Pathways to Sovereignty: Spiritual Strength, Cultural Knowledge, and School Success

We hope that you will join us for the 41st Annual Oregon Indian Education Association (OIEA) Conference, May 1st & 2nd in the Memorial Union Hall on the Oregon State University campus.

About the Conference:

American Indian/Alaska Native education sits at the very intersection of sovereignty and cultural sustainability in our Native communities. Without educating ourselves and those around us to the issues of sovereignty, governance, sustainability and cultural knowledge, we limit our capacity to truly decolonize the conditions in which Native communities continue to struggle. It is through the intersections of spiritual strength, sovereignty and educational access and success that Native communities can truly aspire to realize their own unique goals.

This year’s Oregon Indian Education Association (OIEA) conference focuses on the theme Pathways to Sovereignty: Spiritual Strength, Cultural Knowledge and Student Success. Through this theme, the OIEA conference seeks to find the connections that exist between exercising sovereignty through Native spiritual resilience, that both inform and inspire cultural knowledge preservation and student success. The conference will highlight those areas that have been fundamental in changing curriculum, perceptions, attitudes and cultures within both education and policy. OIEA 2018 will focus on five presentation topics:

  • Decolonizing Curriculum
  • Pathways to Higher Education
  • Integrating Traditional Knowledge
  • Native Language Revitalization
  • Professional Development
  • Family Outreach

Tribal education practitioners, Native faculty, researchers, student voices, community members and community organizations are encouraged to share their insights and best practices, or to provide voice to issues and concerns that are relevant to the Native community. Participants may provide presentations, panel discussions or workshops that are interactive, engaging and thought provoking. As a conference dedicated to Native American success, this opportunity provides a forum to present and participate in knowledge sharing and community building.

To register or form more information:

Keynote Presenters

Matika Wilbur

Matika (Swinomish and Tulalip) is one of the nation’s leading photographers, based in the Pacific Northwest. She earned her BFA from Brooks Institute of Photography where she double majored in Advertising and Digital Imaging. Her most recent endeavor, Project 562, has brought Matika to over 400 tribal nations dispersed throughout 45 U.S. states where she has taken thousands of portraits, and collected hundreds of contemporary narratives from the breadth of Indian Country all in the pursuit of one goal: To Change The Way We See Native America.

The mission of Project 562, is to photograph and collect stories of Native Americans from each federally-recognized tribe in the United States. Through her lens, we are able to see the vibrancy and diversity of Indian Country and in seeing we challenge stereotypical representations and begin shifting consciousness about contemporary Native

Dr. Erik Brodt

Erik (Anishinaabe – Minnesota Chippewa) grew up near Chippewa Falls, WI and spent summers with family in the rural areas around Bemidji, MN. Dr. Brodt earned his M.D. from the University of Minnesota School of Medicine and completed residency in Family Medicine at the Seattle Indian Health Board – Swedish Cherry Hill Family Medicine Residency in Seattle, WA. Dr. Brodt is a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Family Medicine and the founding director of the Northwest Native American Center of Excellence at Oregon Health Sciences University. Dr. Brodt has been working in American Indian and Alaskan Native health professional development for over a decade. He served as the Inaugural Director of the UW-Madison Native American Center for Health Professions (UW-NACHP) and an Associate Director in the UW-Madison Collaborative Center for Health Equity (CCHE) in Madison, WI before moving to Portland, OR. Erik works to improve Native American Health outcomes and Indigenous Health Professions programming nationally and internationally.

Jaime Pinkham, Executive Director, CRITFC

Jaime A. Pinkham is a citizen of the Nez Perce Tribe. In 2009 he became Vice President of the Bush Foundation, a private foundation started in 1953 by 3M. He led the Foundation’s Native nations program where he worked with tribes across North Dakota, South Dakota and Minnesota as they redesigned their governing systems. His work led to the creation of the Native Governance Center, a native led non-profit delivering technical support to tribes in government redesign. In early 2016 he became a loaned executive to the Center as a Senior Advisor to assist in their startup.

He has forestry degrees from Oregon State University and Peninsula College, and is a 1988 graduate of the Washington State Agriculture and Forestry Leadership Foundation’s leadership program. He spent the previous two decades in the Pacific Northwest advocating for tribal sovereignty, self-determination and treaty rights. Before joining the Bush Foundation, he worked for the Columbia River Intertribal Fish Commission as Watershed Department Manager and supported the Commission in regional coordination and Congressional affairs. From 1990 to 2002 he worked for the Nez Perce Tribe where he was elected twice to the Nez Perce Tribe’s governing body successfully retaining the position of Treasurer as the tribe was launching into gaming. He also led the tribe’s natural resource programs and was involved in salmon restoration, water rights negotiations, wolf recovery and land acquisition.

Jaime currently serves on the Governing Council of The Wilderness Society, American Rivers Board of Directors, and Alaska Region Advisory Committee for the Yukon River Intertribal Watershed Council. He also serves on the Board of Trustees at Northland College, a private liberal arts college in Ashland, WI with a focus on the environment and sustainability. He is Chairman Emeritus for the American Indian Science and Engineering Society and Past President of the Intertribal Timber Council. He is also a former member of the Advisory Council for the Udall Center’s Native Nations Institute for Leadership, Management and Policy at the University of Arizona.

Robin Butterfield, President of the Oregon Indian Education Association (OIEA)

An enrolled member of the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska with ancestry also from the White Earth Ojibwa Nation of Minnesota, Robin Butterfield has over forty-seven years of experience as an Indian educator. Ms Butterfield has been appointed by three Presidents (President Bush, President Obama, and President Trump) to serve on the National Advisory Council on Indian Education (NACIE) that advises the Secretary of Education for the US Department of Education On all funds and programs dedicated to Indian students. She is currently the President of the Oregon Indian Education Association (OIEA), President–elect for the National Indian Education Association (NIEA) and chair of the Wisdom of the Elders non-profit Board, and Vision Maker Media Board. She is currently writing articles for the Native American Parent Technical Assistance Center (NAPTAC) that provides support to a hundred Special Education Centers across the

Ms. Butterfield previously worked as a Program Specialist in the Office of Professional Development in the Center for School Improvement within the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), located in Albuquerque, New Mexico. There she managed contracts with thirteen Tribally Controlled Community Colleges and Universities, providing staff development to 184 BIA funded schools in 23 states. In addition, she has served in the position of Indian Education/Civil Rights Speicalist for the Oregon State department of Education for nine years. She She worked for two different regional educational technical assistance centers, Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory in the Research and Development for Indian Education Program, and Gonzaga University’s Indian Education Center III Technical Assistance Center, supporting 127 projects in five states.


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