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SD Indian Education Summit Starts Sunday

September 23, 2011, 11:44 AM

SD Indian Education Summit Starts Sunday
SIOUX FALLS, SD - Understanding new standards for teaching Native American culture in the classroom and incorporating the culture into curriculum will be major theme at this year's South Dakota's Indian education summit starting Sunday.
Hundreds of teachers and education officials are expected to attend the eighth-annual summit in Oacoma. The theme of the three-day summit is "Supporting Culture, Building Expectations, Creating Partnerships," said Roger Campbell, Indian director for the South Dakota Department of Education.

"When we say supporting culture, I think that is going to be a big focus - what culture we can incorporate, what cultural curriculum we would like to develop and how we're going to incorporate it," he said.

There will be a large emphasis on understanding the new standards for teaching Native American culture in the classroom, he said.

In July, the state Board of Education adopted the Oceti Sakowin Essential Understandings and Standards for teaching the culture and history of South Dakota's Lakota, Dakota and Nakota people.  The Board of Education took a small but important step by adopting the standards, Campbell said, because a lot of Native American students don't feel connect to the current U.S. history developed and taught in schools.

"By not seeing a reflection of them and their peoples' history, I think you lose some of that relevancy and keeping them engaged," he added.

This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:
The Associated Press updated this story as the event is in Oacoma, not Chamberlain as first reported.

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