The Niijkewehn* Mentoring Program is a university-community partnership between Central Michigan University and the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe that pairs Native American college students with local Ojibwe 5th through 8th graders to increase the numbers of Native Americans graduating from high school, attending college and graduating from college. This culturally relevant mentoring program fosters strong nurturing bonds between Native American college students and children that motivate both the mentors and their protégés to increase their cultural knowledge, academic effort and healthy behaviors. The caring connections between the Native American children and college students are created and maintained by their frequent participation together in an array of cultural, educational and recreational mentoring activities. In our mentoring program, both the mentors and protégés benefit as they inspire each other to lead productive lives. It is important to note that a unique feature of the program is that over time, when the middle school protégés become high school students they will still be mentored by college students, but at the same time they will become responsible for mentoring Native American elementary school students. In our paper we will share data that highlights the effectiveness of the Niijkewehn Mentoring Program from all the participants’ perspectives: (1) Saginaw Chippewa children and youth who are being mentored; (2) Native American college student mentors; (3) parents of the Saginaw Chippewa children being mentored and (4) mentoring program coordinators. We will also share information regarding the various cultural, educational and recreational mentoring activities that we have implemented. *Niijkewehn: “The one that I walk on my path with” (Ojibwe Elder).
|Journal||The Chronicle of Mentoring & Coaching|
|Issue number||Special Issue 8|
|State||Published - 2017|