2021 Native American Critical Issues Conference

The Native American Critical Issues Conference provides learning opportunities for educators, teachers, policy makers, Title VI Indian Education Act programs, tribal schools and colleges, tribal education departments, Native American Student Organizations (NASO), youth, and all others who might benefit.

The 51st Annual Native American Critical Issues Conference

March 11-13, 2021, 9-12:30pm ET on Zoom

click here to REGISTER

Download the agenda at glance here.

Download the save the date flyer here.

Ishkode, fire, holds our traditional teachings and is the theme for this year’s conference. Ishkode is a process that seeks to achieve balance: balance between Fire’s life giving and destructive properties, balance between Spiritual and practical manifestations, balance in our understanding of Creation.

Join us for 3 conference tracks, including

  • General Track (A), for the general public
  • Youth Track (B), for young students
  • NASO Track (C), for college-aged students who may be involved in Native American Student Organizations
  • 15 Breakout sessions
  • 4 Plenary sessions
  • 2 Vendor Booth and Information Booth sessions to meet directly with vendors
  • 2 Networking Café sessions to connect with other attendees
  • Access to presentation files* after the conference
  • Access to Zoom session recordings after the conference

*All video recordings will be made available. Presentation files will be made accessible with the permission of each individual presenter.

Session Topics

  • Cultural Uses of Fire
  • Indigenous Foraging, Cooking, and Eating
  • Fire Ring in the Mackinac Straits
  • Ishkode: The Language of Fire
  • Fired Up: Activism in Indian Country, Past and Present
  • Tri-Lateral Indian Education Panel
  • Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women Panel
  • Rematriation and Pedagogical Reform in K-12 Systems
  • Treaty Rights and Water Habitat
  • The Impact of COVID-19 on Indian Country Key Note
  • Native American Student Organizations Meet and Greet
  • Native Scholar Network Summit Key Note
  • Native Scholar Network Leadership Session
  • Decolonizing NASO
  • and more!


Click here to register for $150 on Eventbrite and receive access to the password protected Participant Portal.  The Participant Portal The Participant Portal hosts the Zoom links needed to gain access to the conference. Registered attendees will receive the password by email one week prior to the event.

Note: The fee is non-refundable. If you have questions about registration fees, such as requesting financial hardship support, please contact Dr. Martin Reinhardt at mreinhar@nmu.edu.

Organizations and individuals that have previously made arrangements to pay for their registration with a check should submit them to Michigan Indian Education Council. Send checks to: Michigan Indian Education Council C/O Melinda Hernandez, 101 Loree Dr., East Lansing, MI 48823.

More Information

Donations and Sponsorship Opportunities: If you or your organization are interested in making a donation or co-sponsoring the conference, thank you! For more information about donating or sponsorship opportunities click here.

Vendors: Would you like to be listed as a vendor on the conference website and meet one-on-one with attendees? Contact Dr. Martin Reinhardt to request a vendor form at mreinhar@nmu.edu. Vendor fees are $50. 

About The Artist

Reese Carter is Anishinaabe Ojibwe with ancestral ties to Baweting (Place of the Rapids). Reese is passionate about learning, reconnecting, and revitalizing their culture. This painting depicts the Council of Three Fires together. It shows the importance of nurturing our relationship with fire and achieving balance with it. Fire symbolizes the center of ourselves, our homes, our villages, and our place in the universe. If we respect the spirit of fire it helps us live a good life.

Original art by Reese Carter.

© 2014 - MIEC.org. All Rights Reserved. Powered by Wordpress and Design by We Create Web Designs