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





Cassandra Sanchez, Haak’u Learning Center Director 






Andrea Pesina, Isleta Pueblo Headstart & Childcare Executive Director 












Rosario Dick, Mescalero Apache Early Childhood Program Director 

Autumn Enjady, Parent 


Samantha Viarrial, Early Childhood Coordinator 

Sierra Paniagua, Home visitor 


Vice President Richelle Montoya 


Ohkay Owingeh 

Councilman Peter Garcia Jr. 

Aileen Lopez, Education Director 





Beverly Fierro, Early Childhood Education Director 

Carmen Rael, Early Childhood Education Teacher 


Anne Duran, Child Development Center Director 


San Felipe 



San Ildefonoso 

Elena Aguilar, Pueblo Education Board Member 


Santa Ana 

Shirley Marlow, Tamaya Learning Center Program Manager 


Santa Clara 

Jeremey Oyenque, Director of Youth & Learning/ Headstart Director 

Carly Jo Chavarria, Teacher 

Santo Domingo 

Stanley Coriz, Early Childhood Learning Center Program Director 

Tai Garcia, Early Childhood Learning Center- Family Services Coach 


April Winters, Tiwa Babies Program Coordinator 





Zia Pueblo 

Marsha Leno, Education Director 


Zuni Pueblo 

Francine Cheama, Pueblo of Zuni Headstart 

Michelle Kaskalla, Head Start Teacher 

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 


Fort Sill (no EC) 



Navajo Nation 

Zach Ben (Parent Member) 


TAC Materials Library

Tribal Monthly Zoom Meetings

Check back soon for meeting dates and details.