Mission & Guiding Principles

Our Mission

The mission of the Institute for American Indian Education is to support community intergenerational well-being and educational outcomes of Indigenous Peoples by cultivating the quality of educational professionals through community engagement with Native Nations and collaborative partnerships with educational stakeholders.

Guiding Principles 

Educator Preparation: Commit to culturally responsive educator preparation.

Educator preparation programs must affirm the historical and contemporary presence of Indigenous Peoples through content, pedagogy, and assessment that supports the integrity of language, culture, and sovereignty. Preservice educators must be mindful of how their dispositions and cultural biases can affect pedagogy and relationships with Indigenous youth, families, and communities.

Leadership: Affirm Indigenous governance and sovereignty in the preparation of educational leaders.

Educational programs must prepare transformational and visionary leaders to serve Indigenous communities and educational entities. Educational leaders must honor Indigenous sovereignty and governance to cultivate strong, respectful working relationships with Indigenous Peoples and Nations.

Curriculum: Center Indigenous Knowledge and skills.

Curricula must counter the pattern of settler-colonial narratives and practices on Indigenous Peoples by privileging Indigenous epistemologies. All students pursuing a profession in education must be prepared to embed knowledge and skills that affirm the perspectives of Indigenous Nations and Peoples.

Language and Culture: Strengthen Indigenous languages and cultures.

Language efforts must engage students, faculty, and leadership in partnership with Indigenous Peoples and Nations through culturally place-based approaches to teaching, curricular development, program planning, and research. All students pursuing a profession in education must develop a critical consciousness of the complex issues of language diversity and development. Language and cultural pedagogy is intergenerational and sustaining.

Family and Life Preparation: Support families and educators to provide loving, healthy, and caring environments.

Prepare students to effectively cultivate life-long learning experiences in collaboration with families, Native Nations, schools and service providers to develop life skills and healthy pathways for youth.

Individual and Community Health and Wellness: Center community and intergenerational well-being.

Prepare students to become thoughtful professionals who will engage with Indigenous Peoples and Nations to nurture a culturally grounded way of life and learning that centers on a holistic balance of spiritual, mental, physical, and emotional health.


Institute for American Indian Education
MSC05 3041
1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, NM 87131