NMU to host conference


The 12th Annual Upper Peninsula Indian Education Conference will be hosted on Monday Feb. 18, by the NMU Center for Native American Studies and the NMU Center for Economic Education and Entrepreneurship.

“The conference is designed for educators (principals, counselors, teachers, and school system staff) who work on a regular basis with American Indian students and families,” said Grace Chaillier, an adjunct faculty member for the Center for Native American Studies, and also a member of the planning committee for the conference.

Chaillier added that the conference is a one-day event that consists of three groups of nine individual break-out sessions, which will concentrate on topics such as health education and sociology and how these pertain to current American Indian students.

Another aspect of the conference will be a presentation put together by the Hannahville Indian Community, Rich Sgarlotti and Tawni Ferrarini, the director of NMU’s Center for Economic Education and Entrepreneurship.

The presentation, “Monopoly on the Rez,” consists of a game designed by the students of the Hannahville Indian School. There will be a free lunch of traditional American Indian food such as wild rice, and a Three Sisters dish that consists of corn, beans and squash. The conference’s keynote speaker D.J. Eagle Bear Vanas, a renowned American Indian motivational speaker and author, will also give a speech.

The conference will be held from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Great Lakes Rooms of the University Center. This event is free for NMU students. Check-in and registration is at 8:15 a.m. outside of the Great Lakes Rooms.