Tribal College and University Students Gather for the 2016 AIHEC Conference

Mar 15th, 2016 | By | Category: Online TC News, Tribal College News, Web Exclusive

Hundreds of students from tribal colleges and universities (TCUs) have convened in Minneapolis, Minnesota for the 2016 American Indian Higher Education Consortium student conference. The three-day event will feature a variety of competitions and contests, from traditional hand games and archery to the one-act play and the annual “knowledge bowl.” The conference will also feature a variety of panels on technology, media, leadership, and various facets of best practices in higher education.

Students forged and renewed friendships at the annual t-shirt exchange and poetry slam on Sunday evening. The poetry slam, a conference favorite, featured the creative talents of some 30 slam poets., Dolores Cortez from the Institute of American Indian Arts came away with the title of AIHEC Slam Poet Laureate for 2016, while Julian Wahnee of Haskell Indian Nations University was the runner-up.

DELORES CORTEZ IS AIHEC'S NEW SLAM POET LAUREATE

Dolores Cortez of IAIA is AIHEC’s new slam poet laureate.

The conference officially commenced Monday morning with the Parade of Flags where the tribal colleges assembled in a spirit of camaraderie, good will, and cultural celebration. Karen R. Diver, former chairwoman for the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians and currently President Obama’s special assistant for Native American Affairs, delivered the keynote address. “Make new friends and learn others’ points of view,” she Diver stated. “Don’t focus on yourself, instead focus on what’s important.”

Julian Wahnee of Haskell slams it down during the AIHEC slam poetry competition.

Julian Wahnee of Haskell slams it down during the AIHEC slam poetry competition.

PARADE OF FLAGS AT AIHEC STUDENT CONFERENCE OPENING CELEBRATIONS

Aaniiih Nakoda College leads the way during the Parade of Flags during the AIHEC conference’s opening celebrations.

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