Northwest Indian College Early Childhood Education Initiatives are for
and by the Lummi community’s children and families

Celebrating Early Childhood Education Students Dinner

- Written by Alicia Allard, Early Learning Center Director, Northwest Indian College

Northwest Indian College has a strong history of educating and supporting the next generation of early childhood professionals. Our early childhood program reflects the mission of Northwest Indian College to promote indigenous self-determination and knowledge by preparing students to carry on the tradition of providing quality early childhood education for tribal programs.

We also recognize the immense sacrifices each of our students make every day to pursue their education while also working and supporting their own families.

On April 25th, 2014, we came together to honor these students and their families for their hard work and dedication to their education and the families in their community. We invited all current and former Early Childhood Education students to join us for dinner along with their families.

Per student request, we had pizza, salad, and dessert catered by the Silver Reef Casino. Each student who attended also received a gift card for Fred Meyer and a custom canvas tote bag with our “Sacred Little Ones” logo printed on it.

Sacred Little Ones Principal Investigator / Co-Project Director Shelley Macy acted as our Mistress of Ceremonies, and we were honored to welcome Lummi tribal member and long-time ECE advocate Heather Jefferson as our guest speaker. Heather shared a touching poem about the honor of teaching the next generation of tribal members and the responsibility that comes with the work.

In recognition of her many years of support for Lummi early childhood programs and her role as part of the Sacred Little Ones Coordinating Team, we presented Heather with an orca broach carved from yellow cedar by a Lummi carver.

We were pleased to have six ECE students and five members from Northwest Indian College’s Space Center Team (including the 2013-2014 Student Executive Board President), NWIC faculty and staff, and many family members, for a total of 30 attendees. We ended the evening with a heart-felt Hy’shqe to all the attendees and we look forward to next year’s event.