Restorative Teachings

2016 – 2018

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.

Program Gallery


College of Menominee Nation

Ilisagvik College

Keweenaw Bay Ojibwa Community College

Northwest Indian College

Salish Kootenai College

Sitting Bull College

Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute

Related Blogs

SIPI Parents Learn Couponing, Family Budgeting Strategies

SIPI Parents Learn Couponing, Family Budgeting Strategies

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

From Student Intern to College Fund Employee: Cassandra’s Journey

From Student Intern to College Fund Employee: Cassandra’s Journey

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.

Our Program Areas

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Computer Science

Environmental Stewardship

Indigenous Education


Native Arts

The Iñupiat family engagement event was held at the Aimaaġvik Assisted Living Center to celebrate the season with the elder residents.

Supporting Our Relatives