OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma Advisory Council on Indian Education has been renewed for another six years.
House Bill 3243 by state Rep. Seneca Scott, D-Tulsa, and state Sen. Josh Brecheen, R-Coalgate, extends the “sunset” termination date of the panel from July 1, 2014, to July 1, 2020. The legislation passed both the House and the Senate by wide margins and was signed recently by the governor.
State Reps. Chuck Hoskin, D-Vinita, a member of the Cherokee Nation; Dustin Roberts, R-Durant, a member of the Choctaw Nation; and Lisa Billy, R-Lindsay, a registered Chickasaw, all co-authored the measure.
“This legislation is an important component of Oklahoma’s state/tribal partnerships,” said Scott, a member of the Choctaw Nation. The advisory council’s duties are:
- Make recommendations to the State Board of Education and the State Superintendent of Public Instruction in educational matters affecting the education of Native American students.
- Promote educational opportunities and improvement of the quality of education provided to Native American students throughout the state.
- Advocate for Oklahoma’s Native American students.
- Monitor and evaluate how the public education system of the state impacts Native American students.
Oklahoma has 39 federally recognized Indian tribes. This state is populated with an estimated 325,000 Native American residents, various head counts indicate.
Members of the advisory council include:
- Tribal representatives Greg Anderson of Eufaula, the Muscogee (Creek) Nation; Lori Hamilton and Lisa John, both of Ada, Chickasaw Nation; and Jana Roth of Oklahoma City, Delaware Tribe. A fifth seat is vacant.
- Tribal education department representatives Judy Davis of Miami, the Miami Tribe; Mary McCormick of Seminole, Sac and Fox Nation; Jim Parrish of Durant, Choctaw Nation; and Jack Shadwick of Miami, Modoc Tribe.
- Lucyann Harjo of Norman, director of Indian Education in Norman Public Schools, representing the Oklahoma Council for Indian Education.
- Esther Bell of Shawnee and Paul Pinkerton of Stilwell, representing statewide teacher organizations.
- Elgin Public Schools Supt. Tom Crimmins, representing a statewide organization for school superintendents.
- Robert Bible of Okmulgee, College of the Muscogee Nation, representing an Oklahoma Tribal College.
- Nancy Fields of Oklahoma City, director of the Native American Cultural and Educational Authority.
- Matt Higdon of Oklahoma City, representing the state Chancellor of Higher Education.
- Dr. Joe Robison of Oklahoma City, representing the Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education.
- Dwight Pickering of Oklahoma City, the State Department of Education’s American Indian Education Director.