Ethan Neerdaels, Coordinator Indian Education, was recently named a Minnesota Education Equity Partnership (MnEEP) Ron McKinley Award winner. Neerdaels received this prestigious honor at the 2023 MnEEP annual event on Dec. 13.
MnEEP works to advance racial equity and educational excellence in Minnesota, building a multiracial movement alongside students, parents, educators, district leaders, higher education leaders and community members. The theme of this year’s event was “It’s CLEAR: Advancing Race Equity Matters.”
The Ron McKinley “All my Relations” award honors true fighters for racial justice and education equity who work to impact systems, structures, and cultures to undo systemic racism in education. The award is given annually by the staff of MnEEP in recognition of a volunteer who has contributed to the MnEEP mission.
Neerdaels is a graduate of the University of Minnesota in American Indian Studies and Dakota
Language programs. In addition to coordinating the Indian Education program in the district, he serves as the Executive Director of Dakhóta Iápi Okhódakičhiye, a 501c3 non-profit organization dedicated to reversing the trend of language loss and raising future generations of Dakota speakers. Neerdaels has also been a guest speaker and presenter throughout the state and partners with the Minnesota Humanities Center as a facilitator for the Learning from Place: Bdote experiential workshop that brings participants to sites of great significance to Dakota people in the Twin Cities.
To learn more about the Ron McKinley Award, visit the MnEEP website.