Teachers gather for annual ND Indian Education Summit

July 8, 2022 GMT

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Dozens of teachers from around North Dakota are getting a cultural education from the state’s American Indian tribes.

More than 250 educators are attending the North Dakota Indian Education Summit Thursday and Friday at the Capitol in Bismarck where they are participating in breakout sessions and taking in cultural presentations, such as Native American dancing in traditional regalia.

Some of the breakout sessions include teaching Indigenous culture successfully in today’s schools and implementing Native American topics into schools’ curriculum.

“I think it’s important that we learn about the diversity of our students and have a better understanding of where they’re coming from and gain the knowledge they have so much to give back to us as educators,” said teacher Tami Hauglie.

One of the summit’s objectives is to unify the education system in North Dakota to bring different cultures together, organizers said.

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Courtney Davis Souvannasacd is an outreach coordinator with the National Resource Center on Native American Aging at the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks.

“How do you implement it? Do you start with the families? Do you start with the curriculum, writers within the school districts? You know every school district is going to look different. So I’m just excited to see what kind of things I can bring back to my local school district in Grand Forks, North Dakota,” said Davis Souvannasacd.

I wasn’t until later in her life, Davis Souvannasacd tells KFYR-TV, that she was exposed to cultural ceremonies.

“And so I still I have a lot to learn,” Davis Souvannasacd said. “And I’m just happy that my children are able to experience that new environment that is open, welcoming, and inclusive of that where I try to chip away at obstacles or barriers that might be in the way and it’s not always easy.”