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ERIC Number: ED356122
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1993
Pages: 8
Abstractor: N/A
Southeast Tribal Worldview and Contemporary America.
Masters, Billie Nave
Patterns of reasoning indigenous to American Indians and Alaska Natives are based upon a fluid holistic mindset, born out of intimate observation of the natural world and predicated on the understanding that nothing exists in isolation. All action has consequence and all interaction is significant. Just as American Indians themselves have been culturally defined through stereotype and generalization, so American Indian philosophy and cognitive process have been pigeonholed by mainstream perceptions and definitions. A coyote tale illustrates the "top-down" nature of Indian problem-solving, that is, analysis of the problem from the perspective of larger encompassing systems. Symptomatic solutions do not address the fundamental nature of a problem. "Why" questions are avoided since they are not geared toward moving from the general to the specific and because causal interpretation does not resolve the problem. Understanding the conflict between holistic Indian and rational mainstream thought not only provides insight into dilemmas of the American Indian community, but also contains the root of solutions to national problems. Frequently, attempted solutions to environmental or educational problems have been symptomatic; i.e., responses to a specific environmental crisis or modification of some instructional feature. Just as environmental and educational issues could benefit from a movement from symptomatic analysis to systemic observation, so could issues of poverty, economy, and crime. (SV)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A