American Indian College Fund to Strengthen Native Teacher Pipeline
Monday, October 11, 2021
OMAHA, Neb. -- Tribal colleges and universities in Nebraska and across the nation are teaching the next generation of pre-K and elementary-school educators ways to incorporate native language and culture into their lesson plans, and a new grant secured by the American Indian College Fund will help that work expand.
Emily White Hat, vice president for programs at the Fund, said access to an educational pathway including traditional, indigenous knowledge, greatly improves education outcomes for students.
"It really supports their identity," White Hat explained. "It helps them be confident in who they are. It connects them to relatives in the community. It just provides this broader world view."
Nebraska Indian Community College and Little Priest Tribal College both offer early-childhood education courses, and will be eligible to get a slice of a recent $5.3 million grant from the Bezos Family Foundation over the next four years.
White Hat pointed out the program's goal is to revise curriculum to be more culturally relevant and support degree attainment for teachers. For example, students explore native housing structures in their Science, Technology, Engineering and Math classes, in a course now known as "wigwam-etry."
Educators also engage parents in their child's education, through activities such as family nights on campus, where parents also get a taste of the tribal college experience.
"The hope, too, is that we may bring parents who had not thought about college as an option into a place where they may feel like, 'Oh, I could do this. I could attend college, too,'" White Hat emphasized.
White Hat also sees the program as a way for families and entire communities to heal from the ongoing trauma caused when native children were removed from their homes for forced assimilation into white culture at boarding schools.
"Supporting the development of new teachers in the classrooms of our tribal communities is fundamental to the visibility of native people," White Hat contended. "We still exist, in this country and this world."
get more stories like this via email
Since its inception, Earth Day has been an occasion to advocate for a cleaner planet - but in 2022, climate change is bringing a higher level of …
Health and Wellness
While many Americans have resumed normal lives after the past two years, the COVID pandemic has not gone away, especially if you have a pre-existing …
An initiative that would repeal Washington's capital-gains tax on the state's richest residents is struggling to gain traction. Initiative No…
Oregonians are casting their ballots for Tuesday's primary election. One issue affecting many voters is access to child care. Courtney Helstein…
Gov. Tom Wolf, lawmakers and community leaders are calling on the General Assembly to pass legislation that would send checks of up to $2,000 to …
About half of Latinos either lost a job or had their wages cut during the pandemic,according to a recent survey from Pew. Now, AARP is offering a …
During the first year of the global pandemic, medical consumers in Colorado received more than one million low-value healthcare services - diagnostic …
May is mental health awareness month. As part of that, groups in Idaho are using HOPE Week to help kids in crisis and reduce the state's worrying …