Promoting Schooling Pathways that Enhance Native Ways of Knowing and Being

Financial support from the Walton Foundation opened an opportunity for NIEA to develop the first ever comprehensive handbook promoting the growth and expansion of Native Charter Schools, entitled “Sovereignty in Education: Creating Culturally-Based Charter Schools In Native Communities.” Developed with the sole purpose of advocating for schools that are grounded in Native ways of knowing, believing, and operating, NIEA is promoting Native-controlled charter schools that will provide an increase in educational opportunities for our Native students; and an environment of teaching and learning in which Native identity can thrive.

Throughout this handbook, educators and advocates alike can learn about the depth of Native education and Native charter schools. The handbook allows you to dive in to each component surrounding Native education and Native Charter Schools taking you on a journey in which you will learn more about the benefits and challenges to charter schools, the Native Charter School Framework, and how to successfully start, operate, and sustain a Native Charter School in your Native community.

Native Charter Schools are essential to Indian Country, as they go beyond traditional learning, for the purpose of expanding culture and language-based educational opportunities for American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian students. It is within this distinct Native Charter School environment, operated by a tribe or Native organization, that Native ways of knowing and being – our language, values, practices, knowledge, and belief systems – are validated, and integrated within contemporary curricular content to enhance educational success for our students.

Serving as the leading organization on Native education, NIEA collaborates on the First Kids 1st (FK1st) Initiative, a national effort focused on changing national, tribal, and state policy to create conditions in which Native children can thrive. As a partner of this initiative with the mission to help strengthen equitable and local supports for vulnerable Native children in our communities, NIEA and FK1st are working to promote and expand the narrative surrounding Native Charter Schools through NIEA’s Native Charter School handbook.

Download the “Sovereignty in Education: Creating Culturally-Based Charter Schools In Native Communities” handbook here, to learn more about Native-controlled Charter Schools.

Get involved in FK1st and NIEA to become an advocate for Native education and schooling pathways that affirm our students’ Native identity by joining the FK1st mailing list here!

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