Native American Heritage Month


November 1, 2021


Education Northwest has the great honor of working closely with many American Indian and Alaska Native communities. This work is focused on supporting schools, Tribes, youth-serving organizations, and other stakeholders that are looking to reclaim and redefine what Native education means.

Throughout November we are celebrating the rich heritage and important contributions of Native Americans by highlighting some of these efforts. These projects reflect a commitment to Native Education that affirms and upholds Tribal sovereignty, supports self-determination among Native peoples, and incorporates Indigenous ways of knowing and being. Each day this month and throughout the year provides an opportunity to celebrate and honor Native American heritage and to renew our commitment to serving these vital communities.

Kellie Harry

Native Language Revitalization: A Personal Journey Into Paiute Language and Culture

For many American Indian and Alaska Native people, language revitalization and documentation are a matter of cultural survival. Kellie Harry, a senior advisor in Native and culturally responsive education at Education Northwest, shares her deeply personal story of learning her native Paiute language and how it empowered her to become an educator and an advocate for Native rights and culture.

Identifying and Supporting Native Migratory Students

Who Controls Native Education?

The National Indian Education Association’s Annual Convention brought educators to Omaha, Nebraska, to discuss the theme of Native Control of Native Education: A Time to Lead. The convention’s theme was an acknowledgement that for Native communities, formal education has historically been imposed from outside and has undermined Tribal sovereignty and traditional Indigenous ways of teaching, learning, and knowing.

Identifying and Supporting Native Migratory Students

Identifying and Supporting Native Migratory Students

Supporting Native students who engage in migratory activities can benefit the entire school. For Native youth, cultural migratory practices build important Tribal knowledge and affirm students’ identities. For non-Native students, learning about their Native peers can complement content area knowledge while building cross-cultural understanding.

Resources to Support Native Students All Year Long


Improving the Accuracy of Native Student Identification

AIAN students are eligible to receive unique educational supports from a variety of programs. However, many Native students do not receive the services they are entitled to, simply because they are not identified as Native when they enroll in school.

photos of the authors

Native Boarding Schools: The Lasting Impacts on Today's Native Students and Families

How do past boarding school practices and policies affect our Native students and families today?

photos of the authors

Networks of Care: A Conversation About Conducting Trauma-Informed Work in Native Communities

Maegan Rides at the Door of the National Native Children’s Trauma Center spoke with Mandy Smoker Broaddus about making trauma-informed work culturally responsive.

buffalos in a field

Centering Native Culture for Strength, Healing, and Student Success

Learn how Montana’s Hays Lodgepole School is weaving students’ Assiniboine and Gros Ventre culture into its curriculum.

student in the video

Practicing Native Culture, Building Identity, Fostering Achievement

Video and story on InterTribal Immersion Program, where Native students absorb culture alongside math and social studies, which increase graduation rates.

teacher in the classroom

What the Research Says on Engaging Native Families

Our librarians compiled this list of evidence-based resources containing information on what changes schools can make to create a more welcoming school climate and increase the engagement of indigenous families in schools.


Improving the Accuracy of Identification of American Indian and Alaska Native Students

This brief serves as a resource for K–12 districts, state education agencies, higher education institutions and district Title VI Indian education offices.

Past Celebrations