IllumiNative and partners launch new Native American Education for All initiative in response to COVID-19

Pictured: Past participants in the IllumiNative Youth Summit.(Photo: IllumiNative)

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First phase being released in partnership with the National Indian Education Association

News Release

IllumiNative

IllumiNative announced the launch of its new Native American Education For All (NEFA) initiative to deliver free digital lesson plans and activities for distance learning in response to COVID-19. The first phase of the initiative is being released in partnership with the National Indian Education Association.

The Native American Education for All initiative aims to dismantle the invisibility of Native peoples in the K-12 public education system. IllumiNative will also be releasing art-based teaching guides with Amplifier Foundation later this month. 

Native American Education for All aims to deliver free digital lesson plans and activities for distance learning.
Native American Education for All aims to deliver free digital lesson plans and activities for distance learning.(IllumiNative)

“This curriculum and these resources are the first steps in ensuring Native peoples are visible so that all students and educators from every walk of life learn about traditional and contemporary Native issues,” said Crystal Echo Hawk, executive director of IllumiNative. 

IllumiNative is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to amplifying contemporary Native voices, stories and issues in pop culture, media, and K-12 education.

72 percent of Americans support changing curriculum.
72 percent of Americans support changing curriculum.(Image: IllumiNative)
27 states don't mention a single Native American in their K-12 curriculum.
27 states don't mention a single Native American in their K-12 curriculum.(Image: IllumiNative)

Echo Hawk said there is a demand for this type of educational material because research found that 78% of Americans are interested in learning more about Native cultures and 72% of Americans support significant changes to K-12 curricula.

“This is in direct contrast with the fact that our research found that 27 states fail to mention a single Native American post-1900,” she said. 

IllumiNative and National Indian Education Association are committed to providing widely accessible online resources to students from all walks of life, backgrounds, and neighborhoods while also supporting teachers and families as they work to educate our future workforce and leaders. 

“The pandemic has demonstrated the importance of providing all students access to flexible, digital curricula they can access from home. National Indian Education Association is honored to offer support in this moment of extreme uncertainty,” said Diana Cournoyer, National Indian Education Association Executive Director. “Equally important we want to ensure culturally accurate, student-centered learning resources are easily adaptable for all Native and non-Native educators and families.”

To access the full Native Education for All curriculum, activities, and resources, visit https://illuminatives.org/native-education-for-all/. 

For questions, please contact IllumiNative Director of Communications & Storytelling Jaynie Parrish via email at jaynie@illuminatives.org.

About IllumiNative

IllumiNative is a Native-led nonprofit, launched to increase the visibility of Native peoples in American society by changing the national narrative. IllumiNative challenges negative narratives, stories, and stereotypes about Native peoples. We provide tools for Native advocates and allies including youth, community and tribal leaders, activists, and professionals across critical sectors — to develop and advocate for accurate and contemporary representations and voices of Native peoples. For more information visit, www.illuminatives.org.

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(Image: IllumiNative)
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