From left to right: Amy Bowers, Quinton Roman Nose, Donald Yu, Advisor USDOE, Keith Moore, BIE Director, Mary Jane Oatman-Wak Wak, Nez Perce-President Elect for NIEA, David Beaulieu, longtime Indian Educator
From left to right: Amy Bowers, NARF Attorney who worked with TEDNA, Patricia Whitefoot, Yakima, 2010 President of NIEA, Kevin Shendo, Jemez Pueblo TED Director, Denny Hurtado, the then Washington State Indian Education Director, Quinton Roman Nose
Power and Place: Indian Education in America by Vine Deloria Jr. and Daniel Wildcat is today’s Throwback Thursday. Deloria and Wildcat offer this as a “declaration of American Indian intellectual sovereignty and self-determination.” An excerpt from a review by Jason Schreiner:
With such a revolutionary agenda at stake, they dispense with reformist proposals aimed at “sensitizing” educators and administrators to the “plight” and “special needs” of Native students. Instead, Deloria and Wildcat hail the “problem” of Native students and indigenous people as “an affirmation—a living testimony to the resilience of American Indian cultures.” Taking their cue from the “old ways” of tribal traditions and knowledge construction, the authors envision a “truly American Indian,” or indigenized, educational practice grounded literally in power and place. Power is understood as the “living energy that inhabits and/or composes the universe,” and place is the “relationship of things to each other.” As Deloria notes, “power and place produce personality,” meaning not only that experience of the universe in a particular place is inherently personal, but also that the universe itself is personal. Personality is thus the “substantive embodiment, the unique realization, of all the relations and power” emergent in a given place. Moreover, because the natural world is personal, “its perceived relationships are always ethical,” and appropriate action therefore requires careful discernment of nature’s messages, as well as subsequent behavior that considers all possible consequences and ensures relationships are completed. An indigenized educational practice thus begins with the explicit aim of establishing personal relationships with the natural world, through living experience in a particular place.
It has been a while, so I thought I would do a throwback to 2011. An excerpt from Executive Order 13592:
The United States has a unique political and legal relationship with the federally recognized American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) tribes across the country, as set forth in the Constitution of the United States, treaties, Executive Orders, and court decisions. For centuries, the Federal Government’s relationship with these tribes has been guided by a trust responsibility a long standing commitment on the part of our Government to protect the unique rights and ensure the well-being of our Nation’s tribes, while respecting their tribal sovereignty. In recognition of that special commitment and in fulfillment of the solemn obligations it entails Federal agencies must help improve educational opportunities provided to all AI/AN students, including students attending public schools in cities and in rural areas, students attending schools operated and funded by the Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Indian Education (BIE), and students attending postsecondary institutions including Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs). This is an urgent need. Recent studies show that AI/AN students are dropping out of school at an alarming rate, that our Nation has made little or no progress in closing the achievement gap between AI/AN students and their non-AI/AN student counterparts, and that many Native languages are on the verge of extinction.
It is the policy of my Administration to support activities that will strengthen the Nation by expanding educational opportunities and improving educational outcomes for all AI/AN students in order to fulfill our commitment to furthering tribal self-determination and to help ensure that AI/AN students have an opportunity to learn their Native languages and histories and receive complete and competitive educations that prepare them for college, careers, and productive and satisfying lives.
My Administration is also committed to improving educational opportunities for students attending TCUs. TCUs maintain, preserve, and restore Native languages and cultural traditions; offer a high quality college education; provide career and technical education, job training, and other career building programs; and often serve as anchors in some of the country’s poorest and most remote areas.
The Report can be seen here. From the Summary:
This study describes the roles and responsibilities, organization, and funding of Tribal Education Departments (TEDs) in the Central Region states. Tribal education departments are departments within tribes responsible for supporting the education of tribal members, created by the sovereign governments of federally recognized American Indian tribes.