9th Annual Native American Education Conference Aimed at Student Success

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The Native American Education Conference wrapped up Thursday in Fremont County.

Through the conference, Department of Education members hope to improve educational outcomes and community partnerships on the Wind River Indian Reservation.

Those in attendance said, “We’ve had an amazing turnout.”

The 9th annual conference took places at St. Stevens High School.

“There are over 75 breakout sessions we have four key note speakers.”

School officials told News 13 it was their pleasure to host the cultural event.

Frank Norunner, superintendent said, “First of all opening the facility to the Department of Education it’s an opportunity for our staff and our community to interact peer to peer face to face and have a good interaction and dialing to really help benefit our students.”

Speakers touched on topics including: Cultural Sensitivity, Suicide Prevention, Relationship Building and More.

The conference included seminars for teachers and parents along with outdoor activities for the students.

Some told News 13, “The experience it was awesome!”

Parent and teacher Claudette C'Bearing commented, "This is a really good conference I like coming here learning new things a lot of opportunities that are presented for the kids, just as a parent and a teacher here I think that this is a good workshop i hope it continues with different presenters every year.”

Norunner said, “The ultimate goal is to provide for a better quality of life and better opportunities for our Native American youth.”

School officials say they hope teachers understand the learning needs of native students.

"Native American kids, they learn differently than other students we have more superstitious beliefs so like when we talk about science the modem works thinks about Darwinism and we think about spirituality."

It will take more than educators to teach students, parents and community members can be teachers too.

"The more we collaborate the more we have open dialog and hard discussions the better it’s going to be for our kids."

Event organizers say they will keep hosting the education conference in hopes to improve educational outcomes for Native American students.

Organizers said they already began planning next year's conference.

They plan to host more speakers and more activities for native students.