Education Summit Works To Create Culturally Responsive Schools In Idaho

Jun 13, 2019

Mandy Smoker Broaddus is the keynote speaker at this year's Indian Education Summit in Boise.
Credit via Facebook

Over 100 educators will meet in Boise Thursday for the Idaho Indian Education Summit. The goal of the two-day conference is to give educators skills to incorporate students' cultural backgrounds into the classroom.

The summit has been held on and off for roughly 30 years. It’s been held consistently since 2013.  

According to organizer Yolanda Bisbee, the summit strives to create more culturally responsive schools and communities, starting in the classroom.  

“A lot of the teachers already are culturally responsive," says Bisbee. "But they do not understand how they apply that within their classroom and curriculum.”

Bisbee says that to do it right, teachers must first overcome the discomfort they feel when addressing cultural differences.


“I think there is a fear that they would overstep or misstep in that kind of engagement, and I’m hoping the teachers can really walk away with some strategies and tools to use in the classroom."


Johanna Jones is with the state Indian Education Department, and is another organizer of the summit.  


“The one thing I hope ... is that our educators take away that culturally responsive education will benefit each and every student in Idaho."


This year’s summit will feature activists from around the northwest. Over the two days they’ll cover a variety of topics, from cultural myths of American Indian students to social emotional learning skills.

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