Visit to Arizona Catholic Indian Mission Schools

Visit to Arizona Catholic Indian Mission Schools
Better Way Foundation’s American Indian Catholic Mission Schools Program funds a network of schools focused on providing an excellent Catholic, faith-based education while honoring and promoting the cultural identity of each school’s students. The Foundation’s efforts enhance networks, strengthen teaching practices and improve student success. Better Way staff and board members recently visited two of the five network schools—St. Michael Indian School in St. Michael, Ariz. on the Navajo Nation, and St. Charles Apache Mission School in San Carlos, Ariz. on the San Carlos Apache Indian Reservation.

While at each school, board and staff toured the school and met with school leadership to learn more about the challenges they face in striving to provide a quality education for their students, and the successes they have achieved as a result of partnership with Better Way.

Key takeaways from the visit included:

  • A stronger understanding among board members of the context in which Indian mission schools operate—both in terms of the poverty on Indian reservations and the differences between the public and private school systems in those settings
  • Realization of the broad spectrum of progress for the network schools, as well as where each of them currently falls on that spectrum
  • A better grasp of the potential these schools have for helping shift communities towards positive change and development, but also the gaps in key resources to move themselves, their students and their communities forward

​These firsthand insights will be invaluable as the Better Way board continues to strategize with the network on how best to support the growth and sustainability of Catholic Indian mission schools within the network and throughout the country. To learn more about our work, contact us.