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Protecting the Promise: Indigenous Education Between Mothers and Their Children

Protecting the Promise: Indigenous Education Between Mothers and Their Children

Protecting the Promise: Indigenous Education Between Mothers and Their Children

Protecting the Promise: Indigenous Education Between Mothers and Their Children


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Protecting the Promise is the first book in the Culturally Sustaining Pedagogies Series edited by Django Paris. It features a collection of short stories told in collaboration with five Native families that speaks to the everyday aspects of Indigenous educational resurgence rooted in the intergenerational learning that occurs between mothers and their children. The author defines resurgence as the ongoing actions that recenter Indigenous realities and knowledges, while simultaneously denouncing and healing from the damaging effects of settler colonial systems. By illuminating the potential of such educational resurgence, the book counters deficit paradigms too often placed on Indigenous communities. It also demonstrates the need to include Indigenous Knowledges within the curriculum for both in-school and out-of-school settings. These engaging narratives reframe Indigenous parents as critical and compassionate educators, cultural brokers, and storytellers who are central partners in the education of their children.

Book Features:

  • A window into how and why Indigenous resurgence through (and sometimes in resistance to) education can happen.
  • A narrative style of writing that builds accessible stories that are both relatable and connected to larger social issues.
  • An interdisciplinary approach that has implications for pre- and in-service teachers and school administrators, as well as for the communities from which these stories originated.
  • A teacher-friendly Afterword that offers lesson ideas for the classroom and companion questions to the short stories.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780807765005
Publisher: Teachers College Press
Publication date: 04/02/2021
Series: Culturally Sustaining Pedagogies Series
Pages: 240
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.50(d)

About the Author

Timothy San Pedro is an associate professor of multicultural and equity studies in the Department of Teaching and Learning at the College of Education and Human Ecology, The Ohio State University.

Table of Contents


Series Foreword Django Paris xi

Foreword Megan Bang xiii

Acknowledgments xv

Prologue xix

Introduction 1
Co-Developed From the Beginning: Self-in-Relation 3
Resurgence in the Everyday 7
Refusing the “Me”: Toward the Implications of “We” 8
An Unfulfilled Promise: Formal Schooling in Indigenous Communities 10
Combating “Deficit Distractions” 12
Listening to Connect as a Story Supporter: Methods 16
Questions to Consider 18

1. Michael and Mali 21
Michael Munson and Timothy San Pedro
History of Homelands 22
Introducing Michael and Mali 23
Songs From the Spirits 24
Wiping Tears Away 25
At Home: In Community 26
Identity Detours 26
Head Start to Where? 28
Head Start to Love 31
Nk̓ʷusm Salish Language School 32
Stepping Up by Stepping In 34
Protecting the Seams 35

2. Alayna, Kyyalyn, and Waaruxti 39
Alayna Eagle Shield and Timothy San Pedro
Introducing Alayna 41
#NoDAPL 41
Introducing Waaruxti 43
Introducing Kyyalyn 45
Coming Together as One Family 46
Living Language Together 48
Language Post-Its 49
White Buffalo Calf Woman 51
Waaruxti and School 52
Standing Up 54
Singing Prayer 55
Sharing Lakȟóta 56
Spirit Dish 57
Language and Tribal Knowledge Intertwined 57

3. Tara and Scyla 61
Tara Ramos, Scyla Dowd, and Timothy San Pedro
Scyla Raised Her Hand 62
Introducing Scyla 63
Introducing Tara 65
Tara and Scyla’s Relationship 67
Going “Home” 68
The Dangers of a Model Minority 73
Advocating for Equity 75
Decolonizing vs. Indigenizing 75
Advocating for Indigenous Peoples’ Day 77
Refusing Indigenous Peoples’ Day 79

4. Kristina and Demetrius 85
Kristina Lucero, Demetrius Lucero, and Timothy San Pedro
Introducing Kristina 85
Introducing Demetrius 88
“Can I Help You?” 90
“They’re So Native” 91
Enduring Lacrosse 92
Forcing Special Ed 96
Demetrius and Schooling 97
In the In-Between 99
“I Do It to Get Through School” 103
Thanksgiving Dinner Talk: Learning With Grandma 105

5. Faith and Daliyah 113
Faith Price, Daliyah Killsback, and Timothy San Pedro
Phone Call Reflection 113
Introducing Daliyah 116
Introducing Faith 117
Pendleton Pillows 118
Required Freshman Humanities Course 119
Back to School 123
First Native Instructor 124
“There Are an Infinite Possibility of Ways to Be Indigenous” 126
School Talk: Rants/Lectures 127
A Place to Be Native 129
Changing the Humanities Course: Blah, Blah, Blah Pedagogy 132
Presentation of Gifts 135

Conclusion: Montana Gathering 137

Epilogue: Questions to Connect Forward 157
Purposes of the Epilogue 159
Lesson Ideas: Carrying Stories to New Places 161
Questions Forward 163
Chapter 1: Michael and Mali 165
Chapter 2: Alayna, Kyyalyn, and Waaruxti 169
Chapter 3: Tara and Scyla 173
Chapter 4: Kristina and Demetrius 178
Chapter 5: Faith and Daliyah 183

Appendix: A Note on Terms 191

Notes 195

References 197

Index 204

About the Author 214

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

“One of my favorite prayers is ‘may we raise our babies with our Indigenous love, rather than our colonial pain.’ The stories in this book feel like that prayer enfleshed with the everydayness of our lives and bear witness to the power of mothers and children.”—From the Foreword by Megan Bang, professor, Northwestern University

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