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Brazelton Touchpoints Center

The Indigenous Early Learning Collaborative (IELC), led by First Light Education Project (Denver, CO) and Brazelton Touchpoints Center (BTC) (Boston, MA), is a national ECE initiative designed for Indigenous communities to strengthen early childhood education and learning by developing their own critical questions and constructing local, relevant, sustainable solutions. 

For many early childhood educational communities, research is one place to look for solutions to address local challenges. For Indigenous communities, little research exists that provides relevant solutions, let alone addresses locally-developed questions. Study findings by external researchers rarely make it back to Native communities, and often are of little value to communities making timely practice advances.

The Indigenous Early Learning Collaborative is driven by Community-Based Inquiry (CBI): "In Community-Based Inquiry, community members are the researchers: they know the context and the questions that need to be studied, have access to relevant data, and generate critical ideas on how to implement solutions in practice," says Dr. Tarajean Yazzie Mintz, Founder and Principal Consultant of First Light Education Project and Director of the Indigenous Early Learning Collaborative. "We provide ongoing support and training, ensuring that the inquiry starts and remains in the communities with which we work.

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First Light Education Project and Brazelton Touchpoints Center have created an equitable partnership to lead this work. First Light Education Project is a Native-led organization built on Indigenous principles and implementing Indigenous practices, with expertise in early childhood education and building systems of care and learning. Brazelton Touchpoints Center is a leader in early childhood learning and development, with a long history of working in and strengthening communities in the U.S. and around the world.

"We have joined intellectual forces to create, conceptualize, implement, and support working with Native communities in the areas of early childhood education and research; in so doing, we have created a partnership that allows us to put into action our shared vision and philosophy for Native children, families, and communities," says Dr. Joshua Sparrow, Executive Director of Brazelton Touchpoints Center.

Learn more about the Indigenous Early Learning Collaborative from Dr. Yazzie-Mintz and Brazelton Touchpoints Center's Joelfré Grant at Brazelton Touchpoints Center's Virtual National Forum, March 29-31: https://www.brazeltontouch

For more information or to schedule an interview with Drs. Yazzie-Mintz or Sparrow, contact Ashley Gaddis, Brazelton Touchpoints Center's Director of Communications (phone: 857-218-4359; e-mail: 

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