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ERIC Number: EJ1163600
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014-May
Pages: 16
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1089-9995
Indigenous Knowledge and Geoscience on the Flathead Indian Reservation, Northwest Montana: Implications for Place-Based and Culturally Congruent Education
Johnson, Adam N.; Sievert, Regina; Durglo, Michael, Sr.; Finley, Vernon; Adams, Louis; Hofmann, Michael H.
Journal of Geoscience Education, v62 n4 p542-562 May 2014
We investigated connections between the natural and the cultural history of the Flathead Indian Reservation through the integration of geoscience, traditional tribal knowledge, and oral narratives for the purpose of improving Earth Science education in the tribal community. The project served as an avenue for the incorporation of indigenous knowledge into science curricula by providing parallel perspectives for the same landscapes while considering compatibilities between Western science and Native knowledge. We developed educational resources through collaborations with local school communities, tribal elders, and cultural experts who approved the materials for general distribution. Participants identified multiple localities throughout the reservation that served as field sites critical to understanding geoscience concepts, tribal scientific knowledge, and oral histories. One such place (the Big Draw Valley west of Flathead Lake) figures prominently in both geoscience and indigenous accounts of the evolution of the land. Compatible perspectives of local landscape formation are indicated by similarities between the interconnected Earth Science and Native narratives. Indigenous knowledge reveals potential locations for additional scientific research that could prompt a reconsideration of current geoscience theories regarding the glacial history of the region. Preliminary research suggests that culturally congruent instruction using the Flathead Geoscience Education Project materials was effective in supporting increased American Indian student achievement in geosciences on the reservation. We believe that curricular materials similar to those produced during this project can also be developed for and successfully used in other tribal communities.
National Association of Geoscience Teachers. Carleton College W-SERC, One North College Street, Northfield, MN 55057. Tel: 540-568-6675; Fax: 540-568-8058; e-mail:; Website:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: National Science Foundation (NSF)
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Montana
Grant or Contract Numbers: 0608106