This spring the Eastern Sierra College Center hosted the 2nd Annual Native American Education Summit at the Bishop campus. The event was co-sponsored by Cerro Coso Community College, the Bishop Paiute Tribe, and the Owens Valley Career Development Center, and saw over one hundred and fifty participants! The purpose of the annual Education Summit is to encourage collaboration between tribal and non-tribal organizations, educational institutions, parents, and students, and to increase awareness of new educational strategies while continuing to honor traditional and cultural education.
This year’s two-day summit included Cultural Night at the Bishop Indian Education Center—the first Indian Education Center in California—and a full day of workshops at Cerro Coso’s Bishop campus. Cultural Night offered literacy tables, live demonstrations of cultural activities, an elder’s panel discussion, and hands-on workshops. The breakout sessions at Cerro Coso included The Most We Can Do is Our Best by Topah Spoonhunter of the Bishop Paiute Tribe, Perspectives of Native American Community College Students by ESCC Director Dr. Deanna Campbell, School Discipline by Jasmine Andreas of California Indian Legal Services, Why Attendance Matters by the staff at the Owens Valley Career Development Center, and many more.
Lunch was served in the Bishop Campus Community Room while participants enjoyed an engaging presentation from keynote speaker, Mary Kim Titla, Executive Director of United National Indian Tribal Youth (UNITY). As a staunch advocate for Native American youth, Mary Kim has testified before Congress about Indian education and youth related issues.
The event was extremely well-received by the community, and planning for the third Annual Native American Education Summit is already in the works! Anyone interested in participating next year should contact Caroline Sanderson, Campus Manager of the Eastern Sierra College Center.