HELENA - Two Montanans will be honored by the National Indian Education Association at its convention in Milwaukee, Wis., next month.
Montana Superintendent of Public Instruction Denise Juneau, a member of the Mandan and Hidatsa tribes, was named educator of the year by the organization.
Juneau was elected as Montana's state school superintendent in 2008. She is the first American Indian to hold that post in Montana and believed to be one of only two Native Americans ever to win a statewide office in Montana.
Joe Medicine Crow of the Crow Nation was selected as elder of the year by the association.
Medicine Crow, a World War II veteran and a respected Indian historian, received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor, from President Barack Obama last month.
Six other American Indian educators and a school from Minnesota also will be honored at the national group's convention Oct. 22-25.
Since 1977, the national association has bestowed these honors on Native American leaders who have changed and improved the lives of schoolchildren and influenced the discussions about Indian education issues both locally and nationally.