Citizen Potawatomi Nation hosted the Tribal Education Departments’ Forum (TED Forum) at the Grand Casino Hotel & Resort in November.

Representatives from a variety of tribes and organizations presented information to educators from around the state, offering insight into what sort of services and opportunities are available for schools and Indigenous youth.

“The purpose is to gather as many TEDS (Tribal Education Departments) as possible in one place and have them speak directly to the counselors and educators,” Charles Lee, assistant director of the CPN Department of Education, said. “This way there is no confusion about what services each nation provides to their citizens, and it will remove any obstacles for students to receive services.”

Lee added the event also gives the tribal education departments a chance to speak to each other and form relationships that could lead to future collaborations.

More than 70 representatives attended the forum, coming from 46 school districts and 25 different counties across the state of Oklahoma.

Long shot of a room full of round tables covered with black table cloths. Attendees sit around the tables, listening to speakers at the front of the room.
Educators and counselors from around the state listen to presentations at the TED Forum.

Among those presenting were representatives from Citizen Potawatomi Nation, Absentee Shawnee Tribe, Choctaw Nation, Comanche Nation, Iowa Tribe of Oklahoma, The Muscogee Nation, Osage Nation, Sac & Fox Nation, Quapaw Tribe, American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES) and the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs.

Representatives discussed what programs and assistance are available from the various tribes, many of which included scholarships, advising, internships, ACT workshops, college fairs, graduation stoles and assistance paying for youth programming such as camps and extracurricular activities.

Among the services offered by CPN were scholarships, advising, internships, ACT workshops, an annual college fair during the first week of September, graduation celebration, lesson plans for social studies and government teachers, the Johnson O’Malley Program, youth programming that pays for things like camps that develop leadership, the Potawatomi Leadership Program for 18 to 20-year-old students, and a new program called Coming into the Circle.

AISES presented about the National American Indian Science and Engineering Fair (NAISEF) at Oklahoma State University. The fair is for students in 5th through 12th grades, and students can participate individually or in teams of up to three.

The representative from the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs discussed BIA Pathways Internship Program, a federally-funded program that helps students find paid internships as well as careers after graduation.

The TED Forum is in its third year, with the CPN Department of Education planning to host it annually.

For more information about the CPN Department of Education, visit