About The Program
The Restorative Teachings Early Childhood Education Initiative was a Tribal College and University (TCU) collaborative to strengthen systems of care and learning with Native families and children. The American Indian College Fund (College Fund), in collaboration with TCUs, implemented this $1.5 million dollar early childhood education (ECE) initiative in 2016 to 2018 that drew upon the child development knowledge from within Native communities, melded with the best practices identified in the field of ECE. This community-based ECE initiative used a multi-phase approach to developing long-term commitment and shared responsibility for the development of high-quality ECE opportunities for Native children and their families, by aiming to design culturally-responsive and adapted ECE systems, build stronger family engagement programs, and support Native family economic security directly through partnerships and access to higher education. Through local and national partnerships, tribal communities can benefit from restored access to systems, knowledge, approaches, networks, and strategies that contribute to sustained engagement resulting in improved early learning opportunities and health benefits for Native families and their children.
College of Menominee Nation
Keweenaw Bay Ojibwa Community College
Northwest Indian College
Salish Kootenai College
Sitting Bull College
Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute
Conferences can be a great place for early childhood educators, families, teachers in training, and researchers working with indigenous young children. They are a place to gather ideas and build professional development for use in the classroom.
Northwest Indian College’s (NWIC) Early Childhood Education (ECE) degree program and Restorative Teachings Initiative hosted 20 visitors from Southwest University in Chongqing, China, which included ECE faculty and teacher candidates from Southwest University and practicing teachers from their partnering ECE programs.
During brainstorming sessions and meetings as part of SIPI’s Restorative Teachings Initiative, parents of children in the program identified couponing as a strategy to support budgeting and financial stability within their families. A major goal of SIPI’s initiative is to support Native families through educational opportunities that build their capacity to become increasingly financially stable
Cassandra Harden (Diné) was focused on a career in early childhood education when she first learned about internship opportunities with the American Indian College Fund (College Fund). While she studied as a student at tribal college Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute (SIPI) in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Cassandra got involved in SIPI’s early childhood program, working on the College Fund’s Wakanyeja “Sacred Little Ones” and Ké’ Early Childhood Initiatives, as a student intern.