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ERIC Number: EJ1038555
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Pages: 3
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 18
ISSN: ISSN-1089-5701
Native Birthrights and Indigenous Science
James, Adrienne Brant; Lunday, Tammy
Reclaiming Children and Youth, v22 n4 p56-58 Win 2014
In traditional tribal cultures, children are treated with great respect and eagerly learn from their elders. But in contemporary Western society, Native students have the highest dropout rates and are subjected to disproportionate school disciplinary exclusion, which becomes a pipeline into the justice system (Sprague, Vincent, Tobin, & Pavel, 2013). A growing literature calls for culturally appropriate approaches that build on strengths of indigenous students (Reyhner, Martin, Lockard, & Gilbert, 2013). Indians of the Americas share a worldview grounded in respect for all life. Gregory Cajete (2000) of the University of New Mexico describes Native science as the "natural laws of interdependence." In contrast, Western science has tended toward reductionism, measuring cause and effect links between isolated variables. But human harmony requires a relational--not linear--worldview (Cross, 2012). There are two contrasting systems for governing human societies--cultures of respect and cultures of dominance (Eisler, 2000). The Circle of Courage bridges indigenous and Western knowledge. Native-based in its origin, this model identifies four growth needs which are the foundation for positive youth development in any culture: Belonging, Mastery, Independence, and Generosity (Brendtro, Brokenleg, & Van Bockern, 2002). These universal needs and strengths are embedded in the human brain and have evolved over millennia of human history. Cultures that respect children are designed to meet these needs (Rogoff, 2003). When growth needs are met, life is in harmony and young people thrive. When this vital balance is disrupted, they experience a host of problems.
Reclaiming Children and Youth. PO Box 57 104 N Main Street, Lennox, SD 57039. Tel: 605-647-2532; Fax: 605-647-5212; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A