Educator Makes History with Election to Educational Panel

University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo
Posted: Nov 16, 2001

An educator from the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo has been named to the board of directors of the nation‘s oldest and largest advocacy organization for American Indian, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian education.

Dr. David Sing, director, Nä Pua Noʻeau, The Center for Gifted and Talented Native Hawaiian Children, was elected to a three-year term on the board of directors of the National Indian Education Association (NIEA), during its 32nd Annual Convention, held October 27-31, 2001 in Billings, Montana.

Sing‘s election makes him the first native Hawaiian to earn a seat on the 12-member board. Native Hawaiians were ineligible to vote, run for office, or become NIEA members prior to 2001.

"I believe as a member of the board, our Hawaiian educators will have access to many more opportunities for understanding and resolving some of the challenges Hawaiians face in education," Sing said. "Being part of the association will provide many of our Hawaiian educators an opportunity to visit with and explore strategies and models that work for Indian education. New education initiatives will be strengthened with this alliance, especially at the national level."

NIEA is a non-partisan, non-profit organization incorporated in 1970 to monitor and impact federal Indian education policy and legislation, and hold an annual conference on Indian education. The Association‘s annual convention attracts between 2,000 and 3,000 participants each year. The gathering provides native American educators an opportunity to exchange ideas, develop new initiatives and network on education issues and strategies to improve education for native students. Last month‘s event, hosted by the Montana/Wyoming Indian Education Association (MWIEA), attracted an estimated 3,000 attendees and over 200 exhibitors.