Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Idaho’s Indian Education Coordinator Appointed to National Advisory Council on Indian Education

Idaho’s state Indian Education Coordinator Mary Jane Oatman-Wak Wak will be appointed to serve on the National Advisory Council on Indian Education, Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna announced today at the Northwest Indian Education Summit.

The White House sent a news release nationally on Monday afternoon, announcing President Obama’s intent to appoint Oatman-Wak Wak to the Council.

The National Advisory Council on Indian Education (NACIE) was created under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, which was reauthorized as No Child Left Behind in 2001.  The 15-member Council advises the U.S. Secretary of Education on Indian education issues.

Superintendent Luna named Oatman-Wak Wak as Idaho’s first Indian Education Coordinator in 2007 when he created the position.  Since then, she has worked with state education and tribal leaders to raise Native American student achievement. Oatman-Wak Wak is a member of the Nez Perce Tribe. 

In 2009, she was elected President of the National Indian Education Association.  She is a graduate of Lewis-Clark State College with degrees in Justice Studies and Nez Perce language and is currently working toward her Ed.D. at the University of Idaho, College of Education.

We’ll keep you updated throughout the nomination and appointment process.

~ Melissa M.

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