Cultural Affairs

2018
2018. Myaamiaki Eemamwiciki Program | Miami Tribe of Oklahoma. See Full Report (PDF)Abstract

Three baskets that have spoons, forks, and knives. Myaamiaki language cards in front of each basket.The United States has a shameful history of displacing its original inhabitants from their homelands and attempting to wipe out their cultures. Such actions had a devastating effect on the Miami people, who, by the 1990s, became scattered across the country, resulting in an ongoing struggle to maintain their cultural identity. In response, the Miami Tribe of Oklahoma created the Myaamiaki Eemamwiciki (the Miami Awakening) program. Rooted in strengthening their kinship ties to one another within a strategic educational framework, Myaamiaki Eemamwiciki helps citizens reconnect to their Indigenous knowledge and value system. And, as tribal citizens reconnect with the knowledge of their ancestors, they are creating a new understanding of what it means to be Myaamia.

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2016
2016. Calricaraq: Indigenous Yup'ik Wellbeing | Yukon Kuskokwim Delta Tribal Communities. View Report (PDF)Abstract

Four elderly people sitting in a row at a table for a group meetingColonization dramatically altered the lives of Alaska Native peoples, and the intergenerational pain – the historical trauma – caused by these changes deeply affects Alaska Native communities today. Among the Yup’ik of the Yukon Kuskokwim delta region, for example, rates of mental and behavioral health problems are extremely high. Calricaraq, a program hosted by the Yukon Kuskokwim Health Corporation, seeks to improve individual and community wellbeing using the traditional philosophies that have guided Yup’ik life for generations. This approach is succeeding where Western approaches have failed.

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2016. Čáw Pawá Láakni - They Are Not Forgotten | Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation. View Report (PDF)Abstract

Person holding up a large research book with post-it tabs in an office settingContemporary place names throughout the United States reflect the history of colonization. The explorers and settlers who named mountains, rivers, and other natural features after themselves or their heroes were unaware or indifferent to the fact that waterways, features of the land, and places already had ancient names. The Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation have undertaken an ambitious project to organize, give preeminence to, and systematically disseminate their knowledge of the land.

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2015
2015. Ohero:kon "Under the Husk" Rites of Passage | Haudenosaunee Confederacy. View Report (PDF)Abstract

Teenager holding tobacco leaves clipped onto a wire to dry.The teenage years are an exciting but challenging phase of life. For Native youth, racism and mixed messages about identity can make the transition to adulthood particularly fraught, and may even lead to risky or self-destructive behavior. Within the Haudenosaunee Confederacy, a groundbreaking initiative to restore rites of passage for youth has engaged the entire community. The Ohero:kon ceremonial rite guides youth through Mohawk practices and teachings in the modern context, strengthening their cultural knowledge, self-confidence, and leadership skills.

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2014
Randall K.Q. Akee and Jonathan B. Taylor. 5/15/2014. Social and Economic Change on American Indian Reservations.Abstract
A Databook of the US Censuses and the American Community Survey 1990-2010
2014. Owe'neh Bupingeh Rehabilitation Project | Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo. Publisher's VersionAbstract

Three construction workers leaning on metal scaffolding on site for tribal home renovations.Many American families dream of owning a single family home in a suburban subdivision. Yet on tribal lands this type of housing can have devastating social and cultural consequences— especially for a community like Ohkay Owingeh, whose residents traditionally lived in high density housing surrounding central plazas. At Ohkay Owingeh, US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) policies supported the construction of new suburban subdivisions over the rehabilitation of traditional pueblo dwellings—and homes at the pueblo’s core that had been occupied for generations slowly were being abandoned. The pueblo undertook to revitalize the historic village center in a way that celebrates traditional culture, bringing life back to the plazas that are the cultural heart of the nation. 

 

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2014. Potawatomi Leadership Program | Citizen Potawatomi Nation. Publisher's VersionAbstract

Citizen Potawatomi young adults seated in two rows for group photo.Proud of the increasing number of citizens pursuing college degrees, the Citizen Potawatomi Nation (CPN) leaders became concerned that their talented students were not getting enough education in what it means to be Citizen Potawatomi. To nurture the nations’ future political leadership, the tribe launched the Potawatomi Leadership Program, which gives students an unforgettable “crash course” in CPN government, economy, and culture. In doing so, program graduates are armed with the cultural and political knowledge they need to become the leaders they were born to be.

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2010
2010. Leadership Institute at the Santa Fe Indian School | All Indian Pueblo Council. Publisher's VersionAbstract

Two easels that have words written on them relating to core valuesFounded in 1997, the Leadership Institute at the Santa Fe Indian School aims to create a dynamic learning environment in which community members not only learn and teach, but are able to actively contribute to the success of their nations. Four themes guide the Institute’s work: leadership, community service, public policy, and critical thinking. These themes are realized through the Institute’s four programs: Community Institutes, a Summer Policy Academy, High School Symposia, and Enrichment Opportunities. 

 

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2008
2008. The Chickasaw Press | Chickasaw Nation. View Report (PDF)Abstract

Books about Native nations and their people are usually written by outsiders. By contrast, the Chickasaw Nation created the Chickasaw Press to spread home-grown knowledge about their Nation’s history and culture. The Press publishes books written by Chickasaw citizens, using the highest standards of professional editing and production. In doing so, it gives new life to an ancient storytelling tradition.

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2008. Intercultural Leadership Initiative | Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians. View Report (PDF)Abstract

A generation of racial conflict makes it difficult for students from the Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians to succeed at the district high school. Since 1998, the Intercultural Leadership Initiative has provided academic and social opportunities, promoted understanding and friendship, and helped youth overcome their prejudices.

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2008. Ziibiwing Center of Anishinabe Culture & Lifeways | Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe of Michigan. View Report (PDF)Abstract

Exhibit of seven images spotlighted in a dark room.The Ziibiwing Center of Anishinabe Culture & Lifeways is the caretaker of cultural heritage for the Saginaw Chippewa. The Center educates the Tribe’s citizens and the general public through its permanent and rotating exhibits, research center, repatriation efforts, art market, workshops, and language programs. By sharing its story in many ways, the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe of Michigan is reclaiming its past and celebrating its vibrant present as Anishinabe people.

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2006
2006. Cultural Education and Revitalization Program | Makah Nation. See Full Report (PDF)Abstract

As the westernmost Indian reservation in the lower 48 states, the Makah Reservation was established by the 1855 Treaty of Neah Bay. Historically, the Makah lived in large, extended family longhouses organized in coastal villages and drew their sustenance in large part from the sea. First contact between Makah people and non-natives began in the 1790s with devastating and long-lasting effects. The Makah were not only besieged by disease and epidemics that resulted in great population loss, but eventually their language fluency and culture were greatly diminished by the establishment of Bureau of Indian Affairs' schools. But in the 1970s, the nation turned a potential crisis to its advantage through the establishment of the Makah Cultural Education and Revitalization Program. It serves as a hub of the community, as well as steward of a world-class museum collection. By claiming and caring for the treasures of its ancestors, the Makah Nation ensures the cultural viability of its people. 

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2006. The Hopi Child Care Program | Hopi Tribe. View Report (PDF)Abstract

The Hopi Child Care Program facilitates parents' access to high quality child care when demands of work or educational pursuits require them to be away from home. Understanding the importance of early childhood development coupled with the need for culturally appropriate care, Hopi citizens now have the ability to better provide for their families. The Program gives parents the security of knowing their children are safe, while providing affordable and accessible channels to ensure their wellbeing. As the Hopi Tribe affirms, “Children are our greatest resource. How they are treated as young children impacts the future of the Hopi Tribe.”

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2005
2005. Akwesasne Freedom School | Mohawk Nation at Akwesasne. View Report (PDF)Abstract

In the fight for sovereignty, the citizens of the Mohawk Nation recognized that self-determination was critical in education. The Akwesasne Freedom School (AFS) was created as a place for wholly Mohawk education. Grounding learning and teaching in Mohawk lifeways, the School has survived political, financial, and institutional challenges to become a respected and supported institution of the Mohawk community. Through the ongoing efforts of parents, families and the larger Mohawk Nation community, AFS has played a critical role in the formation of Mohawk identity, citizenship, and nationhood for the past twenty-five years, extending even beyond those who attend the school and into the next generations of Mohawk leadership.

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2005. The Cherokee Language Revitalization Project | Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma. View Report (PDF)Abstract

In 2002, the Cherokee Nation carried out a survey of its population and found no fluent Cherokee speakers under the age of 40. The Cherokee Principal Chief declared a state of emergency, and the Nation acted accordingly. With great focus and determination, it launched a multi-faceted initiative designed to revitalize the Cherokee language. Using state- of-the-art knowledge and techniques of language acquisition, the Project includes a language immersion program for pre-school children, a university partnership degree program for certifying Cherokee language teachers, and a set of community language activities. The Project brings together elders, young adults, and children in an effort to preserve not just a language but a people who see in their language the foundation of their own survival.

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2005. Excellence in Tribal Governance: An Honoring Nations Case Study - The Ya Ne Dah Ah School | Chickaloon Village. View Report (PDF)Abstract

Dedicated to giving community youth the skills necessary for functioning in a modern world while retaining and facilitating traditional knowledge and practices, the Ya Ne Dah Ah is Alaska’s only tribally owned and operated full-time primary school and day care facility. Located in a one-room schoolhouse that receives no federal or state funding, the School’s 20 students – whose CAT scores are higher than their national counterparts – learn Ahtna Athabascan history, language, music, and art from elders, and science and math from tribal foresters, environmentalists, and computer technicians. The School’s board also encourages intensive parental involvement and aggressively monitors student progress.

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2005. Tribal Monitors Program | Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. View Report (PDF)Abstract

Land steward holding shards of pottery in hands.Facing widespread looting on and desecration of tribal lands and cultural sites, the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe has developed an initiative to protect and uphold the significance of these sites by training tribal citizens to preserve the land. With a team of 16 volunteers, including two elder spiritual experts, the Tribe monitors its traditional homeland, provides services to other Indian nations in five states, partners with outside agencies in preservation and enforcement efforts, and assists in creating tribal legislation by developing a Cultural Resource Code.

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2004
Janine Ja no's Bowen. 12/2004. “Excellence in Tribal Governance: An Honoring Nations Case Study - The Ojibwe Language Program | Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe”. View Report (PDF)Abstract

Created in 1995, this Tribally funded program serves 350 students (from toddlers to teenagers) and uses elder-youth interaction, song books, and comic books to teach the Ojibwe language. In addition, the Program broadcasts language classes to local public schools in an effort to teach the Ojibwe language, history, and culture to non-Indian children. Teaching the Band's children their traditional language has allowed Mille Lacs Band members to pass on Tribal values more effectively. At the same time, it has served as an important tool in both preserving the Band's culture and strengthening bonds between Band members.

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Leigh Fitzgerald and Katie Milligan. 5/24/2004. Upper Sioux Language Preservation Program Models, Projects & Plans for Success | Upper Sioux Community. View Report (PDF)Abstract

This report was commissioned by Helen Blue, Upper Sioux Tribal Chairman, to explore ways to sustain existing language programs and expand programming options to increase participation among Upper Sioux tribal members in language preservation efforts. The authors of this report are graduate students at Harvard University enrolled in Nation Building II, part of the Harvard University Native American Project (HUNAP). This report has several objectives:

  • To examine the “state of language acquisition” among the Upper Sioux, including past and present programs;
  • To perform a “feasibility study” of restarting a comprehensive language program, analyzing the tribe’s strengths and weaknesses; &
  • To provide several recommendations and concrete steps for moving forward.

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Leigh Fitzgerald and Katie Milligan. 5/2004. Upper Sioux Language Preservation Program Models, Projects & Plans for Success. View Report (PDF)Abstract
  • This report was commissioned by Helen Blue, Upper Sioux Tribal Chairman, to explore ways to sustain existing language programs and expand programming options to increase participation among Upper Sioux tribal members in language preservation efforts. The authors of this report are graduate students at Harvard University enrolled in Nation Building II, part of the Harvard University Native American Project (HUNAP). This report has several objectives:
  • To examine the “state of language acquisition” among the Upper Sioux, including past and present programs;
  • To perform a “feasibility study” of restarting a comprehensive language program, analyzing the tribe’s strengths and weaknesses; &
  •  To provide several recommendations and concrete steps for moving forward.

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