Project SEED works principally with educators who serve Indigenous communities. Our educators bring with them a diversity of linguistic and cultural knowledge which can be used to strengthen the educational experiences offered to Indigenous youth, helping schools become accountable to the needs and desires of local communities. The majority of the educators in our program are motivated to pursue professional development opportunities in search of methods and practices which can better recognize and respect the needs the Indigenous students and families they serve.
Informed by Indigenous education research throughout the Americas, Project SEED blends the language of self-determination through education to form its guiding tenets in our approach to teaching and learning in Indigenous schools.
- Culturally responsive schooling has positive impacts on the academic performance and educational experience of Indigenous youth (Castagno & Brayboy, 2008; Demmert & Towner, 2003; Lomawaima & McCarty, 2006).
- Developing educational programs to serve the unique circumstances, needs, and aspirations of Indigenous students through school climates of respect for local identity, high levels of student engagement, and negotiations of bi-cultural knowledge represent “the potential for Indian communities to restore educational governance and decision making to the local level and to change the course of history in Indian education” (Belgarde, 2004, p. 119).