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Show Native Educators They're Appreciated This Week

Find a way to show that special Native American educator in your life how much they mean for Teacher Appreciation Week May 6-10.
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It’s Teacher Appreciation Week, a time to celebrate educators. How can you show the special educator in your life how much you appreciate them? A simple thank you, or handmade card, or a nomination to be PEOPLE’S 2013 Teacher of the Year Award are good places to start.

Nominations for the award are being accepted through June 7 and can be downloaded here. Winners of the Teacher of the Year Award get $4,000 for their school and $1,000 for themselves.

The Administration for Native Americans posted a thank you to teachers of Native languages across Indian country.

“These amazing individuals come from all walks of life—from volunteers on a rural reservation, to non-Native Head Start teachers on a reservation learning traditional Native songs with their Native and non-Native children, to Native youths with college degrees teaching an afterschool program at an urban Indian center,” the administration says. “These teachers may be community Elders who hadn’t spoken the language in decades, or youths who spent hundreds of hours learning their language from audio recordings and textbooks. As teachers, they are now passing on the stories, knowledge, and wisdom of their ancestors through their Native language, revitalizing Native cultures.

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Dr. Cheryl Crazy Bull, president and CEO of the American Indian College Fund, points out how important Native educators are to Native youth. “As an educator, my own career path was influenced by strong Native educators at home on my reservation. I have seen first-hand as a student, teacher, and tribal college president the impact teachers make in Native students’ lives,” she said. “In addition, teachers serve as role models and mentors, providing young Natives with the confidence to succeed.”

Teacher Appreciation Week is May 6-10 but the contributions teachers make can be celebrated every day. Indian Country Today Media Network wants to know if there is a special Native educator you’d like to thank. Leave them a message in the comments.