Indigenous resistance and renewal


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Indigenous resistance and renewal

  1. 1. INDIGENOUS RESISTANCE AND RENEWAL EDCS 311 Report Carthy Joy T. Aguillon by Donna Deyhle, Karen Swisher, Tracy Stevens, Ruth Trinidad Galvan
  2. 2. Focus of the Study: RESISTANCE Continued attempts by policy makers, teachers, and administrators to eradicate Indigenous lifestyles, religions and languages, and Indigenous peoples’ effort to resist .
  3. 3. Focus of the Study: RENEWAL How Indigenous sovereign human rights are used to strengthen and enhance the future of Indigenous children.
  4. 4. Assimilation Practice: America • Basis: Sovereignty and Trust Responsibilities • Action: Americanize the Indian through education (to solve Indian Problem) • Result: Tribal peoples seek control of the education of their youth so that culture will not be lost.
  5. 5. Assimilation Practice: Latin America • Motive: Create a unified nation as a symbol of progress and heightened civilization • Action: Education • Result: deskilling of cultural knowledge and ways of life (culture, language, and tradition)
  6. 6. Assimilation Practice: Mexico • Motive: Pluralism = Mestizo • Action: Programs to preserve divisive categories of Indian and non-Indian while simultaneously assimilating Indigenous communities into society. • Result: Colorblind view of society; no clear roots for people
  7. 7. Assimilation Practice: Ecuador • Motive: Modernize citizens that can surpass “uncivilized” and “deprived” circumstances • Action: Education • Result: De-skilling (de-skill people of their forest knowledge in favor of the pro-agriculture advocacy)
  8. 8. Assimilation: Religion and Residential Schools • Repeated History • Marriage of organized religion and schooling has been an insidious means by which to systematically eradicate Indigenous culture.
  9. 9. Religion and Education: First Nation’s Experience –Terrible legacy of physical and emotional abuse –Racism was rampant among staff –Speaking of Aboriginal language was banned
  10. 10. Religion and Education: First Nation’s Experience –Children (especially siblings) were isolated from each other to prohibit any form of cultural transmission –Children lived “lonely desperate lives in an alien and sometimes brutal environment”
  11. 11. Religion and Education: The Indian Experience – Punishment – Use of native languages by children was forbidden under threats of corporal – Semi-skilled vocational training was encouraged for Indians
  12. 12. Religion and Education: The Indian Experience –Students were placed among White families’ homes during vacation time –Native religions were suppressed –Family visits are at best annual visits
  13. 13. Religion and Education: The Twist – In many ways, Indian identity in Canada and the US is as strong as it was 100 years ago. – Resistance to assimilation practices helped create Indianness. – Retained strong ethnic identity – Either returned reservations or asserted themselves in lives outside reservations.
  14. 14. RESISTANCE: Cold War • Cold War against those who want to “shape and stamp them [students] into becoming dutiful citizens, responsible employees, or good dutiful Christians.” • Silent Indian: a political and resistant strategy, not a self- esteem or cultural deportment problem (Foley, 1996).
  15. 15. RESISTANCE: School Withdrawal Initial reaction was one of hopelessness, but then that hopelessness spurred them on to action. The action that they chose was that of dropping out of or abandoning school for a time. To them, staying in school would have been an unwise choice. Their adaptive strategies required withdrawal because the setting was impossible. They chose psychological survival. (Wilson, 1991, p. 138).
  16. 16. RESISTANCE: Humor As seen critical skits, presentations, plays, poetry readings. • Performances challenged teacher school’s efforts to banish their Indianness.
  17. 17. RESISTANCE: Appropriation • Taking something symbolic of something for personal use • Use of school uniform to equalize men, women, children, in or outside the school • Use of school knowledge in defining and driving collective ethnic projects • Use of school knowledge to assert rights and self-determination
  18. 18. RENEWAL • As you’re growing up here [pueblo community in New Mexico] you will hear things, see things, and be involved in activities where the white man’s tongue has no place. They can never be explained in English because that language does not have the capacity to explain these things. --Suina, 2004, p.289
  19. 19. The Language Issue • Through our mother tongues, we come to know, represent, name, and act upon the world. Knowledge is embedded in the terms, subtle understandings, ways of talking, and histories inherent in language. Something is irretrievably lost when language is not expressed in and through Native culture.
  20. 20. The Language Issue • Language loss and revitalization are human right issues. • The death of a language essentially means the real loss of culture, traditions, and religion. This the reason to revitalize it!
  21. 21. BILINGUAL & IMMERSION LANGUAGE REVITALIZATION PROGRAMS • Aotearoa Program (New Zealand): Started as bilingual program that used transitional approach and after 12 years became full immersion program initially ran by parents. 5 years later, Maori became a co-official language.
  22. 22. BILINGUAL & IMMERSION LANGUAGE REVITALIZATION PROGRAMS • Punana Leo (Hawaii): Total immersion pre-school that was expanded to K-12. Imagine a language being silenced for 2 decades being revitalized, learned by increasing number of people, and making its way to other domains of communication.
  23. 23. BILINGUAL & IMMERSION LANGUAGE REVITALIZATION PROGRAMS • Hualapai (USA): Bilingual program that had the following features: thematic curriculum content organized around local language and social environment, affirmed students’ identities, capitalized on students prior knowledge (bilingualism) as a means of enhancing their school experience, increased number of Native teachers in school.
  24. 24. BILINGUAL & IMMERSION LANGUAGE REVITALIZATION PROGRAMS • Navajo Reservation Project (USA): K-12 instruction in Navajo to reinforce cultural and linguistic resources for lowest- achieving students in the Navajo Nation; Authentic use of language in the home and school—where students use the language in letters, journals, lists, and notes to express themselves.
  25. 25. THE COMMUNITY AND LANGUAGE REVITALIZATION • Use of community resources • Use of the Indigenous Language in Different Domains • Elders as Mentors, Instructors, and Cultural Keepers of Knowledge
  26. 26. OBSTACLES AND CHALLENGES IN (RE)CLAIMING LANGUAGE • Disagreement on the role of native language, its place in schools, method of transmission (oral or written) • Malpractices such as isolation of language programs and treatment of students as second-class citizens
  27. 27. OBSTACLES AND CHALLENGES IN (RE)CLAIMING LANGUAGE • Non-speakers often appropriate and misdirect goals of language programs in an attempt to control resources associated with them. (Only native speakers should teach the language). • Curriculum not sensitive to the broader community of hegemonic race relations.
  28. 28. OBSTACLES AND CHALLENGES IN (RE)CLAIMING LANGUAGE • Lack of authentic materials, trained teachers, resources, or texts and TIME to create them.
  29. 29. LOOKING AHEAD The Western and Eastern knowledge clash in terms of science, philosophy, and even epistemology. And Indigenous people will continue to have to struggle to authenticate, reclaim, and protect Indigenous knowledge and cultural traditions.
  30. 30. LOOKING AHEAD • However, as by linking Western research to the Native knowledge base already established in local communities and organizing core principles that incorporate both world views, “Indigenous communities are more likely to find value in what emerges and to put new insights into practice as meaningful exercise in self determination.” (Barnhart & Kawagley, 2000, p. 21)
  31. 31. If to help us is your wish then stand behind us. Not to the side. And not to the front…
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