Three North Dakota colleges have benefited from the American Indian College Fund’s $2.25 million Wounspekiya Unspewicakiyapi Native Teacher Education Program that supports Native teacher recruitment, development and retention with the goal of increasing the number of Native students pursuing a teaching career.
Wounspekiya Unspewicakiyapi, which means teaching teachers, is funded by Margaret A. Cargill Philanthropies. The program goal is to increase the number of Native students pursuing teaching careers and ensure the continuity and sustainability of Indigenous knowledge and lifeways in Native communities.
Sitting Bull College in Fort Yates received a grant to support its Teacher Education and Indigenous Early Childhood Education projects, Sakhib Naunzinpi — Standing Together.
SBC’s project will establish a community connection team to enhance cultural content/alignment and culturally responsive curriculum to work with elders, education faculty and community members to address parent/family engagement from a Native/Lakota/Dakota perspective; enhance pathways to the teaching profession by creating assessments to understand barriers current students face in completing their education degree; define Indigenous pedagogy for child development and teaching practices; and establish a rubric for assessing language integration and culturally responsive curriculum.
Turtle Mountain Community College in Belcourt received a grant to support its Gikinoo’amaadiwag (they teach each other) teacher education project. TMCC’s project will enhance pathways to the teaching profession by piloting a fully online elementary education degree program and an Indigenous secondary math education degree program. TMCC will also develop early entry courses to recruit students.
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