Smoke signals. (Grand Ronde, Or.) 19??-current, September 01, 2013, Page 12, Image 10

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    Smoke Signals
Sol Seed wins Eugenie's Next Big Thing event
12 SEPTEMBER 1,2013
" ' .--.r ... - . ' -.- ,
Contributed photo
Reggae-rock band Sol Seed, which features Tribal member Kenny Sequoia
Lewis, third from left, on lead guitar, won Eugene's Next Big Thing
competition at the Lane County Fair on Saturday, Aug. 24.
By Dean Rhodes
Smoke Signals editor
Sol Seed, the Eugene reggae-rock
fusion band that features Tribal
member Kenny Sequoia Lewis on
lead guitar, won Eugene's Next
Big Thing competition at the Lane
County Fair on Saturday, Aug.
The contest began in April with
75 bands competing. In a three-step
competition, Sol Seed survived a
fan-based vote to become one of
the top 16 bands to perform live
on stage at the Lane County Fair,
where a panel of judges narrowed
down the semi-finalists to the final
two bands.
The finalists performed in "The
Crescendo Show" and Sol Seed was
the last band standing.
"They are really a hard-working
CAMPBELL continued
from front page
most seven years leading the Tribal
Education Department and start
with the state on Sept. 16.
"It was a unanimous decision by
the five-member interview panel,"
said David Bautista, assistant
superintendent of the Department
of Education's Office of Education
Equity. "She is a well-known person
who has done an outstanding job (at
Grand Ronde). She is exactly what
we need. We need a vision for the
state and she has that. She will be
a strong representative for Native
Americans at the Legislature."
Oregon employed a full-time
Indian education specialist in the
1980s, but the position was reduced
to quarter-time because of budget
cuts and it was eliminated in the
early 1990s.
The proposal to return an Indian
education specialist position has
been around since at least 2003 as
part of the Indian Education Plan,
which was developed by Oregon's
nine federally recognized Tribes as
a way to work with their respective
school districts to improve Native
American student achievement.
But returning the position to the
Department of Education's budget
ran into a major roadblock after the
recession hit in 2008 and getting new
employees approved in a stressed
state budget was almost impossible.
The Grand Ronde Tribe has long
pushed for the position's return,
mentioning it at almost every meeting
Tribal Council held over the last six
years with former Superintendent of
Public Instruction Susan Castillo.
With state revenues rebound
ing along with the economy, the
position was included in the De
partment of Education's 2013-15
budget. The job pays between
$61,176 and $89,496.
Ironically, Campbell testified in
support of the position on March
"This position is essential to the
success of our youth and will help
Oregon become a model for other
states," Campbell told members
of the House Ways and Means
13 1 1 o (pi f
- ' -
Photo by Michelle Alaimo
April Campbell has been hired as the Indian education specialist for the
Oregon Department of Education. She will be leaving her position as the
Tribe's Education Department manager on Sept. 9.
Committee during state budget
hearings. "The Indian education
specialist position will be devoted
to Indian education issues and will
collaboratively work with Oregon's
nine federally recognized Tribes
to develop initiatives that will
preserve and foster the teaching of
indigenous languages, create and
implement accurate and cultur
ally responsive curriculum and
history, and develop strategies for
the education of American Indian
and Alaska Native students."
"Our Native American students
and parents need more support to
achieve academic success," the De
partment of Education recruitment
ad for the position said. "Students
are in need of additional educational,
physical and cultural activities that
pertain to their native language,
culture and history. Additionally,
teachers, administrators and other
staff can benefit from cultural com
petency training to explore their un
derstanding of the unique cultural
attributes of the communities they
serve, including the nine federally
recognized Tribes of Oregon."
Campbell has a bachelor's degree
in organizational leadership from
George Fox University in Newberg
and a master's degree in business
administration from Corban Uni
versity in Salem.
She will work with Tribes, educa
tors and school districts to "improve
the educational outcomes for Ore
gon's Native American students."
Campbell said one of her first
goals is to update the state plan for
Indian education.
"It's out there, but it needs some
TLC ... updating," Campbell said.
"It's just a really exciting time to
transition to the Education Depart
ment at the state. There's a lot of
energy in terms of change and do
ing things differently, and truly
focusing on student outcomes."
Campbell said she also will work
to establish relationships with the
nine federally recognized Tribes
and be a facilitator to determine
how state educational resources
can complement those of the respec
tive nine Tribes.
"What I mean by building rela
tionships is trying to identify what
exactly is the need out there, what's
working and what's not working,
and how we can duplicate what's
working in those communities so
that Native American students can
be successful," she said.
According to the Department of
Education, graduation rates for Na
tive American students in Oregon
were 51.7 percent, 50.3 percent and
group," said Ann Lewis, Kenny's
mother and the Tribe's Commercial
Real Estate manager.
The win is just another award for
Sol Seed. The band was named the
Eugene WOW Hall Awards "Best
New Act" in 201 1 and "Favorite Lo
cal Band" in 2012 and was named
Eugene's Best Band 2012-13 by
Eugene Weekly readers.
Sol Seed has performed at the
Oregon Country Fair, Northwest
World Reggae Festival and Jeffer
son State Hemp Expo, as well as at
Spirit Mountain Casino.
Other members of Sol Seed in
clude Michael Lennon, Michael
Sorensen, Benny Pezzano, Sky
Guasco and Graeme Pletscher.
For more information on the
band, visit www.solseedmusic.
51.2 percent from 2005-06 through
2007-08, respectively.
In addition, there is a dispropor
tionately higher dropout rate for
Native American students, who
make up 2 percent of the high school
student population in the state but
represent 4.1 percent of dropouts.
"I see myself as facilitator," Camp
bell said. "My current background
has been with the nine Tribes be
cause that is what I'm most familiar
with, but this position will work
with all Native populations, includ
ing the Oregon Indian Education
Association and the Oregon Indian
Coalition of Post-Secondary Educa
tion, and other Tribal communities
throughout the state."
"April exemplifies the balance of
being a great manager of people
and keeping her department run
ning in a fine-tuned fashion while
still moving our young people con
stantly forward with their educa
tion," said Tribal Council member
Steve Bobb Sr. "She will be missed
and very hard to replace. I see her
doing great things on behalf of
Tribes on the state level."
"I could not be prouder of April's
achievements," said Tribal Council
member June Sherer. "She has been
a very valuable asset as a Tribal
member and an employee to our
Tribe and our community. While I
hate to see her go, I know that the
road she walks in her chosen path
will continue to be an example for
all of our Grand Ronde people. April
is truly one in a million and I know
that she will serve all of the Indian
community in the most positive and
beneficial manner."
"As April's friend, I could not be
prouder of her," said Tribal Council
member Jon A. George. "She has
been a true educational leader for
her Tribe and membership. I am
honored to know that the Depart
ment of Education has chosen the
right leader for the right job. I am
of mixed emotions to see her leave,
but can only be happy to see her in
a greater capacity to serve Native
people regarding their educational
needs. This is a great day for Na
tive peoples who strive to a higher
standard of education." B