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  

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




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.