U. S. Department of Education Urban Indian Listening and Learning Session

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U.S. Department of Education

Urban Indian Listening and Learning Session

May 9, 2011

9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.

Westin Los Angeles Airport

5400 W Century Blvd

Los Angeles, CA 90045

Reported by:

Beth Felix, CSR


Willie Anderson, Jr., CSR

Table of Contents










VIRGINIA: A lot of times we have difficulty because we're in a hotel but this is just a little bit. I just want to -- I'd like to take this opportunity just to share a little bit with you about our tribe since I know some of you come from different areas.

The name of our tribe is Gabrielino-Tongva Tribe. Gabrielino is from the Mission Times. In our area, San Gabriel was the biggest mission, but there were, also, three other missions, San Fernando Mission, San Salvador Mission, and the latest one was the Los Angeles Mission, which is right in Downtown Los Angeles.

And our name Gabrielino comes from the San Gabriel Mission. Our ancestral name for ourselves is Tongva, and that means people of the earth. Our ancestral lands include all of the entire Los Angeles Basin, which on the north is bordered by the Santa Susana Mountains on the other side of the San Fernando Valley, on the east by the San Gabriel Mountains, which we call Hiyee (phonetic), on the south by Aliso Creek, on the west by the ocean.

Our lands, also, include four of the Channel Islands, which are San Clemente, which we call Keena (phonetic), and San Nicholas Island, where we have the beautiful story of San Nicholas, and then we have Catalina Island, which we call Pimo (phonetic).

I want to take this opportunity on behalf of our ancestors, on behalf of our elders and children of the future and over 2000 members of our tribe to welcome all of you here today to this area, and I expect that you will have a very successful and productive meeting. So thank you very much.

MS. STARR: Thank you, Virginia. Let's all rise as we bring in our flags. We have Womlee (phonetic) and Williams and Ben Nakai (phonetic), and bringing in our U.S. flag is Manny Mandabell (phonetic) and the state flag is Mike McCarter. Manny is a former marine or always a marine and Mike, Navy.
(Posting of the colors.)
(Traditional song.)

MS. STARR: Thank you. You may all be seated. Thank you, Womlee and Ben. Greetings (speaking in native language), and I don't think I can do any more (speaking in native language). This is a wonderful opportunity for all of us to be here to share what we have inside of our hearts in regard to Indian education in the urban area. It's my extreme honor to be here to witness what we all have in our hearts for our future generations to come.

Real quickly, I wanted to say with Womlee and Ben they're both Grammy and Nammy winners, and they have beautiful voice. I really appreciate that song to get us started in a good way.

So let's go ahead and get started with some introductions, but before I do that, I want to make sure everybody knows why we're here. And this session here is to really look at the challenges that face our Indian youth in the greater Los Angeles. When I mean greater Los Angeles, Southern California. We're one massive city; right? So our urban Indian students do have challenges. We're grateful you're going to share what you have to show and share with us.

Also, today President Obama has a blueprint for some changes. How can we work together with other federal resources and how do we leverage those resources with other departments from Department of Energy, Department of Defense, Department of Health, Department of Labor, et cetera, with Department of Education as well as the state programs, and what are these barriers -- the barriers that we face in our community and the school systems that support our Indian Ed programs from cradle ward to adulthood.

So to my immediate right I would love to introduce you to Charlie Rose. Charlie Rose is the general counsel at the U.S. Department of Education. He serves as the chief legal officer for the department and as the legal advisor to the secretary of education in all matters affecting the department's program and activities. Mr. Rose was previously a founding partner and corporate secretary of Franczek Radelet PC formerly Franczek Radelet & Rose PC where he represents school districts, municipalities and other public employers across Illinois with respect to labor relations, collective bargaining matters, general matters of labor and employment law and education law. Mr. Rose worked as the lead negotiator on hundreds of collective bargaining agreements for a wide variety of public employers including the Chicago public schools and the city of Chicago. Welcome, Mr. Rose.

MR. ROSE: Well, thank you, Paula. I, also, want to thank Virginia for that blessing, and, also -- is it Womlee and Ben -- for the terrific introduction and songs they sang us.

So I think, given that we have such a small group, that if you don't mind we maybe deviate from the schedule just briefly and go around the room and introduce ourselves. I think that would be wonderful. I think what I can do at that point is share with you the context and expand on the issues that Paula identified. I'd, also, like to offer a chance for my colleagues that are here from the Department of Education to give their thoughts on how we would proceed today and then, at that point, open it up for discussions. I'll start with my right. We can pass the microphone.

MR. YUDIN: Good morning, everybody. My name is Michael Yudin. I'm the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Elementary and Secondary Education at the Department of Education.

MR. STONE: Good morning. My name is Craig Stone. I'm a professor at Cal State Long Beach. I grew up in Riverside. I'm a byproduct of Southern California. I went to Cal State Long Beach, and I'm a professor.

MS. GILIO-WHITAKER: Good morning. I'm Dina Gilio-Whitaker. I'm here in the function of the assistant of Dr. Kogee Thomas in the Capistrano Unified School District. I grew up in the city, and I'm currently a graduate student.

DR. THOMAS: Good morning. I'm working with Capistrano Unified School District as their coordinator for Indian education. I'm so thankful we're having this meeting and we're having this discussion. It's been years. Let's get on the move. I always think out of the box, so it's important that we do things together. And the more that we're together the stronger we'll be. Oh, and I'm Kogee Thomas.

MR. O'CONNER: I think everybody knows Kogee, but I just wanted her to say her name. My name is Michael O'Conner. I'm a friend of Kogee's, and that says a lot. I'm a retired special Ed specialist, 30-some years in the classroom, several as an administrator. I'm out of retirement doing consulting work and excited to be here.

MR. FOLSOM: Good morning, everyone. My name is Michael Folsom. I'm a member of the Chock Foundation out of Oklahoma. I'm the director of Huntington Beach Union High School Districts Title VII Indian Education Program and the Board of Director Board President of Southern California Indian Center and the chair of American Indian Education Partnership.

MR. GARCIA: Good morning, everyone. My name is Bernard Garcia. I'm from the Office of Indian Education with the Department of Education. I'm a crew leader. We're the office that administers the Title VII grant. I'm originally from New Mexico from Acoma Pueblo. Good to see you this morning.

DR. SANDOVAL: (Speaking in native language.) Hi, I'm Dr. Niki Sandoval, the education director for the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians. I'm, also, a professor of education at UC Santa Barbara.

DR. PROUDFIT: My name is Dr. Joely Proudfit. I am the Director of the California Indian Culture and Sovereignty Center in San Marcos an associate professor in sociology in political science. Glad to be here.
MS. LEONARD: Good morning. My name is Katherine Leonard. I'm the Title VII program coordinator at Long Beach Unified, a Cal State Long Beach grad. I grew up in Orange County, so I'm an urban Indian as well.

MS. YARGER: Good morning. My name is Sister Mary Yarger. I'm from Sherman Indian High School. I'm the math coach now.

MS. MANZO: Linda Manzo. I am, also, at Sherman Indian High School as ed. specialist.

MS. COOPER: I'm Arlene Cooper, and I am an academic coach. I'm a counselor at Sherman Indian high school.

MS. MC MORRIS: Good morning. I'm Stephanie McMorris. I'm a school counselor at Sherman Indian High School

MS. ROOSEVELT: Hello. My name is Roxanne Roosevelt. I'm the coordinator in the Indian history program with Bandy Unified School District.

MS. METHOT: Hello. My name is Leanne Methot, and I work under the Title VII grant tutoring for Bandy Unified School District.

MR. LUHAN: My name is James Luhan. I'm the planner for Southern California Indian Center and the director of its multimedia program, Intertribal for Teens.

MR. HALL: Hello. My name is Duane Hall. I'm Chippewa from Michigan. I've been living here in L.A. for quite a few years. I joined the Marine Corps. That's what got me here. I designed a new educational system called the Mayan Juggler. LAUSD (Los Angeles Unified School District), actually, is very interested, and we're looking to put 40,000 to 200,000 students a few weeks from now.

MR. HARPER: I'm Gilbert Harper. I'm assistant director at American Indian Education and teacher’s assistant at juvenile hall in Santa Maria, course in community schools.

ELIJAH: Hello, I'm Elijah. I'm a student.

MS. MONROE: I'm Donna Joe Monroe. I'm director for Santa Barbara County Education Office for 15 years, Title VII director, and before that I worked two years with the state grant.

MS. FLORES: Hi, I'm Laura Flores. I'm a chair person for the Title VII program.

MR. PETERSON: Hi, I'm Robert Peterson, Oglala Sioux Tribe. I'm Executive Director for Alliance for Education & Community Development. We train teachers, tutors, administrators how to teach English, reading, math to American Indian students in New Mexico, Arizona and Nevada and used to be California until all the funds were cut.

MR. BELLER: I'm Floyd Beller, Chickasaw Nationof Oklahoma. I'm CEO for the Alliance for Education & Community Development. Everything that Robert said I taught him.

MS. SMASHER: My name is Britney Smasher. I'm an instructor in graphic design and in anthropology. Between jobs right now. Primarily vocational colleges here.

MR. WHIPPLE: My name is Sunnie Whipple from Chihuahua clan. I'm just here because I'm interested in education. Thank you.

MR. WILLIAMS: Good morning. I'm Lee Williams. I'm the Associate Executive Director for the Southern California Youth Center. I've lived in the urban Indian communities in Denver, Minneapolis, Seattle, Phoenix, L.A. and Rapid City, so I have a little bit of experience.

VIRGINIA: Good morning. My name is Virginia. I work for the Southern California Youth Center, and I'm a tutor and a program assistant.

MR. REED: Jason Reed, Educational Guidance Counselor for Torres Martinez Tribal TANF. Thank you.

MS. LAFOUNTIAN: Good morning. My name is Terri LaFountain. I'm an Educational Guidance Counselor for TorresMartinez Tribal TANF.

MS. STANHOFF: Thank you. I'm Tracy Stanhoff. I'm President of the American Indian Chamber of Commerce in California. I'm an enrolled citizen and a past tribal chair of the Prairie Band of Potawatomi Nation of Kansas and Vice President of the Southern California Indian Center and a business owner here in Southern California.

MS. FRANKS: Hi. My name is Sandra Franks. I'm with the Los Angeles School District Title VII program. I'm Cayuga and Cherokee. My elementary days were in Oklahoma. My high school days were out here in California.

MR. YU: Hi. Good morning, everyone. My name is Don Yu. I'm a Senior Counselor at the education department. Thank you very much for having us here today. Hope you have some great ideas, and we will take those back to Washington for you.

MS. LEONARD: Good morning, everybody. My name is Jenelle Leonard, and I'm the Acting Director for the Office of Indian Education as well as the Director for School Support and Technology Programs.

MR. STEGMAN: Good morning. My name is Erik Stegman. My mother grew up out in Blackfeet Carry the Kettle First Nation up in Saskatchewan. I'm an American Indian Alaska Native policy advisor for the Office of Safe and Drug Free Schools, and I, also, lived in Southern California for eight years. So it's very nice to be back. I miss the sun.

MR. MENDOZA: Good morning. William Mendoza, and I'm the Acting Director and Deputy Director of the White House Initiative of Tribal Colleges and Universities. Thank you for having us here today.

MR. JENNINGS: Hi. I'm Kevin Jennings, the Assistant Deputy Secretary for Safe and Drug Free Schools.

MS. STARR: Thank you, all. Boy, this is impressive. I forgot I am Paula Starr, Southern California Indian Center's Executive Director. I'm a member of the Cheyenne-Arapaho Tribe of Oklahoma. I'm a direct descendant of Chief Backhoe. I'm the member of the Harry Rope Clan and Both Stream Society. So, let's get started.

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