Grantee Stories

Oyate Network Alum Launches Children’s Curriculum and Artist Collective

Brook LaFloe, a member of the Winter 2018 Oyate Leadership cohort and Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa, used her grant to help launch Niniijaanis Discovery. The community project aimed to promote access to educational equity and economic opportunity for Native American women, children, and their families. Brook says Niniijaanis discovery “helped contributors rediscover what it is that our youngest children need” through the creation of children’s learning materials developed “to help them thrive into healthy whole Indigenous beings.”

The program piloted the production of culturally relevant learning materials and curriculum for Native American children from birth to the age of 6. Ben Spears (Oyate Leadership Cohort 5) and Janice LaFloe (Winter 2018 Oyate Leadership Cohort) were lead partners in the project and their team shared traditional and non-traditional knowledge to help develop and sustain their work.

Brook shares her experience as one that brings her “good medicine”, and “heightened awareness toward culturally relevant education”. Her experience helping develop Niniijaanis Discovery  motivates her, and ignites her passion towards being a dedicated educator of the future Native generations. Brook is transforming the community project into a social enterprise, Niniijaanis One of Ones. You can learn more about the release of the Children’s curriculum and the artist collective that made it happen at https://niniijaanis1of1s.com/