May 30, 2014
Michael Kent Ward, “Teaching Indigenous American Culture and History: Perpetuating
Knowledge or Furthering Intellectual Colonization?”, Journal of Social Sciences 7 (2): 104-112, 2011.doi 10.3844/jssp.2011.104.112
This article was interesting but very hard to read. Mr. Ward imposed some great questions about the way we learn Native American history, but in my opinion never answered them. While I agreed with his main argument, “.. everyone involved (teachers, students and indigenous peoples) are best served when traditional American Indian authorities are regularly consulted, with regard to matters involving public presentations and interpretations ...view middle of the document...
“Intellectual colonization not only threatens to erode
the influences of traditional cultural authority, but it can
destroy American Indian identity, as non-Indians
eventually claim possession of things indigenous by
their ability to define them in non-indigenous terms.”
This was a hard phrase to swallow. I am not a Native American history buff, but I am of Native American descent. My grandfather was a full blooded Creek Indian. I would argue that there is not anything we as Americans can do that will destroy the American Indian identity. I think that is why the Native American’s guard their culture, so that American’s do not exploit it. I do however agree with the 2nd part of his statement that American’s have claimed possession of things from the Native American culture and have “defined them in non-indigenous terms”.
The conclusion of the article was the most disappointing for me. He posed great questions, but for me they were left unanswered.
” in what ways do cultural programs
created for consumption by a largely non-indigenous