Who We Are
Native Teaching Aids was started as a small business in St. Ignatius Montana as an answer to the lack of resources to teach indigenous languages, cultures, and histories. Before the inception of Native Teaching Aids, Rebecca Goff was pursuing a masters in linguistics and her husband Brandon Goff owned MetaForge, a Software company. Becky and Brandon approached Darrell Kipp, the renowned founder of the Blackfeet Immersion School, seeking to get involved in language revitalization, but also wanting to remain culturally sensitive and not be white saviors. With the collaboration of Darrell, Brandon and Becky started Native Teaching Aids in 2013. Native Teaching Aids currently has 6 full time employees most of which are Salish and Blackfoot, and several part time employees who are Crow, Salish, and Blackfoot. Native Teaching Aids operates out of St. Ignatius Montana.
Native Teaching Aids believes in the vital importance of maintaining and revitalizing indigenous culture, language, and history for indigenous communities everywhere. Many Native American languages are considered endangered according to Ethnologue, and for many communities the death of their language is viewed as the loss of their way of life and identity. Consequently, there has been a huge movement to breathe new life into Native American languages and cultures. Further, Indigenous histories have been whitewashed and portrayed inaccurately which has led to many tribes seeking to decolonize.
Our mission is to get involved in these movements through our educational resources. We develop, design, and create educational and entertaining materials with a focus on indigenous language, culture and history; These materials predominately consist of board and card games, but also include mobile apps, websites, artwork, and multimedia. We believe learning your language should be fun and resources should be easy to use, and our games embody that. We use games because they require the same foundations languages does; community and communication.
We strive to act with integrity in all facets of our business and as a result all of our language, culture, and history resources are made in collaboration with the communities we serve. Additionally, our games go through rigorous approval processes to ensure our games are culturally sensitive and represent the community they were made for. Language data is provided by speakers of the languages, art work is made by local indigenous artists, and our designers, developers, print techs, and marketers are majorly people from the tribes we serve. Additionally, the tribes we serve own all the intellectual property rights and choose how we handle distribution of their products.
Finally, we see ourselves as more than a business, but as members of a language movement attempting to reclaim a way of life and identity. Ultimately, our goal is to serve as a resource to empower and advocate for language revitalization, culture reclamation, and decolonization.