NIEA Convention and Trade Show

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

To view the 2018 Convention Workshop schedule, please click here.

To view a schedule of Professional Learning Opportunities available at Convention, 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 descendant)


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.

2018 Board of Directors Candidates

Bernadine Atchison

Bernadine Atchison 
Kenaitze Indian Tribe

Yaghali du! Bernadine Atchison sh’izhi Dena’ina eshlan shit (pronounced sheet). Alaska Kahtnu shgu shqayeh qilanda. Yaghanen. Nulchina shgu eshlan shida. Shuntda tuq’ina. Chuda qents’ughna. Greetings, my name is Bernadine Atchison. I am Dena’ina. Kenai, Alaska is my village, the good land. I am Sky Clan. Mother of 3. Grandmother of 7. Achievements -2015-present Chairperson of Kenaitze Education Committee; 2001 received National Award for preserving and promoting the Dena’ina Culture; 1998-2001 Cultural Heritage Director under Johnson O’Mally Act; 1992 Peace & Dignity Journey State organizer; 1990 appointed to the Alaskan Indigenous Human Rights Commission.

Brian Jackson

Brian Jackson 
Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians

Teach in a manner that respects and cares for strong identity of our students & families.

  • Family Focus: Married to Melissa Doud with 5 Children; Grason 7, Alton 11, Maquain 18, Misha 22, Marquis 24
  • Ed University Minnesota,  (current Doctoral program) Indigenous Education Teaching & Learning @ University Minnesota
  • Veteran of Army National Guard
  • Employed by Lac Du Flambeau Public School as the Behavioral Health Director – Cultural Connections team
  • Wisconsin Indian Education Association President and part of WIEA board since 2005
Lori Quigley

Lori Quigley
Seneca Nation of Indians

Lori Quigley is Vice President for Academic Affairs at Medaille College in Buffalo, NY, is a member of the Seneca Nation of Indians, wolf clan, and has a Ph.D. in Language, Learning and Literacy.

Lori received a Presidential appointment (2004) to the National Advisory Council on Indian Education, serving as Chair until 2010, was advisor on the documentary, Unseen Tears: The Impact of Native American Residential Boarding Schools (2009), and has received awards for her contributions to the Native communities in WNY. Lori helps communities maintain their indigenous languages, and chaired the 13th Annual Stabilizing Indigenous Languages Symposium, and publishes/presents research on indigenous languages, multicultural trauma, and indigenous women’s leadership roles.

Sylvia Hussey

Sylvia Hussey
Native Hawaiian

Since 2014, Dr. Sylvia Hussey has overseen the design and implementation of the Council’s strategic plan including its research, assessment, evaluation and data strategies, in fulfillment of the Native Hawaiian Education Council’s statutory responsibilities.  Previously, Sylvia spent 12 years at Kamehameha Schools with operating responsibilities and oversight of the admissions, financial aid, scholarship, ancestry verification, community resources, education and information technology, human resources and project management functions.  Sylvia received her Doctorate of Education in Professional Educational Practice and Master of Education from the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa; earned a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from Brigham Young University–Hawai’i.