About

Indigenous Education Foundation Programs

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What We Do

IEF is a non-profit organisation working together with displaced Indigenous communities who are seeking to reconnect with their tribal culture and land through education.

Focusing heavily on community-empowerment and sustainability, IEF supports displaced communities in their development of educational solutions based around the preservation and utilisation of traditional knowledge, customs, as well as the interaction with, and understanding of, localised ecosystems.

Through our community research and engagement model we provide Indigenous peoples with an informed understanding of how their current social and societal systems are impacting the state of their health and wellbeing; enabling Indigenous communities an informed view to base their decisions and the design of their community’s education upon.


The Foundation
IEF was founded in 2014 by Rob Henry, who has spent over eight years developing this model in cooperation with both traditional and resettled Indigenous communities in the Mentawai Islands.

Our Vision
We believe in a world of equality where all Indigenous peoples have the opportunity to learn either an Indigenous or non-Indigenous education; where displacement is replaced by informed choice; and where poverty, discrimination, and marginalisation are overthrown by autonomy, self-determination,
and achievement.

Our Mission
IEF’s mission is to provide a successful community-based model that empowers displaced Indigenous peoples in their development of sustainable Indigenous educational solutions as a means to improve future health, wellbeing and livelihood.
 

Why We Do It

Indigenous people make up 5% of the world’s population. But, despite their coming from predominately resource-rich areas, they represent 15% of the world’s poorest people.

In spite of this awareness and these distressing figures very little progress has been made. Indigenous peoples continue to suffer.

At IEF we recognise that, to be effective, the solutions we offer must be targeted toward the root cause of the large-scale problems being faced by Indigenous communities throughout the world: the displacement from their lands, resources, cultural knowledge, values and identity. Not to mention the lack of access or support for communities to re-establish this connection.

We agree that the way forward is for
Indigenous peoples to empower themselves, as communities, through education. But it has to be the right type of education. Current systems, whereby foreign curriculum is introduced in placement of their own, are not only failing as proposed solutions but are in fact at the helm of its very cause.


What people forget to recognise is that Indigenous peoples are the founders of sustainable development. Their survival, as societies, for tens of thousands of years across a vastly diverse range of ecosystems, should be evidence enough for this to be acknowledged.

To the contrary, these Indigenous education systems and their unique cultures and understanding are being ignored as a possible means to sustainable solutions. And, through this abandonment and lack of recognition, a large number of these ancient cultures now no longer exist.

This is a critical time to fight for the protection of Indigenous people and their human right to access and develop their own native educational solutions. We will no longer stand by and watch these people be driven into poverty.

This is why we do what we do. We value Indigenous communities, we value their traditional knowledge and cultures, and we value people. We want to help our Indigenous to shape a better future, their way.
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