Lawrence Public Schools
Unified School District 497’s Native American Student Services congratulates Carole Cadue-Blackwood, recipient of the 2018 National Indian Education Award Parent of the Year Award, presented during the NIEA 2018 Convention October 10-13 in Hartford, Connecticut.
NASS Coordinator Jennifer Attocknie, Comanche, and Alex Red Corn, Osage, assistant professor of education leadership at Kansas State University, nominated Cadue-Blackwood, a member of the Kickapoo Tribe in Kansas, on the basis of her leadership during the recent drive to change the name of South Middle School to Billy Mills Middle School to honor an accomplished Native American with local roots.
An Olympic gold medalist, Billy Mills, Oglala Lakota (Sioux), is the national spokesman for Running Strong, an organization supporting native youth. He attended Haskell Indian Nations University and the University of Kansas in Lawrence. Cadue-Blackwood brought the proposal to honor Mills by renaming the middle school to the Lawrence Board of Education, which approved it in February. The middle school was originally built on land donated to the school district by the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs through Haskell.
Cadue-Blackwood and her daughter, Georgia Blackwood, successfully lobbied for the passage of Kansas House Bill 2498 or the “Regalia Bill.” The new law prohibits state agencies and local governments from barring Native Americans from wearing their tribal regalia and other objects of cultural significance at public events, including school graduations. House Bill 2498 cleared the House on Feb. 21 by a vote of 122-0 and the Senate on a vote of 40-0 on March 15. Kansas is only the third state to pass such a law.
A long-time volunteer at the Willow Domestic Violence Center, Cadue-Blackwood received a 2016 United Way Community Volunteer award. She also has volunteered at the shelter and as a court advocate. She was a liaison for the Willow with Haskell, and enjoys leading training sessions and educating youth about domestic violence prevention.
A mother of three, Cadue-Blackwood earned an associate’s degree from Haskell, a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Kansas, and is pursuing her master’s degree in KU’s School of Social Welfare. She is an active member of the Title VI/VII & Johnson O’Malley and the NASS Parent Committees, and active with her daughters’ schools. Both of her school-age daughters are current We R Native Ambassadors.
The National Indian Education Association advances comprehensive, culture-based educational opportunities for American Indians, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians.
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