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President of national association for American Indian education appreciates conference at Maharishi University of Management
by Global Good News staff writer
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23 October 2009
Speaking at a press conference* held at Maharishi University of Management in Fairfield, Iowa, USA, Robert Cook, President of the National Indian Education Association (NIEA), expressed his appreciation for the opportunity to work with other organizations attending a historic three-day symposium on building healthy, sustainable American Indian communities. Working alongside those with similar goals, he is striving to create a better life for future generations, particularly in the field of education.
'The National Indian Education Association is the largest Indian education association in the nation, and strives to keep Indian Country moving toward educational equity. The NIEA is committed to increasing educational opportunities and resources for American Indian, Alaskan native, and native Hawaiian students while protecting cultural and linguistic traditions,' said Prosper Waukon,** press conference moderator, in his introduction to Dr Cook.
'Robert has been the recipient of many education awards and honours that include South Dakota's Milken National Educator in 2005, Crazy Horse Memorial Foundation Teacher of the Year 2006, and NIEA's Teacher of the Year 2006. In 2008 he was named one of Black Hills State University's ''125 Most Accomplished Alumni'',' said Mr Waukon.
As the principal of an American Indian high school, Dr Cook said he sees that due to lack of resources, the students face myriad challenges that often lead to unhealthy decisions such as dropping out of school. 'High absentee rates, truancy, poverty, and high unemployment often force our students to leave their educational opportunities. . . .
'We need to connect with people and with resources available to ensure our kids have a healthy lifestyle—and opportunities for an education to help themselves and their families. . . .
'I'm thankful for this chance to be here, to address, and to network with all these different organizations to work together so we can make a better life for our kids,' he concluded.
Replays of the press conference and several sessions during the symposium are available online at 'Building Healthy, Sustainable American Indian Communities'.
* The press conference on building healthy, sustainable American Indian communities preceded a historic three-day international symposium on the same theme, held 25-27 September at Maharishi University of Management in Fairfield, Iowa, USA. The press conference explored in brief a proven five-point plan to reduce, and even eradicate, some of the most pressing problems confronting American Indians and all indigenous people throughout the world—including problems in education.
** Prosper Waukon is a hereditary leader of the Winnebago tribe of Nebraska. He is an accomplished businessman, youth development specialist, and organizational strategist. Mr Waukon shares with the Hocak Elders Council a tireless advocacy for the education, health, food, and preservation and restoration of culture for his tribe and the whole of Indian Country.
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