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ERIC Number: EJ869093
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Nov-26
Pages: 2
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-1557-5411
Awash in Wisdom
Pember, Mary Annette
Diverse: Issues in Higher Education, v26 n21 p10-11 Nov 2009
Sustaining and strengthening tribal cultures, languages and traditions is at the core of every tribal college's mission statement. To help attain these goals, many colleges use one of Indian Country's greatest assets--its elders. Traditionally, elders hold a place of honor in American Indian society. Without cultural input from elders, particularly with spoken languages, tribal colleges would just be another option in the list of academic choices for American Indians, says Carrie Billy, executive director of the American Indian Higher Education Consortium (AIHEC) and a member of the Navajo tribe. Tribal colleges make use of elders in varied ways. Some colleges employ a structured approach with elders in residence programs or use them as resources for curriculum development or as board members. Other colleges have more casual approaches, inviting elders into classrooms and inclusion in activities on a case-by-case basis. In summing up why elders play an integral role in education at tribal colleges, Dr. Diana Morris, dean of instruction at the College of the Menominee Nation, says Indian people have never lost the crucial understanding that making it through life requires wisdom. Wisdom is only achieved through time and experience and the contemplation of that experience. She says that is the core cultural difference between tribal and mainstream colleges.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A