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NEA Connects Native Communities and Congress


Photo: Courtesy of Patrick Ryan

NIEA President-elect Patsy Whitefoot, EPP Director Joel Packer, NIEA President Robert Cook and Robin Butterfield, who works in NEA’s Minority Community Outreach department as the Senior Liaison to the American Indian/Alaska Native community.

With a new administration and new faces in the halls of Congress, it’s an ideal time to educate lawmakers about the education challenges facing American Indian, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian students.

NEA participated in the National Indian Education Association’s Legislative Summit February 9th – 11th. Each year, the Summit offers participants the opportunity to share their stories from their communities to affect positive change.

NEA helped provide resources to arm participants with information prior to meeting with members of Congress. Education Policy and Practice Director Joel Packer gave a presentation on No Child Left Behind and changes that need to be made to support the unique needs of Native students.

Attendees will use the tools gained at the Summit to sharpen their advocacy skills.