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Statewide Early Childhood Tribal Advisory Coalition (TAC)

Wave pattern

In FY23, ECECD, in partnership with the 23 Tribes, Pueblos, and Nations of our state, founded the Statewide Early Childhood Tribal Advisory Coalition to create a channel for regular communication and engagement with New Mexico’s tribal communities. The coalition highlights the distinct and unique American Indian cultures and languages across the state.

The coalition will be formed of 30 members, including at least one representative from each of the 23 Tribes, Nations, and Pueblos in New Mexico. In its first year, the coalition has developed its mission and vision, developed policy priorities to share with ECECD and their home communities, and developed work plans on how ECECD can implement the coalition’s policy priorities moving forward. 

As of June 2023, the advisory coalition has 24 members (including alternates) and ECECD is continuing to work to get representation from remaining tribal communities in New Mexico. Currently the Advisory Coalition has representation from the following tribal communities and programs: 

  • Acoma Pueblo
  • Mescalero Apache Nation
  • Isleta Pueblo
  • Navajo Nation
  • Ohkay Owingeh
  • Pojoaque Pueblo
  • Sandia Pueblo
  • Santa Ana Pueblo
  • Santa Clara Pubelo
  • Santo Domingo (Kewa) Pueblo
  • San Illdefonso Pueblo
  • Taos 
  • Zuni Pueblo
  • Saad K’idilye Dine Language Nest Program
  • Education for Parents of Indian Children (EPICS)
  • NM School for the Deaf
  • NM School for the Blind and Visually Impaired

The coalition works towards five major goals:

1. Identify the strengths and gaps of early childhood education and care in each community

2. Learn from each other across tribal communities in order to develop culturally relevant and appropriate assessments, evaluations and innovative family engagement models

3. Develop best practices of collaboration in governance and financing structures

4. Communicate regularly with ECECD and make broad recommendations about tribal early childhood education and care needs

5. Strengthen ECECD’s commitment to equity and quality early childhood education and care for all

TAC Contact

Mark Hume, Early Childhood Policy Analyst            Mark.Hume@ececd.nm.gov

Mescalero Convening

The Statewide Tribal Advisory Committee (TAC) concluded their June 2023 convening in Mescalero, NM. Thank you, Rosario Dick and Autumn Enjady of the Mescalero Apache Tribe for hosting ECECD Assistant Secretary, Cotillion Sneddy and TAC members.

TAC was honored to attend a Mescalero Coming of Age ceremony, truly a once in a life opportunity that will impact our work for years to come.

Click the image to the right to see more. 

TAC Representatives and Alternates
Name  Member  Alternate 
Pueblo of Acoma Cassandra Sanchez, Haak’u Learning Center Director
Pueblo of Cochiti
Pueblo of Isleta

Andrea Pesina, Isleta Pueblo Headstart

& Childcare Executive Director

Pueblo of Jemez
Pueblo of Laguna
Pueblo of Nambe Samantha Viarrial, Early Childhood Coordinator Sierra Paniagua, Home Visitor
Pueblo of Picuris Julie Weigand, Education Director
Pueblo of Pojoaque Beverly Fierro, Early Childhood Education Director Carmen Rael, Early Childhood Education Teacher
Pueblo of San Felipe
Pueblo of San Ildefonoso Elena Aguilar, Pueblo Education Board Member
Pueblo of Sandia Anne Duran, Child Development Center Director
Pueblo of Santa Ana Shirley Marlow, Tamaya Learning Center Program Manager
Pueblo of Santa Clara Jeremey Oyenque, Director of Youth & Learning/ Headstart Director Carly Jo Chavarria, Teacher
Pueblo of Santo Domingo Stanley Coriz, Early Childhood Learning Center Program Director Tai Garcia, Early Childhood Learning Center- Family Services Coach
Pueblo of Taos
Pueblo of Tesuque
Pueblo of Zia
Pueblo of Zuni Francine Cheama, Pueblo of Zuni Headstart Michelle Kaskalla, Head Start Teacher
Ohkay Owingeh Peter Garcia Jr., Councilman Aileen Lopez, Education Director
Jicarilla Apache Nation Tammy Salazar, Education Director
Mescalero Apache Tribe Rosario Dick, Mescalero Apache Early Childhood Program Director Autumn Enjady, Parent
Fort Sill Apache Tribe
Navajo Nation Richelle Montoya, Vice President
Zach Ben, Parent Member
Saad K’Idilye Dine Language Nest Warlance Chee, Director Anesha Yazzie, Teacher
Education for Parents of Indian Children with Special Needs (EPICS) Melissa Wassana, Early Childhood Specialist
NM School for the Deaf Carla Gregory, Developmental Specialist, Early Intervention
NM School for the Blind and the Visually Impaired Zelfa Sandoval-Sweeney, Developmental Vision Specialist

TAC Materials Library

Tribal Monthly Zoom Meetings

Check back soon for meeting dates and details.