The Delaware Nation Childhood Development Center, at Anadarko, Oklahoma, is nearing construction completion, scheduled for September 2020. The Nation had been delayed by land issues within the City of Anadarko, thus delaying the project for several months. However, the project was steered back on track and construction officially commenced on August 6, 2019.
The mission statement of the Delaware Nation Early Childhood and Research Development program is as follows:
“To ensure quality safe and secure early childhood learning in a culturally rich and diverse green self-sustaining facility with qualified staff that nurtures, educates and inspires children and their families with wonder, discovery, and creativity while fostering life-long learning and a curriculum focused on preserving Lenni Lenape language, culture, and traditions that also cultivates respect, value and acknowledgment for the culture and traditions of all people while also partnering with parents and guardians to become educators and advocates for their children.”
The new facility will serve as a care center for infants through age four, and represents the initial phase of development for educational facilities at Anadarko. The design was developed in close collaboration between DMA and program providers and staff, with care not to “repeat the past, to build upon what they want to reflect their current and future needs”. The facility design features four primary classrooms, administrative offices, kitchen, parent services, and related support spaces. The total area of the building is 5,478 square feet and was designed in accordance with Federal guidelines associated with daycare facilities. The main entrance features a “long house” structure, echoing the precedent of this building type in Delaware culture.
The facility design captures and incorporates the essence of Delaware Nation culture, including the strength and resiliency that is the core of the reptilian turtle. The tribal program development manager’s vision for the educational goals is captured in a bold statement:
“Our lives are not determined by what happens to us but by how we react to what happens, not by what life brings to us, but by the attitude we bring to life. A positive attitude causes a chain reaction of positive thoughts, events, and outcomes. It is a catalyst, a spark that creates extraordinary results.”
The selection of interior and exterior colors take inspiration from the Delaware Nation’s clan symbol of the turtle. The turtle emblem itself is incorporated in the multipurpose floor pattern as well as on the exterior signage.