Educational issues and voices from native communities<br>

Lily Claw, a parent committee member from Tuba City Unified School District and a board member at Greyhills Academy, was the convocation’s special guest speaker. She addressed today’s educational vision, values and knowledge, asking to what end is teaching geared particularly concerning accountable leaders.

Claw related to the attendees that she would “rather have a good person, skilled in some trade skills, able to take care of his/her family, and struggling with AIMS, than a student passing AIMS, with no trade/skills and unable to take care of his/her family.”

Along with TCUSD Board member, Priscilla Kanaswood, Claw raised the troubling issue of lack of representation from the grassroots people, who too often, due to language barriers and de facto segregation, tend to react rather than act on making new laws, rules and regulations. These two women emphasized the importance of all native leaders to have more say at the outset in the legislative process.

Both voiced a concern with the continuing loss of “native sacred” language and culture. With the emphasis on new laws regarding AIMS, they suggested taking a wider view of accountability in the schools for all subjects and knowledge. They expressed a need for native student graduates to acquire usable life skills and character education as fundamental for success as adults in society today.

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