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Addressing the Misconceptions of Native Americans: The Role that History Plays in Our Schools

  • Holiday Inn Stevens Point - Convention Center 1001 Amber Avenue Stevens Point, WI, 54482 United States (map)

Training Description

Western models of schools have historically not been healthy, good places for Native American students to learn. History matters! History has profound effect on us all. What can we do to embolden and empower students to reflect the power that history has on us today? How can students use that history to make a better tomorrow? Join us for an opportunity to extend our understanding of knowing our neighbors while engaging in conversations about the historical impact of schools for Native American students with national speaker, Gyasi Ross.

Participant Outcomes

As a result of attending this training, participants will:

  • gain an understanding of the unique historical circumstances faced by Native people in the past and present
  • deepen their understanding of the Native American experience through the counter-stories shared throughout the day-long conversation
  • gain an understanding of the Native American historical context and the effect it has on today’s students, families, and communities
  • examine how societal patterns and experiences for Native American students plays out in their education
  • explore ways in which school systems institutionalize practices that marginalize Native students
  • discover and examine ways to transform our school environments into places that nurture the spirit and foster high-level engagement and achievement for American Indian students

Target Audience

  • District Administrators and Principals
  • Classroom Teachers
  • Curriculum Specialists, Directors of Instruction, Library Media Specialists
  • School Counselors, Social Workers, and Psychologists
  • Cooperative Educational Service Agencies (CESAs) Administrators and Staff
  • Home-School/Title VII/Johnson O'Malley (JOM) Coordinators and Staff
  • Tribal Education Directors and Staff
  • Head Start and Preschool Staff
  • College and University (especially Schools of Education) Students, Faculty, and Staff

***Any others with an interest in American Indian Studies and education of Native American students.

About the Gyasi Ross

Gyasi Ross is a father, uncle, author, national speaker, mentor, musician, and storyteller. Gyasi comes from the Blackfeet Nation and resides on the Port Madison Indian Reservation near Seattle. TV and radio programs and print and online publications regularly seek his input on politics, sports, pop culture and the intersections thereof with Native life. 

Ross is the author of Don’t Know Much About Indians (but I wrote a book about us anyways) (2011) and How to Say I Love You in Indian (2014). “I come from a family of storytellers. My family tells long stories, drinking coffee and blowing smoke in your face. It just fit for me to tell stories, and then I started writing them.” He is in demand as a speaker on race, social justice and white privilege as well as issues specifically affecting contemporary Native Americans and guests on MSNBC, ESPN, Democracy Now and radio shows nationwide. Ross writes for the Huffington Post, Indian Country Today, Deadspin and Gawker. Ross has also released a spoken word/hip hop CD titled “Isskootsik (Before Here was Here)” on Cabin Games Records. 

You can follow Gyasi Ross on:


Holiday Inn Stevens Point - Convention Center
Spruce/Sands Room
1001 Amber Ave.
Stevens Point, WI 54482
Ph: (715) 344-0200

A block of rooms is available at the state rate and is being held until May 22, 2017. Rooms are limited, so reserve yours as soon as possible. Request the Network (CESA 11) room block when making reservations.

Participants are responsible for their own reservations and hotel costs. If your district is tax-exempt, be sure to bring a copy of the information with you when checking in.

Standards Addressed

These seminar specifically address Wisconsin State Performance Plan (SPP) Indicators 4B, 9 & 10.

  • Charlotte Danielson’s Framework: 1b, 2a, 2b, 3a. 3e, 4c, 4e, 4f
  • Stronge Performance Standards and Indicators: 1.3, 1.7, 1.9, 2.3, 2.5, 3.1, 3.2, 3.5, 5.2, 5.3, 5.4, 5.7
  • InTasc Teaching Standards: #2, 4, 5, 9 & 10

Fees, Schedule, and Registration

There are no fees to participate in this training,
but pre-registration is required.

Each participant will receive a complimentary copy of Gyasi Ross's book, How to Say I Love You in Indian (2014).


  • 8:30 am - 9:00 am Registration and Continental Breakfast
  • 9:00 am - 11:30 am Morning Workshop
  • 11:30 am - 12:30 pm Lunch (Provided)
  • 12:30 pm - 3:00 pm Afternoon Workshop 

***Continental breakfast and lunch will be provided.


Training and Supports Project Coordinator, 
Disproportionality Technical Assistance Network ("The Network")
Ph: (715) 986-2020, ext. 2127 or

American Indian Studies Consultant, Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction; Co-Leader, Disproportionality Technical Assistance Network
Ph: (608) 267-2283 or