grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to help schools offer meals supported by recipes that utilize local agricultural products and reflect local food preparation practices and taste preferences. To develop those recipes ADE partnered with local public schools to source recipes, specifically reaching out to Indigenous students and families to incorporate traditional foods like the Three Sisters: corn, beans, and squash. With the help of Chef Charleen Badman, these recipes will come to life in select schools in the Fall and by January 2022, the recipes will be an option for all schools in Arizona.
Learn more about Chef Badman and the grant that is making these efforts possible.
Arizona's School Lunches Are About to Get a Distinctly Arizonan Boost
Learn more about how these schools collaborated with their communities to source recipes for this project. (For Arizona Republic subscribers only)
'Think outside of the box': How Native American foods could land in AZ school lunches
From External Partners and Stakeholders
The Native Nations Institute's Native American Youth Entrepreneurship Program is online and virtual this year! Native high school students are encouraged to join the University of Arizona’s Online Youth Entrepreneurship Session the week of July 12 – 16, 2021, from 1 – 2:30 pm PDT. Attendance is required for all 5 days. $100 for registration and partial scholarships are available. To learn more and register, visit their website.
Dr. Mary Frances-O’Connor at the University of Arizona is conducting a survey focused on grief during the pandemic. If you have lost a loved one during the pandemic, Dr. Frances-O’Connor would like to include your voice in this 10-minute survey on pandemic grief.
If you would like more information or have questions about the study, please call 520-626-5383 or toll-free at 1-877-518-4630, or email Dr. Frances-O’Connor at [email protected]. Follow the link below to take the survey.
Survey of Bereavement After Covid-Related Death
Leading and Learning Together
The Office of Indian Education wishes to honor the recent calls for action to address Residential School traumas and offer pathways to healing that include acknowledgment for past harms and inter-generational trauma. The following resources can be shared that encourage a shared responsibility to connect to and understand the history and historical impacts of Residential Schools across Native-Indigenous nations.
The Office of Indian Education supports initiatives of acknowledgment and healing that include Secretary of the Interior, Deborah Haaland's establishment of the Federal Indian Boarding School Truth Initiative. In the true spirit of community, we send strength and humility to all our Native-Indigenous allies in the work of social & restorative justice.
As we plan for the 2021-2022SY with the safety of our children and families as the priority, let it be with the understanding that education is a pathway that lends us many experiences and opportunities. And still, our lifeways will always be rooted in who we are as a people, community and culture.
"Every society needs educated people, but the primary responsibility of educated people is to bring wisdom back into the community and make it available to others so that the lives they are leading make sense.” -Red Earth, White Lies by Vine Deloria, Jr.
OIE: Boarding School Resources