Conference to be held at future date and time to be determined

The Wisconsin Indian Education Association is closely monitoring the unfolding COVID-19 (Coronavirus) situation and aware of numerous emergency travel and work restrictions enacted by employers, as well as tribal, state and federal government agencies in response. Currently, the immediate focus of the organization is the health, safety and well-being of our members, families, tribal nations and all people across Wisconsin. Due to rapidly changing circumstances, the board of directors in conjunction with the WIEA conference planning committee, have announced the postponement of the 2020 WIEA Conference “Indigenous STEAM: Science, Technology, Engineering, Art & Math”, which was scheduled for April 16-18, 2020, at Potawatomi Hotel & Casino in Milwaukee.

“We’ve been forced to come to the obvious decision to postpone our 2020 conference,” said WIEA board president Brian Jackson. “We initially wanted to proceed with the annual conference in hopes that we would be able to maintain some semblance of normalcy in our day-to-day activities as an organization however, it appears that is no longer an option due to circumstances beyond our control,” added Jackson.

Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers on Monday, March 17 directed Department of Health Services Secretary designee Andrea Palm to issue an agency order prohibiting gatherings of 50 people or more statewide to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Notable was Evers’ statement that it is the decision of the tribes, which operate independently and are sovereign nations, whether to abide by the order or not.

Potawatomi Hotel & Casino also announced Monday that it would be closing indefinitely on March 17th.

The board, along with the conference planning committee, will be discussing potential future dates for the conference.

“Our tentative plans include holding the conference and related activities at a later date,” said Brittany LaMere, conference planning committee chairwoman. “We want to ensure the health and safety of all of our conference participants, WIEA conference staff, volunteers and the general public,” continued LaMere.

Conference registrants and vendors will be offered a refund of their registration fee if they choose not to attend the rescheduled conference. Once a future conference date has been set, WIEA will share additional information on the refund process as soon as it is available. WIEA kindly asks participants and those who have already paid their registration fee to remain patient while details of the rescheduled conference are sorted out.

“We hope all of those registered for this year’s conference continue to support the organization by attending the soon-to-be rescheduled conference,” said Jackson. “However, WIEA does understand that some individuals may be unable to attend due to conflicts in scheduling,” added Jackson.

The Wisconsin Indian Education Association will continue to follow the situation surrounding COVID-19 and urges our members and supporters to protect their health and welfare during these challenging times.

I ask that we all make an extra effort to check in on one-another to ensure our relatives, friends and neighbors are taken care of and have all the things they need to make it through this difficult situation,” said Jackson. “We suggest that everyone follow the recommended safety guidelines handed down from the CDC, as well as state and local public health officials to proactively address any concerns relative to the COVID-19 virus.”


Registration for the 2020 WIEA Conference Indigenous STEAM: Science, Technology, Engineering, Art & Math is now open!

The conference planning committee has been meeting regularly and is busy organizing the biggest event of the year for the organization.

This year the conference theme is INDIGENOUS STEAM: SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, ENGINEERING, ART & MATH. Building on advancements in science, technology and engineering, the conference will feature a line-up of powerful keynote speakers who have established themselves as leaders in their respective fields.

Conference planning committee chairwoman Brittany LaMere is hopeful the conference location will make this the biggest conference in the organization’s 34-years.

“We thought that Milwaukee would be a great place to host the conference, and what better place than Potawatomi Hotel & Casino,” said LaMere. “There’s a big Native presence in the city and we are going to bring the best of Indian education to the traditional homelands of the Potawatomi, Ho Chunk and Menominee people,” said LaMere in reference to the tribal nations that called the area home prior to Wisconsin becoming a state.

In addition to the conference programming at the casino, there will be a Youth Day track held at Indian Community School in Franklin on Friday, April 17. This includes youth activities and conference pow-wow later that same evening at the school.

“We are presently accepting presenter proposals for individuals or groups wanting to share their work at the conference,” said LaMere. “The deadline for workshop/presenter proposals is Friday, February 28.”

LaMere says the committee is also accepting nominations for WIEA annual awards.

“If you have a person who you believe is making a difference in Native education or the lives of Native students, we hope you’ll take a few minutes to nominate them,” added LaMere.

The awards will be presented at the annual awards banquet on Saturday, April 18th to close out the conference.

“We hope to see everyone at this year’s conference – there really is something for everyone – Native culture, language and of course, education!”
Don’t forget, your WIEA annual membership fee is included in your paid conference registration. Join Native Wisconsin’s biggest and most active American Indian education organization in their ongoing effort to strengthen the future of American Indian students!

Conference registration link:

Make sure you register early for this year’s conference to receive early bird pricing! Early bird rates end on March 11!

Conference participants are encouraged to stay at Potawatomi Hotel at the significantly reduced rate of $109 per night. Make sure to use the following conference code WIE04162020 when you book your room online! You can visit the Potawatomi Hotel website here.

Conference rates are as follows:

  • Adult full conference Early bird rate $300 ($350 after March 11)
  • Students 10-18 yrs/College Student Early bird rate $200
  • Elders & Veterans rate $150
  • Awards Banquet only $35
  • Organization Group Early bird rate (groups of 6 or more) $275 ($300 after March 11)

click here to register now!

Call for Presenter Proposals

The Wisconsin Indian Education Association’s 2020 Conference Planning Committee has officially opened the Call for Workshop/Presentation Proposals. Any individual or organization wishing to facilitate a workshop or presentation at the 2020 Conference titled, “Indigenous STEAM: Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math“, can submit their proposals by clicking here. All workshops/presentations should either reflect the conference theme or be connected to Native language, culture and history.

The deadline for this year’s Workshop/Presenter Proposals is February 28, 2020.

We look forward to hearing from all of our prospective workshop facilitators and presenters!

Youth Art Contest Announced!

The 2020 WIEA Conference Planning Committee has announced the details for the Youth Art Contest! This year’s conference titled Indigenous STEAM: Science, Technology, Engineering, Art & Math, will be held April 16-18, 2020, at the Potawatomi Hotel Casino in Milwaukee, WI.

The Youth Art Contest is open to all Native American and Alaskan Native students grades 4th – 12th living in Wisconsin.

All submissions must include the proper release and submission forms. You may view and download the contest rules and application form here: Youth Art Rules & Contest Application.

Submissions should reflect the conference theme. There are two placesL 1st and 2nd place. 1st place will receive $150 and 2nd will receive $50. Winning submission will be used in conference logo and marketing materials, including conference program.

We look forward to seeing your submissions and good luck!

Conference Sponsorship Opportunities

The Wisconsin Indian Education Association is a 501C3 non-profit organization that relies solely on donations, sponsorship and volunteers. The annual conference is the largest fundraiser of the year for the organization. If you or your company or organization would like to sponsor this year’s conference, your monetary donation is tax deductible and goes to support Native students, educators and their mission to strengthen Indian education in Wisconsin.

Take a look at some of the sponsorship opportunities for the 2020 Conference by clicking here. You can view our conference profile and learn more by clicking here.

Thank you and we look forward to seeing you at our annual conference or one of our other great events!