The Lodge Approach


Let’s Ignite Student Success


2024 Keynote Session


Tools for Conversations about Race in the Classroom and Indigenous Authors 
Dr. Kari Dahle-Huff and Molly Ouellette
Delve into tools and strategies for facilitating conversations about race and other challenging topics in classrooms. We will examine methods for fostering safe and open learning environments through a storied journey in education. Teachers play a crucial role in promoting critical thinking, community engagement, and deeper learning. Additionally, we will explore the rich opportunities books offer for discussions about race, with a particular focus on works by Indigenous authors and books.

Experiential Sessions

Burt Medicine Bull

Sweat Lodge 
Burt Medicine Bull, Setovaatse

Breakout Sessions


Rural Education and Transition Plans 
Donna Hays
Between High School and College, there is a high percentage drop out of college when students leave the communities for a campus. Without the support of the community, students fail to thrive. How can we bridge the gap? Bringing alternative education sources to rural communities, villages, and reservations and providing a support network within those stages of 18-23 years of age. Additionally, how can we educate adult learners and professionals in rural areas who are return students? What does access to education look like and how do we get learners to think and dream outside of the small walls they are used to and understand they are special, unique, and made to offer soulfulness to the world?


Deborah Russell

From Trauma to Resilience – Part 1 
Deborah Russell, Gros Ventre
Showcase how historical trauma has perpetuated to the Native child throughout the generations and how it impacts the student/family dynamics.

Deborah Russell

From Trauma to Resilience – Part 2 
Deborah Russell, Gros Ventre
How to present culturally responsive resilience on trauma informed care to the student in your classroom.



Examples of Integration of Indian Eucation in an Elementary School Curriculum 
Nikki BarrettMelin
Together we will look through past projects I have done in my classroom, activities we have done throughout our school and brainstorm ways for you to specifically integrate Indian Education into your classroom in a way that will resonate with your students. I do not have all the answers but I do believe if we work together we can create some excellent ideas.

Elaine Westbrook
wallace bearchum

The Star Stories Project 
Elaine Westbrook and Wallace Bearchum
This project is based on creating a planetarium-style video presentation to share Northern Cheyenne star stories. The audio will be in the Northern Cheyenne native tongue, recorded and played during planetarium showings focused on the constellation of the story. As the story is being told, subtitles in English & Northern Cheyenne will also be displayed. Additionally, artwork created to illustrate the story by Northern Cheyenne artists will be utilized during the video of the story. The story will be paired with the Western astronomical curriculum to facilitate a two-eyed seeing approach to understanding astronomy concepts. Two-eyed seeing (Wright et al., 2019) is an approach to simultaneously viewing concepts through an indigenous and a Western lens. The planetarium show will therefore share the linguistics of the Northern Cheyenne through the storytelling of star stories of their people. The story will be paired with astronomical details of the constellation and include the most recent discoveries in the universe.

Randall Tall Bull

Using Native Artifacts 
Randall James Tall Bull, H’aest’ohena’hane (Many Kills)

Courtney Little Axe pictured on May 10, 2023 at the University of Montana.

Transcending NAGPRA: Indigenizing Collections Care 
Courtney Little Axe, Natsista/SiWiNwi/Semvnole
The University of Montana Anthropological Curation Facility (UMACF) has been working in collaboration with the Tribal Historic Preservation Officers from each Montana tribe to formulate policies and procedures in accordance with cultural protocols. The University of Montana’s NAGPRA Repatriation Coordinator will discuss what Indigenizing collections care means and what successful collaboration between institutions and tribes could look like.

C Kent state university
Sandra Pech Pic

Disrupting Colonial Thinking in the Classroom 
Dr. Scott Durham and Dr. Sandra Pech
In this session, presenters will discuss first how the 2023 Lodge Approach Conference acted as a disrupter (in line with disruptive learning theory) for two pre-service teachers who attended the conference. By illustrating how exposure to and engagement with indigenous thinking, culture, and people, we will show how such experiences like The Lodge Approach Conference can and often do result in divergent thinking – away from colonial constructs which imposes a hierarchy of agency, towards an acceptance of multiple centers of knowledge which while different are equally valid. We will trace the disruption from the Lodge Approach Conference through the participants’ experiences as pre-service social studies teachers.

Secondly, presenters, both teacher educators at Kent State University, will explain how the Lodge Approach Conference has disrupted their practice as well, providing lesson plans and ideas they have instituted in their practice as a result of the conference, including the use of rocks as a symbol of collective and timeless wisdom and knowledge acquired across time, space, and cultures.


Partnering with the Northern Cheyenne through Lesson plans and primary sources for teaching about Native American culture 
Dr. Mary Beth Henning & John Bennett
Looking for more authentic, engaging, and contemporary ways to teach about Native American culture? Come see lesson plans, primary sources, augmented reality, music, art, dance, stories, and artifacts that can make your learning come alive. Explore ways that Native American education has been incorporated into university & K-8 curriculum. See lesson plans and artifacts from culturally sustaining lessons taught to 4th graders in Alliance City Schools in Ohio using the website. All resources will be made available to participants through


Marilynn Savage Moritz
Children’s exposure to Adverse Childhood Experiences is the greatest unaddressed public health threat of our time” Adverse Childhood Experiences or ACE’s has an accumulative impact on children, re-wires the brain, and has a long-term biological effect on later-life health and well being.


Ahtove, a Teacher Resource About the Northern Cheyenne Culture 
John Bennett
Learn about The Northern Cheyenne Tribe through an interactive website of their voices on language, ethnobotany, governance, music and the buffalo.



Coaching Shifts that Empower Educators to Inspire Students 
Kristal Funk
In this session, we will delve into innovative approaches that empower educators to elevate their teaching craft and foster student success. As our educational landscape evolves, instructional coaching becomes increasingly vital in supporting teachers (and each other) on their professional journey.

This session aims to equip math coaches, coordinators, educators, and others interested with practical tools and insights to enhance their coaching practices. From fostering a growth mindset to leveraging the principal as partner, participants will gain a comprehensive understanding of effective coaching.

The session kicks off with an exploration of instructional coaching, emphasizing the importance of building strong teacher-coach relationships. Attendees will learn how to create a collaborative and supportive coaching environment that encourages open communication and mutual respect. Then, we will delve into strategies for promoting a growth mindset among educators. By understanding the psychology behind mindset shifts, participants will discover how to inspire teachers to embrace challenges, persist through setbacks, and continuously seek opportunities for professional development.


Lesson Plans Incorporating Montana Tribes Specific Content 
Nikki Custis, Erica Hoyt, and Maddy Johnson
Pre-Service Teachers (PST) enrolled in the Educator Preparation Program at Montana State University will present lessons they have created incorporating Montana tribes specific content. Each lesson is based on Montana content standards and designed to achieve Transforming or Social Justice levels of the Bank’s Framework. Each PST will make a short presentation of their lesson and receive peer feedback from the audience participants. These lessons will be sent to the Montana Office of Public Instruction to be evaluated for inclusion with the IEFA resources.


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