Matching Items (83)

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Landscapes of school choice, past and present: a qualitative study of Navajo parent school placement decisions

Description

This study examines the contemporary school placement decisions of Navajo parents in the reservation community of Piñon, Arizona. School placement decisions are defined as the school where the parent chooses to enroll his/her child for schooling. Twelve Navajo

This study examines the contemporary school placement decisions of Navajo parents in the reservation community of Piñon, Arizona. School placement decisions are defined as the school where the parent chooses to enroll his/her child for schooling. Twelve Navajo parents participated in this qualitative study, which explored their past educational experiences in order to garner insight into the current school placement choices they have made for their children. Navajo parents who live within the community of Piñon, AZ who currently have school-aged children living in their household were recruited to participate in this study. Participants took part in 60- to 90-minute interviews that included questions related to their prior educational experiences and current school placement choices for their children. Parents were given an opportunity to reflect about the school placement decisions they have made for their children. The variety of schools Navajo parents are able to choose from were illuminated. These findings have implications for education decision makers by providing insight into which schools parents are choosing and why. The study will assist Navajo Nation policy makers in future educational planning, and may have more general implications for American Indian/Alaskan Native education. This may assist Navajo Education policy makers in making future decisions regarding the newly developed Navajo Department of Education and its education planning. Participants will also benefit from the study by being able to understand how the past has impacted the school placement choices they have made. In doing so parents may be better able to articulate the impetus behind the choices they make for their children, thereby becoming better advocates for themselves and their children. The results of this study impacts scholarly literature as a new viewpoint in the area of school choice. Navajo parents represent a distinct group who make educational choices within a specific context. This study is unique as the impact of historical Indian education policies is considered. Future studies can further expand on the topic creating a unique area of research in the field of Indian education.

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Date Created
2011

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Attitudes and opinions of Navajo students toward Navajo language and culture programs in schools making AYP and those not making AYP

Description

The purpose of this study was to examine the attitudes and opinions of Navajo students toward the Navajo language and culture programs within the schools they were attending. Although in the final year of the No Child Left Behind, a

The purpose of this study was to examine the attitudes and opinions of Navajo students toward the Navajo language and culture programs within the schools they were attending. Although in the final year of the No Child Left Behind, a majority of the 265 schools on and near the Navajo reservation have not been making Adequate Yearly Progress, a concern for the parents, teachers, administrators, school board members, and the Navajo Nation. The study entailed conducting a survey at five schools; three of which were not meeting the requirements of the No Child Left Behind. The purpose of the survey instrument (27 questions) administered to the students at the five schools was to examine their attitudes and opinions as to participating in Navajo language and culture programs, to determine if the programs assisted them in their academic achievements, and to examine whether these programs actually made a difference for schools in their Adequate Yearly Progress requirement Approximately 87% of 99 Navajo students, 55 boys and 58 girls, ages 9 through 14, Grades 3 through 8, who lived off the reservation in Flagstaff, Arizona and Gallup, New Mexico, and took the survey knew and spoke Navajo, but less fluently and not to a great extent. However, the students endorsed learning Navajo and strongly agreed that the Navajo language and culture should be part of the curriculum. Historically there have been schools such as the Rock Point Community School, Rough Rock Demonstration School, Borrego Pass Community School, and Ramah Community School that have been successful in their implementation of bilingual programs. The question presently facing Navajo educators is what type of programs would be successful within the context of the No Child Left Behind federal legislation. Can there be replications of successful Navajo language and culture programs into schools that are not making Adequate Yearly Progress?

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Date Created
2013

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Brummett Echohawk: chaticks-si-chaticks

Description

There exists a significant overlap between American Indian history and American history, yet historians often treat the two separately. The intersection has grown over time, increasingly so in the 20th and 21st centuries. Over time a process of syncretism has

There exists a significant overlap between American Indian history and American history, yet historians often treat the two separately. The intersection has grown over time, increasingly so in the 20th and 21st centuries. Over time a process of syncretism has taken place wherein American Indians have been able to take their tribal histories and heritage and merge them with the elements of the dominant culture as they see fit. Many American Indians have found that they are able to use their cultural heritage to educate others using mainstream methods. Brummett Echohawk, a Pawnee Indian from Pawnee, Oklahoma demonstrated the ways in which American Indian history merged with the larger American historical narrative through his knowledge of Pawnee history and heritage, American history, and his active participation in mainstream society throughout the 20th and into the 21st century. As a student in a government run Indian boarding school, a soldier of the famed 45th "Thunderbird" Infantry Division in World War II, and a successful artist, writer and public speaker, he offered a view of how one could employ syncretism to the advantage of all. Using an ethnohistorical approach to the subject allows a consideration of Brummett Echohawk as an individual, a representative of the Pawnee people, American Indians generally, and as an American. The ethnohistorical approach also helps elucidate the connection he made between success in life and truly fulfilling the Pawnee meaning behind their name Chaticks-si-chaticks, Men of men. Personal papers, published writings, as well as published and privately owned art (ranging from fine art in prestigious galleries to comic strips) provide insight as to how Echohawk made clear the connections between the Pawnee (and American Indian) past and American history. Interviews with family members, friends, and Pawnee veterans also demonstrate the significance of his life for the Pawnee people and the United States, particularly in terms of the martial tradition.

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2012

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Weaving a new shared authority: the Akwesasne Museum and community collaboration preserving cultural heritage, 1970-2012

Description

Museums reflect power relations in society. Centuries of tradition dictate that museum professionals through years of study have more knowledge about the past and culture than the communities they present and serve. As mausoleums of intellect, museums developed cultures that

Museums reflect power relations in society. Centuries of tradition dictate that museum professionals through years of study have more knowledge about the past and culture than the communities they present and serve. As mausoleums of intellect, museums developed cultures that are resistant to relinquishing any authority to the public. The long history of museums as the authority over the past led to the alienation and exclusion of many groups from museums, particular indigenous communities. Since the 1970s, many Native groups across the United States established their own museums in response to the exclusion of their voices in mainstream institutions. As establishments preserving cultural material, tradition, and history, tribal museums are recreating the meaning of "museum," presenting a model of cooperation and inclusion of community members to the museum process unprecedented in other institutions. In a changing world, many scholars and professionals call for a sharing of authority in museum spaces in order to engage the pubic in new ways, yet many cultural institutions s struggle to find a way to negotiate the traditional model of a museum while working with communities. Conversely, the practice of power sharing present in Iroquois (Haudenosaunee) tradition shaped a museum culture capable of collaboration with their community. Focusing on the Akwesasne Museum as a case study, this dissertation argues that the ability for a museum to share authority of the past with its community is dependent on the history and framework of the culture of the institution, its recognition of the importance of place to informing the museum, and the use of cultural symbols to encourage collaboration. At its core, this dissertation concerns issues of authority, power, and ownership over the past in museum spaces.

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2013

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Quliaqtuavut tuugaatigun (Our stories in ivory): reconnecting Arctic narratives with engraved drill bows

Description

This dissertation explores complex representations of spiritual, social and cultural ways of knowing embedded within engraved ivory drill bows from the Bering Strait. During the nineteenth century, multi-faceted ivory drill bows formed an ideal surface on which to recount life

This dissertation explores complex representations of spiritual, social and cultural ways of knowing embedded within engraved ivory drill bows from the Bering Strait. During the nineteenth century, multi-faceted ivory drill bows formed an ideal surface on which to recount life events and indigenous epistemologies reflective of distinct environmental and socio-cultural relationships. Carvers added motifs over time and the presence of multiple hands suggests a passing down of these objects as a form of familial history and cultural patrimony. Explorers, traders and field collectors to the Bering Strait eagerly acquired engraved drill bows as aesthetic manifestations of Arctic mores but recorded few details about the carvings resulting in a disconnect between the objects and their multi-layered stories. However, continued practices of ivory carving and storytelling within Bering Strait communities holds potential for engraved drill bows to animate oral histories and foster discourse between researchers and communities. Thus, this collaborative project integrates stylistic analyses and ethno-historical accounts on drill bows with knowledge shared by Alaska Native community members and is based on the understanding that oral narratives can bring life and meaning to objects within museum collections.

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Date Created
2013

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The content of Native American cultural stereotypes in comparison to other racial groups

Description

Despite a large body of research on stereotypes, there have been relatively few empirical investigations of the content of stereotypes about Native Americans. The primary goal of this research was to systematically explore the content of cultural stereotypes about Native

Despite a large body of research on stereotypes, there have been relatively few empirical investigations of the content of stereotypes about Native Americans. The primary goal of this research was to systematically explore the content of cultural stereotypes about Native Americans and how stereotypes about Native Americans differ in comparison to stereotypes about Asian Americans and African Americans. Building on a classic paradigm (Katz and Braly, 1933), participants were asked to identify from a list of 145 adjectives those words associated with cultural stereotypes of Native Americans and words associated with stereotypes of Asian Americans (Study 1) or African Americans (Study 2). The adjectives associated with stereotypes about Native Americans were significantly less favorable than the adjectives associated with stereotypes about Asian Americans, but were significantly more favorable than the adjectives associated with stereotypes about African Americans. Stereotypes about Native Americans, Asian Americans and African Americans were also compared along the dimensions of the stereotype content model (SCM; Fiske, et al., 2002), which proposes that stereotypes about social groups are based on the core dimensions of perceived competence, warmth, status, and competitiveness. Native Americans were rated as less competent, less of a source of competition, and lower in social status than Asian Americans, and less competent and lower in social status than African Americans. No significant differences were found in perceived warmth across the studies. Combined, these findings contribute to a better understanding of stereotypes about Native Americans and how they may differ from stereotypes about other racial groups.

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Date Created
2013

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Shíyazhi sha'a'wéé' Diné nilih, a'daayoo nééhlagoh: my child, you are Diné : a critical retrospective inquiry of a Diné early childhood

Description

Early childhood is a special and amazing period in a child's development. It is a period during which all facets of a human being-cognitive, linguistic, physical, emotional, social, and spiritual--are rapidly developing and influenced by a child's interactions with her

Early childhood is a special and amazing period in a child's development. It is a period during which all facets of a human being-cognitive, linguistic, physical, emotional, social, and spiritual--are rapidly developing and influenced by a child's interactions with her socializers and environment. Fundamentally, what happens during this critical period will influence and impact a child's future learning. Much of what is known about children's development comes from research focusing primarily on mainstream English speaking children. However, not much that is known about Indigenous children and their early period of child development. Therefore, this thesis research focused on Diné children and their early childhood experiences that occur during the fundamental time period before Diné children enter preschool. It also examines the contemporary challenges that Diné parents and other cultural caretakers face in ensuring that Diné infants and young children are taught those important core elements that make them uniquely Diné. The research questions that guide this thesis are: 1.What do Diné people believe about children and their abilities? 2.What do Diné children need to learn in order to become Diné? 3. What are the Diné childhood rearing beliefs and practices? 4. Why aren't Diné parents and grandparents teaching their children how to be Diné? Findings reveal an early childhood experience in which children are viewed as true explorers and highly intelligent, inquisitive learners and included as integral participants and contributors to the family and community. This thesis concludes with a discussion of the multidimensional transitions, such as the shift from the Diné language to English in Diné homes and communities that have occurred in the Diné way of life and how they have impacted how Diné children are socialized. Creative alternatives for increasing Diné childhood speakers on and off the Navajo reservation are also considered.

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Date Created
2011

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Confronting convention: discourse and innovation in contemporary native American women's theatre

Description

In this dissertation, I focus on a subset of Native American theatre, one that concentrates on peoples of mixed heritages and the place(s) between worlds that they inhabit. As it is an emergent field of research, one goal of this

In this dissertation, I focus on a subset of Native American theatre, one that concentrates on peoples of mixed heritages and the place(s) between worlds that they inhabit. As it is an emergent field of research, one goal of this project is to illuminate its range and depth through an examination of three specific points of focus - plays by Elvira and Hortencia Colorado (Chichimec Otomí/México/US), who create theatre together; Diane Glancy (Cherokee/US); and Marie Clements (Métis/Canada). These plays explore some of the possibilities of (hi)story, culture, and language within the theatrical realm across Turtle Island (North America). I believe the playwrights' positionalities in the liminal space between Native and non-Native realms afford these playwrights a unique ability to facilitate cross-cultural dialogues through recentering Native stories and methodologies. I examine the theatrical works of this select group of mixed heritage playwrights, while focusing on how they open up dialogue(s) between cultures, the larger cultural discourses with which they engage, and their innovations in creating these dialogues. While each playwright features specific mixed heritage characters in certain plays, the focus is generally on the subject matter - themes central to current Native and mixed heritage daily realities. I concentrate on where they engage in cross-cultural discourses and innovations; while there are some common themes across the dissertation, the specific points of analysis are exclusive to each chapter. I employ an interdisciplinary approach, which includes theories from theatre and performance studies, indigenous knowledge systems, comparative literary studies, rhetoric, and cultural studies.

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Date Created
2011

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Broadening the participation of Native Americans in Earth science

Description

Climate change is not a thing of the future. Indigenous people are being affected by climate changes now. Native American Earth scientists could help Native communities deal with both climate change and environmental pollution issues, but are noticeably lacking in

Climate change is not a thing of the future. Indigenous people are being affected by climate changes now. Native American Earth scientists could help Native communities deal with both climate change and environmental pollution issues, but are noticeably lacking in Earth Science degree programs. The Earth Sciences produce the lowest percentage of minority scientists when compared with other science and engineering fields. Twenty semi-structured interviews were gathered from American Indian/ Alaska Native Earth Scientists and program directors who work directly with Native students to broaden participation in the field. Data was analyzed using qualitative methods and constant comparison analysis. Barriers Native students faced in this field are discussed, as well as supports which go the furthest in assisting achievement of higher education goals. Program directors give insight into building pathways and programs to encourage Native student participation and success in Earth Science degree programs. Factors which impede obtaining a college degree include financial barriers, pressures from familial obligations, and health issues. Factors which impede the decision to study Earth Science include unfamiliarity with geoscience as a field of study and career choice, the uninviting nature of Earth Science as a profession, and curriculum that is irrelevant to the practical needs of Native communities or courses which are inaccessible geographically. Factors which impede progress that are embedded in Earth Science programs include educational preparation, academic information and counseling and the prevalence of a Western scientific perspective to the exclusion of all other perspectives. Intradepartmental relationships also pose barriers to the success of some students, particularly those who are non-traditional students (53%) or women (80%). Factors which support degree completion include financial assistance, mentors and mentoring, and research experiences. Earth scientists can begin broaden participation by engaging in community-inspired research, which stems from the needs of a community and is developed in collaboration with it. Designed to be useful in meeting the needs of the community, it should include using members of the community to help gather and analyze data. These community members could be students or potential students who might be persuaded to pursue an Earth Science degree.

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Date Created
2011

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This land is your land, this land is my land: an historical narrative of an intergenerational controversy over public use management of the San Francisco Peaks

Description

The sacred San Francisco Peaks in northern Arizona have been at the center of a series of land development controversies since the 1800s. Most recently, a controversy arose over a proposal by the ski area on the Peaks to use

The sacred San Francisco Peaks in northern Arizona have been at the center of a series of land development controversies since the 1800s. Most recently, a controversy arose over a proposal by the ski area on the Peaks to use 100% reclaimed water to make artificial snow. The current state of the San Francisco Peaks controversy would benefit from a decision-making process that holds sustainability policy at its core. The first step towards a new sustainability-focused deliberative process regarding a complex issue like the San Francisco Peaks controversy requires understanding the issue's origins and the perspectives of the people involved in the issue. My thesis provides an historical analysis of the controversy and examines some of the laws and participatory mechanisms that have shaped the decision-making procedures and power structures from the 19th century to the early 21st century.

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Date Created
2011