Today, we have an opportunity as a nation to uplift Native American communities and tackle the gross inequities that persist as a result of our country’s brutal legacy of genocide, theft and racism. Education advocates and philanthropy can play an important role in that effort by reversing its own historical legacy of under investment and moving to boldly support Native led social change.
The National Urban Indian Family Coalition (NUIFC) advocates for American Indian families living in urban areas by creating partnerships with tribes, as well as other American Indian organizations. Now, NUIFC is poised to release the first ever national study to highlight innovative Native American schools and programs that have adopted alternative and culturally contextualized approaches to education to support Native students. Titled Resurgence: Restructuring Urban American Indian Education, it highlights some of the most promising educational practices within six select urban populations on behalf of Native urban students.
We discussed the central themes and findings from the NUIFC report and recent philanthropic discussions, lifting up what has been learned around youth leadership, health and education; what is the responsibility for those working with Native youth during this critical time; and what the role of philanthropy should be in this work.
Our speakers included:
Janeen Comenote, National Urban Indian Family Coalition
Joe Hobot, Ed.D., President and CEO of the American Indian OIC
Edgar Villanueva, Vice President of Programs & Advocacy, Schott Foundation (moderator)