When Tribal SovereigntyChallenges Democracy Lomawaima and McCarty By: Marya Tambawala Spring 2013
Tsianina Lomawaima Earned her PhD at Stanford University Professor at University of Arizona Publications include: To Remain an Indian: Lessons in Democracy from a Century of Native American Education Uneven Ground: American Indian Sovereignty and Federal Law Away from Home: American Indian Boarding School Experiences They called it prairie light : the story of Chilocco Indian School
Check out Lomawaima’s interviewwith PBS Think About It:Are Native American children better served by NativeAmerican teachers? If so, is that the case for otherminority groups?According to Lomawaima, most Native people wouldprefer a segregated, rather than an integrated school.What are the advantages and disadvantages of this?
Read Me!Make a list: What pops into your head when you hear the term “American Indian”? According Indian Country Today, 45% of American Indianopinion leaders polled believe the media is the primary cause of anti-Indian sentiment.
“Safe” Versus “Dangerous”“Many episodes illustrate the federal dilemma that has endured to the present day: how to judge what might be allowably safe, innocuous expressions of Native beliefs and practices and how to manage or eradicate beliefs and practices judges too dangerously different or subversive or mainstream values,” (pp. 285). Complete the Chart Safe Dangerous • •Paganism • •Polygamy • •Savage customs
The Meriam Report (1928) Surveyed the economic and social conditions of American Indians, including health, education, family and community life, and more. See parts of the actual report here Proposed that “Indian people should have the power to make choices and that the federal government should support them in their choices,” (Lomawaima and McCarty pp. 287) Led to the development of bilingual instruction in some federal schools.
“Some Indians proud of their race anddevoted to their culture have no desireto be as the white man is..” (MeriamReport) Questions:1.How does this perception of American Indiansdiffer from Freire’s characteristics of theoppressed?2. Why might native-americans have different Goalsthan other oppressed groups?
Keeping the quote from the Meriam Report inmind: what do you think the “AmericanDream” looks like to the Native-Americanssitting at the table with President Obama?What would it look like to Native Americanyouth?
The Rise of Indigenous Community- Controlled Schools 1970 marked a turning point in Native American education Widely publicized critiques and reports forced President Nixon to declare that “every Indian community wishing to do so should be able to control its own schools” Rough Rock was the first American-Indian community controlled school
Rough Rock Community School still exists today! Check out their website: Has its mission have remained the same since its inception? See the campus and some kids in action here!
Short-Lived Success By 1978, there were 34 Indigenous community-controlled schools with a bilingual/bicultural curriculum Academic achievement was high, with students at community-controlled schools performing as well as, if not better than, students from traditional schools Restored self-confidence and pride among Native children
Until…Budget consolidations, policy changes, and financial instability, oh my! “No other U.S. school system functions undersuch a cloud of uncertainty…This constellation of conditions can only be described as institutionalized racism” (pp. 294)
Think about it… Why has every tribal gain been met by road blocks imposed by the federal government?What would Freire say about it? What is in the best interest of the oppressors?
Listen to this NPR interview with Native American professor and author Anton Treuer How do you/would you approach the topic of Thanksgiving in your classroom? Check out this current Native American boarding school’s website and this student profile. In what ways is Santa Fe Indian School succeeding or failing to provide a bicultural and bilingual education?
Read this Article Are off reservation boarding schools a better option for Native- American students? How would Schlesinger feel about teaching Native- American history and traditions to the current generation of Navajo children? Is it as “irrelevant” as the Afrocentric curriculum Are off reservation schools, with their focus on preserving language and culture, preparing students to succeed in society?
In Closing…Most of the articles and interviews I foundaround the subject of Native-Americaneducation were from PBS and NPR. What does that say about the significance given to the Native-American achievement gap in mainstream media and society?
References (2011). AS-IA Larry Echo Hawk Dedicates Rough Rock Community School. YouTube. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JMldnOmcMH0. (2013). Face-To-Face with Santa Fe Indian School’s Bridget Lee. ABQJournal. Retrieved from http://www.abqjournal.com/main/2013/03/08/north/headline-256.html. Bear, C. (2008). American Indian school a far cry from the past. National Public Radio. Retrieved from http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=17645287. Headlee, C. (2012). Behind the Native American acheivement gap. National Public Radio. Retrieved from http://www.npr.org/2012/11/22/165662639/behind-the-native-american-achievement-gap. K. Tsianina Lomawaima. Retrieved from http://www.ais.arizona.edu/people/k-tsianina-lomawaima. Lomawaima, T.K. & McCarty, T.L.(2002). When tribal sovereignty challenges democracy: American Indian education and the democratic ideal. American Education Research Journal, 39:2, 279-305. Miller, F.C. (1928/1971). Meriam report: The problem of indian administration. National Law Library. Retrieved from http://www.narf.org/nill/resources/meriam.htm.
References (cont’d) PBS. Interview with Tsianina Lomawaima. Only a Teacher. Retrieved from http://www.pbs.org/onlyateacher/today7.html. President Obama and the Native American community. Retrieved from http://www.whitehouse.gov/nativeamericans. Rough Rock Community School. Retrieved from http://www.roughrock.k12.az.us/Welcome.htm. Santa Fe Inidan School. Retrieved from http://www.sfis.k12.nm.us/. Schmidt, R. (2007). The harm of Native stereotyping: Facts and evidence. Retrieved from http://www.bluecorncomics.com/stharm.htm. Treuer, D. (2012). Kill the Indians, then copy them. The New York Times. Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/30/opinion/sunday/kill-the-indians-then-copy-them.html?_r=2&.