Over 200 educators from across the state attended the 42nd annual Oregon Indian Education Association Conference at the University of Oregon. This year’s theme was “Creating Space for Indigenous Education.”
About 1 percent of students enrolled at the University of Oregon identify as Indigenous, a number not lost on OIEA attendees. But for a brief two days, the Erb Memorial Union Building was filled with discussions about increasing student success and milestones, like Senate Bill 13.
“We want to give people and educators a space where they can celebrate those sort of incremental successes towards our larger goal, which is to provide quality education and healing for our youth and Native students,” said CC Wright. Wright, a member of the Klamath Tribe, is an OIEA treasurer and works for UO admissions.
Youth activism was also a part of the conference. Wright said 30 Native students from around the state were invited to learn about space. Not just in terms of physical space though, but in intellectual, cultural, and social space.
The conference was hosted by the Sapsik'ʷałá Teacher Education Program, a UO College of Education graduate program that supports future Indigenous educators.