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blue thumbtack Okay, I don't know if culturally sensitive is the right word, or maybe I am just ranting. My question, point, whatever is how can the schools and other agencies really pay attention to the community?
blue thumbtack Students miss school for United Tribes pow-wow every year. Why not start school after United Tribes pow-wow? Why do they start school early when, after all these years, they KNOW the students are going to miss? It is just wasted time. I say, start school later, after the pow-wow.
blue thumbtack I get tired of being told by college instructors, ‘you are so quiet’.  It’s not that we (the two Indian students in the class) are shy.  That’s just who we are.  We don’t just shout out whatever like the white girls do.  The teachers say, ‘well I don’t have any idea if you’re understanding or not!’”
blue thumbtack As a college instructor, when I first started teaching at the tribal college, and when I taught at other colleges that had Native American students, it took me a while to realize that there is a lot less connection between understanding the material and speaking out in class than I had experienced with non-Indian students. I would say, more often than not, the Native American students who almost never spoke out in class were the ones who had the highest grades on tests and papers. Any explanations I would offer for that would be just guesses, but it is something I noticed. So, I would say to teachers, if your students are quiet, it might not be that they don't know enough about the material to say anything.
Blue thumb tack White people have funerals that are a wake in the evening and maybe an hour in the morning.  Indians have funerals that last 3-4 days.  Schools need to understand that.
Blue thumb tack If schools really understood that a funeral might last three or four days, then maybe they would be prepared to help the students keep up with the class by having schoolwork for those days set aside in a packet and having an aide work with the students to get it done when they return, having them work after class or during lunch hour. There could be an expectation that you could be part of your cultural traditions and caught up in school, too.
Blue thumb tack We have a  Head Start Pow-wow – children who don’t have dresses or other traditional outfits, we made them out of butcher paper with the children decorating with markers.  One of the staff member makes headdresses for the boys.  We make dresses for the little girls. Those who have traditional outfits can bring them in and wear them, but the ones who don't are jus as proud because they made their own themselves.
Blue thumb tack As a middle school teacher, I used culture in everything. It can be field trips, experimental. I would take students to a tribal council meeting during a unit on government or political systems. Who says there is no way to include culture in engineering? We recorded music on CD-ROM, country western, rock, and a Turtle Mountain Chippewa drum group.  Then, they looked at the different CD’s under a microscope to detect patterns. There is ALWAYS a place for culture in your classroom, no matter what you are teaching.
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When accidents happen and people have traumatic injuries, part of our culture is a lot of caring.  A lot of people came to visit me in intensive care.  There are four stages of Kubler-Ross talked about.  Denial – when you pretend it is all going to be okay, you refuse to accept your disability is permanent. Bargaining – where you talk with God and sat if the Creator would change certain things then you would make certain changes in your life.  Anger, Acceptance – as it sounds, accepting the fact that you will have a disability most of your life and learning to deal with it.  I think the big difference in my acceptance has been the family support.  I have seen other people who also had disabilities like me but didn’t have the family support.  Those people remain loners to this day.

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