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Poplar Hosts Breaking Barriers Conference

The Office of Public Instruction’s Indian Education Division hosted a two-day “Breaking Barriers” conference April 11-12 at A&S Industries in Poplar. Don Wetzel, Jr., OPI’s American Indian youth development coordinator, told The Herald-News that the conference is like other youth events planned by his office in that it emphasizes student directed involvement, encouraging young people to take a proprietary role in their cultural exchanges and activities.

The goal of the regional conferences is to bring students together from nearby communities who don’t typically interact.
“They’re all cut from the same cloth,” said Wetzel.
The event’s agenda included presentations from Brockton, Culbertson, Frazer, Poplar and Wolf Point schools, as well as speed rounds focusing on tribal programs, theatre programs and offerings at Fort Peck Community College.
Wetzel said the event had 115 students registered to attend, with 134 signing in on the first day. He estimated attendance on April 12 at 94 students.
“There was a music festival happening [in Poplar] on the second day,” said Wetzel.
He was hopeful that students will take what they’ve learned and apply it to future activities, like three-on-three basketball and hand game tournaments.
Special thanks were offered to Poplar High School students and staff from the Fort Peck Tribes Health Promotion/Disease Prevention Program for their assistance in organizing the event.
For more information, write to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 406-444-4527.


Photo: Among those participating at the Breaking Barriers Conference at A&S Industries April 12 were Poplar High School students (left to right) Samantha Brunelle, Hailey Brunelle and Kenneth Smoker. (By James Walling)