29th Annual Stabilizing Indigenous Languages Symposium and 13th Annual Indigenous Teacher Education Hybrid Conference
Returning to Our Languages and Ways of Knowing
June 23–24, 2023
Northern Arizona University’s College of Education will host the combined 13th Annual Indigenous Teacher Education Conference (AIITEC) and the 29th Annual Stabilizing Indigenous Languages Symposium (SILS). This conference for preschool, K–12, Tribal, college, and university educators, as well as concerned community members, includes panels, workshops, and papers to share ideas for improving the lives and education of American Indian children, especially in regard to the revitalization of their Indigenous languages and cultures. Join your colleagues for two and a half days of career-empowering knowledge, practices, networking, and practical teaching solutions. The conference is designed with your specific needs in mind and will provide strategies you can use immediately across all grade levels and subjects. NAU’s College of Education has worked with Tribal Nations to improve the education of American Indian students for decades. It has hosted a variety of American Indian teacher and administrator preparation programs.
IMPORTANT DUE DATE
You must reserve your room by May 22, 2023, in order to receive the conference rate.
Conference goals Accordion Closed
Goals of the conference:
- Bring together American Indian and other Indigenous language educators and activists to share ideas and experiences on how to teach and revitalize American Indian and other Indigenous languages in homes, communities, and schools.
- Share resources for early childhood educators in Tribal schools and communities.
- Disseminate recent research and thinking on best practices to promote, preserve, and protect American Indian and other Indigenous languages in the spirit of the 1990 Native American Languages Act and the United Nations 2007 Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
Keynote speakers Accordion Closed
Dr. Richard E. Littlebear
Northern Cheyenne Language Community
Richard (Dick) E. Littlebear was born on the Northern Cheyenne Reservation in Montana and grew up in Busby, Montana. He holds degrees from Bethel College and Montana State University and received his doctorate degree in education from Boston University in 1994.
He is President and Interim Dean of Cultural Affairs at Chief Dull Knife College located in the Northern Cheyenne Reservation. Dr. Littlebear actively promotes bilingualism, advocating for bilingual education on a local, state, national, and international level. He encourages the continued oral, written, and reading usage of the Cheyenne language specifically, and of all Indigenous languages generally. He considers learning to read and write the Cheyenne language—his first language—as his greatest academic achievement.
Dr. Christine Sims
Associate Professor, Department of Language, Literacy, and Sociocultural Studies Director, American Indian Language Policy Research and Teacher Training Center
College of Education, University of New Mexico
Christine Sims is an associate professor in the Department of Language, Literacy, and Sociocultural Studies in the College of Education at the University of New Mexico. She completed her doctoral work at the University of California at Berkeley, focusing on issues of heritage language maintenance and revitalization among American Indian tribes. Dr. Sims specializes in Indigenous language revitalization and maintenance issues, providing technical assistance to Indigenous nations in language program planning and training American Indian language teachers.
The American Indian Language Policy Research and Teacher Training Center at the University of New Mexico was established in 2008 through the efforts of Dr. Sims. The Center engages in public advocacy and training support for Indigenous language maintenance and revitalization initiatives in New Mexico and has sponsored several international language symposia with Indigenous participants from Latin America and South America. Dr. Sims has also been invited to Brazil, Ecuador, Guatemala, and Mexico to learn about Indigenous language efforts in these countries. The Center’s most recent projects focused on training and materials development support for Native language teachers working with New Mexico Native children aged 0–8. The project was funded by the W.K. Kellogg and McCune Foundations.
Dr. Sims has worked as the New Mexico director for the National Indian Bilingual Center, bilingual program director for her Pueblo, and consultant to many different Indigenous language programs on language preservation issues. She has served as a member of the New Mexico Bilingual Advisory Committee for the Public Education Department’s Bilingual Multicultural Education Bureau.
Dr. Sims has received various recognitions for her work in Native language preservation nationally as well as in New Mexico. She was selected by the National Association for Bilingual Education as the 2002 recipient of the Ramon L. Santiago President’s Award for research and advocacy on language rights issues for Native American communities; received the 2002 New Mexico Association for Bilingual Education Award for contributions to Native American Bilingual Education in New Mexico; was recognized by the New Mexico State Senate for her contributions to Native language and culture in 2004; and received the 2013 Senator Joseph M. Montoya Award from the New Mexico Association for Bilingual Education for state and national contributions to Native language issues.
Dr. Sims is a member of Acoma Pueblo and resides with her family on the Acoma Pueblo Indian reservation in northwestern New Mexico.
Robin Butterfield, The Native American Parent Technical Assistance Center, Oregon
An enrolled member of the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska and also with ancestry from the White Earth Ojibwa Tribe of Minnesota, Robin Butterfield has over 45 years of experience as an educator. She gained a BA from the University of Puget Sound, a Master’s in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Wisconsin, and an Education Administration certification from Portland State University. She was employed with the National Education Association in the Quality Schools, Programs, and Resources. She has worked with all the national American Indian education organizations.
Robin previously worked in the Office of Professional Development as a Program Specialist in the Center for School Improvement within the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), located in Albuquerque, New Mexico. There, she managed contracts with 13 Tribally-controlled community colleges and universities, providing staff development to 184 BIA-funded schools in 23 states.
Robin has also worked at the classroom level in public schools in Wisconsin with the Menominee Tribe. She coordinated the Salem-Keizer Indian Education Program at the district level; worked in three departments of education; and served as an Indian Education/Civil Rights Specialist for the Oregon State Department of Education for nine years. She has worked for two regional educational technical assistance centers, NREL and Gonzaga University’s Indian Education Center III Technical Assistance Center, providing support to 127 projects in five states.
Robin has written publications focusing on parental involvement, curriculum development, teacher training, Native curriculum, and multicultural education. She has served in many leadership capacities at the state and national levels and has been elected president while serving five three-year terms on the National Indian Education Association (NIEA) Board of Directors. She has also been appointed by Presidents Bush, Obama, and Trump to serve on the National Advisory Council on Indian Education, which advises the Secretary of Education for the US Department of Education.
Robin is currently writing articles and leading webinars for NAPTAC, which provides support to nearly 100 parent centers nationwide. She is the proud parent of three children, all of whom have graduated from the University of Oregon.
Conference schedule Accordion Closed
Schedule coming soon
Conference hotel information Accordion Closed
DoubleTree by Hilton Flagstaff
1175 W. Rte. 66, Flagstaff, AZ 86001
IMPORTANT DUE DATES
You must reserve your room by May 22nd, 2023, in order to receive the conference rate.
Click on “edit stay” to reflect the dates you will be attending.
Group name: AIITEC Conference
Where to park? Accordion Closed
Parking directions coming soon
Certificate of Participation Accordion Closed
Certificates of Participation will be accessible after the conference.
Conference recorded sessions Accordion Closed
Recorded sessions will be posted here following the conference.
Dr. Joseph Martin Accordion Closed
Department of Educational Leadership
Dr. Jon Reyhner Accordion Closed
Department of Educational Specialties