U.S. Department of Education senior officials will hold two Listening and Learning sessions in California with urban Indian communities Friday, May 6, and Monday, May 9. The purpose of the sessions is to encourage a continuing dialogue between the Department and the Indian community in order to improve educational opportunities and resources for Native students, to collaborate and address education issues with tribal implications, and to strengthen relations with Indian tribes. These Listening and Learning sessions are a follow-up to a series of tribal leader official consultations that were conducted last year in Anchorage, Alaska; Espanola, N.M.; Shawnee, Okla.; Pine Ridge, S.D.; Window Rock, Ariz.; and Puyallup, Wash. The sessions also are in response to President Obama's Nov. 5, 2009 Presidential Memorandum and Executive Order, which directs agencies to develop a plan of action for providing regular and meaningful consultation and strengthening of government-to-government relationships with Indian tribes.
The first session on Friday runs from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. PDT, at the Stockton Unified Professional Development Center in Stockton. Michael Yudin, deputy assistant secretary in the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education, will participate. The second listening and learning session will take place on Monday, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. PDT at the Westin Los Angeles Airport Hotel. Yudin; Kevin Jennings, assistant deputy secretary of the Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools; and Charlie Rose, general counsel, each will give remarks during the all-day session. William Mendoza, acting director of the White House Initiative on Tribal Colleges and Universities, will join them.
For more information on the Department's series of 2010 tribal consultations, visit http://www.edtribalconsultations.org.