Early care and education in tribal communities: Research to policy resources
There are approximately 390,000 children age nine and under who are identified by their parents as being of American Indian or Alaska Native (AIAN) heritage alone, while more than 400,000 other children in the same age range share this heritage with that of other race and ethnic groups. The large majority--about 80 percent--of AIAN individuals live outside of tribal lands and reservations and, regardless of where they live, many have incomes below the federal poverty level. While about one-quarter of all individuals who report having some AIAN heritage have incomes below the federal poverty level, the poverty rate among children five and under is 33 percent. Following her visit to two Native American communities in August 2015, Sylvia Mathews Burwell, Secretary of the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), wrote, "At HHS, we're committed to ensuring healthy, productive lives for families in all communities, and that is true in Indian Country as well." This commitment is exemplified in the federal government's continuing partnership with tribal governments through several programs within HHS, including the Tribal Early Learning Initiative (TELI), the National Center on Tribal Child Care Implementation and Innovation (NCTCCII), and the Tribal Maternal Infant Early Childhood Home Visiting Program (Tribal MIECHV).
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