College Fund to Present National Forum on Culturally Relevant Early Childhood Education

Nov 10, 2017 | Blog

The American Indian College Fund leads the nation in supporting development of culturally relevant early childhood education programs at tribal colleges and universities to secure the health and wellness of young Native learners and their families. Inspired by its work under its Restorative Teachings Early Childhood Education initiative, the College Fund will host the Tribal Indigenous Early Childhood Network (TIECN) Forum on November 15 at the National Association for the Education of Young Children Conference in Atlanta, Georgia.

The TIECN forum’s goal is to continue the dialogue between educators about Native early childhood education across the nation to support stronger engagement with emergent research and new networks across tribal and indigenous communities.

Sessions will provide educators serving Native learners and communities the opportunity to see work educators are conducting with Native learners; to share expertise, curriculum, and program assessment tools; and to gather information on creating a visioning process for programs to serve young students in their communities.

All sessions will be held November 15 at the Georgia World Congress Center in Room A408. The schedule is as follows:

12:00–12:15 p.m.—Opening of the Tribal and Indigenous Early Childhood Network Forum Tarajean Yazzie-Mintz, American Indian College Fund

  • Words of Wisdom: Danielle Lansing, Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute
  • Introduction of Session Theme—Restorative Teachings: Our Collective Journey to Health and Wellness in Native ECE:  Tarajean Yazzie-Mintz and Cassandra Harden, American Indian College Fund
  • Introductions of Tribal Colleges and Universities: Cassandra Harden, American Indian College Fund

12:15–1:00 p.m.—Setting the Stage: Framing Our Work

  • “An Indigenous Connectedness Framework for Child Well-being,” Jessica Saniguq Ullrich, University of Washington
  • “Fostering Systemic Change in Tribal Communities to Address High Rates of Developmental Disabilities,” Joshuaa Allison-Burbank, University of Kansas

1:00—1:45 p.m.—Centering on Children: Their Words, Their Ideas About Community

  • “Community and Civic Action from Children’s Perspectives,” Jennifer Adair, University of Texas, Austin
  • Conversation with Guiding Questions: How will we do our work with tribes and communities? What can children tell us about their ideas about community?  How can we learn from what children know and do towards developing health and wellness within diverse learning communities?

2:00—2:45 p.m.—Collective Journeys (15 minutes per visit)

  • American Indian College Fund, Restorative Teachings ECE Initiative
  • Keweenaw Bay Ojibwa Community College
  • Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute
  • Sitting Bull College
  • Salish Kootenai College
  • “Making It Work!” Deborah Mazzeo, Cultural Practices Coordinator, National Center for Early Childhood Development, Teaching and Learning at Zero to Three
  • Joshuaa Allison Burbank, University of Kansas
  • Jessica Saniguq Ullrich, University of Washington
  • Jennifer Adair, University of Texas, Austin
  • Marica Cox Mitchell, Deputy Executive Director, Early Learning Systems, NAEYC

2:45-3:00 p.m.Closing Session: Restorative Teachings Towards Stronger Early Learning Systems of Care and Learning

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