On Friday at the Brooklyn Center Library, non-profit “The Family Partnership,” held a workshop focused on building strong connections with Native American students and their families. The workshop is part of the Health@School “Every Student Connected” series, which is organized by the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office. The workshop’s within the program focus on educating the community on a variety of different issues to help teachers, students, and parents be successful. Hennepin County Attorney’s Office Senior Planning Analyst Willie Bridges said “We are trying to give teachers tools to get parents and students involved too create a positive environment in school. We try to address different issues, with different groups.”
The workshop was sponsored by the Initiative for Violence-Free Families at the Family Partnership, the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office, Minneapolis Indian Education, and the Hennepin County Human Services and Public Health Department.
One of the major reasons why Native American students have trouble in school is because they are living off of the reservations and have trouble establishing tribal affiliations. The government forcing Native Americans into boarding schools and events like the “Trial of Tears,” have made it mostly impossible for Native Americans to find their ancestors and geneology.
Minnesota had two Native American boarding schools, the Pipestone Boarding School is the most known. This is a link to the schools records of Pipestone Boarding School.
Deanna Standingcloud, Minneapolis Parent Engagement Coordinator, held a power-point presentation which gave more specific explanation on how Native American students could accomplish success. Deanna’s power point focused on: relationship building, doing homework, teachers respecting students, understanding students learning style, family involvement, and strong communication skills.
After the power-point, a panel shared personal experiences, and held a question & answer session with the audience. A few of the members on the panel included: Laura Yast (South High School), Ramona Stately (Ossea Indian Education), Tedi Grey Owl (Migizi Communications), and Daniell Grant (MN Public School, Dir. of Indian Education).
The audience consisted mostly of teachers and the best advice that the panel could give them was to be patient with their Native American students. By being patient, the teachers would be able to build up trust on a personal level. The relationship that the teachers developed would extend to the parents of the Native American students as well. By establishing these types of relationships, teachers would be able to understand there Native American students learning style.
At the end of the 3 1/2 hour training workshop, everyone received a certificate of attendance. “Every Student Connected,” offers a number of different training workshops, covering different subjects.You can check their website for upcoming events and also register on-line. The next workshop is titled “Synthetic Marijuana and Less Familiar Drugs of Abuse” and will take place on Feb. 8th.