Tribal Government & News

General Council briefed on Education Department

05.08.2024 Danielle Harrison General Council, Education
Angela Fasana


By Danielle Harrison

Smoke Signals staff writer

Education Department Manager Angela Fasana briefed Tribal members on the department’s various programs and accomplishments during a Sunday, May 5, General Council meeting held via Zoom and in Tribal Council Chambers.

During the meeting, Fasana highlighted the department’s successes of the past year, organizational changes, construction projects and future goals.

“I have an amazing team and lots of support,” she said.

Fasana described 2023 as a busy year after weathering years of various COVID-19 restrictions and closures, followed by program expansion and new building construction.

“We have a monthly newsletter that we publish and it is really informative about everything that’s been going on,” she said.

Fasana said the Education Department has been working on Community Development Plan implementation.

“We’re constantly watching and working on meeting our objectives and goals for the Community Development Plan,” she said. “We have quite a few of those built into the development plan for our department.”

Literacy, records management, emergency management, community outreach and wellness also have been a focus in the past year, along with grant and facilities management.

“This last year, Bryan Langley (Higher Education Program manager) and his team managed to clean out over 13 file cabinets of records and scan and move them to laser fiche, which helps protect that data,” Fasana said. “They were also able to develop a streamlined, online application process for higher education funding, which makes is much easier for people to apply and then of course that information is put into the laser fiche. It’s a much more streamlined process. We are looking for ways to continue to preserve and protect data, and create efficient systems for that.”   

Fasana also provided an overview of the Early Childhood, Youth and Higher Education programs, as well as an update on hayu munk skukum Services, Chinuk Wawa Education and the Tribal Library.

Some of the highlights included:

  • There are 70 students in campus pre-school classrooms and 30 students in the home-based program. The 12-classroom childhood development center is under construction next to the old powwow grounds on the Tribal campus with an expected opening date of fall 2025;
  • The Chinuk Wawa Education Program continues to be successful. There are 20 students in the preschool class, 25 in the kindergarten to sixth-grade class and 47 in the high school classes. A new, six-classroom language building opened in the fall of 2023 for preschool through sixth-grade students.
  • Youth Education offers academic advising, coaching, curriculum development, a Shawash Studies high school class, college visits, school supply distributions, and an annual honor and recognition event. There are 386 students who utilize academic coaches and advisers. Sixteen students are enrolled in the Shawash Studies class and 40 in a guided study class. Additionally, a Native literature class has 14 students enrolled and the freshman focus class has 14 students. On the curriculum development side, more than 100 Tribal history curriculum lessons are available for kindergarten through high school students.
  • Youth Enrichment, now hayu munk skukum Services, continues its popular hihi-lakhaset (fun boxes) activity project, which served 1,200 students last year. The afterschool and non-school day programs include 90 students, summer programming includes 100 students and 120 participate in Native Club activities. Staff also participate in Monday morning meet-ups in Tribal housing for middle and high school students, and operate a youth center for evening and Saturday activities. This summer, approximately 45 students will be selected for the Youth Internship program.
  • Higher Education currently has 99 students in bachelor degree programs, 44 in graduate degree programs, and 107 in community college and adult vocational training programs. The Tribe also had several students who received a state Tribal Student Grant to cover college tuition and other expenses. Additionally, the college and career fair was brought back to the Tribal campus and included industry partners as well as higher education representatives. Lastly, 2023 brought the total of higher education graduates to more than 1,000 Tribal members.
  • The Tribal Library provides author visits, is open to the public and the community, helps support different Tribal programs and includes mobile library services for those who cannot come in person.

Fasana said that goals this coming year include launching the first phase of a Tribally-operated school with a full-day kindergarten Chinuk immersion option in fall 2024.

“This fall, we will have our own school and offer full-day kindergarten,” she said. “This is a heavy lift for staff…The biggest two priorities will be curriculum development, and implementation and adoption of essential policies and procedures for operating the school…Those are the primary functions between now and Aug. 26, which I think will be the first day of school.”

To learn more about the Education Department, visit or visit “CTGR Education Programs” and “Chinuk Wawa Education,” on Facebook.

Fasana took 13 questions and comments from the audience. Tribal Council Chairwoman Cheryle A. Kennedy said that education has always been a priority for the Tribe. 

“We appreciate the presentation and want to thank you and all of your staff as well,” she said. “In Restoration, (one) of the biggest efforts was in education for our members so that they could be self-sufficient.”  

In other action, it was announced that the next General Council meeting will be in a hybrid format at 11 a.m. Sunday, June 30, in Tribal Council Chambers for the purpose of Tribal Council nominations. 

Door prize winners were Kateri Morrufo, Leroy Good, Barbara Steere, Rosemary Jameson and Mike Portwood, $50 each; and Shawn Haggerty, Judy Williams and Mike Giffen, $100 each.

To watch the entire meeting, visit the Tribal government’s website at and click on the Videos tab.