Resources about the Native American populations in the United States provide foundational knowledge to inform early childhood systems building with tribal communities and help state, community, and tribal leaders take steps to address inequities and impact structural and institutional barriers to opportunity so that all children can reach their full potential.
A commitment to equity, with an emphasis on racial equity, is central to BUILD’s work. By this we mean the just and fair opportunity for all children to get the resources and support they need to prosper and reach their full potential. Equal opportunity for all will not result in equity because some children need more than others because of US colonialism and racism that have marginalized and under-resourced so many communities and people. If we want children to thrive, families and communities who have faced historic and persistent racism—individual, structural and institutional—need more and different types of opportunities.
BUILD isn’t new to working with Native American tribes. We are supporting state leaders’ work with tribal leaders; we have organized site visits to Native American communities; we encouraged state leaders to focus on tribes in the Birth to Five Preschool Development Grants. But we know we have only skimmed the surface of sovereignty and racial equity issues related to Native Americans and tribes. BUILD wants to ensure that we see Native children and families and that we collectively hear about their experiences. And, that our actions then are responsive and in partnership.
This collection of resources, that will evolve and grow over time, provides information to help us understand more about Native American populations to support our goals to help state, community, and tribal leaders take steps to address inequities and impact structural and institutional barriers to opportunity so that all children can reach their full potential.