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OUR Vision

Our vision is for school stakeholders across Indian Country to have greater ownership of culturally responsive schools relevant to indigenous communities. 

our mission

Our mission is to help schools through reconciliation of western knowledge and indigenous wisdom for academic sustainability for sovereignty of Indian nations.

                            What is                             INDIGENOUS INGENUITY, LLC?

Most American Indian tribes became participants in formal education systems through Indian Treaties in the late 1800's. Since then concerns and problems continue to plague the school systems and organizations that principally serve the American Indian students all across the nation.  The history and the journey of American Indian education is so important to understanding contemporary issues surrounding school reform and the lack of progression for American Indian students and schools on Indian Country still today.  

Although a great deal of research has centered on the issues involved in Indian education and the dilemmas surrounding what most studies refer to as the federal government's failures, few studies have concerned themselves with what can be done to increase the overall academic achievement of American Indian students.  Yet, as asserted by Deloria (1994) in his book Indian Education in America, the time to focus on instructional and organizational effectiveness as a means to restructure and reform schools in order to better educate American Indian children is now.

INDIGENOUS INGENUITY, LLC was founded to help do just that.  INDIGENOUS INGENUITY, LLC is a team of expert American Indian educators and leaders that have the experience, knowledge and believe passionately that school and education reform as we know it today can and will work for American Indian students by integrating the foundational Indigenous Ingenuity that exists cross culturally for all American Indian people and tribes through correlation and integration of research based education reform models with native thought and philosophies on life long learning, Such educational values, beliefs and educational goals of American Indian people and communities, or the Indigenous Ingenuity has historically been denied or simply forgotten throughout the process of school reform of the Western  or American education system reforms.  

Today it is urgent, the time is now for schools leaders responsible for serving the population of students in our country with the lowest academic performance and highest drop out rates, to confront those brutal facts and no longer simply conform to that which hasn't worked for generations of American Indian formal education. The time is now to take real ownership of our school systems for the future of American Indian country and the multicultural societies American Indian people must live and exist in today. 

As schools across the country continue to implement research based education reform, the opportunity is now for the integration, correlation and alignment of American Indian cultural values, beliefs and wisdom with such research to finally bring about the genuine relevancy, belongingness or ownership of the otherwise foreign school systems that have not been successful for well over a century. 

What makes INDIGENOUS INGENUITY, LLC different?

Our Leader, Dr. Deborah Jackson-Dennison, founder and Chief Executive Officer of Indigenous Ingenuity, LLC earned a Doctorate in Education from Arizona State University in 2001 by successfully conducting her dissertation study on this subject of American Indian Education reform titled, "Perceptions of Effectiveness in Navajo Nation Public High Schools and Student Achievement." 

Dr. Jackson-Dennison, the daughter of the late, Dr. Dean Chee Jackson, a well respected Navajo educational leader himself, strives to continue her fathers legacy of integrating and correlating western educational concepts and knowledge with Indigenous wisdom to bring about greater relevancy, meaning and ownership to the otherwise foreign school systems that have historically failed the majority of American Indian people. 

As a Navajo woman school superintendent for nearly 15 years, Dr. Dennison recognized and witnessed first hand the dire and urgent need for improvement of and systemic changes in the ways we have always delivered education to our American Indian children.The time is now to address the historical challenges that exists in Indian education through research based education reforms that align and correlate with culturally responsive goals, values, wisdom and learning philosophies of the tribe and the students being served all across Indian Country. 

With this in mind, Indigenous Ingenuity, LLC has refined and developed a research
based model and survey instrument called “Reconciliation of Knowledge & Wisdom,” (RKW) which allows for a thorough assessment and analysis of the current instructional and organizational practices and effectiveness of schools that serve primarily American Indian stakeholders and further allows for the development and implementation of a strategic action plan that will focuses on inclusiveness of culturally responsive and relevant curriculum, instruction, assessment and professional plans aligned with the integration of tribal wisdom and language. 

The RKW instrument specifically helps American Indian school systems, whether Public, Private, or Bureau of Indian Education, Tribally controlled Grant Schools better identify the strengths and limitations of effectiveness of the instructional practices and organizational conditions of their school systems and to further reconcile research based knowledge of western academia with Indigenous wisdom for a greater sense of connectedness and ownership throughout tribal communities. This instrument was not designed for staff evaluation but rather the focus is placed on assessing the overall effectiveness of American Indian school systems that serve predominately American Indian children. 

Dr. Dennison began implementing and refining the system reform process as federal projects director at the largest Indian lands public school district in Arizona, Chinle Unified School District early in her educational leadership career. Her experiences as a superintendent of two large Navajo Nation public school districts in Window Rock and Ganado, Arizona, also helped refine the research based RKW school assessment model further.

More recently Indigenous Ingenuity currently serves the Gila River Indian Community schools, the San Carlos Unified School District on the San Carlos Apache Nation, and has begun work with the Central Consolidated School District in New Mexico.


INDIGENOUS INGENUITY, LLC - Areas of Expertise

  • Correlation & Integration of Research Based Education Reform Models with Native thought and Philosophies on Life Long Learning for Greater Relevancy & Meaning.
  • Strategic Planning, Development of Organizational Vision, Mission, Values & Goals
  • Public Presentations & Motivational Speaking  
  • Historical Aspects of Indian Education
  • Team Building, Process & Performance Improvement
  • Curriculum & Instructional Analysis, Alignment & Implementation
  • Assessment Analysis for Improved Performance & Growth for Student Learning
  • Instructional Leadership Development for Student Improvement
  • Leadership or Administrator Mentorships
  • Government Regulations, Relations & Communications
  • Policy & Procedure Development
  • Human Resources Development
  • Organizational Recruitment & Retention
  • Learning Theories & Best Practices
  • Public Relations & Media Affairs
  • Contract Negotiations & Strategic Alliances
  • Finance, Budgeting & Cost Management
  • Capital Development, Improvement, & Finance
  • Brand Development of Educational Systems

Dr. Deborah Jackson-Dennison

Deborah Jackson-Dennison

CEO, INDIGENOUS INGENUITY, LLC • RESEARCH BASED AMERICAN INDIAN EDUCATION REFORM MODELS

Full Resume

 

CEO & Founder - INDIGENOUS INGENUITY, LLC.

SENIOR EXECUTIVE - AMERICAN INDIAN EDUCATION SYSTEMIC REFORMIST

Results driven visionary leader with nearly 30 years of successful experience providing leadership for educational excellence through systemic organizational improvement and strategic planning to economically diversified institutions of learning on Indian Country. Responsibly prepared to implement and provide successful facilitation, instructional supervision, directional support, program management and stewardess leadership to an organization willing to work toward continuous improvement focused on life long learning and overall increased productivity, especially relative to improving learning goals and outcomes of American Indian students.

EDUCATION, CERTIFICATIONS & AFFILIATIONS

1997 – 2001 • Doctor of Education• ARIZONA STATE UNIVERSITY, TEMPE, ARIZONA

Educational Administration and Supervision Doctoral Program Doctor of Education – Educational Leadership and Policy Studies – May 2001

DEGREE/DISSERTATION  Doctor of Education (Ed.D) American Indian Education Reform - “Relationship Between Perceived Effectiveness of Navajo Nation Public High Schools and Student Achievement.

ARIZONA SUPERINTENDENT CERTIFICATIOn•new mexico administrative licensure  

Master of Education – Educational Leadership and Policy Studies – May 1997 

Arizona Elementary and Secondary Principalship Certification

1984– 1986 • UNIVERSITY OF NEW MEXICO ALBUQUERQUE, NEW MEXICO

Bachelor of Arts – Education – May 1986

New Mexico and Arizona K-12 Teaching Certification

1980– 1981 DINE’ COLLEGE TSAILE, ARIZONA

Associate of Arts – Liberal Arts – May 1981

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE

2016 - Present Superintendent of schools san carlos unified school district, san carlos apache nation, arizona

2015 - Founded Indigenous Ingenuity, llc - current projects: gila river indian community, central consolidated school district

2009 - 2014 SUPERINTENDENT OF SCHOOLS • WINDOW ROCK UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT, FORT DEFIANCE, ARIZONA

2010 – APPOINTED BY PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA TO THE NATIONAL ADVISORY COUNCIL ON INDIAN EDUCATION (NACIE). ELECTED TO SERVE AS CO-CHAIR AND CURRENTLY CHAIR OF NACIE.

2005 – 2009 SUPERINTENDENT OF SCHOOLS GANADO UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT, GANADO, ARIZONA

2002 - 2005 SUPERINTENDENT OF SCHOOLS WINDOW ROCK UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT, FORT DEFIANCE, ARIZONA

1999-2002 DIRECTOR OF SUPPLEMENTAL FUNDED PROGRAMS CHINLE UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT CHINLE, ARIZONA


Karl Dennison

Advisor for cultural responsiveness programs


Kyle Dennison, M.Ed.

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exceptional learning Services Advisor, Mental Focus & equine therapy 

Special Education Advisor

EDUCATION, CERTIFICATIONS & AFFILIATIONS

2012 • MASTEr OF Special Education • ARIZONA STATE UNIVERSITY, TEMPE, ARIZONA

 


Devyn Dennison, MSD

Project manager, INDIGENOUS INGENUITY, LLC reforming school systems through brand development

Project Manager- INDIGENOUS INGENUITY, LLC.

Brand Development & Project Manager

As project manger, and brand developer we collaborate visual aspects of Brand Development and Education Research to create visual guidance & representation of indigenous school system's values. Using our Brand Resilience Model, we explore four different areas of storytelling method which were previously tested with start up companies.

By using the BRM, we at Indigenous Ingenuity have the capability to bring the same values of brand identity, culture and pride back into to school systems. Rebranding and Rebuilding these core values allow the mass production of student achievement and student success.

The Brand Resilience Model: Building Strong Brand Identity by Implementing Storytelling Methodologies is a conceptual framework that focuses on strengthening brand identity. The collaboration of resilience and storytelling methods allow brands to achieve a higher purchase value by as they together establish the three goals of communication. These goals are loyalty, awareness and connection, and with these goals resonance is achievable. This model is an evolution of two pre-existing successful concepts of brand identity.

Collaborating Education with the Brand Resilience Model unite visual communication and education. Creating the visual communication is the guide for schools to build a strong brand story to successfully communicate their brand identity.

EDUCATION, CERTIFICATIONS & AFFILIATIONS

2015 • Master of science in Design • ARIZONA STATE UNIVERSITY, TEMPE, ARIZONA

Design Research - Brand Resilience Model, Applied Research Project: Focus in brand development, building strong brand identity by Implementing storytelling methodologies and the attribute of resilience

2010 • Bachelor's in fine arts, Media Arts • New Mexico Highlands University• Las Vegas, Nm


Kassidy Dennison

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Motivational Speaking & Empowerment

CEO & Co-Founder - Spirit-Ed., INDIGENOUS INGENUITY, LLC.

Spirit Ed. motivational Speaking & empowerment

Kassidy Dennison reached her professional level of rodeo in 2011 through the Women's Professional Rodeo Association (WPRA). By 2014 Kassidy qualified for her first National Finals Rodeo (NFR) in the barrel racing event. In 2015, Kassidy was selected to be a part of the inaugural year of the Elite Rodeo Association (ERA) comprised of the top professional barrel racers across the nation. 

Kassidy attributes her success to her upbringing around Indian rodeo. Kassidy has won 8 Indian World Championship titles . In 2010 she became the first Native American National High School Breakaway Roping Champion. As a proud member of the Navajo Nation, her lifetime goals are to set a positive precedent for all Native American youth and all youth who strive to follow their dreams.  

Kassidy recently founded what she refers to as "a movement to empower," her business known as Spirit-Ed. which is in partnership with Indigenous Ingenuity, LLC. Through the Spirit-Ed. component, Kassidy desires to focus her motivational speaking around educational stakeholder groups including parents, teachers and staff, students, community leaders and especially young indigenous women. Through Spirit-Ed. Kassidy aims to especially raise the awareness of the importance of being proud and strong Native American. #SpiritEd Connect to your soul.

"It has been my lifelong dream to become a professional athlete in the sport of rodeo and I have been on this journey for more than five years. I remember dreaming of this success as a young child and this opportunity to compete at the most prestigious level as a professional barrel racer, is a humbling experience."

Visit Kassidy's Website https://kassidydennison.squarespace.com

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Spirit Ed. is a movement....

As the founder of Spirit Ed. in partnership with Indigenous Ingenuity, LLC. I want to focus on empowering young indigenous women and youth. As we are trying to make it though everyday life, being an indigenous in the modern day society can be challenging. As we raise the expectation of ourselves as Indigenous Women, we can raise the expectation of our children, our partners and our leaders. We as women are the leaders, educators, makers and teachers of the home, so how do we become good women? We are born with the ability, Spirit Ed. assist to embracing and igniting these skills. 

MISSION
Our mission at Spirit Education or, “Spirit Ed.“ is to inspire & educate indigenous women to take ownership of self-empowerment, self-identity and leadership. These are roles that we as women were born with naturally, in order to help balance and maintain our lives,
 home and communities. All significant roles women need in today‘s society.

VISION
Our vision at Spirit Ed. is to unite indigenous women through education. We want to teach the importance of maintaining balance and harmony. These essential skills can be used as continuous improvement for  our generational cycles. Our vision is to create inspiring connections with our indigenous peoples‘ hopes, dreams, and desires. We want more indigenous women to revitalize their self- identity as leaders.

Spirit Ed. goals are to raise the awareness of the importance of being a strong Native American, by educating ourselves, creating a specific focus and using spiritual activity to connect to our soul. #SpiritEd Connect to your soul.