A longtime early childhood educator and a member of the Navajo Nation will serve as the next assistant secretary of Native American education for the New Mexico Early Childhood Education and Care Department.

Cotillion Sneddy will consult with nations, tribes and pueblos across state as the department aims to place a higher priority on Indigenous communities, languages and cultures, according to a news release Monday. The agency has already requested a heavier investment in tribal programs for the coming year.

Sneddy will succeed Jovanna Archuleta, who held the position throughout the department’s first two years.

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