2021 Native American Education Conference

Wyoming Department of Education > For Teachers > Native American Education > 2021 Native American Education Conference

The 12th annual Native American Education Conference will be held August 11-14, 2021, virtually. Times are: 

  • 4-6:30 p.m. on Aug 11 and 12.

  • 1-5 p.m. on Aug. 13.

  • 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. on Aug. 14.

2021 Draft Agenda

Featured Keynote Speakers:

Tanaya Winder

5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, August 11, 2021

Tanaya Winder is an author, singer/songwriter, poet, and motivational speaker. She comes from an intertribal lineage of Southern Ute, Pyramid Lake Paiute, and Duckwater Shoshone Nations where she is an enrolled citizen. Tanaya’s performances and talks emphasize “heartwork” – the life path one is meant to follow by using their gifts and passions. She blends storytelling, singing, and spoken word to teach about different expressions of love. Her specialties include youth empowerment and healing trauma through art.

Sam Mihara

1 p.m. on Friday, August 13, 2021

The NAEC is proud to once again present Sam Mihara as keynote speaker for this year’s conference. Sam Mihara is a former prisoner at Heart Mountain Relocation Center located near Cody during WWII. He will share his experience and how they relate to today’s issues.

Hawhenawdies Neal Powless

1:15 p.m. on Saturday, August 14, 2021

The NAEC is proud to present Hawhenawdies Neal Powless as Keynote speaker for Youth Day. Powless is a member of the Onondaga Nation, film producer, and Syracuse University’s ombudsman. He will deliver a powerful message about healing, and coaching young people.

Three feature films will be screened this year, followed by panel discussions with each filmmaking team:

4 p.m. on Thursday, August 12, 2021

For decades, child welfare authorities have been removing Native American children from their homes to “save them from being Indian.” In Maine, the first official Truth and Reconciliation Commission in the United States begins a historic investigation. Dawnland goes behind the scenes as this historic body grapples with difficult truths, redefines reconciliation, and charts a new course for state and tribal relations.

Home from School: The Children of Carlisle
2:30 p.m. on Friday, August 13, 2021

In 2017, a delegation of Northern Arapaho tribal members traveled from Wyoming to Pennsylvania to retrieve remains of three children who died at Carlisle Indian Industrial school in the 1880s. It’s a journey into the troubled history of Indian boarding schools and a quest to heal generational wounds. Home from School is written and directed by Geoff O’Gara. Co-Producer is Sophie Barksdale and Associate Producer is Jordan Dresser.

Neither Wolf Nor Dog
8:30 a.m. on Saturday, August 14, 2021

A Lakota elder summons a white writer to visit him and help him write a book about his people. Neither Wolf Nor Dog stars Dave Bald Eagle, Christopher Sweeney and Tatanka Means. Directed by Steven Lewis Simpson. Adapted from the best-selling novel by Kent Nerburn.

Find the WDE on Twitter and Facebook @WYOEducation to stay updated on activities and speakers. 


Our Partners

Fremont County School Districts 1, 6, 14, 21, 25 and 38

St. Stephens Indian School

2020 Youth Pacesetter Awards

The annual Youth Pacesetter honorees were chosen for their academic achievement, attendance, leadership among peers, community service and aspirations for higher learning.

Congratulations to this year’s Youth Pacesetter Award winners!

Arapahoe High School
  • Wynnette Bell
  • Tristan Oldman
Cody High School
  • Devon Brown
  • Ariana “Tashi” Mathuin
Fort Washakie High School
  • Tisharra Spoonhunter
  • Little Wolf LeBeau
Green River High School
  • Bryson Greymountain
  • Delaina Becenti
Hot Springs County High School
  • KyAnn Calhoun
  • Spencer Calhoun
Lander Valley High School
  • Cynthia St. Clair
  • Trayshon Spoonhunter
Meeteetse High School
  • Leonardo Horsen
  • Kiana Horsen
Riverton High School
  • Summeri Bass
  • Aquilo Friday
Torrington High School
  • Kainmen Walksout
  • Deshea Schnell
St. Stephens High School
  • Laura Brown
  • Powiah Carpitcher Jr.

Native American Education Conference Mission Statement: Instill pride and strengthen engagement in youth through learning Native American history and culture.

Conference Goals:
  • Understanding of and appreciation for the history and culture of the Eastern Shoshone and Northern Arapaho tribes
  • Cultural sensitivity for educators and other adults who impact Native American students
  • Instructional and learning needs of Native American students
  • Emotional and social needs of Native American students
  • Successful transitions for students between school levels
  • Empowering youth to develop leadership skills and choose healthy lifestyles
  • Promoting understanding, building relationships and generating ideas for engaging families and the community in education of the whole child
  • Preventing suicide

History of the Native American Education Conference

For more information about the conference, call Rob Black at (307) 777-3747 or email rob.black1@wyo.gov.