Office of Indian Education

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Oregon Department of Education - Oregon achieves - together

Office of Indian Education

February 2024

Top Books of the Month

American Indian Youth Literature Awards are announced in even years (e.g. 2022, 2024, 2026) and were established to identify and honor the very best writing and illustrations by and about American Indians and Alaska Natives. Selected titles present American Indians in the fullness of their humanity in the present and past contexts.

This year’s winners include:

a letter for bob

Ever since the day Mom and Dad brought Bob home from the car dealership, Bob has been a part of Katie’s family. Bob has taken them all over, from powwows to vacations to time spent with faraway family. Bob has been there in sad and scary times and for some of the family’s most treasured memories. But after many miles, it’s time for the family to say goodbye to Bob…This humorous and tender story about a beloved family car—and all the stories and love carried along for the ride—will appeal to every kid whose family has owned a special car. Written by Kim Rogers (Wichita & Affiliated Tribes), illustrated by Jonathan Nelson (Navajo/Diné) and published by Heartdrum. For more information please visit: American Indian Library Association 2024 Award Winners

forever cousins

This tender story about navigating change reminds readers that the power of friendship and family can bridge any distance. Written by Laurel Goodluck (Mandan & Hidatsa and Tsimshian), illustrated by Jonathan Nelson (Navajo/Diné) and published by Charlesbridge. For more information please visit: American Indian Library Association 2024 Award Winners

Wesley is proud of the poem she wrote for Indigenous Peoples’ Day—but the reaction from a teacher makes her wonder if expressing herself is important enough. And due to the specific tribal laws of her family’s Nation, Wesley is unable to enroll in the Upper Skagit tribe and is left feeling “not Native enough.” Through the course of the novel, with the help of her family and friends, she comes to embrace her own place within the Native community. Written by Christine Day (Upper Skagit), cover art by Madelyn Goodnight (Chickasaw Nation) and published by Heartdrum. For more information please visit: American Indian Library Association 2024 Award Winners

We still belong
rez ball book

These days, Tre Brun is happiest when he is playing basketball on the Red Lake Reservation high school team—even though he can’t help but be constantly gut-punched with memories of his big brother, Jaxon, who died in an accident. When Jaxon's former teammates on the varsity team offer to take Tre under their wing, he sees this as his shot to represent his Ojibwe rez all the way to their first state championship. This is the first step toward his dream of playing in the NBA, no matter how much the odds are stacked against him. Written by Byron Graves (Ojibwe), jacket art by Natasha Donovan (Métis) and published by Heartdrum. For more information please visit: American Indian Library Association 2024 Award Winners

Events & Activities

  • Bend, OR: February 16th - 18th Oregon's Winter Wonderland extravaganza is coming back to Bend! For over two decades, the Bend WinterFest has been a highlight of the Pacific Northwest's winter season, and it's returning with a bang. Under the sparkling lights, the 2024 Bend WinterFest will create an enchanting atmosphere filled with live music, art, delectable cuisine, live music and entertainment suitable for all ages. For more information, including vendor and volunteer applications and ticket purchases, visit WinterFest 2024
  • Sisters, OR: February 24th Join the Hoodoo ski resort in their 2024 Winter Carnival! The premier event of the season and a day full of free activities. Winter Carnival has been a tradition at Hoodoo for 40+ years and includes a number of free events (no lift ticket required): ax throwing booth, frisbee golf, musical chairs, a three-legged obstacle race, a team tube race, a hula-hoop contest, a fly-athalon, a pie eating contest, a ski javelin throw, an archery contest, a Hoodoo employee snow sculpture contest and bingo. The lifts are open 9 a.m. – 9 p.m. For more information please visit: Hoodoo Winter Carnival 
  • Portland, OR: February 29th from 5:30 - 7:30 pm the NAYA Family Center will be hosting a Native Professionals and Friends Night! Enjoy an evening of community and fun, as we meet, mingle, enjoy great conversation, and a delicious selection of hors d’oeuvres and drink. Preregister and be entered in a raffle to win fabulous prizes! For more information please visit: NAYA Night
  • Salem, OR: February 8th from 6 - 8 pm Bush Elementary School will be hosting a family enrichment night with Fabian Quenelle, Klamath Modoc, Umpqua, & Chinook is an enrolled member of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde. Fabian, A wellness coach, will provide a hands-on demonstration on how to make and play a traditional stick game. A light dinner will be served along with on site goods to take home. For more information please visit: Family Enrichment Night
  • Dallas, OR: A free event on February 1st at 6:30 pm David G Lewis will be discussing his latest book "Tribal Histories of the Willamette Valley". Dr. Lewis is a member of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, a recognized researcher, scholar, and writer, and assistant professor of anthropology and Indigenous studies at Oregon State University. Dr. Lewis will share his extensive research and insights. Through his book, Lewis sheds light on the rich cultural heritage and history of the tribes that have shaped this region. Whether you are a history enthusiast, a book lover, or simply curious about the Willamette Valley's Native American past and present, this event promises to be enlightening and engaging. For More information please visit: Book Discussion
  • Portland, OR: February 9 - 10th the Portland Indigenous Marketplace will be held at Bar Carlo in downtown Portland. There will be up to 10 vendors each day and all are welcome. For More information please visit: Indigenous Marketplace

Pendleton Pow Wow

A new pow wow bringing Indian and cowboy cultures together will take place at the end of February at the Pendleton Convention Center. The “Two Cultures, One Community Pow Wow” — translated as Nápt Tananáwit, Láxs Níšayčt — marks a collaboration between the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation and the city of Pendleton. The inaugural pow wow is Feb. 23-25, bringing potentially thousands of people to the city for the event. A major part of the pow wow will be the dance and drum competitions, but there also will be many Native American as well as non-Native vendors selling their creations. Event hours are noon to 11 p.m. on Feb. 23, noon to midnight on Feb 24 and noon to 6 p.m. on Feb. 25., according to information from the CTUIR. The event will occur regardless of weather. For more information please visit: Two Cultures - One Community

Pendleton Pow WOW


Check out our AI/AN Resources webpage for updated resources, grants, scholarships and deadlines!


Education Northwest has had the honor of working with many Native educators, students, families, and community members throughout our history. These partnerships reflect one of the core values of our organization, equity, and guide us toward our vision of an excellent and equitable education for all. We believe that healthy Native communities are essential to the health and well-being of our region, and we remain committed to this effort.

The Steven R. Nelson Native Educator Scholarship is part of this commitment. This scholarship strives to increase Native representation in the field of education by providing financial support, mentoring, and internships for Native students in the Northwest who are pursuing an advanced degree in education, education policy, leadership, technical assistance, research, or a closely related field. We view this scholarship as an opportunity to create long-term partnerships that will improve our ability to meet the needs of Native communities. For more information on scholarship information and eligibility requirements please visit: Native Educator Scholarship

Indian Health Service Scholarship Program

Provides qualified American Indian and Alaska Native health professions students an opportunity to establish an education foundation for each stage of your pre-professional careers. Recipients must be members or descendants of federally recognized, state recognized, or terminated Tribes enrolled in preparatory or prerequisite courses leading to enrollment in an eligible health professions degree program. The deadline to apply is February 28, 2024. For more information please visit: IHS Scholarship Program

Oregon Safe Routes to Schools Grant Funding

For Education Grants: tribes, government entities, school districts, and non-profits may apply.


  • Apply February 12th-March 25th


For More information please visit: ODOT Education Grant 

Native Design

Think Out Loud OPB Special with Stacy Parrish


In a recent state report showed that 38% of all Oregon students are chronically absent, meaning they miss at least 10% of school days. Charan Cline is the superintendent of the Redmond School District in Central Oregon. He joins us to share more on what this issue looks like in his district. Stacy Parish is the leader of Oregon Department of Education’s Tribal Attendance Promising Practices. She joins us to share more on what this issue is looking like for Oregon’s Indigenous students. Please visit: OPB with Stacy Parrish for podcast and transcripts of this event. 

Native Design

Pendleton's Climbing Graduations Rates


Local Indigenous students continue to graduate high school at rates higher than all other Native American students in Oregon, according to statewide graduation numbers released on Thursday.

At Pendleton High School, 82.4% of the Native students in the class of 2023 graduated, matching the rate for the rest of the school’s seniors. That was a jump of more than 10% from the previous year, and about 13% higher than the statewide graduation rate of 68% for tribal students, according to the Pendleton School District, which released its numbers on Thursday to coincide with the release of the statewide data.

Overall, 80% of Indigenous seniors in the Pendleton School District earned their diploma, which was an increase of 10% percent compared to 2022 – and higher than district’s overall graduation rate of 76.7%, a decrease of about 5% compared to the previous graduating class. The rate includes students from Nixyáawii Community School, Hawthorne Alternative High School and Pendleton High School (PHS). It was only the second time there hasn’t been a graduation gap for Native American students in the district, said Matt Yoshioka, the district’s Director of Curriculum, Instruction & Assessment. That graduation rate has also been trending upwards over the last several years.  At Nixyáawii, the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation’s public charter school, the rate increased slightly to 78.3% of Native students compared to the previous year and was the second highest rate in the school’s history. While the Pendleton School District and PHS overall saw declines, Superintendent Kevin Headings said the improvements among its Indigenous students was encouraging. To read more on this article please visit:Pendleton Graduation Rates 

Photo by: Renee Roman Nose

Reactivating Oregon's Special Task Force for Native American Items


After a roughly four-year hiatus, Gov. Tina Kotek announced Tuesday that she’s reviving a task force dedicated to inventorying Native American items in state and public collections across Oregon, via executive order.

“Tribes should have access to information about cultural items held in storage or on display at state agencies, state universities, colleges, and public schools,” said Kotek in a news release. “It is time to renew this important work and continue to strengthen our essential government-to-government relationship with the nine sovereign nations.”

In 2017, then-Gov. Kate Brown established the Task Force on Oregon Tribal Cultural Items. Its 16 members were from all nine federally-recognized tribes within Oregon and also included government, university and law enforcement officials. The task force issued its first report to Brown in October 2019, making Oregon the first state in the U.S. to share survey findings on tribal items. But once the COVID-19 pandemic appeared in Oregon and spread, the task force’s activities were paused. Jesse Beers is the cultural stewardship manager for the Confederated Tribes of Coos, Lower Umpqua, and Siuslaw Indians (CTCLUSI), and was a member of the original task force.

“I really want to convey how happy I am that this is being reconvened,” Beers told KLCC. “There’s items that the state may hold that tribes aren’t aware of, and there’s knowledge that tribes have the state is unaware of, so it’s a way of building relationships.”

To Read More on this Story please visit: OBP Special by Brian Bull


2024 National ESEA Conference

February 7th - 10th, 2024 Portland, OR

The National ESEA Conference is intentionally aimed at coordination among federal education programs under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) and other federal programs. Join us at the Oregon Convention Center or virtually as we unite to address a shared goal – how to best meet the needs of disadvantaged students. For More information please Visit: ESEA 2024

Oregon Association for Comprehensive Education

February 16th - 17th, 2024

This winter conference is geared to meet the needs of modern families, OACE is presenting a two-day conference in an all new format. This is in persona at the beautiful Seaside Conference Center and will be presented primarily in Spanish. For more information please visit: OACE 2024

Teaching Engaged Brains - Learning & The Brain

February 22nd - 24th, Virtual

This interdisciplinary conference will bring neuroscientists, psychologists, researchers, and educators together to explore the science of attention, focus, and motivation and the impacts of stress, exercise, mindfulness, and technology on student engagement. Discover ways to increase student motivation and focus, reduce digital distractions, and boost learning. For more information please Visit: The Brain 2024

2024 NIEA Hill Week 

February 27th - 29th 2024 Washington, DC

The National Indian Education Association is committed to empowering Native communities to nurture the strengths, resilience, and intelligence of our Native youth. NIEA engages Native leaders, educators, federal, state, and tribal partners to advance self-determination and learning opportunities of American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian children. NIEA’s direct advocacy has led to over 50 years of legislative successes in education policy, as well as improving the schools and systems serving Native students, their families, and the wider community. During this week NIEA, our members, and our partners will advocate for the priorities of Native students and Native communities across the nation, emphasizing the importance of educational sovereignty across the federal government. For more information please visit: Hill Week

Tribal History

Tribal History/Shared History

Attn Educators: THSH Community of Practice

The ODE Office of Indian Education is creating a Community of Practice (COP) to support THSH implementation in the classroom. We are inviting educators to participate in monthly meetings to discuss your successful implementation and share your strategies with other educators within our districts. If you are interested in participating in this COP, please email Brent Spencer at .

The Tribal History/ Shared History webpage has undergone some long awaited construction. The webpage has a brand new look and we are excited to share we are including links to the google platform that will include all lesson plans and materials. We are starting the process of adding the finished Spanish translated lesson plans and materials to the webpage and the google platform. As not all Spanish translated lesson plans and materials are finished please check back with updates as they will be posted once received. Thank you! 

Want to know more?

Check out our Tribal History / Shared history Webpage to visit a variety of lesson plans for all ages, along with presentations, activities, and professional development trainings. 

Questions about Tribal History/Shared History can be directed to Brent Spencer at

Job Opportunities

Oregon Department of Education Job Openings

If you're looking for a rewarding career that positively affects the lives of children, you're in the right place! The Oregon Department of Education is the primary agency charged with overseeing K-12 public education in the state of Oregon.

Employment with Oregon state government represents more than just a job. A career in public service is an opportunity to serve fellow citizens across our beautiful state. Professions in state government help to support strong communities, healthy kids, education, economic vitality and a sustainable future.

Administrative Specialist

Early Literacy Education Specialist

Immigrant/ Refugee Student Success Plan Coordinator 

Agency Data Steward (Research, Analyst, and Statistics Manager)

School Counselor - Oregon School for the Deaf

For More Information about these listings and further Job Openings, Please visit our Career Opportunities webpage. 

ODE Career Chats are LIVE! Would you like to learn more about a position or how our application process works?  Join our Recruitment Team during our ODE Career Chat Sessions. We can assist you with all your application and agency questions!

Join us on the 1st Thursday of every month from 11:00 am to 11:45 am (PST) 

Join ZoomGov Meeting -

NAYA Job Openings 

Youth Advocate

Healing Circle Manager

Reimagining Justice in Cully - Project Coordinator

Foster Care Support Specialist

Family housing Navigator

Culture, Education, & Wellness Manager

Drug & Alcohol Specialist

Independent Living Program Specialist

**Please follow this link to see more positions available at NAYA.

Native Connections

  • Indigenous Events of Portland, OR give updated events and activities that are happening in Portland through October 2023. 
  • Native American Travel lets you explore and learn about Tribes across America. Plan your next trip with suggested destination sites, planned itineraries, travel tips, and experiences. 
  • Visit the Native American Connections website to stay updated with the North Bend Community resources, available scholarships, community craft culture activities, TAPP, Tribal history/ Shared history and a variety of local services. 
  • Native American Culture: Celebrate Indigenous Oregon by visiting their website that was created to explore Native American culture around the state of Oregon. This site has trip ideas, historical content for all nine federally recognized Oregon Tribes, cultural activities, and updated Oregon Tribal news. To check out more about this site please visit, Travel Oregon Native American Culture

Oregon Tribal Websites

Burns Paiute Tribe 

Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Tribe of Indians 

Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians 

Confederated Tribes of Coos, Lower Umpqua and Siuslaw Indians

Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde

Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation

Coquille Indian Tribe

Klamath Tribes 

Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs

9 Tribes of Oregon images

Newsletter Submissions

Do you have events or highlights in your community that you would like showcased in  upcoming newsletters? If so, please send submissions to Raina Reece at

Contact the Office of Indian Education

Please feel free to e-mail our staff members with any questions or comments you may have

April Campbell, Assistant Superintendent

Renee Roman Nose, Native American Student Success Coordinator:

Brent Spencer, Indian Education Coordinator

Brandon Culbertson, Indian Education Engagement Coordinator:

Stacy Parrish, Indian Education Specialist

Natalie Altermatt, Executive Support Specialist

Raina Reece, Executive Support Specialist 

Jennifer Belle, Office Specialist

Stephanie Gluck, Research & Data Analyst