Nearly four dozen Native American students from the 9th through 11th grades are convening on the Gonzaga University campus this week for the Third Annual Northwest Native Youth Leadership Summit, which runs through Thursday.
House Bill 1495 (the Tribal History and Culture Bill) passed by the Washington State Legislature in 2005 is considered an important vehicle by Washington state tribes to infuse their culture and history into the state’s public school curricula. The ongoing development of tribal youth leaders through research and technology is an important component of this effort. Native students involved in previous summits are stepping forward to take a leadership role in this year’s event. Once again, the Summit taps the talents of several Native college students to serve as team leaders and role models.
This event is being co-sponsored by the state superintendent of public instruction’s Indian Education office, Gov. Chris Gregoire’s office of Indian Affairs and Gonzaga University.
This year, student teams are competing in a series of educational, physical, cultural, and mental challenges that will require them to use their wits and creativity while increasing and expanding their research and technology skills. The students outline their plan to support, advocate and implement House Bill 1495 through various projects and media. And, they are having a lot of fun as well.
For more information, please contact Denny Hurtado, director of Indian Education at (360) 725-6160; Craig Bill, executive director, the state office of Indian Affairs at (360) 902-8827; or contact Wendy Thompson, Indian education specialist at Gonzaga, at 323-5544.