Virtual education conference keynotes to include nationally-known scholars

Virtual education conference keynotes to include nationally-known scholars

Posted By:
Kathy Dye
Kathy Dye
Published On: July 15th, 2021

Registration now open

July 15, 2021

(Keynote Bios) (Register) (Conference Website) (Flyer)

Sealaska Heritage Institute (SHI) has enlisted renowned, nationally-known educators to give keynote addresses at its fourth Culturally Responsive Education Conference for teachers and administrators, which is part of a larger effort to promote culturally responsive pedagogy in schools.

For the second time, the three-day event will be held virtually because of the COVID-19 virus. This year’s theme is “Calling on our grandparents’ knowledge for future generations—Native ways of knowing, learning and being.”

The event, Our Cultural Landscape, has drawn some of the best professionals in the field, including Dr. Tiffany Lee, Ph.D.; Ethan Petticrew; Nikki Sanchez; and Candace Galla, Ph.D.

The conference will also feature more than 25 breakout sessions on a wide range of topics, including Unpacking Equity in Juneau Schools: Critical Participatory Action Research Project and Re-thinking Readiness: How Schools can Support Native Students in College Readiness.

The conference is scheduled Aug. 5-7. Educators may register to attend now. There is a one-credit continuing education option through the University of Alaska Southeast for those interested.

Educators, administrators, university faculty and community members are all welcome and encouraged to attend. Attendees will find engaging and informative sessions to support their thinking around culturally-responsive and sustaining pedagogies for K-12 and university settings, critical theory, place-based education, possibilities for indigenizing curriculum and building safe social environments for all learners. 

Keynote Bios

Tiffany S. Lee (Diné/Oglala Lakota) is a professor and chair of Native American Studies at the University of New Mexico. Her research examines educational and culturally-based outcomes of Indigenous language immersion schools, Native youth perspectives on language reclamation, and socio-culturally centered education. Her work is published in journals, such as the Journal of Language, Identity, and Education and the Journal of American Indian Education; and in books, such as Diné Perspectives: Revitalizing and Reclaiming Navajo Thought. She is a former secondary social studies and language arts teacher, and a former member of the New Mexico Indian Education Advisory Council, Public Education Department. She is currently involved with colleagues on projects to open a Diné language nest in Albuquerque and to prepare Diné speakers to become Diné language immersion educators.

Ethan Petticrew has worked all over the state of Alaska as a teacher, administrator, and curriculum coordinator. He was born in Wrangell, Alaska. Ethan’s Tlingit name is Daayoosh. Although he is Unangax by blood, he is also an original Sealaska shareholder, and belongs to the Kiks.ádi from Gagaan Hít. His experiences and education have given him a unique perspective into what makes the field of teaching such an important one, especially in a state as diverse as Alaska. Petticrew is very proud of his Unangax heritage and works to make sure that all students’ cultures are recognized in the classroom. When asked about why he became a teacher, he declared, “We should not feel ashamed for who we are or how our parents have dressed us. Our lifestyle, our language, our culture — anything that we do, we should not have to feel shame for that. [Realizing] that, that’s when I decided to become a teacher.” It is Petticrew’s desire that every child, regardless of their background, receive an appropriate and positive education without fearing that they will be looked down upon or mistreated because of their heritage…(more)

Nikki Sanchez (she/her) is a Pipil/Maya and Irish/Scottish academic, Indigenous media maker and environmental educator. Nikki holds a master’s degree in Indigenous governance and is presently completing a Ph.D. with a research focus on emerging visual media technology as it relates to Indigenous ontology. Nikki is a board member of the Sierra Club BC, BC Women’s Hospital, and a doctoral fellow at the Center for Religion and Society at the University of Victoria. She designed and directed the first-ever “Indigenous Storyteller” edition with Telus STORYHIVE, a project to provide funding and mentorship for 30 emerging Indigenous filmmakers in BC and Alberta. Nikki is the author of Spirits of the Coast, the bestselling anthology of the Salish Sea Resident Orca published by Royal BC Museum. Nikki had the honour of working for the David Suzuki Foundation as their, “Queen of Green” (, where her work centered on environmental journalism, social media and digital media creation to provide sustainable solutions for a healthy planet, as well as content creation, to bring more racial and gender inclusivity into the environmental movement…(more)

Dr. Candace Galla attended the University of Arizona on the original homelands of the Tohono O’odham and Pascua Yaqui nations where she received a B.A. in Linguistics, an M.A. in Native American Linguistics and a Ph.D. in Language, Reading, and Culture. Dr. Galla is an associate professor at the University of British Columbia Vancouver and teaches on the traditional, ancestral, and unceded territory of the hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓ speaking Musqueam people.

Sealaska Heritage Institute is a private nonprofit founded in 1980 to perpetuate and enhance Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian cultures of Southeast Alaska. Its goal is to promote cultural diversity and cross-cultural understanding through public services and events. SHI also conducts social scientific and public policy research that promotes Alaska Native arts, cultures, history and education statewide. The institute is governed by a Board of Trustees and guided by a Council of Traditional Scholars, a Native Artist Committee and a Southeast Regional Language Committee.

CONTACT: Amy Fletcher, SHI Media and Publications Director, 907.586.9116,

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