At the end of April 2009, the state superintendent of public instruction and a team from the Wyoming Department of Education (WDE) met with the Joint Business Council of the Northern Arapaho and Eastern Shoshone Tribes to develop the Wyoming Tribal Children’s Triad initiative. The purpose of the Triad is to build partnerships between school districts, community programs and governments. The partnerships focus on overcoming challenges and developing community based solutions to dilemmas facing Native American students in Wyoming. The first goals of the Triad initiative were improving daily school attendance, ensuring 100% of Native American school aged children were enrolled in school and enhance citizenship/decrease discipline of students in school.
Throughout May and June of 2009, informational meetings and listening sessions were held to discuss the previously identified goals with the community and community agencies across the Reservation. After reviewing the community feedback, it was decided that the initial focus would be the attendance and enrollment goals. An interest was also expressed in having a Native American education conference in Wyoming. Approximately 30 community agencies, education representatives and government related partners were identified and ask to participate.
Wyoming Tribal Children’s Triad Accomplishments to date:
- Resolutions for the Eastern Shoshone and Northern Arapaho Business Councils supporting the goals and Triad initiative
- Twenty three of the community partners have signed partner agreements, with others participating at different levels with the same goals
- Assistance in developing the first Reservation-wide Truancy Officer position through Wind River Tribal Youth program
- First Annual Wyoming Native American Education Conference, held August 27 &28, 2010-over 200 participants with positive feedback for the event
- Development of a five year Strategic Plan focusing on improving Native students education in this region with a local committee involved in every aspect from development to implementation
- Development of Truancy handbook for all tribally enrolled students – approved for use by the Northern Arapaho and Eastern Shoshone Joint Tribal Business Council on Oct 5, 2011
- Second Annual Wyoming Native American Education Conference, held Oct 27 & 28, 2011 – over 400 participants with overwhelming positive feedback for the event
The Triad partners are continuing to meet on a bimonthly basis to collect data related to our goals, implement and fine tune strategic plans and work together as a community to prevail over any barriers for Native American students to being successful in education. In 2012 we are planning for the Third Annual Native American Education Conference. The Triad partners are also beginning a focus on the enhance citizenship/decrease discipline goal by initiating an anti-bullying campaign. Additionally we will continue to keep lines of communication between the Wyoming Department of Education and the Joint Business Council open to promote good working relationships.