SHELTON, Wash. – The White House Initiative on American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) Education director Bill Mendoza and White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs associate director Charles Galbraith will join Donald Laverdure, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs at the Interior Department, and Joyce Silverthorne, director of the Education Department’s Office of Indian Education, at a news conference in Shelton, Wash., on Thursday to discuss President Obama’s education goals and AI/AN students. Following the news conference, senior Administration officials will meet with tribal leaders throughout the afternoon.
President Obama created the White House AI/AN Initiative at the end of last year to improve outcomes for American Indian and Alaska Native students. Since then, leaders of the Initiative have held a series of meetings with tribal leaders to discuss expanding opportunities for more AI/AN students to learn about their Native cultures and receive an education that prepares them for college. The meeting in Shelton is the fourth in a series by the Initiative, in partnership with the Department of Education and the Department of the Interior, designed to leverage federal resources to meet the President’s education goals. Previous meetings were held in Rapid City, S.D., Norman, Okla., and Albuquerque, N.M. last month. Members of the public must register in advance to participate at http://triballeader-roundtables.indianeducation.org.