Whiteriver, AZ – The White Mountain Apache Educat
ion Department hosted the 1st Annual Education Summit December 28 and 29 at Theodore Roosevelt School. Throughout the two (2) day
event, the Department brought together more than 140 educators, school administrators, school boards and Tribal Leaders focusing on Indian education on the Fort Apache Indian Reservation.
Monday’s agenda featured presentations from the Bureau of Indian Education who discussed an update on the current BIE Reform Initiatives that directly impact the Bureau’s school facilities on the reservation including Cibecue Community School, John F. Kennedy School and Theodore Roosevelt School. The agenda also included panel discussions on Apache language in local schools and a presentation on Early Childhood Education by Dr. Lamont Yazzie, Director of Educational Services for Navajo Nation Head Start Program.
Tuesday’s agenda included a legislative update from Arizona State Senator Carlyle Begay, who discussed the education initiatives he and the legislature have been working on in the recent legislative session and what to expect in the coming legislative session. The White Mountain Apache Tribe Education Department presented on “Working Together” and addressing how the tribal program and local schools can continue to grow and collaborate on education issues. The Arizona Department of Education and Indian Education provided attendees with a presentation on Common Core including the recent changes to Common Core and what to expect with state standards, as well as how the Arizona Office of Indian Education has and continues to work with Tribes and schools on education issues.
“This was the first time any event like this has been held in the White Mountain Apache Tribe, and it was a good opportunity to bring everyone who works on education for our Apache youth together to open dialogue and begin collaborating on Indian education for the betterment of our Apache youth. The event was a good starting point and has set the foundation for future events to continue to build upon the work we accomplished over the holiday break with education professionals and Tribal Leaders,” said Harrisen DeClay, Education Director for the White Mountain Apache Tribe.
The Education Department thanks the Office of the Chairman, Office of the Vice Chairman, Tribal Council, Theodore Roosevelt School, Hon Dah Casino, Child Care Program, WMAT Head Start and the attendees from the schools that service the Fort Apache Indian Reservation.