Educators for Indigenous Students
"One child, one teacher, one pen,
and one book can change the world."
- Malala Yousafzai,
Nobel Peace Prize Laureate
Our World: Educators for Indigenous Students is a track offered through AEF's "Our World" initiative that provides training and resources for educators who serve Indigenous students and inspires Indigenous youth to pursue teaching as a profession.
Educators for Indigenous Students offers both digital and in-person opportunities. The digital platform, "Indigenous Educators Unite," is an idea conceived by 2020 Arizona Teacher of the Year, Lynette Stant (Diné), a 3rd-grade teacher at Salt River Elementary School on the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community. A veteran Indigenous educator of almost 20 years and a member of the Navajo Nation, Stant decided in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic to reach out to Indigenous educators via Zoom to talk about issues with reaching students amidst the digital divide. Two other educators responded to her invitation; the University of Arizona’s Amanda Cheromiah from the Pueblo of Laguna in New Mexico, and Felisia Tagaban (Diné/Tlingit/Filipino), graduate student at the University of Arizona. Together, they launched an ongoing webinar series called "Indigenous Educators Unite" that brings Indigenous educators together around current issues, challenges, and best practices.
When the Arizona Educational Foundation began development of the "Our World" initiative, they extended an invitation to Indigenous Educators Unite to join forces in not only reaching Indigenous educators but also expanding the work to include all educators serving Indigenous students. Inherent in this idea is the need for more students of color to pursue the teaching profession.
When fully launched, Our World: Educators for Indigenous Students will offer a full array of training and services for educators, both Indigenous and non-Indigenous, as well as events for students of color to learn more about becoming a teacher.