Sovereign Community School was born from the ideas of the indigenous community of Oklahoma City where we believe that student wellness is foundational to our children’s academic success. We believe that in creating a space for indigenous people to build community, fellowship, and solidarity we will strengthen our kids, families, and our nations. These beliefs inspired action in the summer of 2016 when the Sovereign Schools Project was created under TEDNA as part of TEDNA’s mission to empower indigenous communities to take charge of their own education. The design committee then convened in the summer of 2017 and submitted a charter school application to Oklahoma City Public Schools in October of that year.
The Sovereign Community School’s academic program and school culture are built to particularly serve the needs of the thousands of Native children and families in Oklahoma City. The school is also open to non-Native families in the city who would greatly benefit from our unique disposition toward curriculum and content. The school curriculum is founded on the belief that rigorous culturally relevant classroom content increases student engagement, learning, and understanding, and critical thinking while also creating consciousness of the need for justice for our communities.
Education has long been a tool of colonialism used to indoctrinate indigenous kids and rid them of their cultural ties and relationship to their community. Sovereign Community School looks to reclaim the right to raise indigenous children in the ways of our people and to demonstrate the value of indigenous ways of learning, teaching, and being. We recognize that the wisdom of our Grandmothers and Grandfathers is key to realizing our mission and that by placing that wisdom as the foundation that informs our curriculum we will activate the next generation of holistically healthy indigenous leaders and empowered citizens of this country’s first nations.