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ERIC Number: EJ797780
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Pages: 3
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-1052-5505
Three Sisters: Lessons of Traditional Story Honored in Assessment and Accreditation
Chenault, Venida S.
Tribal College Journal of American Indian Higher Education, v19 n4 p14-16 Sum 2008
The three sisters story is shared across many tribes. It explains the practice of planting corn, beans, and squash together. The corn stalks provide support for the bean vines; the beans provide nitrogen for the corn; and the squash prevents weed growth between the mounds. Such stories explain not only the science of agricultural methods in tribal peoples' planting practices; they provide lessons about sacrifices made to meet the people's needs, the importance of reciprocal relationships, and the values that nurture the growth of products. This article describes the relevance of such teachings to the work of assessment, accreditation, and service without suggesting that assessment, accreditation, and service rise to the level of origin or creation stories. Instead this analogy implies that activities related to assessment, accreditation, and service are not new, but are concepts are well understood by tribal peoples. Assessment enables them to determine whether the seeds they plant today will produce the quality and number of graduates needed to serve the people tomorrow. Accreditation forces them to review the conditions they plant under and to evaluate whether they have the necessary resources to continue producing. Indigenous traditions require looking into the future and preparing to ensure the survival of the people.
Tribal College Journal of American Indian Higher Education. P.O. Box 720, Mancos, CO 81328. Tel: 888-899-6693; Fax: 970-533-9145; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A