To view a copy of the draft agenda, please click here.

To view a full list of workshops, please click here.

Keynote Speakers


Opening General Assembly: Dr. Nicole Bowman (Mohican/Munsee)

Biography: Dr. Nicole Bowman is the president and founder of the nationally award-winning Bowman Performance Consulting (BPC) in Shawano, Wisconsin. Dr. Bowman earned her PhD in Educational Leadership & Policy Analysis at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (UW-Madison). Her dissertation is recognized as the nation’s first multi-jurisdictional educational policy study in the country to systemically examine how Tribal and non-Tribal educational policy is developed and implemented as public and Tribal governments intersect to educate Indigenous students attending K-12 public schools. Through her work at BPC and UW-Madison, she provides culturally responsive evaluation, research, and policy subject matter expertise where Tribal and non-Tribal governments and organizations collaborate. These projects and initiatives work towards improving the health, economy, education, justice, social, cultural, and human service outcomes for Indigenous populations in reservation, rural, urban, and international community contexts. Dr. Bowman has contributed over two decades of culturally responsive and multi-jurisdictional evaluation, research, training and technical assistance. Dr. Bowman has an academic appointment at UW-Madison’s Wisconsin Center for Education Research as a subject matter expert in culturally responsive research, policy, and evaluation through the Learning through Evaluation, Adaptation and Dissemination (LEAD) Center and the Wisconsin Evaluation Collaborative (WEC) Center. She is also an affiliate researcher for the Culturally Responsive Evaluation and Assessment (CREA) Center at the University of Illinois-Urbana. Dr. Bowman’s practical, passionate, and effective leadership attributes resonate and empower others at every level.

Learn from Dr. Bowman on Thursday, October 5th at 9:00am in the Grand Sierra Ballroom.


Closing General Assembly: Ricky White

Biography: Ricky White Niigonanakud, is Anishinabe from the Whitefish Bay First Nation in Ontario, Canada.  He is Pizhew or Lynx Clan and is a lifetime member of the renowned drum group, Whitefish Bay Singers. Through his upbringing, Ricky has retained deep knowledge of the Anishinabe language and culture. Those teachings continue to drive his spirit and leadership today. Ricky is currently the Superintendent of Circle of Life Academy on the White Earth Reservation in Minnesota.  When he arrived in June of 2015, the school’s report card was a 10% proficiency in Reading and Math and 40% drop out rate, and the morale in the school and community was at an all-time low. Mahnomen County and White Earth Reservation are listed as a crisis and disparate area.  Even with numerous challenges, Ricky has let the Circle of Life Academy to a championed transformed image of achievement, climate and culture.  In just a year and a half the school has improved dramatically in all areas. Ricky White has been recognized as the next leader of the Anishinabe Nation and was awarded Minnesota’s Indian Education Administrator of the Year.

Learn from Mr. White on Saturday, October 7th at 1:00pm in the Grand Sierra Ballroom.

Pre-Meeting Schedule

Tuesday Pre-Meetings Schedule

Antigua 1

9:00 – 5:00PM – TEDNA NYCP Meeting (Open Meeting)

Antigua 2

9:00 – 5:00PM– TEDNA Strategic Planning (Open Meeting)

Grand Sierra A

1:00 – 5:00PM – BIE SIE/TED Grantees Meeting


Wednesday Advanced Learning Sessions Schedule

Native Control of Native Education: 8:00 – 12:00PM

Bonaire 1

Building on the inaugural session in Portland in 2015 then Reno in 2016, join the NIEA Board and member colleagues in continuing the definition process of what constitutes success for native students, how teachers can utilize native language, knowledge, values, and practices to strengthen native identity, native education in native languages and formulating a national native research agenda.


First Kids 1st Community Asset Mapping Workshop: 9:00 – 12:00PM

Bonaire 3

Community asset mapping is an activity that many local community organizers first conduct when they begin to focus advocacy on a specific issue within their community.  As part of the First Kids 1st initiative, community asset mapping activities can help tribal communities gather data to encourage healthy lifestyles, safe and supportive environments, successful students, and stable communities. This session will share action steps and resources to support your working in advancing the wellness of the Native youth in your community.


Tribally Controlled Schools hosted by Association of Community Tribal Schools (ACTS): 9:00 – 3:00PM

Bonaire 2


Culturally Sustaining Pedagogy in the Classroom: 9:00 – 4:30PM

Antigua 3

This session will take participants through several levels of what teaching THROUGH culture may look like if you are a Native or non-Native teacher.  Participants will walk away with an understanding of the “sustaining” aspect of this method of pedagogy as well as engage with practical application of teaching THROUGH culture.   This includes considerations for teaching methods, community involvement, language revitalization, and content.


U.S. Department of Education, Office of Indian Education; Federal Technical Assistance Day: 9:00 – 5:00PM

Grand Sierra B

The U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Indian Education will conduct a Federal Technical Assistance Workshop Day immediately prior to the annual NIEA convention. The purpose of the free workshop is to provide greater awareness of ED grant programs to Indian education stakeholders and to inform, update, and provide guidance on a myriad of programs serving AI/AN students nationwide. ED Senior Management leaders and key grant program officials will lead discussions, share information, and provide direct feedback on applying for Federal education grant assistance and how to meet grant program requirements. The workshop is targeted to promote awareness, cross-program collaboration, coordination, and communication at all levels and focus on increasing academic success for AI/AN students.


TEDNA Annual Meeting & Luncheon: 9:00 – 5:00PM

Caribbean VI

National Coalition for the Advancement of Natives in Higher Education (NCANHE) Writing Workshop: 9:00 – 4:30PM

Antigua 1


BIE Listening Session: Draft Strategic Plan: 9:00 – 11:00AM

BIE Open Forum Townhall: 1:00 – 3:00PM

Grand Sierra A


Impact Aid Schools hosted by the National Impacted Schools Association (NIISA): 1:00 – 2:30PM

Bonaire 3


Special Education hosted by Education for Parents of Indian Children with Special Needs (EPICS): 1:00 – 2:30PM

Bonaire 4


Early Learning/Head Start hosted by National Indian Head Start Director’s Association (NIHSDA): 1:00 – 3:00PM

Bonaire 5


Johnson O’Malley hosted by the National Johnson O’Malley Association (NJOMA): 2:45 – 4:45PM

Bonaire 3


Higher Education hosted by the National Coalition for the Advancement of Natives in Higher Education (NCANHE): 2:45 – 4:45PM

Bonaire 4


Urban Indian Education Discussion hosted by Mary Wilber: 3:15 – 5:00PM

Bonaire 5


Language and Culture Discussion hosted by Ryan Wilson: 3:15 – 5:00PM

Bonaire 6


Convention 101: 4:00 – 5:00PM

Bonaire 1


Welcome Reception and Cultural Night: 6:00 – 9:00PM

Seasonal Pavilion

Plenary Sessions 

Plenary sessions offer the opportunity for Convention attendees to participate in panel lectures and discussions on certain topic areas. Plenary session descriptions scheduled for the 2017 Convention are below.

Thursday, October 5th 12:45pm: Native School Choice: Perspectives and Opportunities in Indian Country

Description: Native communities have long advocated for the autonomy to create and operate schools that support our students through the celebration of Native identity, culture, and values. With the new Administration considering opportunities to expand school choice, tribes and Native communities can take tangible steps to expand and exercise our educational autonomy. Join this panel as our speakers explore the diversity of choice available and discuss strategies to take full advantage of the flexibilities to support great Native schools.


  • President Russell Begaye, Navajo Nation
  • Walter Kahumoku III, University of Hawaiʻi, West Oʻahu (Native Hawaiian)
  • Phil Gover, Founding Director, Sovereign Schools Project (Pawnee, Comanche, Paiute)
  • Brian Greseth, Principle, Pemayetv Emahakv Charter School


Ahniwake Rose, Executive Director, NIEA (Cherokee Nation)


Friday, October 6th 9:30am: Intergenerational Resilience: A Conversation with Elders and Youth

Description: The passing of strength, knowledge, and cultural identity is the foundation of intergenerational resilience. Join the panel discussion as our speakers reflect on ways we can work to build a stronger community between our youth and elders. By attending this meaningful exchange, and identifying strategies for intergenerational resilience, we will heal and evolve individually and together.


  • TaNeel Filesteel (Aaiih and Nakoda Tribes of the Fort Belknap Community)
  • Chris Bordeaux (Sicangu Lakota)
  •  Dr. Gloria Sly (Cherokee Nation)
  • Margaret Landin (Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara Nation)


Yatibaey Evans, President, NIEA (Ahtna (Athabascan))


Saturday, October 7th 10:30am: Resilience Through Education: A Conversation with Leaders of NIEA

Description: The history of Native people in Western education began with the tragic and genocidal use of boarding schools. Today, Native students and communities still grapple with the far reaching effects of federal policies. Native people, however, are resilient and have worked to create spaces and policies that celebrate Native culture and language while acknowledging and addressing our history. The founding of the National Indian Education Association (NIEA) came from a place of resistance and the organization remains a leading voice advocating for opportunities for Native students to thrive in the classroom and beyond. Join past presidents of NIEA as they discuss our history and look forward to our future as we continue to look for opportunities to amplify Native voices and practices to secure the future of Indian County.


Dr. Heather Shotton (Wichita/Kiowa/Cheyenne)

Dr. Lionel Bordeaux (Sicangu Lakota)

Ms. Patricia Whitefoot (Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation)

Mr. Melvin Monette-Barajas (Turtle Moutain Band of Chippewa Indians)


Yatibaey Evans, President, NIEA (Ahtna (Athabascan))