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Canku Ota

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(Many Paths)

An Online Newsletter Celebrating Native America


October 6, 2001 - Issue 46


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 The Institute of American Indian Arts


"SANTA FE: The Institute of American Indian Arts expects to award its first bachelor's degree this spring after less than a year of four-year accreditation."

The Native Eyes Project will implement new approaches to college teaching in the Humanities and Social Sciences, incorporating social, cultural and intellectual contributions of Native Americans. The teaching materials will be innovative in both content and format. While the new four year major entitled "Native American Perspectives on Knowledge and Culture" will pay special attention to needs and interests of the broader Native American community, it will also have a major outreach to people of all races and cultures. In other words, the initiative aims to expand the academic scope, as well as the range of teaching methodologies, in both American Indian Studies and mainstream Humanities programs. It is hoped that the full major will soon be available for study by distance students online, utilizing interactive learning techniques developed especially for the program.

"Native Eyes" teaching materials will explore critical issues of knowledge and power, perception and representation, tradition and change, nature and culture, the local and the global, from a multi-disciplinary and multi-tribal point of view, drawing on the liberal arts as well as on the experience of indigenous peoples around the globe. The course of study will not be an exercise in the transmission of tribal culture, but will focus on such broad concepts identity, sovereignty, governance, kinship, society, land, property, gender, health, time, justice, beauty, humor, values, rights and responsibilities. It will be a liberal arts major with input from the sciences, social sciences, humanities and the fine arts.

"Native Eyes" courses will not attempt to teach systematic surveys of Native American history and culture, but will rather answer the question: what is the best program for general education in the Humanities for American Indians in the new century? The teaching materials are also set apart from standard American Indian Studies courses in that the visual arts (the traditional strength of IAIA teaching) will be used as a springboard to investigate a variety of native issues. For example, theoretical issues of perception and representation inform the way native peoples view the world and the natural environment and, in turn, the way other cultures understand and misunderstand American Indians. Issues of land rights, bio-diversity, and intellectual property may be clarified by treating painting, maps, medical ritual, song, story and dance as knowledge texts. In addition, the method of teaching and approach to the material will be aligned with the traditional aims of American Indian education, including a commitment to service to the community and a respect for individual, cultural and ecological diversity.

For more information about "Native Eyes" and the Institute of American Indian Art visit their site at:

Institute of American Indian Art


  Maps by Travel

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  Canku Ota is a free Newsletter celebrating Native America, its traditions and accomplishments . We do not provide subscriber or visitor names to anyone. Some articles presented in Canku Ota may contain copyright material. We have received appropriate permissions for republishing any articles. Material appearing here is distributed without profit or monetary gain to those who have expressed an interest. This is in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107.  

Canku Ota is a copyright © 2000, 2001 of Vicki Lockard and Paul Barry.


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