The Way We See – Indigenous Culture in Education


Cook Inlet Native Head Start from Anchorage, Alaska, will share the journey that has transformed their Head Start and Early Head Start programs from a typical Western educational model into one that has indigenized all component areas of their program. Learn how this Native Head Start has infused Alaska Native culture into curriculum, food preparation, physical activity, playgrounds, staff training, and even a newly constructed building that reflects traditional Alaska Native cultures. Our presenter will provide suggestions and a path forward for communities that want to decolonize their educational programs, yet at the same time, meet other Western standards. Discussions will explore how Native values and subsistence cycles form the yearly cycle for learning. Additionally, we will look at specific Western expectations that are in direct conflict with traditional Alaska Native culture, and how that is resolved. Although this workshop is focused on early childhood, the concept is applicable to all stages of our educational systems.