Indigenous Montessori Institute
The Indigenous Montessori Institute is an anti-racist, anti-biased approach to educational reform using Indigenous knowledge systems and the Montessori Philosophy to deliver teacher training. Its intention is to reclaim and center Indigenous Education by decolonizing education in the classroom and system levels, restore Indigenous knowledge systems that support early childhood education, and center Indigenous language, values, and beliefs in education.
In addition to teacher training, IMI serves as the host of the Indigenous Montessori Network (IMN). This Network serves as both a resource hub and advocacy center for Indigenous Education issues. This Networks works for and is made up of members from Indian early childhood education centers, specifically Montessori programs, throughout the country.
IMI was born jointly out of KCLC’s need to develop its own teacher pipeline and the lack of existing teacher training programs that prioritize Indigenous Education. KCLC requires its teachers to be Keres speakers, active participants in the community, and Montessori trained. None of these criteria are core training elements in traditional teacher training programs. Additionally, IMI works to redefine success and achievement in Indian Education, making western achievement standards relevant only when it serves the whole child. IMI aims to develop teachers who can serve the whole child by nurturing and honoring the language, values, and beliefs of the child’s community alongside rigorous academics.
While IMI is focused on Indigenous education and recruiting Indigenous people for training, training at IMI is open to all, regardless of race or ethnicity.