Jen Gilliard is the executive producer of Voices of Montana’s American Indian Early Childhood Educators. Twenty-seven American Indian Educators were interviewed; interviewees from all of Montana’s reservations were interviewed in person in the schools, childcare, and Head Start/Early Head Start programs where they work. Included are interviews with two teachers who are members of the Little Shell Tribe, one interview was conducted in Great Falls. Ms. Julie Cajune served as the cultural consultant, Frank Tyro served as the videographer or video producer, and Jen Gilliard served as the project or executive producer.

The purpose of this project is twofold: a) we want our preservice teachers to hear the voices of American Indian educators in Montana and learn from these voices how to provide culturally-responsive curriculum and instruction to American Indian children, ultimately helping to narrow the academic achievement gap between American Indian youth and European American youth in Montana. In addition, we hope that our American Indian preservice teachers at UMW will see and hear reflections of themselves and their culture throughout our early childhood education degree curriculum, providing more culturally-relevant ECE curriculum for American Indian preservice teachers in UMW ECE degree programs.

Featured Videos

Voices of Montana’s American Indian Early Childhood Educators Introduction

Jolene Beaumont Spotted Bear: Crow
Headstart Teacher in Billings, Montana

Rhonda Yellow-Crantz: Lakota
Second Grade Teacher at Harlem Elementary

Susie Small: Crow
Preschool Teacher in Browning, Montana

Theresa Murray: Prairie Band Potawatomi
Second Grade Teacher at Poplar Elementary

Tracie Rutherford: Blackfeet
Headstart Teacher in Browning, Montana

Marci Burd: Blackfeet
First Grade Immersion Teacher in Browning, Montana

Nicole McClure: Blackfeet and Salish
Kindergarten Teacher at William K. Harvey Elementary

Heather Corcoran
Second Grade Teacher at Lame Deer Elementary

Jennifer Wolf Chief: Cree
First Grader Teacher at Box Elder Elementary

Julie Mitchell: Little Shell
Headstart Teacher in Great Falls, Montana

Jacob Asencio: Salish
Second Grade Teacher at K. William Harvey Elementary

Alice Charles: Navajo
First Grade Teacher at Lame Deer Elementary

Pauline Standing Rock: Cree
Headstart Teacher at Rocky Boy Reservation

Nina Orozco: Salish
Kindergarten Teacher at Dixon Elementary

Misty King: Assiniboine
Sixth Grade Teacher at Lame Deer Elementary

Marla Doney: Gros Ventre and Assiniboine
Headstart Teacher at Ft. Belknap Indian Reservation

LaShone Backbone: Crow
Third Grade Teacher at Wyola Elementary

Kristin Bird in Ground: Crow
Headstart Teacher at Explorers Academy in Billings, Montana

Jody Jones: Salish
Special Services Director for the Flathead Headstart Program

Jennifer Medicine Cloud: Dakota and Assiniboine
First Grade Teacher at Poplar Elementary

Donna Gonzales
Headstart Teacher at Busby, Montana

Jeanne Christopher
Administrator of the Flathead Headstart Program

Desmond Parker: Cree
Second Grade Teacher at Big Sandy Elementary

Debbie Hogenson: Little Shell
Retired Teacher from Cherry Valley Elementary

Brittany Burns: Little Shell
Teacher at East Glacier Elementary

Britney Shooter: Blackfeet
Kindergarten Teacher at Browning schools

Angie Pepion: Blackfeet
Kindergarten Teacher at Browning Schools