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News and Announcements from DODE Admin

Education stakeholders, guests, and DODE and Navajo Nation leaders gathered at the Navajo Nation Museum for the Eighth Annual Navajo Education Conference on June 7.

Acting Superintendent Roy Tracy, Navajo Board of Education Apointee Dr. Henry Fowler, and Dr. Miranda Haskie welcomed guests to the conference by sharing the importance of Navajo education and enhancing it.

“What will education look like in the future?” This question from Superintendent Tracy was the foundation for the presentations to come from the various presenters.

“It is time we reinvent ourselves to redefine ourselves [as educators],” Dr. Fowler stated. Each of the presenters then gave their research findings and presentations to an auditorium filled with enthusiastic listeners.

The topics included:

– Examining broadband connectivity and the digital divide in tribal nations and how we can address the quality-of-life aspects that connectivity offers. Previous experience on the Navajo Nation show how it is crucial to have a stable infrastructure for remote learning and communication.

– The importance of cultivating grit, growth, and self-efficacy for students. This study by Dr. Viola Hoskie discussed a six-week study of interventions infused with Navajo cultural teachings.

– Cultivating a welcoming environment for Gifted students. This is a label that can carry both positive and negative connotations, but DODE staff from Cognia Navajo Nation shared how we can identify these Gifted students and how we can help them establish and use their unique talents and knowledge to achieve academic success.

– The role of Navajo Grandparents in raising their grandchildren, and the challenges and strengths that come through this upbringing. Many grandparents take an active role in raising the youth across the Navajo Nation. But what about the grandparents who assume a parental role to those youth as well? This discussion evaluated these relationships and recommended new resources and information for raising grandchildren.

– Self-sustainment including financial literacy, particularly with the global economy changing the way it has in recent years. It is important to show the youth how financial decisions can shape their lives for years, and the suggestions offered can help our children develop a strong financial foundation.

Our guests were engaged and excited to hear both Navajo education leaders as well as graduates from this year’s class at Fielding Graduate University. Those graduates also gathered at the Navajo Nation Museum on June 8 for their own commencement ceremony.