ERIC Number: ED482350
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2003-Dec
Reference Count: N/A
How Schools Can Help Heal American Indian and Alaska Native Communities. ERIC Digest.
Jacobs, Don Trent
Historical trauma may be a significant cause of the well-documented disparities between the health of American Indians and the general population. The inability to resolve past injustices against American Indians may continue to have health consequences as long as this history continues to repeat itself. Schools can play a role in healing American Indian communities. A focus on traditional Native dispositions of respect, upholding promises, kindness, peacefulness, courage, and moderation will help Native communities regain their traditional role as protectors of the Earth. Work skills are also important, but they should be taught in concert with cultural values and in terms of sustainable economic goals for the community. Schools need to treat children as respected, sacred beings, a traditional imperative in Native cultures. Children then will feel significant. Schools can become venues for community adults to teach traditional knowledge, thus ending alienation caused by eurocentric curricula. The sharing of Native perspectives and observation skills in school can validate Native wisdom so that Native communities become more confident in following traditional paths toward wellness. (TD)
Descriptors: Alaska Natives, American Indian Culture, American Indian Education, American Indians, Culturally Relevant Education, Health, Indigenous Knowledge, Role of Education, School Community Relationship, Spirituality, Teacher Student Relationship, Wellness
Archives at http://www.ael.org/.
Publication Type: ERIC Publications; ERIC Digests in Full Text
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Institute of Education Sciences (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: ERIC Clearinghouse on Rural Education and Small Schools, Charleston, WV.