January 22, 2017

NIEA names parents of the year

EDMOND, Okla.- An Oklahoma couple will be honored as the National Indian Education Association Parents of the Year.

Brent and Kennetha Greenwood of Edmond were nominated for the award after winning the Oklahoma version last November. "We won the Parents of the Year at the state level and we were nominated by Sydna Yellowfish, who is the head of Edmond Indian Education. She nominated us for helping out with her Indian education program. We get together handgames for them and do workshops, since both my husband and I are artist," said Kennetha.

The Greenwoods are heavily involved in the Indian education program at Edmond schools. This involvement in the program and their culture has played a big role in their success as parents. "We just try and keep our children involved in cultural activities, teaching them our traditions and our way of life. It's about being really involved in their life and being there for them," said Kennetha. "First and foremost it's all about my children. Everything I do I try to put the focus on my family. That's the main thing, that's what makes us who we are," said Brent.

Native American heritage and culture are an important aspect in all areas of life for the Greenwood family. "I believe it takes a village to raise a child. My kids have grown up with their grandmother here and their aunts. We all have a part in bringing our kids up together. We're all just involved with their lives and I feel like the more people you have to depend on and have depending on you the less likely you are to fail," said Kennetha.

The Greenwoods believe involvement and patience is the key to a healthy relationship. "I would say it's very important to be involved in their life. Go to their activities with them and be a part of what they're doing. Give them a sense of pride and show that you are proud of them," said Kennetha. "The biggest thing I believe is patience. One of the things I realize is that you have to be patient because your kids growing up, everything is new to them. Show your enthusiasm and be proud of your children. Keep lifting them up and encouraging them. Patience is one of the biggest attributes a parent can have. If you can be patient and keep encouraging kids in a positive way everything will come out fine," said Brent.

Kennetha is a member of the Otoe Missouria Tribe and Brent is of Ponca and Chickasaw heritage. They have two children and will travel to Milwaukee, Wisconsin in October to accept their award.