Presentation on theme: "Native American Multiculturalism Doni Musgrave and Suzie Sells."— Presentation transcript:
Native American Multiculturalism Doni Musgrave and Suzie Sells
How much white are you? I am part white myself, you know. I learned your peoples ways in the Boy Scouts. My great-great grandmother was a full-blood white princess. Funny, you do not look white. Top 10 Things American Indians Can Say to a White Person 1
Where are your powered wig and knickers? Do you live in a covered wagon? What is the meaning behind the square dance? What is your feeling about river boat Casinos? Do casinos help your people, or are they a short-term fix? Hey, can I take your picture? 1 From Manataka American Indian Council - Top 10 Things American Indians Can Say to a White Person 1
Native American or American Indian? Problems exist with both terms, but certain people prefer Native American to American Indian and vice versa. Most American Indians identify themselves by their tribe. In many cases this may be more than one tribe. If in doubt…just ask!
Statistics The following statistics come from: PEACE PARTY – Authors Forum The Essential Facts About Indians Today (12/23/00)
American Indians "Indian" is a legal and political status, not a race. Indians have essentially a dual-citizenship status. Tribes all have separate governments. Tribes all have their own tribal constitutions. Tribes are different from each other, but have some things in common because of their relationship to the federal government. Indians are contemporary people. Indians are not great in numberthere are only about two million Native Americans in the United Statesbut they can speak effectively about their concerns. Indians are very diverse, and more than half live in urban settings. Indians are not all rich because of casinos.
Population Some 4.1 million Americans said they were at least part American Indian, more than double the 1990 figure, and 2.5 million identified themselves only as American Indian, a 26 percent increase. Christian Science Monitor, 12/6/01 Do all American Indians live on reservations? No. More than 60 percent live away from reservations, the U.S. Census reports. However, many return to visit family and attend ceremonies. 100 Questions for 500 Nations," in "The American Indian and the Media"
Sovereignty The United States makes treaties only with other governments, and for over 200 years has recognized the governments of Indian nations and tribes. In relating to tribal governments, the federal government acts under authority of provisions of the Constitution. In Article I, Section 8, the Constitution states: "The Congress shall have power...to regulate commerce with foreign nations, among the several states, and with Indian tribes." United Effort Trust, Tribal Government
Political status and membership policies In the mid-1970s, the Supreme Court ruled that no federal agency or any entity except an Indian tribe could determine who its people are. For even longer, the high court has held that Indian nationhood and tribal citizenry are political, not racial matters. Suzan Shown Harjo, Vampire Policy Is Bleeding Us Dry, Indian Country Today, 2/14/01Vampire Policy Is Bleeding Us Dry A giant case of Indian law, Santa Clara Pueblo v. Martinez, helped preserve a great principle: that Native governments retain the sovereign right to define and determine their own membership. Indian Identity Is Important Matter, Indian Country Today, 3/27/02 Indian Identity Is Important Matter A full rundown of tribal membership arcana would fill several volumes, as each of the nation's 562 federally recognized tribes has its own rules, typically outlined in their respective constitutions. In general, however, tribes use either the blood quantum system or the descent system. Brendan I. Koerner, How Do You Join an Indian Tribe?, Slate, 2/24/04How Do You Join an Indian Tribe?
Taxes Myth: Indian people do not pay taxes. Fact: Indian people pay all taxes required by tribal, state, and federal law. "Myths & Facts," National Indian Gaming Association Do Native Americans pay state or federal taxes? They pay the same taxes as everyone else with the following exceptions: Native Americans employed on reservations do not pay state income taxes. American Indians living on trust land are free from local and state property taxes. Generally state sales taxes are not levied on Indian transactions made on reservations. Indians do not pay federal income taxes on money earned from trust lands, such as fees received for grazing rights and oil drilling. "100 Questions for 500 Nations," in "The American Indian and the Media"
Gaming Myth: All tribes have gaming operations. Fact: Less than 40% of federally-recognized tribes have gaming operations. Myth: All tribes are rich because of gaming revenues. Fact: Only a handful of operations make the majority of the gaming revenue. Myth: Tribal gaming is loosely regulated. Fact: Tribal governmental gaming is more heavily regulated than commercial gaming and tribal governments have developed world-class regulatory systems. "Myths & Facts," National Indian Gaming Association
As long as there is an us and them, there will be a problemGrayson Noley The following information comes from a handout that Dr. Noley gave out during a guest lecture in Fall of He adapted the information from American Indians: Stereotypes and realities by D. A. Mihesuah (1998, Atlanta: Clarity Press, Inc.). Most of the adaptations make the information relevant to educators.
Dos and Donts Avoid Inappropriate terminology Do not use uncivilized when comparing American Indian cultures to Euro-American cultures. Use different. The tribal and Euro-American cultures were different from one another, no one being inferior or superior. Do not say Lakota Indians or Choctaw Indians. This is redundant.
Dos and Donts Avoid inappropriate terminology Use myth to describe tribal creation stories and folklore only if you clearly have defined the term; otherwise myth implies a made- up story to most students and some adults as well. Use account instead when in doubt. Do not use the terms brave, buck, squaw, or papoose when referring to American Indian men, women, and children. Men, women, and children are appropriate terms.
Do not use heathen to describe those American Indians who were and are not Christians. That implies that they had and have no religions. Say American Indians are religious instead. Impress upon students that they do not have to believe what others believe, but they do need to respect others right to believe as they wish. Dos and Donts Avoid inappropriate terminology
Do not use the term prehistory; use precontact instead. Pre-columbian also is used as an alternative to prehistory. Prehistory implies that American Indians had no history worthy of recording until contact with Europeans. It is ironic indeed that American Indians were here for thousands of years prior to the arrival of the Europeans, yet United States history texts usually only discuss the last 500 years. Dos and Donts Avoid inappropriate terminology
Do not call American Indians redskins. No American Indian had or has red skin, in spite of the fact that the name for our state literally is translated as red people and that our states name was given by a Choctaw. Do not use the singular when referring to a group of people. For example, using the singular the Cherokee when referring to more than one member of that tribe is incorrect. It begs the question, Which one? The singular is how we refer to animals (the mule, the horse, etc.) and is demeaning to humans. Dos and Donts Avoid inappropriate terminology
Do not allow students and children to imitate American Indian people by saying how or ugh. How is a Lakota word for hello, but all American Indians did not hold up their hold up their hand and ask How? How what? How is an English word. Asking how? or grunting ugh are insulting, nonsensical, verbal symbols of Indianness. So is yelling Geronimo when jumping off a diving board. Do not tell students to stop acting like wild Indians. American Indians were and are no more wild than any other ethnic group. Dos and Donts Avoid inappropriate terminology
Instill a sense of diversity Students should understand that American Indians are not all alike. Give pupils examples of tribes that lived on the coast, in the deserts, the forests, the Arctic, etc. All had different languages, religions, clothes, housing, food, etc. American Indians are multifaceted peoples who should not be generalized. Each tribe has its own complex history, culture, and name for itself. It is a mistake to generalize American Indians, just as it is incorrect to generalize Europeans, Africans, Hispanics, or Asians.
Tell students about American Indians today. Because of movies that romanticize the horse-riding, bison-hunting Plains tribes (i.e. Dances With Wolves), many Americans have the impression that not only are all American Indians alike, but they also still exist only in the past. Students must learn that American Indians are alive in the present and are working in every segment of society. Also, American Indians do not all look alike. Many of the men do not have long hair and many American Indians are mixed-bloods with lighter coloring. Most American Indians do not live on reservations and those that do, do not have to stay there.
Do not have students dress as Pilgrims and Indians for Thanksgiving. This is as dishonest as playing happy mammy and plantation owners wife. After all, Pilgrims, Puritans, and other colonists thought that American Indians were heathens and savages, and according to some, the Devils disciples. Within 50 years of the Thanksgiving Feast, thousands of American Indians were dead at the hands of colonists and diseases. Thanksgiving indeed. In fact, many American Indians recognize Thanksgiving as a Day of Mourning.
Playing dress up continued Do not have students make headdresses to wear. The style, materials, and significance of headdresses varied from tribe to tribe and not every tribal member wore one. American Indian men certainly did not wear headdresses to play in, nor should non- Indians. Do not ask the students to sit Indian style. This implies that American Indians only sat on the ground or on the floor and were uncivilized in their everyday demeanor.
Use caution when expounding on Americas heroes and use sensitivity when celebrating American holidays. Do not teach students that Columbus was a hero without examining his relations with American Indians. He forcibly took American Indians to Europe and put them on display as though they were exotic animals. George Armstrong Custer, Andrew Jackson, George Washington, William Henry Harrison, Teddy Roosevelt, and others who believed American Indians to be inferior to Europeans also should be thoroughly examined before being described as American heroes in various contexts.
Heroes?? While we might agree, for example, that Theodore Roosevelt was a hero of the Spanish-American War, he comments in his book, The Winning of the West, that American Indians are filthy, lecherous, and faithless, in addition to living lives that were but a few degrees less meaningless, squalid, and ferocious than that of the wild beasts with whom they held joint ownership. The Declaration of Independence refers to American Indians as merciless savages. George Washington bought & sold American Indian lands without the tribes permission, fought and killed American Indians without mercy, and owned almost 500 African American slaves.
Teach students the contributions of American Indians to the growth and development of the United States. These range from new foods and medicines to ideas of democracy. Thousands of American Indians have fought for America since the colonial period. There was an American Indian General in the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, two in the Civil War, and one in World War II. There were three Congressional Medal of Honor winners in WWII and two in the Korean conflict. American Indians contribute considerably to the arts and sciences in spite of the fact that their images are the focus of entertainment and revenue for non-Indians.
Fight for more well-rounded curricula that include minority people. This includes critically reviewing textbooks that claim to but do not include a complete history of this country and the trade-books used in elementary schools that frequently advance stereotypes of the worst kind. Teachers also should push for multi- cultural curriculums. It is important for all of us to attempt to correct false history, for today there are approximately 2.5 million American Indians in this country and millions more in Central and South America. Their histories and cultures deserve to be portrayed as accurately as those of any other race or culture.
Use caution when utilizing American Indian artifacts for instruction and screen students show and tell items. Certain items should not be used for educational purposes and many should not even be in the possession of non-tribal members. For example, many tourists collect pottery shards from American Indian ruins, but these items are part of the ruins. So many tourists have walked off with these souvenirs that forest service officials are considering closing selected sites.
Artifacts Skeletal remains should never be exhibited even if they were found on private property. In many states, it is illegal to excavate your own property. Other items such as medicine bundles, pipes, and pipe bas are sacred items and should not possess them. Often, drums, jewelry, kachina dolls, and clothing were obtained from burials and teachers should ascertain the origin of these items.
Animals Class projects that require handling or dissecting animals may be in conflict with certain American Indian religious beliefs. While one cannot be expected to know every nuance of other cultures, it does not require much thought to be sensitive to the students who shy away from participating in some activities and respectfully inquire about their reluctance.
Socio-Linguistics Be careful to not interpret quiet or less active students as inattentive. In some cultures, it is disrespectful to be loud verbally and physically aggressive. Many students may be bilingual.
Cognition Avoid one-sided teaching that encourages simply analytical, as many students come from an environment that encourages holistic learning instead. Use instructional conversations.
Motivation Often materials presented represent only the dominant culture. Students may appear to lack motivation simply because they have learned materials from a different perspective. Student motivation can be increased by using multicultural materials that include their ethnicity.
Conclusion No two students are ever alike. Use a variety of different methods in all classes regardless of the cultural makeup of the students. Be respectful, and research cultures you are not familiar with, but make sure you use resources that are generated from within the culture, not just ones from the dominant cultures perspective.