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In Pursuit of Knowledge

Program Overview

The Native Education Program provides Programs and Services and Cultural Enrichment opportunities for American Indian and Alaska Native students.
  • Academic Coaching
  • Native Clubs for High School
  • Family Enrichment Nights
  • NEP Graduation Ceremony
  • Annual AIAN Celebration
  • Culturally-based Academic Summer School

We also provide family and student advocacy for school meetings, college and scholarship info, as well as mentoring. Our mission is that all students graduate and have a successful life.


MONDAY, JANUARY 31, 2022, 6:30 – 8:00 P.M. 

Title VI NATIVE Education Program

Public Forum Scheduled

The Salem Keizer Public Schools Native Education Program will hold its annual public hearing on Monday, January 31, 2022, from 6:30 – 8 PM.  The meeting will take place virtually.

We will review the current year’s program, provide information on program performance, and discuss next year’s Title VI grant application. We will also provide an opportunity for attendees to offer comments, openly discuss issues and communicate and clarify the needs of students.

Public Hearing Item:  Title VI Native Education Program

Attend the Virtual Hearing:   Click here to join the meeting

Staff Contact:  Flora Gutierrez, Indian Education Program Secretary, or 503-383-1276.

Indigenous Storytelling Night!

We come together for the second of this series, Thursday January 27th with acclaimed author Tim Tingle for a night of storytelling and mysticism!

This will be an interactive online ZOOM event!

Part2!!Storytelling Night January 27th 6pm

2021 AIAN Celebration!

Join us as we ring in Native Heritage Month with the 4th annual American Indian Alaskan Native Celebration, a celebration of Native Arts and Culture. This year we have special guests “Mike Bone” Lil Mike and Funny Bone from the Hulu hit series Reservation Dogs. This virtual event will by guest hosted by Fish Martinez aka 28thaNative. There will be a special Student Art Showcase and other student led activities throughout the evening! Please be sure to fill out the survey below, it will help guide our program for next year!

Watch it here!

AIAN Celebration Poster

 NEP 2021-22 Calendar

Indian Education Grads


Academic Coaching Now Available Mondays and Wednesdays!

Academic CoachingAcademic Coaching Flier

Students can join through Canvas HERE!

2021  Graduation Native Education Graduation Celebration

In May of each year, all Native Education students who complete high school and earn either a diploma or GED are honored at our Native based celebration. The celebration includes a color guard, a drum, gifting of graduates, and a reception. Please call our office or email us with any questions.

The in-person graduation ceremony for 2021 was held Sunday, May 16th at the Sprague High School football stadium.

Native Ed in the District News

  • District logo skps

Native Education Program Public Forum Scheduled – Mon., Jan 31

January 9, 2022|

Public Hearing Notice Monday, January 31, 2022, 6:30 – 8:00 p.m. Title VI NATIVE Education Program  Public Forum Scheduled  The Salem-Keizer Public Schools Native Education Program will hold its annual public hearing on Monday, January 31, 2022, from 6:30 – 8 p.m. The meeting will take place virtually.  We will review the current year’s [...]

  • Native American Heritage Month 2021

Welcome to Native American Heritage Month 2021

November 1, 2021|

Superintendent Christy Perry visited the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde community in Yamhill County last week. Below is a message from Superintendent Perry in recognition of Native American Heritage Month. Superintendent Perry visits Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde Recently, I had the wonderful opportunity to visit the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde community in [...]

  • /a

American Indian Alaskan Native Celebration – Saturday, Nov. 6

November 1, 2021|

Join us in celebrating American Indian Alaskan Native Month in November at the American Indian Alaskan Native Celebration 2021. The celebration features Lil Mike & Funny Bone from the Hulu hit series "Reservation Dogs" and "America's Got Talent," along with special guest host Fish Martinez, aka "28thaNative." Presenation includes live Q&A's! Presented by the [...]

  • Students dancing

Community Learning Session – Monday, Nov. 8

November 1, 2021|

Community Learning Session: Government to Government Relations Learn about Tribal government history during Salem-Keizer’s first Community Learning Session Salem-Keizer Public Schools is partnering with the community to provide a series of Community Learning Sessions throughout the 2021-22 school year. The topic for the first meeting is Government-to-Government Relations and will be hosted by the [...]

NEP Calendar

The Native Education Program Team!

Meet the NEP Team!

Shelby Maerz

Shelby Maerz

Citizen of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde is the Program Associate for the Native Education Program. She wears many hats, but most importantly ensures the nuts and bolts of the Native Education Program are good and tight. With an expansive knowledge of the Program as a whole and a guide to the NEP Universe, Shelby may just know the answer. We think Kitty Purry would agree.

Shelby Maerz

Flora Gutierrez

Flora is our Senior Secretary, she is the grease on the wheels that keep everything running smooth with the Native Education Program. She ensures that all t’s are crossed and i’s dotted, and is herself a wealth of knowledge. She cares deeply about the students and community we serve and leaves no stone unturned to help in the mission of seeing all students graduate and prepare for a successful life. 

Shelby Maerz

Jennifer Hook

Jennifer is a Citizen of the Mowa Band of Choctaw Indians and is the Recruitment Specialist for Native Education, she helps to ensure all AI/AN Students have access to the programs and services NEP Provides, she works directly with the CRF’s to ensure all of our students are counted. She is hands on when it comes to serving our students and is a great person to talk to about how to get your student involved with NEP.

Cultural Resource Facilitators

The role of Cultural Resource Facilitator is to bridge the gap between students and families of the AI/AN Community and SKPS. We act as a resource for students and families and can act as a conduit for other resources for AI/AN Students, we attend school meetings, IEP’s, parent teacher conferences etc. and assist with getting resources to our High School students (soon to include k-12) through our newly created Native Clubs network. We also work directly with schools and staff to address students needs, we keep track of our students and are there to offer support and guidance along the trail to graduation!

North Salem

(North Salem, McKay feeder system Roberts/Alt Ed)

Che Finch (Mr.Finch)

Citizen of the Willowa Band and Whitebird Band Nimiipuu (Nez Perce Tribe) and Ft. McDermott Northern Paiute, Mr. Finch is an artist, emcee, producer in his own time and serves the North Salem, McKay, and Roberts High Schools and Feeder system as a Cultural Resource Facilitator. 

Shelby Maerz

South Salem

(South Salem, and Sprague High School feeder system.)

Kunu Bearchum

Citizen of the HoChunk Nation, and Northern Cheyenne. Kunu is a performing artist and filmmaker in his spare time and serves the Sprague, and South High Schools and feeder system as a Cultural Resource Facilitator.

Shelby Maerz

West Salem/ Keizer

(West Salem, McNary Highschool feeder system)

Savanna Rilatos

Citizen of the Confederated Tribes of Siletz. Savanna is passionate about Native Youth and is a Native American Studies student, serves the McNary and West High Schools and feeder system as a Cultural Resource Facilitator.

Shelby Maerz

There are many facets to the Native Education Program, and we are committed to ensure that our AI/AN population are counted and given equitable resources in the Salem Keizer Public School system. We invite you to get in touch with any one of us if you have any questions.

Contact Us




Paulus Admin Center
Native Education Program
1309 Ferry St SE
Salem, OR 97301