Class Act: Indian Education conference unites ‘next generation of leaders’

HELENA – On Wednesday, 250 students and chaperones attended the Indian Education Youth Leadership Conference in Helena.

The conference was hosted by Capital High, Helena High and PAL Native Student Leadership Groups in collaboration with the Helena School District’s Indian Education Department and the Indian Education For All Department at the Office of Public Instruction.

The event, which runs all week, is student designed and student led bringing together students from reservation, non-reservation, urban and rural high school all across the state to highlight positive programs, leadership and promote bridge building between students.

The students divided up in to groups to learn about each other, talk about issues Native Americans face, make connections and build relationships.

Some of the events include a basketball tournament at the Carroll College Gymnasium and a gala dinner at the Lewis and Clark County Fairgrounds exhibit hall.

Governor Steve Bullock said a few words about how he was humbled to be the next generation of leaders.

Marcos Lopez a senior at Billings Senior High School, said he is going to study archeology and anthropology when he graduates.

“It’s really good for Native students to unite and come up with common goals for the future because we are our next generations leaders for the future just like Governor Bullock said,”  said Lopez.

Another notable guest, Christian Parrish Takes the Gun, also known as Supaman, a comedian/rapper/guest performer, will perform for the students on Thursday Morning.

The conference runs through Friday.