"Activism in Education"

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This year's Native American Indigenous Education Symposium will highlight ways educators and students can use activism to advocate for their culture.

Activism in education is the topic for this year’s Native American Indigenous Education Symposium. The annual event started back in 2009. “This program has a huge following in the indigenous community,”
said Center for Equity and Inclusion Program Support Supervisor Nedralani Mailo. “We have a lot of educators who are interested in learning how they can make their classrooms more inclusive and more indigenous.”

The symposium is open to the greater community but Mailo says most of the participants come from local tribal schools and colleges. This year’s event features two keynote speakers: Sui-Lan Ho’okano and Asia Tail. Ho’okano is the Cultural Program Director for the Enumclaw School District. Tail is a Tacoma-based artist who created the Contemporary Native Voices project for the Tacoma Art Museum.

Nedralani, along with a committee that included UW Tacoma Assistant Professors Danica Miller and Michelle Montgomery, developed the topic for this year’s symposium. “These communities have a long history of activism so we wanted to honor that,” said Nedralani. “We wanted to highlight ways that educators and students can be activists whether that’s through art or by bringing more Indigenous ways of teaching into the classroom.”

The symposium is meant as an exchange of ideas and a venue to promote a college-going culture. “We want to show Indigenous students that college is an option for them,” said Nedralani. Students from different tribal schools in the area will be in attendance. They have the option of participating in an Indigenous student panel or a workshop. The panel is made up of current UW Tacoma students. The workshop is focused on helping students set and achieve goals.

The symposium is Friday, November 16 from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm. The event is free and open to the public. Registration is now closed but if you’d like to get on a waiting list contact the Center for Equity and Inclusion.

Written by: 
Eric Wilson-Edge / November 14, 2018
Photos by: 
Center for Equity and Inclusion
Media contact: 

John Burkhardt, Associate Director for Communications, 253-692-4536 or johnbjr@uw.edu