NIEA Convention and Trade Show

To view a draft agenda for the 2018 Convention and Trade Show, please click here.

The 2018 NIEA Convention will take place from October 10-13, 2018 at the Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford, Connecticut.

The 2018 NIEA Convention theme, “Building Education Nations through Culture, Creativity, and Critical Thought“, recognizes the role educators and communities play in shaping the future leaders of Native education. The three-day convention will include innovative participatory workshops, research presentations, poster sessions, and keynote addresses by prominent educators and advocates. Join us as we celebrate the work being done in Native communities!

2018 Keynote Speakers

Opening Keynote Speaker- Thursday, October 11, 2018

Beth (Elizabeth) Regan, “Morning Deer,” Secretary and Justice (Mohegan Tribe of Connecticut)


Beth Regan sits on the Mohegan Tribe of Connecticut Council of Elders and has an extensive background in education and athletics. Over her 35 year career as a teacher at Tolland (CT) High School, she specialized in both Native American studies and Russian history, creating courses in both subjects. An integral part of the Mohegan Tribe’s partnership with the Connecticut Teacher of the Year Program, Beth has created curriculum and lessons on Mohegan history and culture for Connecticut teachers of all grade levels to incorporate into their instruction. Outside the classroom, she has coached at the high school and collegiate levels, and has a strong interest in soccer, basketball and Unified Sports. Beth has also spent over 30 years as a coach and volunteer for Special Olympics.

Her work in all of these areas has earned her many citations as both Teacher of the Year and Coach of the Year, and she is a member of the athletic Halls of Fame at Eastern Connecticut State University, New Britain High School, and the Connecticut Girls Soccer Association. She holds two degrees from Eastern Connecticut State University, both a Bachelor of Science degree in History and Education and a Master’s degree in Human Relations, was a longtime member of the Mohegan Board of Education and a current member the Mohegan Tribe Language Committee.

Beth and her spouse Geri White are longtime residents of Hampton, CT where they both serve on various civic committees.

Closing Keynote Speaker- Saturday, October 13, 2018

Sterlin Harjo (Seminole Nation, Muskogee Creek descendent)


Sterlin Harjo, a member of the Seminole Nation, and of Muskogee heritage, was raised in Holdenville, Oklahoma. He attended the University of Oklahoma, where he studied art and film.

Harjo received a fellowship from the Sundance Institute in 2004. His short film “Goodnight, Irene” premiered at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival and received a special jury award at the Aspen Shortfest. In 2006, he received a fellowship from the newly formed United States Artists foundation. Harjo was named best director at the 2007 American Indian Film Festival.

Harjo’s work has premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and include; Harjo’s first feature film, Four Sheets to the Wind” (2007) and his first feature documentary, This May Be the Last Time” (2014). “Mekko”, a thriller set in Tulsa, premiered at the Los Angeles Film Festival in June 2015.

He has directed a series of shorts for This Land Press in Tulsa, where Harjo is the staff video director. He was a member of the 2010 Sundance shorts competition jury.

Harjo is a founding member of a five-member Native American comedy group, The 1491s.

Harjo is a director of Cherokee Nation’s monthly television news magazine, Osiyo, Voices of the Cherokee People, which is produced by Fire Thief Productions, a Native American production company which he cofounded with Cherokee photographer, Jeremy Charles.