Indian educators meet in PierreBy Richie Richards
Native Sun News Today Correspondent
nativesunnews.today PIERRE – What’s working and what’s not in Indian education? The South Dakota Indian Education Summit took place in Pierre on September 24-26 with the part of the agenda having a focus on youth. Local educator and youth coordinator with the Ateyapi Program at Rapid City Central High School, Whitney Rencountre (Hunkpati Dakota), has been participating for eleven years, first as drummer/singer and now as emcee of the event. As director of the Ateyapi Program at Central High School, Rencountre has first-hand knowledge of the affects of education on Indian students and families. “This is my eleventh year. I actually started as a singer for our youth dance group. The South Dakota Indian Education team heard me speak and asked me to come back as the emcee ever since,” said Rencountre. The teachings of the local tribes can be used as a teaching tool for classrooms beginning at the pre-K level has many values; as teachers and students can incorporate cultural education and state curriculums into lifetime lessons. “I’ve seen the development of the Oceti Sakowin Essential Understandings. South Dakota Department of Education has recommended school districts voluntarily implement these lessons into their school districts. However, we need to provide more support and school districts need to encourage teachers to implement the lessons and develop an assessment to ensure the quality is good,” said the Rapid City educator.
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