A welcome back message from the Office of Indian Education
Greetings and good thoughts everyone,
Fall season is upon us and it is time for our students to return to the beautiful potential for learning. Whether your student is attending school online or jumping on the local bus, we, the Office of Indian Education (OIE) would like to warmly welcome all students back.
While there is growing apprehension regarding the upcoming school year, OIE would like to extend our support to every community. It is clear that the COVID-19 pandemic has placed an extra layer of apprehension, as well as increased the hesitancy that comes with each new school year, However, OIE urges both families and communities alike to remain strong and vigilant. Continue to build those strong relationships with your school and share your voice and concerns to exercise the value of local control.
These challenging times has shown us the importance of working with your principal, superintendent and school boards. Together we can plant strong and new educational pathways for our children. It is the continual resiliency that is seen within Indigenous populations that will impact the current and future generations to come. Thus, we strongly suggest our Indigenous communities rely on one another during these uncertain times. Through community support, we will prosper.
As members of our communities, we will continue to serve, support and respect each community to increase the educational pathways of each Indigenous student as our ancestors have done before us.
We are sharing the important message of students packing hand sanitizer with their school notebooks and frequently wash their hands between classes. We encourage eligible students receive their COVID vaccine and mask up each day. Together we can protect each other. Ahe’hee and be well.
Office of Indian Education Team
Serena Denetsosie, Deputy Associate Superintendent
Nicholas Wilson, Director of Strategic Partnerships
Terri Beeler-Saucedo, Tribal Grants Specialist
Brooke Curleyhair, Project Coordinator
We are excited to spotlight one of the 2021-22 ADE Indian Education Advisory Council Student Advisors, Dayhenoa Yazzie.
Hello, my relatives and my People, my name is Dayhenoa Yazzie. I am Red House People Clan. Born for Water Edge People Clan. My maternal grandparents are Folded Arm People Clan. My paternal grandparents are Towering House People Clan. This is who I am as a Dine woman. My parents are Dr. Victoria Yazzie and Francis Yazzie III. My two younger sisters are Dawnae and D'Aaliyah Yazzie. My maternal grandparents are Mary Lee Kinney and LeRoy Kinney. My paternal grandparents are Francis Yazzie Jr. and Glendy Yazzie.
I am currently serving as a student advisor on the Indian Education Advisory Council (IEAC) for the Arizona Department of Education (ADE). I reside in Cane Valley, AZ and I will be starting my senior year at Monument Valley High School. I also attend Northland Pioneer College as a part-time college student pursuing an associates of science degree. My future endeavors are to continue my postsecondary education in public health with an emphasis in environmental health.
What inspires you to work in Arizona's Education community?
The Native children are always forgotten. When deciding about the future the opinions and affliction of us as children go unnoticed and pushed aside. That is to say only because we are "children," but that's what inspires me the most. As we only seem to matter when we are gone. And then we are seen and heard. That is why I believe children are vitally important because the hate you give children reflects onto everyone, changing everything. And in the Arizona's education system that includes majority of tribal nations and their people to be affected greatly. And the native children being the next generation, and the next leaders of our people they inspire me to listen to them and the inner child of myself, whispering in my heart to never forget who we are.
What is one way our classrooms can be more culturally responsive and inclusive?
The greatest thing you can do for a native child in this world is to give them their land and their language. In doing so, that is in a classroom setting, there must be full immersion programs as a requirement for all tribal schools and applying that there must be online resources or outlets for non-tribal schools with native children to be included with these immersion programs nearest to their location. As this can only save our native children, because if you can't live, feel, touch, or breathe this lifestyle of our people, of our ancestors, then how can myself and many other children survive the world when we are still demanded to survive in two, we barley can survive 'their' one, but also that world was created to destroy us. Yet, here we are, a native child changing that same world.
From the Arizona Department of Education (ADE)
The ADE’s Unique Populations team is now accepting proposals for the HOPE Conference 2021, formerly known as the OELAS Conference, which will take place on Thursday and Friday, December 9th and 10th in Tucson. Our Students, Their Agency is the theme for this year’s conference, exemplifying our vision that educating our unique populations is a shared responsibility and that equity is at the forefront of the work we ALL do to ensure every student develops a sense of agency, confidence, and determination to give them the competency to choose their path in life.
- All breakout sessions are 75 minutes in length.
- Proposals are due: 9/7/21
- Selected presenters will be notified: 9/27/21
- All materials presenter materials are due: 11/5/21
If you are interested in sharing your expertise with other Arizona educators, Unique Populations at the Arizona Department of Education invites you to submit a proposal to present at one of the many breakout sessions offered throughout the conference. Use this form to submit a proposal.
From External Partners and Stakeholders
8th National Native American Language Summit
The 8th National Native American Language Summit will be held in Omaha Nebraska on October 13, 2021. The summit goal is to identify ways to further support communities teaching their Native languages, improve accountability for educational progress, and to provide measurable goals to show success and encourage youth to gain the skills to speak their language. The summit will discuss the challenges and successes of measuring oral and written American Indian, Alaska Native and Native Pacific Islander language learning and will share promising practices. The Summit is being held in conjunction with the 2021 52nd Annual NIEA Convention and Trade Show.
Learn more and register: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/2021-national-native-american-language-summit-tickets-163497159405
2021 AISES National Conference Hosted in Phoenix
The Annual AISES National Conference is a unique, three-day event focusing on educational, professional, and workforce development for Indigenous peoples of North America and the Pacific Islands in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) studies and careers. It will be hosted in Phoenix from September 23-256, 2021.
Learn more and register: https://conference.aises.org/
Leading and Learning Together
Nicholas Wilson, OIE Director of Strategic Partnership
As we celebrate National Navajo Code Talkers Day on August 14th, it is important to reflect upon what and who we celebrate. Today, we celebrate the life-sustaining power of Indigenous language and voices. A power so strong it helped bring an end to World War II. Also, a power that has persisted and endured despite governmental boarding school efforts to eradicate it.
To the 29 Indigenous Navajo marines who used their Indigenous intellect and language to develop an unbreakable code, I say Ahéhee’ (Thank You!) for your courage. The courage to speak and utilize your Indigenous language and voices for all our human and more-than-human relations. May our remembrance of your valiant sacrifice and efforts not be forgotten.
Blessing to All My Relations!
Exploring the New ADE Technology Hub
In July, ADE developed a new technology hub bringing together a range of technology resources across the Department as well as additional resources created by the Superintendent's Technology Task Force.
Resources on this page included:
- A digital teaching and learning guide for educators and technology leaders
- A whitepaper focused on how the digital divide impacts rural Arizona
- A Parent & Caretaker Toolkit for Distance Learning
- Information on Arizona’s E-Rate Program and Broadband Initiative
ADE Technology Hub