Teachers working with Native youth will develop the competence and confidence to provide culturally relevant and respectful education by participating in the Other Circle. This experience will help teachers integrate local tradition into the classroom and pedagogy by fostering a better understanding of their Native student’s identity and promoting cultural understanding among non-Native teachers and students. It will also prepare teachers to make more meaningful family and community connections -a vital component of effective teaching. For example, in the Dakotas, WoLakota Project mentors work with teachers to embrace the Oceti Sakowin Essential Understandings. These Essential Understandings were developed to embed Native history and culture into curriculum in ways that complement state and local education standards.
“When we approach teaching with one worldview, and Native students have a different world view, we create systems of failure in our schools.” WoLakota closes the circle into a system of understanding and success. – Lakota Elder, Dottie LeBeau
View the HEART Initiative Diagram here.