2019 WCGTC World Conference

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2.7.7 Culture in Gifted Programming: A Native American Case Study at Standing Rock Community Schools

School districts must recognize how exceptional abilities present themselves in diverse student groups. This requires appreciation of the role culture plays in the conceptualized and expression of giftedness. This session provides a case example of GT programs in the all Native American Standing Rock Community Grant School District located on the North Dakota/South Dakota border. Attendees will learn about the meaning of giftedness among D/Lakota people and how GT programs identify students who can preserve the D/Lakota cultural customs and way of life. We will discuss culturally appropriate identification protocols within the domains of language, visual, and performing arts.


Edwin Edpalina
Standing Rock Community Grant School
United States

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Edwin Edpalina is Gifted and Talented Teacher at the Standing Rock Community Grant School and was awarded a 2017 NAGC Javits-Frasier Scholar. He obtained a Master of Science degree in Inclusive Special Education from Syracuse University, New York and was a Syracuse Urban Teacher Resident (SUITR) with Syracuse City School District for school year 2015-2016. At present, he is interested in supporting other forms giftedness in music, dance, drumming, language and culture among the D/Lakota children at Standing Rock Sioux tribe.

Yee Han Chu
University of North Dakota
United States


Yee Han Chu is an assistant professor and fellowship coordinator at the University of North Dakota. She earned a BA in Psychology and BS in Genetics from the University of California, Davis, in 1991, a MSSW, in Advanced Clinical Social Work, from Columbia University in 1995 and a PhD from the UND Department of Teaching and Learning with emphasis on higher education in 2014. She is also the Chair of the North Dakota Association for Gifted Children. Dr. Chu has presented at national and international conferences about the educational, social justice, and sensory processing needs of high ability students.


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