A landscape analysis of promising practices and innovative strategies for recruiting and retaining Indigenous educators



More than 5 percent of Washington students identify as American Indian or Alaska Native, yet they’re served by an educator workforce that doesn’t represent them.

Only 1 percent of Washington educators identify as American Indian or Alaska Native, according to the Professional Educator Standards Board. When educators, school leaders, and boardrooms better represent the communities they serve, opportunity gaps shrink and students have access to models and mentors who share their nationalities, cultures, languages, beliefs, knowledge, and experiences. 

All facets of the education system — from teacher preparation programs to local education agencies — need to implement innovative, culturally sustaining strategies to recruit and retain Indigenous educators. But what do those strategies look like?



“Systems and Supports to Develop Indigenous Educators: A Landscape Analysis” provides findings around systems and supports to develop Indigenous educators. The report responds to three research questions:

  1. How can TEPs successfully recruit and retain Indigenous students?
  2. How can schools and districts successfully recruit and retain Indigenous educators in the workforce?
  3. How can these findings inform ongoing and future work in Washington?

The report includes insights from Indigenous education literature and knowledge and experiences shared by focus group participants.


This resource was developed by our Washington project team.

Contact Beth Geiger for more information about this resource.

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