Friday, August 3, 3:30-4:00, SUB Ballroom B, Theme: Partnership

Through an OIE grant, UMW and BCC have partnered to provide initial certification for  40 Indigenous teacher candidates seeking a K8 (Kindergarten through eighth grade) or P3 (Preschool through third grade) degree and/or certification.  Most candidates are teachers, paraprofessionals or long-term substitute teachers in and around Browning.  The most important objective of this project was to design and implement a sustainable program that will address the long-existing shortage of teachers serving Indigenous children on the Blackfeet Reservation.

Through this grant, Western and BCC  recruited Blackfeet faculty from the Browning School District to design and deliver a Blackfeet culturally immersed K8-UMW curriculum, for Blackfeet teacher candidates who teach or will teach in the Browning schools.   The teacher preparation curriculum aligns with curricula and practices used in the Browning Schools, so candidates can move seamlessly from our classrooms to their classrooms.  Through a Blackfeet-grounded education -- one that also includes the foundation for success in the Western world, it will be possible to rebuild ancient values, restore harmony and eventually erase the roots of poverty.

The purpose of this presentation is to describe a community based delivery model that has the potential for replication in other rural areas to build sustainable capacity from within rather than depending upon external recruitment.