Native Alliance Initiative

Native Education

About the Native Alliance Initiative

  • Overview
  • Providing an Additional Source of Effective Teachers
  • Advancing Student Achievement
  • Fostering Culturally Responsive Teaching
  • Partnering with Native Organizations and Governments


Teach For America launched the Native Achievement Initiative (later renamed the Native Alliance Initiative) in May 2009. 

Today, we’re working with Native students and leaders in Hawai‘i, New Mexico, Oklahoma, South Dakota, the Twin Cities, and Washington state.

Providing an Additional Source of Effective Teachers

Today, less than 1 percent of our country’s teachers identify as American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian. We’re dedicated to recruiting more leaders from these backgrounds to the teaching profession.

Since 2010, we have increased the number of American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian individuals in our teaching corps from 40 to 340.

Simultaneously, we are working to building a sustainable alumni leadership pipeline.

Our alumni include school, policy, and community leaders committed to advocating for and building with Native communities and children.

Advancing Student Achievement

In the 2015-16 school year, more than 300 corps members worked relentlessly to expand opportunity for their 10,000 students from Native backgrounds.

Fostering Culturally Responsive Teaching

Students learn best when they can see their own experiences reflected in their curriculum. We’re working to create outstanding examples of culturally responsive teaching and training our teachers in those practices.

Our Culturally Responsive Teaching Graphic


Partnering with Native Organizations and Governments

We can go further together. That’s why we’re committed to forming strong partnerships with Native organizations and governments to raise awareness, collaborate on teacher recruitment and training, and accelerate our collective efforts.

Corps Member Reflections

A black and white shot  looking through a black tube, of a young woman with long wavy dark hair standing against a railing and smiling, with a desert landscape in the background, wearing a dark blazer and a white silk scarf with a dot pattern.
Rachel Henderson
New Mexico 2013
I knew [New Mexico] was exactly where I wanted to be. Serving my community means teaching kids like me.
A close head shot of a young man with styled black straight hair smiling in front of a hedge, wearing a blue dress shirt with white line leaf patterns.
Kenton Hokoana
Hawai‘i 2013
Over my lifetime I've been given and afforded so much that I feel it's my time to give back and pay it forward.
A young man with brown hair smiling in front of the corner of a blue painted wall, wearing a white dress shirt, an orange plaid tie, and a white name tag.
Stephen Bell
Oklahoma City 2013
I love the kids and am overwhelmed with the challenges they are faced with each day. But those things spur more motivation to see my students do well and makes it so much more beautiful when they do.
A head shot of a woman with long brown hair tied back, wearing a red rimmed glasses, pendant earrings with a native American bead pattern, a gray shirt, and a gray jacket.
Mia Francis
South Dakota 2014
If I can affirm [my students] in who they are, they’ll be strong enough to face the dilemmas we face. Because they will face them.

In The News

A Generation Rising

To honor her family and her people, Kayla Begay is building a school in the Navajo Nation where students won’t have to chooseas she didbetween education and their culture. Read more

Inspiring Native Children

When my family and I moved from the reservation to a town an hour south of Seattle, I was faced with a harsh reality. I was nearly three years behind in reading and writing compared to my peers in my new school. Read more

Native Lives Matter

The truth is, as Native people, the fight for recognition as living, breathing, human beings is still real. Read more

More Native Americans Join TFA South Dakota

Kiva Sam hopes to draw more Native Americans to do what she did—return to the reservation and teach. Read more