2015 Native Early Childhood Education Symposium

“Honoring Our Youngest Learners: Enacting Our Vision For Native Early Childhood Education"

June 1-2, 2015 - Albuquerque, New Mexico

The 2015 Native Early Childhood Education Symposium will be located at Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute (SIPI) in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
This symposium will be a 2 day event featuring informative presentations and topical breakout sessions.

Draft Agenda

Monday, June 1, 2015

8:00AM : Registration

Breakfast will be provided during registration

9:00AM : Song/Blessing, Mr. Mitchell Garcia

Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute Student

Welcome, Dr. Sherry Allison

Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute President

Opening Address, Dr. Danielle Lansing

Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute Early Childhood Education Faculty

Opening Plenary: Wakanyeja "Sacred Little Ones" Early Childhood Education Initiative

Project Directors Panel

Dr. Birgit Meany
Ilisagvik College
Cyndi Pyatskowit
College of Menominee Nation
Dr. Danielle Lansing
Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute
Shelley Macy & Nahrin Aziz Parsons
Northwest Indian College

Facilitator: Dr. Tarajean Yazzie-Mintz, American Indian College Fund

Location: SIPI, Science & Technology, Auditorium

10:30AM : Morning Break

Snacks will be provided in the atrium.

10:45AM : Plenary: Why Does Research Matter to Little Children? Building Connections Between Tribal Early Childhood Programs and University Researchers to Improve Outcomes for Children and Families

Dr. Nancy Whitesell, University of Colorado - Denver
Location: SIPI, Science & Technology, Auditorium

12:00PM : Lunch

Lunch will be provided in the atrium.

1:30PM : Breakout Sessions
Session Presenter
Promising Practices: Lessons from the Pueblo
Location: Room 205
Attendees will examine ways for developing an early childhood curriculum that includes tribal culture of Native American children enrolled in their classrooms by utilizing a seasonal curriculum and integrating state standards for pre-kindergarten students. We will look at ways to approach both Tribal and/or Traditional Councils to develop rapport and gain support from Tribal leaders. Attendees will evaluate the success of pre-kindergarten children entering public school Kindergarten using formal assessments required to gauge progress of their state standards. We will learn about the importance and impact of aligning curriculum to that of a public school Kindergarten.
Ysleta Del Sur: Cynthia Chavez, Anna Silvas
Collective Inquiry Across Programming: SIPI Photovoice Inquiry
Location: Hogan
Native American parents have historically been left out of conversations regarding what is best for their children. The SIPI Wakanyeja “Sacred Little Ones” early childhood initiative has created a system for engaging parents in meaningful dialogue focused on what they feel is essential for the well being of their children. Drawing upon the PhotoVoice methodology, parents have voiced their hopes and dreams for their children including culturally based curricular and community learning opportunities. Through meaningful parental engagement including the PhotoVoice project, SIPI has created learning communities where children, community members, and parents learn together.
Dr. Danielle Lansing, Rebecca Izzo-Manymules and SIPI Team
Innovations in Measuring Outcomes: Navajo Headstart
Location: Room 207
Sharon H. Singer, Assistant Superintendent of the Department of Dine Education and Dr. Lamont Yazzie, Director of Educational Services for Navajo Head Start, will provide an overview of the restructuring efforts made by the Navajo Nation Head Start program in meeting requirements of Public Law 110-134 “Improving Head Start for School Readiness Act of 2007” and of the nation wide commitment in building essential learning blocks for effective early childhood educational services.
LaMont Yazzie
2:30PM : Break

Snacks will be provided in the atrium.

2:45PM : Research Poster Presentations
Poster Location
Dr. Danielle Lansing & Rebecca Izzo-Manymules
Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute
SIPI Hogan
Estefanita Calabaza
University of New Mexico
Room 207
Lana Toya
Jemez Head Start
S&T Conference Room
Dr. Valerie Shirley
University of Arizona
Room 207
Amanda LaClair-Diaz
University of Arizona
Room 205
Chris Fried & Alicia Village Center
Sitting Bull College
Room 205
3:45PM : Plenary: Generation of the Powerful Learning Across Developmental Areas and Milestones
Dr. Monica Tsethlikai
Arizona State University
Dr. Debbie Reese
Diverse Books
Ms. Jana Harcharek
North Slope School District
Ms. Marica Mitchell
National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC)

Facilitator: Dr. Tarajean Yazzie-Mintz, American Indian College Fund

Location: SIPI, Science & Technology, Auditorium

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

8:30AM : Registration

Breakfast will be provided in the atrium.

9:15AM : Opening Song/Blessing

Ms. Stacie Barney, Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute Student & Parent

9:30AM : Plenary: Teacher Education & Early Childhood Education as Nation Building, Preparing the Next Generation of Native Teachers
Dr. Keiki Kawai‘ae‘a
University of Hawaii, Hilo
Dr. Danielle Lansing
Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute
Dr. Jeremy Garcia
University of Arizona
Mr. Alvino Sandoval
To'hajiilee Preschool

Facilitator: Dr. Tarajean Yazzie-Mintz, American Indian College Fund

Location: SIPI, Science & Technology, Auditorium

10:30AM : Morning Break

Snacks will be provided during break

10:45AM : Breakout Sessions
Session Presenter
Promising Practices: We Make a Path by Walking - Bolstering Early Childhood Education in the Menominee Community
Location: Room 205
The College of Menominee Nation’s Wakanyeja project, We Make a Path By Walking, began with a few simple goals, to equip our Menominee/American Indian Early Childhood children to be confident, innovative, questioning, thoughtful, tolerant and open minded, allowing them to contribute positively to their tribal society and the global community. This session will highlight the path we took while attempting to meet our goals. The Wakanyeja project has allowed us to combine improvements to curricula, improve access to culturally based education for ECE students, strengthen educational research capacity, and build stronger linkages with educational reform initiatives. With the Wakanyeja project we have been able to bolster our commitment to our Early Childhood children to let them excel!
College of Menominee Nation: Cyndi Pyatskowit, Kelli L. Chelberg
Collective Inquiry Across Programming: Maintaining the Towa La nguage and Jemez Culture - Efforts of the Walatowa Head Start La nguage Immersion Program
Location: Room 207
Walatowa Head Start has been working toward full language immersion since 2007 and has now implemented the program for all students and staff. Children currently enrolled in the Walatowa Head Start Language Immersion Program have the opportunity to learn and grow in an environment immersed in the Towa Language. Language and culture is reflected in everything we do from cooking and serving traditional foods, performing traditional dances, and turning our Jemez Village including our ancestral lands into our classrooms. Learn about how we transitioned from a dual language to a full language immersion program supported by the Pueblo of Jemez Tribal Leadership and Tribal Council. Innovations in Measuring Outcomes: Honoring Our Children Through Correction and Collective Inquiry.
Walatowa Head Start: Lana Toya
Collective Inquiry Across Programming: Honoring our Children through Connection and Collective Inquiry
Location: Hogan
This presentation shares our working assumptions, framework, methods, and promising practices to connect educators within and across programming for the improvement of early education for Native children. From infancy through grade one, teachers have cared deeply about the children they teach, usually without adequate knowledge of children’s educational experiences prior to or after leaving their classroom. Additionally, generations of separation and distrust between Native and dominant cultural values and practices have created barriers to truly honoring the tribes’ youngest children and their families. Northwest Indian College’s efforts to bridge early childhood education with K-3 have focused on building connections, facing difficult conversations, providing safe spaces for educators to learn from and teach one another, and infusing tribal families’ values and practices into education. As the bridges are built, our collective inquiry is yielding positive results that honor tribal children’s learning and the community’s hopes for early
Northwest Indian College: Shelley Macy, Nahrin Aziz Parsons, Shirley Bob
12:00PM : Lunch

Will be provided in the atrium.

1:30PM : Breakout Sessions
Session Presenter
Promising Practices: Language and Culture - Curriculum Development for Bi-lingual, Bi-cultural Early Learning Environment
Location: Room 205
The staff of Uqautchim Uglua, a Language Nest lab school in Barrow, Alaska, will share the aspects of their work at a remote, culturally unique Early Learning Center. The workshop will feature helpful strategies for the Iñupiaq medium curriculum development process, which can be applied to other settings.
Ilisagvik College: Uqautchim Uglua (Language Nest) - Heidi Ahsoak, Naomi Ahsoak, Dr. Birgit Meany
Collective Inquiry Across Programming: Hopi Natwani for Youth Project; the Development Process of a Culturally Based Curriculum
Location: Room 207
The participants in this workshop have been given the responsibility of developing the curriculum for the Hopi Natwani for Youth Project (HNYP). Participants will engage in dialogue with the presenters on the process of developing curriculum and the nuances of understanding our own identities when creating an Indigenous curriculum. An examination of the conceptual frameworks of decolonization and critical Indigenous pedagogy will be included.
Samantha Antone, Natwani Coalition; Dr. Jeremy Garcia, University of Arizona
Innovations in Measuring Outcomes: The Keres Children's Learning Center in Cochiti Pueblo: Native Language Development in a Montessori School Setting
Location: Hogan
This presentation will provide an overview of language maintenance and revitalization efforts among Pueblo Indian tribes with a special focus on an emerging Montessori school, the Keres Children’s Learning Center initiated by members of the Cochiti Pueblo for 3-6 year old Cochiti Pueblo children. Presenters will share their perspectives as well as the challenges that surround early childhood education as a place for Native language development.
Dr. Christine Sims, University of New Mexico; Trisha Moquino, Keres Learning Children's Learning Center
2:45PM : Afternoon Break

Snacks will be provided in the atrium.

3:45PM : Closing Plenary: Theory & Institutional Practices: Policy Implications Transformation of Early Childhood Education From TCU’s to the World
Dr. Laurel Vermillion
President, Sitting Bull College
Dr. Sherry Allison
President, Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute
Dr. Elmer Guy
President, Navajo Technical University

Facilitator: Dr. Tarajean Yazzie-Mintz, American Indian College Fund

Dr. Danielle Lansing, Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute

Location: SIPI, Science & Technology, Auditorium