When 50 Midwest teachers in two public schools and one Reservation school worked in respectful, knowledgeable, and power-sharing ways with local Indigenous elders, artists, and academics, the outcome was often culture-based arts education that teaches against the grain. This collaboration and the culturally responsive pedagogy it inspired led to transformative thinking about race, power, and injustice. Participating teachers, who recognized the social relevance and educative potential of Indigenous material culture as place-based pedagogy, began using a culture-based model for arts integration across disciplinary borders. Immersing these mostly White educators in an Indigenous society’s heritage language and ways of knowing, in turn, heightened many students’ engagement with and appreciation for the place they live and the peoples living there for millennia.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This research was supported by a grant from the United States Department of Education, Office of Innovation and Improvement, Washington, DC. The author would like to recognize two colleagues: Jean Ness and Kelly Hrenko, whose efforts helped propel this project forward.