Indian Education Summer Teaching Institute

Media Contact:
N. Lynn Palmanteer-Holder, coordinator, 509.322.7718
Dr. Carli Schiffner, vice president of instruction, 509.682.6606
Libby Siebens, community relations executive director, 509.682.6436 (Mon. – Thurs.)

July 19, 2016

Senator John McCoy Michael Vendiola Chris Nation
Cindy Kelly Jessica Vavrus Mandy Smoker Broaddus
Top Row: Senator John McCoy, Michael Vendiola, Chris Nation.
Bottom Row: Cindy Kelly, Jessica Vavrus, Mandy Smoker Broaddus.


Wenatchee Valley College at Omak, in partnership with the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation and Omak School District, will host the 2016 Washington State Indian Education Summer Teaching Institute, sqlxʷsmʼaʔmʼáyʼaʔm (Nsəlxcin), orThe People’s Story” July 26, 27 and 28.

The Summer Teaching Institute is designed to support Washington state schools as they implement Washington State Senate Bill SB 5433 2015-16. The bill mandates that Washington’s tribal history, culture and governance be taught in common schools by 2016-17. The institute will provide teachers with training and instruction in Since Time Immemorial: Tribal Sovereignty in Washington State curriculum and locally developed tribal-based curriculum through a variety of workshops and presentations.

Keynote speakers for Tuesday, July 26 are Washington State Senator John McCoy and Michael Vendiola, director of the Office of Native Education, who will provide details about SB 5433 2015-16 and the evolution of the Since Time Immemorial curriculum.

On Wednesday, July 27, Mandy Smoker Broaddus, director of the Office of Indian Education, Montana State Office of Public Instruction will speak on behalf of the first state mandate and similar legislation to teach Indian Education for All across Montana schools. She will share lessons and positive outcomes.

On Thursday, July 28, representatives from the Washington State School Directors’ Association (WSSDA) will participate in a panel discussion about leadership, evolving partnerships and resources for school districts and tribal partnerships. The WSSDA members are Chris Nation, president; Jessica Vavrus, governmental relations director; Cindy Kelly, a member of the board of directors; Colleen Miller, leadership development director; and Tricia Lubbach, Eastern Washington representative.

Registration will be held in the multi-purpose room of the Omak Middle School. Welcoming ceremonies and keynote speakers will take place in the Omak Performing Arts Center. Welcome speeches will be given by Dr. Jim Richardson, WVC President; Dr. Erik Swanson, Omak School District Superintendent; and the Colville Business Council. Additional opening ceremonies will include Kale Nissen, the Colville Confederated Tribe Youth Ambassador; DRUM Youth Group; Ms. CCT (of the Colville Tribal royalty program); and a WVC at Omak Red Road Association representative.

A variety of workshops offered throughout the three-day institute will focus on school policies; partnerships between schools and tribes; curriculum training; incorporation of Native American literature and history; project-based learning using science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) skills; and indigenous teaching methods and strategies.

Workshop presenters include Dr. Laura Lynn of the OSPI Office of Native Education; Rose Spidell, an education ombuds with the Washington State Governor’s Office of Education; YiShan Lea, associate professor at Central Washington University; Dr. Peter Donahue, English and literature faculty and WVC at Omak; Dr. Francene Watson, assistant professor at Washington State University; Renee Holt, a member of the Equity in Education Coalition Board of Directors; Nancy “Lynn” Palmanteer-Holder, a consultant and part-time instructor for WVC at Omak and the University of Washington; Melodi Wynne, a Spokane tribal member and student at the University of Hawaii at Manoa; Chanel Ford, coordinator for the Spokane Tribal Network nonprofit organization; Dr. Dawn Hardison-Stevens, program manager for the Native Education Certificate Program at the University of Washington; Larry Witt, a fifth grade teacher at Paschal Sherman Indian School; Sally Brownfield, an education specialist with the Squaxin Island Tribe; Dr. Joan LaFrance, owner of Mekinak Consulting; Shandy Abrahamson, a Colville Tribe K-12 manager; Ralph Rise of the Coulee Dam School District; and members of the Wellpinit School District Task Force for the Spokane Tribal History and Curriculum Development Team.

Lunch presentations will include indigenous education models, Salish Schools of Spokane-Immersion Elementary School and a panel of Colville tribal historians and authors who will discuss transforming oral history and sacred knowledge into text.

Evening events include a film that illustrates the effects of boarding schools and intergenerational historical trauma, and a culture night that includes local tribal exhibitions and presentations, with a dinner provided at Paschal Sherman Indian School.

Events and workshops will take place at WVC at Omak, Omak Performing Arts Center and Paschal Sherman Indian School. Bus transportation will be provided among the sites.

Sponsors of the event include the Community Foundation of North Central Washington, Potlatch Fund, WVC at Omak Foundation, Humanities Washington, Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation, Omak School District and 12 Tribes Resort Casino.

For more information, contact N. Lynn Palmanteer-Holder, Summer Teaching Institute Coordinator, at 509.322.7718 or email