University of Idaho - I Banner
students walk on University of Idaho campus

Visit U of I

Learn about the many reasons the University of Idaho could be a perfect fit for you. Schedule Your Visit

Native American Teaching Strategies Supported by Nearly $1 Million Grant

October 10, 2018

MOSCOW, Idaho — Oct.10, 2018 — A second class of future indigenous teachers will soon continue the mission of improving K-12 educational experiences for the region’s American Indian/Alaska Native youth with the assistance of a nearly $1 million grant to the University of Idaho from the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Indian Education.

New scholars will be accepted into the Indigenous Knowledge for Effective Education Program (IKEEP) to complete elementary or secondary pre-service teacher education with a concentration in indigenous culturally and linguistically responsive training, beginning in summer 2019. The first group of IKEEP scholars is currently in the program, supported by a four-year grant funded in 2016.

“Teaching our teachers how to create a culturally relevant classroom is key to the success of our Native American students,” said Yolanda Bisbee, executive director of Tribal Relations and chief diversity officer at U of I. “We see the need to respond to the 10 Northwest Tribes with which we have a memorandum of understanding to improve their college-going rates and meet their cultural needs. It is U of I’s mission to help all students succeed.”

The five-year program is designed so scholars will meet requirements for full state teacher certification and job placement in regional schools serving high proportions of Native American students. The program will build the capacity of indigenous teachers through structured opportunities to improve Native American school achievement. Most coursework will take place at U of I with workshops and retreats held around the region in collaboration with the Nez Perce and Coeur d’Alene tribes, the State Tribal Education Partnership Projects, indigenous teacher mentors, the Indian Education Committee at the Idaho State Department of Education and the American Indian Language Development Institute.

“With the funding of a second IKEEP cohort we can lead critical and innovative changes to the education of Idaho’s least-served population,” said Vanessa Anthony-Stevens, assistant professor in the College of Education, Health and Human Sciences and lead researcher of the grant. “The program model builds on educational research that has found culturally and linguistically responsive education supports American Indian student achievement and honors the rights of tribes to achieve self-determination and cultural sovereignty.”

This project, “Indigenous Knowledge for Effective Education Program (IKEEP),” was funded under U.S. Department of Education grant No. S299180040. The total amount of federal funds received to date is $697,978, 100 percent of which is federal funding.

Media Contact

Jodi Walker
Director of Communications

About the University of Idaho

The University of Idaho, home of the Vandals, is Idaho’s land-grant, national research university. From its residential campus in Moscow, U of I serves the state of Idaho through educational centers in Boise, Coeur d’Alene and Idaho Falls, nine research and Extension centers, plus Extension offices in 42 counties. Home to nearly 12,000 students statewide, U of I is a leader in student-centered learning and excels at interdisciplinary research, service to businesses and communities, and in advancing diversity, citizenship and global outreach. U of I competes in the Big Sky Conference. Learn more at