Tribal Nations Educator Collaborative

Beyond a student’s family, committed and culturally responsive educators have the greatest influence on American Indian/Alaskan Native (AI/AN) student achievement. However, less than 1% of Oregon educators identify as AI/AN statewide, meaning there is a ratio of 50 AI/AN students to every teacher who identifies as AI/AN. Since 2011, the number of AI/AN teachers in Oregon has slowly increased. Despite these small gains, it is not enough to support the academic success and social-emotional needs of every AI/AN student.

During the 2019 legislative session, the American Indian / Alaska Native Student Success plan was codified into law under the Student Success Act. The American Indian/Alaska Native Student Success Plan 2020-2025 identified the need for culturally relevant professional development for school district staff, to increase efforts to recruit and retain Native teachers, and implement historically-accurate, culturally embedded Native American curriculum and instructional materials across the K-12 system.

To support these state efforts, the EAC received legislative approval in 2021 to convene a new Tribal Nations Educator Collaborative, and invest $11.5 million each biennium to recruit and retain highly qualified AI/AN educators and provide professional learning for non-Native educators that support AI/AN student success. By focusing on several key actions, the Tribal Nations Educator Collaborative for Oregon will develop sustainable and actionable outcomes to improve the educational experiences for Oregon’s AI/AN students and educators.

Key Actions

In partnership with the Tribal Nations that share Oregon's geography, as well as partners across the state that support AI/AN student success, the Tribal Nations Educator Collaborative will:

  • Fully fund and increase the number of highly qualified American Indian/Alaska Native teachers and administrators

  • Create an American Indian/ Alaska Native educator network for current practicing educators

  • Capture, communicate, and amplify key learnings and promising racially affirming practices in education

  • Support and emphasize the importance of Indigenous pedagogy

  • Advocate for policy initiatives that center Tribal sovereignty and voice

  • Convene state and national Tribal leaders, educators, and scholars to guide future efforts

For more information or to get involved, email Mercedes Jones at