CULTURAL EDUCATION CONFERENCE TO KICK OFF NEXT WEEK
Conference to serve hundreds of educators across Alaska, Lower 48
July 25, 2018
Sealaska Heritage Institute (SHI) will kick off its second cultural education conference next week for hundreds of educators from more than 30 communities in its effort to improve academic success of Native students by giving educators tools to effectively teach people from other cultures.
The three-day event, Our Cultural Landscape: Culturally Responsive Education Conference, will feature nationally-known keynote speakers and more than 50 breakout sessions organized around three major strands: place-based teaching and learning; early childhood culturally-responsive education practices; and equity in education. Attendees must be registered to attend, and the registration deadline has passed.
The purpose of the conference, scheduled August 1-3 at the Juneau-Douglas High School, is to provide educators with a deep understanding of culturally-responsive education and equip them to transform their classrooms, pedagogy and curriculum to fully support all students’ success.
Ample research has shown the effectiveness of using culture- and place-based teaching resources and methods to improve academic achievement for Indigenous students, said SHI President Rosita Worl, noting a 2013 study on Juneau’s own Tlingit Culture, Language and Literacy program also found a significant increase in the graduation rate of students initially enrolled in the program.
“Studies over the past three decades have shown that Native language and culturally-responsive programs are associated with improved academic performance, decreased dropout rates and improved school attendance,” Worl said.
The conference will kick off at 8:30 am, Wednesday, Aug. 1, with a welcome address by event organizers SHI Education Director Kevin Shipley, SHI President Rosita Kaaháni Worl and SHI Vice Chair Albert Kookesh. The welcome will be followed by a keynote speeches by Dr. Randall Lindsey and Father Michael Oleksa. U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski will address participants by video. Other keynote speakers include Zaretta Hammond and Dr. Christopher Blodgett.
The conference is part of SHI’s education program Thru the Cultural Lens. Now in its fifth year, the program provides cultural orientation for educators on Southeast Alaska Native history and culture. Thru the Cultural Lens is funded by the US Department of Education Alaska Native Education Program.
Dr. Randall Lindsey
9-10:30, Wednesday, Aug. 1
Dr. Randall B. Lindsey is Emeritus Professor at California State University, Los Angeles. He has served as a teacher, an administrator, executive director of a non-profit corporation, as interim dean at California Lutheran University, as distinguished educator-in-residence at Pepperdine University, and as chair of the education department at the University of Redlands. All of his experiences have been in working with diverse populations and his area of study is the behavior of white people in multicultural settings. With co-authors he has written several books and articles on cultural proficiency, including The Cultural Proficiency Manifesto: Finding Clarity Amidst the Noise and Cultural Proficiency: A Manual for School Leaders.
Father Michael Oleksa, Ph.D.
4-5:30 pm, Wednesday, Aug. 1
Father Michael Oleksa, Ph.D., came to Alaska in 1970 from St. Vladimir’s Seminary in New York at the invitation of the Alutiiq village of Old Harbor on Kodiak Island. Over the next three decades he served as a Russian Orthodox priest in over a dozen Alaska Native villages. Recognized as an “Elder” by the Alaska Federation of Natives, a Distinguished Public Servant by the Board of Regents of the University of Alaska, and honored by the Alaska State Legislature and the National Governors Association, Dr. Oleksa is a storyteller who seeks to foster greater understanding across boundaries of race and culture. He recently published a book in collaboration with the Association of Alaska School Boards entitled Another Culture/Another World that explores the great diversity and common humanity of Alaska’s cultural mosaic.
9-10:30 am, Thursday, Aug. 2
Zaretta Hammond is a national education consultant and author of Culturally Responsive Teaching and the Brain: Promoting Authentic Engagement and Rigor for Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Students. She is a former English teacher and has been doing consulting and professional development around equity, literacy, and culturally responsive teaching for the past 21 years. She has provided instructional support for a variety of organizations such as the Santa Barbara County Education Office, Sonoma County Office of Education, and Teaching for America. In addition, she has worked with leaders and teachers in school districts across the country. Find her on Twitter at @ready4rigor.
Dr. Christopher Blodgett
9-10:30, Friday, Aug. 3
Dr. Christopher Blodgett is a Washington State University faculty member and a licensed clinical psychologist. Blodgett has been the Principal Investigator for more than three dozen federal and national foundation grants addressing high-risk children and families. He is the director of the CLEAR Trauma Center at WSU. Trauma informed schools work in the CLEAR model now includes multiple schools in Washington, Oregon, and California. Blodgett and his team partner with communities and systems to adapt the science of resilience, brain development, and trauma treatment to better address trauma resulting from childhood adversity. Now funded by multiple federal and philanthropic grants, this work documents the profound and immediate consequences of ACEs and tests practical actions to improve child, family, and system outcomes.
Dr. Randall Lindsey
9-10:30, Wednesday, Aug. 1
Dr. Randall B. Lindsey is Emeritus Professor at California State University, Los Angeles. He has served as a teacher, an administrator, executive director of a non-pro_ t corporation, as interim dean at California Lutheran University, as distinguished educator-in-residence at Pepperdine University, and as chair of the education department at the University of Redlands. All of his experiences have been in working with diverse populations and his area of study is the behavior of white people in multicultural settings. With co-authors he has written several books and articles on cultural proficiency, including The Cultural Proficiency Manifesto: Finding Clarity Amidst the Noise and Cultural Proficiency: A Manual for School Leaders.
The conference will served educators and administrators from more than 30 communities, including Anchorage; Dillingham; Bristol Bay; Chugach; Copper River; Craig; Fairbanks; Haines; Hoonah; Hydaburg; Kake; Ketchikan; Kenai; King Salmon; Klawock; Kodiak; Kuspuck; Los Angeles, California; Lower Yukon Schools; Mt. Edgecumbe; Mukilteo, Canada; Petersburg; Point Loma, California; Saxman; Sitka; Skagway; South Puget Sound; Sunaq Tribe of Kodiak; Tanana; Tok; Aleutians East; Whitehorse; Wrangell and Yakutat.
Sealaska Heritage Institute is a private nonprofit founded in 1980 to promote cultural diversity and cross-cultural understanding through public services and events. SHI also conducts social scientific and public policy research and advocacy that promotes Alaska Native arts, cultures, history and education statewide. The institute is governed by a Board of Trustees and guided by a Council of Traditional Scholars, a Native Artist Committee and a Southeast Regional Language Committee. Its mission is to perpetuate and enhance Tlingit, Haida, and Tsimshian cultures of Southeast Alaska.
CONTACT: Amy Fletcher, SHI Media and Publications Director, 907.586.9116, firstname.lastname@example.org.