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Virtual Storytelling Night!

Virtual Storytelling Night with Joseph Bruchac

happening Thursday January 12th


Joseph Bruchac

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Enrichment Night w/ Judy Bluehorse Skelton

Joseph Bruchac is a citizen and elder of the Nulhegan Abenaki people (a northeastern American Indian tribe) and a well-known author and storyteller who has written more than 120 books for both children and adults. (The Abenaki are a tribe of traditionally Algonquian-speaking peoples of northeastern North America.)

Our Cultural Enrichment Nights are an opportunity for families to take part in interactive cultural learning activities that combine tribal knowledge and geography with special guest presenters and esteemed geography expert Ken Carano.

NEP Calendar

Save the dates!

Native Education Program Logo


Save the dates!


01/09 PAC Mtg. 6:30-8:30pm

01/12 Storytelling Night 6:00-8:30 pm

01/23 PAC Mtg. 6:30-8:30pm


Save the dates


02/01 Waldo Game Night 6:00-8:30 pm

02/09 Enrichment Night 6:00-8:30 pm

02/13 PAC Mtg. 6:30-8:30 pm

02/21 PAC Nominations Open


Save the dates


03/09 Enrichment Night 6:00-8:30pm

03/13 PAC Mtg. 6:30-8:30 pm

03/16 Virtual Frybread Event 6:30-8:30 pm

Join us for our Virtual Literacy Night!

Coyote Christmas Book Cover


Hungry Johnny book cover

Available On-Demand HERE

Native Education Program
Nanuch pus kamtaks

In Pursuit of Knowledge


Academic Coaching 4pm-6pm on Canvas!

Available Mondays and Wednesdays!

NEP Academic Coaching Flier Academic Coaching Flier

Students can join through Canvas HERE!


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.


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S’aamaks Newsletter is here!

(Download Here)

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Native Ed in the District News

  • Native Education Program

Title VI Native Education Program Public Forum on January 30, 2023

January 8, 2023|

The Salem Keizer Public Schools Native Education Program will hold its annual public hearing on January 30, from 6:30 – 8 p.m. The meeting will take place at Career Technical Education Center (CTEC), 3501 Portland Road, NE, Salem, OR 97301.  There will also be a meeting link for those who prefer to attend virtually. We [...]

  • Two young Native American students in regalia

Salem-Keizer Public Schools Land Acknowledgement

November 7, 2022|

Video in English (captions are available in English and Spanish) November is Native American Heritage Month. Join Iton Udosenata as he reads our land acknowledgement statement on behalf of Salem-Keizer Public Schools. At Salem-Keizer we serve over 1,800 students who identify as American Indian or Alaska Native.

  • 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 [...]

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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 [...]

2022 NEP Graduation Celebration

Native Education students in the graduating class of 2022 at a celebration at North Salem High School on Sunday, May 15, 2022.

2022  Graduation Native Education Graduation Celebration

Since the mid 90’s, the Native Education Program, and Parent Advisory Committee have sponsored this special celebration in honor of Native Education graduates earning a diploma, as well as those earning High School completion and GED.  You can review graduation requirements here.

Last year, the Native Education Graduation Celebration took place Sunday May 15th, and was held at the North Salem High School Auditorium in Salem, Oregon.  The formal celebration included a Blessing and singing by Kevin Simmons, color guard, gifting of the graduates, and keynote speakers who were representative of our Native community.  All students are gifted with a handmade heirloom quality Pendleton Wool Graduation Stole, a beaded feather and framed graduation certificate. Additionally, the graduation ceremony was filmed and you can watch here, a commemorative DVD was sent to our grads this Fall.

As part of the ceremony, we acknowledge each student by saying a few words about them.  We ask that grads and parents complete an online Senior biography form to ensure they are properly recognized the form is available as early as March and closes in May every year, if you need a paper form please request one by emailing,

Indigenous Storytelling Night!

We came together for the second of this series, on January 27th 2022 with acclaimed author Tim Tingle for a night of storytelling and mysticism!

This was an interactive online ZOOM event! Stay tuned next season!

Storytelling Night January 27th 6pm

Indigenous Storytelling Nights bring the tradition of winter/fall storytelling time to families as we invite indigenous storytellers and keepers to share with us the timeless magic of storytelling and traditional oratory.

AIAN Celebration Poster

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!

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

Mona Smith

Mona is a Citizen of Choctaw Nation and is the Tribal Attendance Promising Practices T.A.P.P. Family Advocate for Native Education, she helps to ensure all AI/AN Students needs are being met to improve attendance rates for Native students at select schools in the Salem-Keizer Public School District. She is passionate about advocating for Native students and helping them meet their needs in order to be successful and feel safe.

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

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

South Salem/ Sprague

(South Salem, Sprague Highschool feeder system)

Kylee Daulton

Kylee is a Citizen of the Madesi band of Pit River Tribe. Kylee is passionate about Native Culture, fitness, fashion and art! She serves the South and Sprague 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