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Will Antell to speak at Indian summit

Bemidji State University will bring Will Antell, alumnus and founder of the National Indian Education Association, to the American Indian Summit Thursday, Sept. 24, at BSU's American Indian Resource Center.

Antell's keynote address is part of a daylong summit on the history and current status of Indian education, titled "Indian Education: Yesterday and Today."

For more than 40 years, Antell has been on the front lines advocating higher education opportunities for American Indians. At the summit, he will discuss his lifetime of work.

Antell's 10:30 a.m. keynote address, will focus on American Indian education beginning in the 1950s, when few opportunities existed for Indian people to pursue higher education.

He has spent more than four decades in public education, including 20 years with the Minnesota Department of Education. While at the department, he served nine years as the assistant commissioner of education.

Antell was appointed by Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford to the National Advisory Council on Indian Education, a group of 15 American Indians and Native Alaskans that advised the president and U.S. Congress on education policy for American Indians. He continued in that position during President Jimmy Carter's administration.

A former Bush Fellow and faculty member at the University of Minnesota and Harvard University, Antell served six Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system from 2000-06. In 2005, he was given a Life Achievement Award by the association.

Registration for the summit will begin at 8:30 a.m., with a pipe ceremony and welcome scheduled for 10 a.m. A panel presentation on best practices by a number of American Indian educators will follow Antell's keynote at 11 a.m.

Following a lunch break, a panel of five American Indian students will hold a panel discussion titled "What Works, What Helps." Participants will include students from BSU, Itasca Community College, Central Lakes College and other area colleges and universities.

A comments and recommendations panel will be held at 2 p.m. The summit will conclude with a closing ceremony at 3 p.m.

Registration for the event, which includes lunch, is $15, payable at the door. To register by mail, or for more details, call the AIRC at 755-2032.