A new early childhood education program has been launched at five tribal colleges, which combines child development knowledge from within Native American communities and the best practices of the early childhood education field. The American Indian College Fund has partnered with those five tribal colleges and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation to make this program possible.
“This community-based initiative will use a multi-phase approach to growing long-term commitment and shared responsibility for the development of high-quality early childhood educational ECE opportunities for American Indian children and their families,” reads a College Fund press release. “The program will develop culturally-responsive and adapted ECE systems, build stronger investments in strategic family engagement, and support Native family economic security directly through partnerships and access to higher education.”
The program, called Restorative Teachings, was funded with a $1.5 million two-year grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. It is meant to address the critical needs of vulnerable tribal populations while strengthening family, teachers, and community engagement in health and wellness, economic security, and culturally based education.
Participating tribal colleges include: Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute, in Albuquerque, New Mexico; Northwest Indian College, in Bellingham, Washington; Keweenaw Bay Ojibwa Community College, in Baraga, Michigan; and Sitting Bull College, in Ft. Yates, North Dakota. A fifth tribal college will be selected to participate in the program in 2017.