(Cheyenne, Wyo) – The Wyoming Department of Education (WDE) invites educators and community members across Wyoming to participate in the Fifth Annual Wyoming Native American Education Conference. The conference will be held Aug. 11 – 13 at Central Wyoming College in Riverton.

“This year, we are inviting the public and conference participants to join us for a free social and educational evening on Monday August 11th from 6-8 pm in the Entertainment Room at the Wind River Casino,” said WDE Native American Liasion Keja Whiteman. “The pre-conference activity was designed to give background information on history, language and the culture of the Northern Arapaho Tribe. It’s an opportunity to learn from and interact with local experts including Tribal Leaders, Elders and Academics. It’s also a great venue to network with other education professionals and conference participants.”

The conference is open and relevant to all Wyoming educators and community members. While the goals are specific to Native American students who are served statewide, many of the underlying issues related to all students, such as family involvement, will be discussed.

There will be a variety of presentations appropriate and beneficial for school board members, school employees, and parents.

“Some of the highlights this year include a session with Dr. Rev. Michael Oleksa from Alaska who will lead a session on culture and miscommunication. Brent Gish from Minnesota will speak about the shooting at Red Lake School and how to overcome tragedy to and improve educational outcomes.”

The conference is a result of the Triad Initiative, a school/community/government partnership designed to improve educational outcomes for Native students on and near the Wind River Indian Reservation. Many innovative projects have been facilitated through this unique partnership. Specific information on the Triad Initiative is available on the Wyoming Department of Education website.

For more information on the conference please visit: http://edu.wyoming.gov/in-the-classroom/native-american/2014-conference/pre/.