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									  Best Practices For
 Working With Native
 American Students

      Anna EagleBear
         Idella King
Spokane Public Schools Indian
         Education
      What is Historical Trauma?
Historical trauma is cumulative emotional and
psychological wounding over the lifespan and across
generations, emanating from massive group trauma.
Historical unresolved grief is the grief that accompanies
the trauma.
The historical trauma response is a constellation of
features in reaction to massive group trauma.
This response is observed among Lakota and other
Native populations, Jewish Holocaust survivors and
descendants, Japanese American internment camp
survivors and descendants.
                               (Brave Heart, 1998, 1999, 2000)
         Education: The Past
“Kill the Indian, and Save the Child”:
         Capt. Richard C. Pratt 1892




         Boarding School
                                       University of Washington Photo
                 Children are Torn in Half
                                                 Boarding School
Traditional Education                            Education
•Formal –Sacred                                  •All Education Formal
Knowledge
                                                 •Age-based
•Informal – Life skills
                                                 •Economic-$$ Material
•Ability & Strength-based                        Accumulation
•Economic-Seasonal-                              •Self Survival-Individualistic
Survival
                                                 •Told
•Incentive Based
                                                 •Fear-based: Failure
•Multi-Generational
                                                 •Farming- One Place
•Allowed to Succeed & Fail
                                                 •Adult to Child
•Travel with the seasons
                                                 •Not Allowed to Fail:
•Non-Verbal –                                    Shame
Listen/Observe
                                                 •Auditory-Verbal-Abstract
•Visual – Oral -
Stories/Legends

                                   University of Washington Photo
                 Educational Paradigms:
                   Values in Conflict
Indigenous Educational Goals                  Current Educational Goals

•   Self-knowledge                            •   A global workforce that is more
•   Seeking life through the process of           competitive in an international global
    living                                        market
•   Sensitivity to the natural environment
•   Knowledge of one’s individual role and    •   “…to provide students with the
    role within the community                     opportunity to become responsible
•   Learn to be a “good relative”                 citizens, to contribute to their own
                                                  economic well-being and to that of
                                                  their families and communities, and to
                                                  enjoy productive and satisfying lives.”
                                                  Goal of Washington State Basic Education

                                              •   Good grades = good jobs = good things
•   The bridge between both goals may be
    to encourage culturally relevant social       John Taylor Gatto, Dumbing Down
    emotional support.
        Language Acquisition
• Destroy Native Tongue
• Learning of a new language presented with
  limitations
• Coded Messages-Language within a language
• Code Switching
• Modern Literacy struggles
Internalized Cultural Oppression
Cultural self-hate can be defined as the feeling that,
“No matter what I do, I cannot change the reality that who I am
in the core of my being is unacceptable in my world.”

This feeling of intense shame and unworthiness is
carried by thousands of indigenous populations in
our world.

The effects of oppression on communities is
expressed through apathy, learned helplessness,
depression, substance abuse, repetitive trauma,
despise of own culture, and lateral violence.
                Four Generations
• Traditionalists: Those born before 1940
• Bi-Cultural Boomers: Those born between the years of 1940-
  1960.
• Transitional Generation: Those born between the years of
  1960-1980.
• Millennial: Those born between the years of 1980-2009.
Some belong distinctly to one generation, some on the cusp, and
  some to more than two generations. There is a notion that
  the healing process is different for each generation. One
  generation might inadvertently impose their view and process
  of healing on the other generations.
                            Theda New Breast, M.P.H.
                            “Four Generations Healing, Four Generations of Solutions”
Traditionalists                    Bi-Cultural Boomers
• Did not grow up eating           • Bridge between Native and
   sugar, white bread or              Non-Native cultures
   potatoes                        • Built resiliency in both
• Normal rites of passage             cultures
• Spoke the language               • Different foods were
• Braided hair, clans, socieites      consumed in gov. rations.
   still intact                    • First to experience
• Government policies,                Urban/City living
   organized religion, boarding    • Witnessed the era of
   schools, residential schools       alcoholism out of control to
   (shame began)                      sobriety movement
• Seasons were based on            • Identity Crisis
   hunting and gathering           • Vietnam
                                   • American Indian Movement
Transitional Generation               Millennials
• First G not speaking the language   • Drink water from a bottle
• First G to “go to treatment”        • Enjoy Fast Food and
• Education became very important        Microwave cooking
• Tribal Colleges and Scholarships    • TV time is important
   more accessible                    • Computer is important
• Seasons became based on Pow-        • Electronic Games
   Wow circuit & sports               • Recognition of traditional
• Sense of Pride being Indian &          ways.
   “Wannabees”                        • Begins to ask more of “what
• They need a book or movie to           was”
   visualize “ceremony”               • Indian names are requested
• Gangs                               • Rarely looks at the stars.
• Cell phones
There are some characteristics that many tribal groups seem to
  share. These characteristics include:
• a disdain for being stared at;
• a “soft” handshake;
• an avoidance of direct (stare) eye contact;
• a quiet reserved expression of feelings;
• non-assertiveness;
• and a soft manner of speaking
However, Herring (1985) cautioned that, as there are so many
  tribes in the United States, any generalizations that we make
  regarding American Indian non-verbal communication have to
  be accepted with qualification.
                                    Elizabeth A. Wynia
                                    “Teach the Way the Student Learns….”
Traditional Practices continue today…
                      Holistic Processing
The Native learner tends to process from whole to parts, holistically.

• They learn best by starting with the answer.
• They see the big picture first, not the details.
• Native students may have difficulty following a lecture
  unless they are given the big picture first.
• If an instructor doesn't consistently give an overview
  before he or she begins a lecture, the student may need
  to ask at the end of class what the next lecture will be
  and how s/he can prepare for it.
• Native learners may also have trouble outlining (they’ve
  probably written many papers first then outlined).
• Native learners need to know why they are doing
  something.
         Non-Verbal Processing
• Most non –Native students have little trouble
  expressing themselves in words.
• Native students need to back up everything
  visually. If it's not written down, they probably
  won't remember it. And it would be even better
  for Native students to illustrate it.
• The habit of making a mental video of things as
  they hear or read them is helpful.
• Native students need to know that it may take
  them longer to write a paper and the paper may
  need more revision before it says what they want
  it to say. This means allowing extra time when a
  writing assignment is due.
European American Values                                 Native American Values
Acquire, save possessions, bring status, Wealth and      Share. Honor in giving. Suspicious of those with too
security sought after.                                   much.

Compete. Excel. Be the best.                             Cooperate. Help each other. Work together.

Assertive, do-er. Dominate                               Passive. Let others dominate.
Time is extremely important. Get things done. Watch      Time is here. Be patient. Enjoy life.
the clock, schedules, priorities.

Prepare. Live for future.                                Enjoy today; it is all we have. Live now.

Keep busy. Idleness is undesirable. Produce to acquire   Enjoy leisure. Depend on nature and use what is
and build reserves.                                      available.
Give instant answers.                                    Allow time for thought.
Emphasis on youth.                                       Respect for wisdom of elderly.
Work is virtue.                                          Work for survival.
Light humor. Jokes.                                      Deep sense of humor. See humor in life.

Few strong ties beyond the single family unit.           Close ties to entire extended family including many
                                                         relatives.
Analyze and control nature.                              Live in harmony with nature.
               Group Activity

Get into groups of five
Everyone participates
Read the slide “What would you do?”
As a group come up with an detailed Action Plan
to resolve the situation
Be prepared to share out your groups Action
Plan
            What would you do?
Danny is new to Big City High School. He is sent to the
counselor’s office because of his tendency to be tardy to
first period and his lack of being prepared for math. The
teacher reports that he does not bring a required
calculator, note book, or something to write with. Danny
sits quietly and listens to the Counselor and only
responds when asked questions.
After a few days the counselor and teacher notice no
difference in Danny and he is assigned a week of lunch
detentions.
Mom comes to the school asking where she might go get
information about the next community powwow so she
might sell some beadwork. She says the school on her
reservation served as a community hub point and being
new to the city, the school was the first place she looked.
               Where to start…
• Many tribes or Urban Indian communities have an
  operating TANF organization. (Temporary Assistance to
  Needy Families)
• Indian Health Service Clinics
• American Indian Community Centers that help with
  adult education, food banks, job training, some
  counseling and other services.
• Title VII or Johnson O’Malley programs in some school
  districts.
• Some school districts are located close to Indian
  Reservations and services are often made available.
• Keep in mind that often times they do not have to be a
  member of the tribe offering services to get benefits.

								
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