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Washington State University
College of Education

About Ti’tooqan Cuukweneewit

WSU’s Ti’tooqan Cuukweneewit Native Teaching and Learning Community project, is a part of a four-year grant project from the U.S. Department of Education Office of Indian Education (OIE) and also funded through the Washington State Professional Education Standards Board (PESB).

As a result of WSU Pullman campus located on traditional homelands of the Nez Perce Tribe, Nimiipuutimt, aka the Nez Perce language, is the original and first language of this area. While it is not easy to translate English into any Indigenous language, Titooqan Cuukweneewit is the closest translation into English of how Indigenous, or Nimiipuu people pedagogically understood and viewed teaching and learning. With the guidance and consolation of Nez Perce language elders and teachers, this translation helps to convey the meaning and work in Native/Indigenous teacher education here on the WSU Pullman campus.

The grant funded project provides support for the recruitment of Native/Indigenous teachers and education administrators, as well as training and professional development to individuals in education professions that serve American Indians and Alaska Natives. Titooqan Cuukweneewit project works to increase the number of Native/Indigenous teachers and educators throughout the region. Per the OIE/PESB grant requirements, the project will also work to address the statewide and national teacher shortage, and seeks to recruit American Indi­ans and Alaska Natives who already serve in educational capacities. Further, the project allows individuals to participate in education programs increasingly focused on Native/Indigenous education, research, and teaching practices.

In carrying out the project goals, the Titooqan Cuukweneewit project will focus on the recruitment, retention, and successful graduation and induction of Native/Indigenous teacher educators and education administrators. Through the grant funding, project participants will receive mentoring, financial support, and opportunities to attend seminars and participate in an Indigenous summer intensive education program that works in culturally sustaining and culturally-sustaining and revitalizing pedagogies for core curriculum and teaching practices.

This project builds on previous work the college has done to help integrate the state mandated (H.B. 5433) Since Time Immemorial Tribal Sovereignty curriculum into local public schools and class­rooms located on traditional Nez Perce homelands. This newest Native teacher education project is based on significant consultation and partnership between WSU College of Education faculty, Tribal communities, and local school districts, while also recognizing that these communities can best:

  • Identify key barriers and opportunities for improving educational outcomes that addresses the need for Native/Indigenous teachers and education administrators.
  • Build on relational education initiatives that are implemented through local solutions.

The project works to support a collaborative and focused approach that is guided through community partnerships that includes tribal, local schools and service providers and agencies that is grounded in Indigenous Knowledge Systems and Ways of Knowing.

For more information on our project, and the opportunity to watch videos of current students, please click on ‘Our Students’ to see who they are as representatives from throughout Indian country and their respective Indigenous nations.