Office of Indian Education

Having trouble viewing this email? View it as a Web page.

Oregon Department of Education - Oregon achieves - together

Office of Indian Education

March 2024

Books of the Month

bow wow pow wow

Written by Brenda J. Child (Red Lake Ojibwe). The story she tells was translated into Ojibwe by Gordon Jourdain (Lac La Croix First Nation), and Jonathan Thunder (Red Lake Ojibwe) did the extraordinary illustrations.

Here’s the description:

Windy Girl is blessed with a vivid imagination. From Uncle she gathers stories of long-ago traditions, about dances and sharing and gratitude. Windy can tell such stories herself–about her dog, Itchy Boy, and the way he dances to request a treat and how he wriggles with joy in response to, well, just about everything. When Uncle and Windy Girl and Itchy Boy attend a powwow, Windy watches the dancers and listens to the singers. She eats tasty food and joins family and friends around the campfire. For more information please visit: Bow Wow Pow Wow or Visit the Read Aloud on Youtube 

Fry Bread

This affectionate picture book depicts an intergenerational group of Native American family members and friends as they make fry bread together. The text begins: “Fry bread is food / Flour, salt, water / Cornmeal, baking powder / perhaps milk, maybe sugar.” On subsequent pages we learn that “Fry bread is shape…sound…color,” etc.; and through the refrain “Fry bread is…” readers learn that the food staple, although common to many Native American homes, is as varied as the people who make it and the places where it is made. This diversity, too, is reflected in Martinez-Neal’s warmhearted acrylic, colored-pencil, and graphite illustrations, on hand-textured paper, in which the characters within Native American communities have varying skin tones and hair texture. More than just food, “Fry bread is time…Fry bread is art…Fry bread is history.” In the extensive, informative back matter, Maillard (a member of the Seminole Nation, Mekusukey band) explains how fry bread became a part of many Native Americans’ diet after the people were forced from their land and given limited rations by the United States government. The book’s endpapers powerfully list the names of Indigenous communities and nations currently within the U.S., some federally recognized, others not. Regardless of “official” status—as the book declares—“We are still here.” Reference list and notes—plus a recipe—are appended. For more information please Visit: Fry Bread or the Read Aloud on Youtube 

Events & Activities

  • Portland, OR: March 15 - 17th at the Tom McCall Waterfront Park, Join the Kells family once again for the 2024 Portland Irish Festival. Celebrate with Kells this St. Patrick's Day for the 2024 edition of the Portland Irish Festival with Live Music, Irish Dancing, Bagpipes, Vendors, Irish Food and Drinks.​ For more information please visit: Kells Irish Festival 
  • Elkton, OR: March 21st at 2:00 - 3:30 the Elkton Community Education center will be hosting a Native Cultural presentation with Deitrich Peters. Learn about Kalapuya and Grand Ronde culture from Deitz, and explore the hands-on items of Kalapuya material culture with Karen Rainsong. Karen is the E.D. of Singing Creek Educational Center and will be sharing a Kalapuya story (with the permission of Esther Stutzman, a local Kalapuya storyteller.) Kids are welcome but ages 8 and up are best for this presentation. For more information please visit: Native Culture Presentation 
  • Bend, OR: March 16th from 12:00 pm - 5:00 pm Join us in Old Mill District and celebrate the St. Patty’s day weekend in true Central Oregonian style- with fitness, beer, live music, and more! Gather the family to walk, jog, crawl or run, and be sure to wear your green as there will be prizes for best costume and best wearin’ o the green! Celebrate your victory at the Kobold Brewing Post-Dash-Bash with plenty of food, drinks, and live entertainment. For more information please visit: St. Patrick's Day Dash
  • Medford, OR: March 2nd from 10:00 am - 12:00 pm Join the community in the Polar Plunge! This is your chance to step out of your comfort zone by jumping into an unforgettable experience that directly impacts the lives of Special Olympics Oregon athletes. By participating you provide 5,000+ Special Olympics Oregon athletes access to sports, activities, and community. For more information please visit: Polar Plunge 2024
  • Pendleton, OR: March 9th at 8:00 pm Enjoy this exciting spectacle as we light up the night skies with colorful dancing lights at the 29th Annual Fireworks show at Wildhorse! Grab your FREE special effect firework glasses and $3 off dining coupon available day-of the show at Wildhorse Gift Shop, Club Wild, Mission Market, Hamley Western Store (Downtown Pendleton Court & Main). While supplies last. For more information on this FREE event please visit: 29th Anniversary Firework show
  • Portland, OR: Oregon Origins Project IV: Convergence will be held 7:30 pm March 15th & 16th at the Reed College Greenwood Theatre. Admission is Free but tickets are required. Oregon Origins Project presents a new play by Sara Jean Accuardi inspired by the formation of the Cove Palisades and the confluence of three desert rivers. Join us for a multilayered exploration of art, nature, and friendship, followed by a presentation on the geologic history of the Cove Palisades. For more information and ticket reservation please visit: Oregon Origins Project 


Portland Pow wow


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


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 Educator Scholarship


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

Talk Story Grants: Sharing Stories, Sharing Culture

The American Indian Library Association and the Asian Pacific American Librarians Association are offering four $500 micro-grants, for the Talk Story: Sharing Stories, Sharing Culture program, Applications Due March 15th.  This family literacy initiative connects Asian American, Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander (AANHPI), and American Indigenous or Alaskan Native (AIAN) communities across generations. The Talk Story micro-grant program celebrates and explores AANHPI and AIAN stories through books, oral traditions, and cultural arts to provide interactive and enriching experiences for all ages. This grant provides financial support to libraries and community organizations who are motivated to promote intergenerational literacy through programming, services, and collections. Talk Story programs may be conducted in-person or virtually. For more information please visit: Library Grants

7th Gen. Summer Program

7th Gen

The 7TH GEN.® Summer Program is a partnership between The Indian University of North America® of Crazy Horse Memorial and Black Hills State University. Students accepted to the program receive full tuition and books, and the majority of their food and lodging costs are paid.  Enrolled students earn 12 transferrable college credits, experience a paid work-life experience, receive an opportunity to earn back half of their $800.00 food and lodging share, and gain access to numerous scholarship opportunities. Applications due April 3rd, 2024. For more information on eligibility requirements and how to apply please visit: 7th Gen. Summer Program

Internships, Trainings & Workshops

Native American Storytelling: One story that was meant just for you

Native Storytelling

Since time immemorial, oral tradition has been a traditional way of teaching from generation to generation within Indigenous communities — language, ways of knowing, methodologies, pedagogies, medicine, culture, spirituality and tradition. That was one of the messages relayed by David West on Saturday, Feb. 17, at a community event sponsored by the Social Justice and Action Committee of the Rogue Valley Universalist Fellowship at its church on Fourth Street. The director emeritus of the Native American Studies Program at Southern Oregon University also spoke forcefully to about 100 people present about the “inclusion and recognition of Indigenous peoples and their sovereign rights of global representation,” specific to education. One of the event coordinators, Louise M. Paré, who is of Ukrainian heritage, said that her “Indigenous heritage goes back to the Trypillian culture, which was one of the matriarchal civilizations that sourced modern Ukraine.” The fellowship, led by the Rev. Sean Parker Dennison, has the intention to “embrace diversity, empower connection, and engage in the work.” Those gathered in the church’s great hall for introductions, a sharing of a water blessing, potluck storytelling by David West and communal meal ranged from a child of 6 to a 101-year-old elder.

West, a local respected Indigenous elder, is a citizen of the Potawatomi Nation. He introduced himself with a traditional burning of sweetgrass and bucho (celery root), and sharing of the medicinal healing properties of both. During his talk, West shared oral traditional teachings of historical truth telling, water protection, culturally restorative allyship, and seventh-generational planning for allyship peoples.

This includes, he said, equality in acquiring and achieving higher education, and educating systemic foundations that promise a utopian American Dream with culturally responsive curriculum... To read more please visit: Native Storytelling with David West

'Elevating Indigenous Voices in Oregon is a Top Priority'

This weekend, the annual McMinnville Short Film Festival returns from February 23 - 25th, providing a platform for international and local filmmakers from across the Pacific Northwest to share their work in genres ranging from animation, comedy, experimental, horror and documentary film. Heather Older, executive director of the McMinnville Short Film Festival, said a favorite part of the weekend festival is the opportunity for filmmakers and film lovers to engage in meaningful conversations on a range of narrative topics, including centering and uplifting Native American communities.

“Elevating Indigenous voices in Oregon is a top priority of mine,” Older said. 

A decade ago, the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde became a sponsor for the festival, which Older said organically led to the creation and sponsorship of the Shawash Ilihi Award in 2020 to show support for cultural art and films by Native American filmmakers, or films that foster the understanding of culture and contemporary issues Indigenous people face.
In Chinook wawa, Shawash Ilihi means “Grand Ronde Native land,” according to Jordan Mercier, cultural education coordinator at the Chachalu Museum and Cultural Center.

“In 2020 we began awarding the Shawash Ilihi Award to the winner in Native American film category,” Older said. “We are very proud and grateful for our continuing partnership with the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde.” to Read more on this story please visit: Underscore news by Jarrette Werk

Warm Springs Hip-Hop Artist Blue Flamez works to bring positive message to a wider audience

Blue Flamez

At first listen, the music of the hip-hop artist “Blue Flamez” appears to be fairly typical of the genre. There’s the fast rapping, electronic samples and loops, galloping rhythms and catchy hooks that linger.

But it’s what Blue Flamez is rapping about that distinguishes his music and his roots. He grew up on the Warm Springs Indian Reservation, where he still lives and draws upon for inspiration in songs like “Rez Life,” which won a 2016 Native American Music Award.

His lyrics celebrate Native American pride while acknowledging the past trauma and current struggles of many Indigenous communities, including his own.

“Blame it on the boarding school days for people in the haze with the alcoholic days, time to wake up, warriors ready to fight, ignite the warrior spirit inside,” he raps in his song “Warrior.” “Lightning bolts strike, the eagle of the light, fighting for Native rights.”

Blue Flamez is the musical persona of Scott Kalama, an enrolled member of the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs who works by day as a certified prevention specialist to mentor youth and raise awareness about the risks of drugs and alcohol. Last November, Kalama got a call informing him he had won a 2024-2026 Fields Artist Fellowship from Oregon Humanities and Oregon Community Foundation. To read more on this story please visit: Think out Loud by Sheraz Sadiq


2024 Multilingual and English Learner Conference 

March 6th - 8th, 2024 Eugene, OR

The Coalition of Oregon School Administrators (COSA) serves and represents more than 2,900 school administrators, managers and executives. COSA was founded in 1974 to give Oregon's education leaders a united voice in helping to shape public policy, advocate for schools and speak on behalf of students. COSA's perspective has earned the respect of educators, the Legislature, the Department of Education and other statewide agencies. COSA consistently puts the interests of schools and students ahead of self-interest. For more information please visit: March COSA

NW Youth Careers Expo

March 19th, 2024 Portland, OR

The Expo is celebrating its 20th anniversary! The annual NW Youth Careers Expo is the Northwest’s premier career-exploration experience. Each year, we welcome about 6,000 students from 75+ high schools in Oregon and Southwest Washington, as well as 200+ exhibitors representing the state's leading employers and postsecondary partners. The Careers Expo shows students the region's amazing diversity of career opportunities, along with the skills and education needed for those jobs. The Expo includes hands-on learning, demonstrations, mock interviews, career workshops and the chance to talk directly with professionals about college-and-career options. For more information please visit: NW Youth Expo

Conference on Diversity, Equity, and Student Success

March 21st - 23rd, 2024 Philadelphia, PA & Virtual

Exploring effective practices, identifying solutions to emerging challenges, and leading change for the common good. For more information on this event please visit: AAC&U

Tribal History

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.

Governmental Auditor 3 

Social Emotional Learning Education Specialist

Multiple Teacher Openings - Oregon School for the Deaf

Substitute Teachers Needed - 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

Family Shelter Assistant Manager

Foster Care Support Specialist

Connections Coach

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

Save the Date

April Pow wow

annual round dance


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