NIEA President to give State of Indian Education address during Legislative Summit in February

NIEA President, Dr. Willard Sakiestewa Gilbert (Courtesy photo)

NIEA President, Dr. Willard Sakiestewa Gilbert (Courtesy photo)

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Dr. Willard Sakiestewa Gilbert, President of the National Indian Education Association (NIEA), will give the State of Indian Education Address at NIEA's 11th Legislative Summit at 10 a.m. on Monday, Feb. 11, at the National Press Club, 529 14th St. NW in Washington, D.C.

This address embarks on an agenda set into place by NIEA Membership and Board of Directors with a collaboration of other key organizations, to provide a concise, accurate statement regarding the status of education efforts for American Indians, Alaska Natives and Native Hawaiians. NIEA is committed to enhancing equal opportunities and strengthening the capacity of our education institutions to provide excellence in education. The NIEA President and the Association will propose recommendations to the No Child Left Behind Act, address High School Reform and implementation of institutionalizing Native languages and cultures into daily curriculum of schools with high populations of Native students, and address funding issues.

Gilbert will be joined by leaders of non-governmental and private organizations during this event, such as the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI), the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, the National Indian Health Board, and by tribal leaders and NIEA Members who are educators, advocates and students.

"We must bring accountability and high standards to our schools. This cannot be accomplished without full support of our Native inclusion measures in the No Child Left Behind Act. NIEA believes strongly that if our language and culture is institutionalized into our daily teaching curriculum, our America's Native children achievements will rise.

"We must [also] increase education spending. After many years of debate, our NIEA membership is counting on us to deliver on our promise of reform for the public schools. We can do that," Gilbert noted in a Legislative Summit planning meeting with the NIEA Board of Directors.

Other Legislative Summit activities include policy workshops for attendees at 11:15 a.m. on Monday, Feb. 11, like the Effective Advocacy Strategies and Lobbying 101 in the Holiday Inn Capitol; Senate and House speakers on February 12th; and Hill Visits on Feb. 13, in which this year, NIEA will assign the meetings for attendees according to region.

For more information regarding NIEA's position on NCLB and registration to participate in the Legislative Summit 2008, please visit the NIEA Web site at www.niea.org.

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